KDFL SENIOR LEAGUE TEAM FOCUS.
Provincial Competition !
Leinster Football Association Senior Cup (Round 1)
Clonmullion AFC 2 Oliver Bond Celtic (LSL) 3 (AET)
Clonmullion welcomed Leinster Senior League big guns Oliver Bond Celtic to Micheál O Neill Park for this first round tie of the Leinster FA Senior Cup. This cup competition is for LFA affiliated League Of Ireland clubs, Leinster Senior League Senior Divisional clubs and champions of Senior Divisions from the various LFA affiliated junior leagues. So as Senior Division champions of Kildare in 2021 .
Clonmullion FC took their place and didn’t look out of place against this lofty opposition. The early stages were understandably cagey and it wasn’t until the thirteenth minute that either goal was seriously threatened when Timmy Doyle played a crossfield ball to Cody Mulhall whose goal bound attempt was blocked by Ryan Ashe but the ball dropped into the path of Lee Doyle whose left footed effort flew just wide. From the kick out goalkeeper Adam Kenny punted a long ball down the pitch which seemed to fool everyone but Troy Carey stopped the ball from going out over the end line and pulled it back into Thomas Hannon who was just about to strike on goal when Nathan Doyle put in a last ditch tackle to deflect the ball out for a corner. On the twenty second minute Carey again looked dangerous as he raided down the left and whipped into the middle where Jimmy McHugh launched himself with a diving header which flew just wide. Five minutes later Bond’s Brandon Daly intercepted a pass as the home side tried to play out from the back and his pass picked out Michael Malone who fired straight at Michael Lawless. On the half hour mark a quick Timmy Doyle free kick to Johnathan Fennell saw the left full pass to Lee Doyle who beat two defenders and played a one two with Mulhall and seen his shot brilliantly saved by keeper Kenny. From the resulting corner by Nathan Robinson Dean O Sullivan Owens rose highest but again Kenny was equal to the header. Ten minutes before the half time whistle Bond centre half Ashe drilled a pass to McHugh whose deft flick found Hannon and his shot brought the best out of Lawless. A few minutes later Ashe was again the provider as he put McHugh in one on one with Lawless and the keeper dived bravely at the strikers feet he seemed to follow through with his two feet and catch him but the referee to deemed it worthy of a yellow card. Five minutes before the break some great interplay by Mulhall, Fennell and then Lee Doyle saw the latter put Owens in on goal but Ashe came to the rescue as the striker bore down on goals.
The second half started with The Mull on the front foot and a long pass by centre half Doyle picked out Mulhall who seemed to be impeded as he ran into the box but the referee waved the appeals away. Two minutes later the energetic Dean Fennessy played a great ball to Owens who hit a powerful shot from twenty yards but Kenny dived full length to tip the ball out for a corner. Fennessy’s influence was growing on the game and he hit a beautiful diagonal pass to Lee Doyle who was brought down in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Mulhall stepped up but Kenny was again the hero as he saved the spot kick. On the hour mark a great ball by Mulhall picked out Owens who was through on goals but was fouled on the edge of the area and from the Mulhall free kick Kenny again proved to be in top form. Lee Doyle then got on the end of some brilliant intricate passing by Fennessy and Owens and Kenny tipped Doyle’s effort off the line Mulhall was following up but seen his strike come off the crossbar. In a rare foray up the other end of the pitch Malone worked his way down the wing and crossed to the back post which fell to McHugh but Nathan Doyle was again in the right place to cut out the danger. With ten minutes remaining came the save of the game when a Mulhall floated free kick picked out Timmy Doyle and Kenny again dived full length to tip his volley out for a corner.
The start of extra time seen the home side caught cold on the counter attack when Brandon latched on to a headed clearance and cross from the left where McHugh rose highest to head the ball into the net to put Bond one up. Clonmullion seemed to be shocked by this and gain were caught out two minutes later when the same combination saw McHugh round Lawless to make it two nil. Just before the half time whistle of extra time Daly won the ball in the middle of the park and put Carey in to make int 3 nil at the break. With their never say die attitude Clonmullion started the second half of extra time on the attack and a great move involving Fennell and substitutes Ross Cardiff and Lee Day saw the ball fall to Mulhall but once again Kenny saved acrobatically. With ten minutes remaining the home side got the goal they deserved when a Mulhall free kick was headed goal wards by Cardiff and fellow sub Rickie Moriarty applied the finishing header. Cardiff was again involved when he back heeled a pass from Mulhall into the path of Danny Thompson whose left footed curling effort was again repelled by Kenny. With two minutes left another Mulhall pinpoint free kick was deftly flicked by a Robinson header into the roof of the net to make it 3 2. The Mull then had a series of corners and battled right to the end but just could not get the equaliser. Best for Oliver Bind were Ashe at the back Daly and Malone in the middle and Carey and McHugh up top. Best for the valiant losers were Timmy and Nathan Doyle at the back Fennessy, Lee Foley and Robinson in the middle and Mulhall, Lee Doyle and Owens up front while keeper Adam Kenny in the visitors goals was outstanding. Clonmullion are one of two teams representing Kildare in this season’s competition with Suncroft AFC getting a bye to Round 2. Best wishes to Suncroft in their game.
KDFL Senior Cup action
Coill Dubh AFC 7 Naas United FC 1
It's been quite some time since Coill Dubh made a Senior Cup Final and credit to this team they have achieved that in their first year back in the top division and with the semi-finals of the Lumsden Cup still to come it is certain to be an exciting end to the season.
Coill Dubh started the faster in this game and set the tone early on with a great ball from Aenaes Murphy in midfield to Ryan Murran who got behind the Naas defence to pull back for Conor Brady whose shot was saved but Brady was not to be denied the second time after great work from Sean McMahon on the left wing he put in a great cross for Conor Brady to power home a header 1-0.
Naas then had a chance of their own soon after with a quick counter attack from a corner which needed a good save from Coill Dubh goalkeeper Mark Kilgallon to keep it 1-0.
Coill Dubh then doubled their advantage when Conor Brady whipped in a brilliant corner for Sean McMahon to head home from close range 2-0 and soon after it was 3-0 another header this time from Joe Bowers after another great corner from Brady.
Ryan Murran was then taken down in the Naas box for a penalty kick which Joe Bowers dispatched with ease to make it 4-0 before Half-Time, and the last clear cut chance of the first half came from Aenaes Murphy who hit the outside of the Naas goal post with a brilliant effort from a freekick.
The Second Half started much closer with Naas and Coill Dubh both going close but neither side converting their chances, that was until Sean Hannon intercepted a pass from the Naas goalkeeper to finish into an empty net 5-0. Ryan Murran then got a deserved goal of his own assisted by his strike partner Conor Brady who beat his man on the left wing to deliver a ball to the front post where Murran blasted in off the Naas crossbar to make it 6-0.
Naas then got a consolation goal from a penalty kick to make it 6-1, a great evening for eventual winners was then topped off when a Coill Dubh counter attack found Noah Byrne on the right wing who delivered the ball to the back post for his father Noel Byrne to tap home and finish off the scoring 7-1.
A Great night for the Dubh with a Cup Final now to look forward to after a dominant display. Superb showing from everyone in the the Dubh colours, with standout performances from Aaron Lenehan in defence, Joe Bowers in midfield along with Conor Brady and Sean McMahon in attack.
League Shield Action !
Athy Town AFC 2 Newbridge United FC 1 (AET)
Athy came away with the win in the KDFL League shield but only by the skin of their teeth after a very game and hungry United had outplayed and out fought the home team for the vast majority of the 110 minutes.
The home team had gone 1 up in the twenty fifth minute when after some great work down the left by Andy Coughlan and Steven French saw French find Chris Chanders ten yards out and a cool and crisp finish saw Chanders score his fifteenth of the season.
Most of the home support expected the town to motor on but United had other ideas, attacking from the breakaway, they nearly scored on several occasions.
The away team finally got what all their hard efforts deserved when the number 8 swung a superb freekick into Jamie Quinn's top corner leaving the Athy custodian rooted to the spot.
Athy got the winner with five minutes remaining in the second half of extra time when the referee gave a rather fortunate penalty to the home team, Chanders stepped up, the Utd keeper made a fantastic save only for the ball to rebound back into the path of Chanders who slotted it away..
The action still wasn't finished as Newbridge threw everyone forward and were nearly rewarded when with basically the last kick of the game when a shot through a crowded goalmouth took a deflection, hit the butt of the post and bounced out into the goalkeeper's arms. Best for Athy were Chris Chanders, mick Walsh, Adam O'Keefe and Andy Coughlan..
Senior League action !
Ballycane Celtic 1 Rathangan AFC 2
An end of season clash in torrential rain at Ballycane. A very open contest both playing some excellent open football from the off. Callum O Reilly and Daniel Whittaker posing real threat down each flank with their pace. Jake o Reilly had a great long range effort well save by Craig Shannon. A Lee Moore header just whizzed wide moments later after a pinpoint delivery from Arun Doyle to nearly put the visitors ahead.Bubba Doyle and Craig Byrne both going close off corner kicks for Ballycane in quick succession. A real end to end contest. The best chance of the half fell to the head of Dean Preston who steered his effort just wide of the post with 10 minutes left in the half. A great open game of football played by both side's in the first half.
Rathangan really came out strong in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half and nearly broke the deadlock , but some great saving tackles by Bubba Doyle, Byrne and Aylesbury who had to be at their best to deny the visitors. Keelan Noone showed some brilliant control and quick feet and was a constant danger with those mazy probing runs through the middle of the field, really gave Ballycane a platform to launch attacks. Ballycane broke the deadlock mid way through the half a quality intercepting tackle by Doyle, pick up Sean Aylesbury who put Callum O Reilly in on goal with a great weighed pass and little speed merchant made no mistake with a well taken finish. Rathangan to their credit were edging the possession without carving open a clean cut opportunity. The Away side caught a break when they were awarded a penalty that Lee Moore tucked away with ten minutes remaining to level the tie. Ballycane not contend with a draw looked for the win and were caught on a good counter attack that was finished well by Rathangan winger. Ballycane threw everything into the last few minutes but couldn't find that deserved equaliser. Best For the Ballycane , Preston, Aylesbury, Noone , O Reilly ,Whittaker and W.Doyle. Best for Rathangan were Alex Conlan, and man of the match Dan Mulpeter
Castle Villa AFC 1 Kildare Town AFC 1 (AET)
Kildare Town AFC win 4-3 on penalties AET)