Rathangan AFC 2 Clonmullion FC 3
This was a pulsating cup tie and of a typical Rathangan/Clonmullion encounter. The visitors took the lead after only seven minutes following a prolonged passage of possession football. Garry Comerford passed the ball to centre back Keane Cully who pinged a lovely ball to centre forward Chris Chanders who laid the ball off beautifully into the path of Nathan Robinson who whipped his left footed effort passed a helpless Craig Shannon in the Rathangan goals. Ten minutes later The Mull doubled their lead with a fantastic flowing move from their own eighteen yard box. Michael Walsh headed the ball to Lee Doyle who passed to Chanders who in turn laid it off to Robinson who spread the play out wide left to the marauding Johnny Fennell who's first time cross was dummied by Chanders and fell to Doyle who clinically finished the move off with the outside of his right foot. Fantastic team goal. Clonmullion continued to dominate but failed to get a third which would surely have killed the tie and were left to rue their lack of killer instinct. Full back Dan Mulpeter took a quick throw in to Stefan Lawlor who hooked a hopeful ball into the box where Lee Moore was first to react to slam the ball passed Will Kenny in the Clonmullion goals.
Rathangan carried the momentum into the second half and five minutes in Jim Brennan stepped out of defence and slid the ball through to Moore who in turn fed Alex Conlon who was denied by a great save by Kenny. From the resulting corner Brennan rose highest to win the ball but couldn't keep his effort down. Not to be denied the home side eventually got the equaliser they deserved when Iain Doyle threaded a great ball to Nathan Cullen who clipped the ball to Conlon who hammered the ball to the back of the net. This seemed to spark the cup holders into life and keeper Shannon raced to the edge of his box to punt the ball clear but it dropped into the centre circle where Comerford returned it on the volley over the stranded keeper only to see his fantastic effort it hit the angle of post and crossbar and bounce away to safety. However the home side almost snatched the lead from a corner when Brennan again rose highest but his header was brilliantly saved at point blank range by the young keeper. With fiteen minutes remaining Clonmullion got what proved to be the winner when Mark Hughes strode out of defence and chipped a beautiful cross field pass to substitute Benny Lawlor who beat full back Mulpeter before squaring to the in rushing Robinson who slid the ball home from close range. Not resting on their laurels the visitors pressed for a fourth when a Robinson corner was headed clear by Shane O Loughlin, Lawlor returned it into the danger area where Dean Fennesy looked certain to score but for a great block by Mulpeter. The final chance of the game fell to Chanders when keeper Kenny spotted him one on one with Brennan and he won the ball and took it around the advancing Shannon only for Brennan to recover and clear off the line. Best for Rathangan were Shannon in goals, Dan Mulpeter, Shane O'Loughlin, Alex Conlan, Lee Moore and James Brennan. Best for the visitors were Nicky Leonard and Hughes, Comerford in midfield and the outstanding Robinson up front. Special mention to young debutant seventeen year old Will Kenny making his senior debut in goals and who made some great saves at vital times in the game
Suncroft AFC 1 Clane United FC 3
The game started cautiously with both teams trying to feel their way into the game
It was clan that took the lead after twenty two minutes with Jack Kelly heading in from an Eoghan Maguire corner. Suncroft replied almost immediately from the tip off to equalise through KDFL July Senior player of the Month Dylan Connolly. However one minute later it was 2-1 to Clane United when Stephen leavy intercepted a Suncroft pass and made a good run down the right wing from the resulting cross Eoghan Maguire was pulled down in the penalty area before receiving the ball
Dean commisky stepped up to convert.
Clane again broke on the stroke of half time through Eoghan Maguire down the left wing he cut inside and put the ball across the six yard area to be turned in by a Suncroft player leaving it 3-1 at half time.
The second half was a very cagey affair with killian patchell having the first real chance after sixty five minutes breaking through the middle and shooting making the Suncroft keeper pull off a good save. The visitors had a few more half chances as did Suncroft coming near the end however it finished 3-1 to the visitors. Best for Clane were Cathal Geoghegan, Killian Patchell , Stephen Leavy and Dean Comiskey Best for Suncroft: Dylan Connolly, Stevie Coyne, Kieran Sheedy and Josh Lee.
Clongorey FC 3 Naas United FC 4
Naas United progressed to the semi-final of the KDFL Senior Division Cup at the expense of Clongorey FC thanks to an injury-time Stephen French free-kick in what was a scintillating cup tie.
Clongorey started the brighter of the two sides and very much dominated territory and possession in the opening half hour but without creating any real clear cut chances due to the outstanding defending by Naas’s Stephen French and Victor Oladapo. An opening did come for them on thirty four minutes however as Danny Callan nodded home at the far post from an excellent Sheldon Mbala delivery from the left.
Naas regrouped after the break and drew parity on fifty five minutes with an equaliser through Manny Philips only for Clongorey’s Adam Byrne to put the hosts back into the lead again on sixty two minutes. United would equalise for a second time eight minutes later through the impressive Philips again and looked to be gaining the upper hand in the closing stages but fell behind once more when some high pressing from Clongorey saw substitute Tosin grabbed what looked to be a late winner with a remarkable finish from the tightest of angles. However, Sean Casey's side were soon given the task of preserving their lead through seven minutes of added time and that they could not manage to do. A cross from the right saw them grab a headed leveller through Stephen whilst just minutes later Stephen French's free-kick found its way to the net of a heartbroken Clongorey outfit. Best for the winners were their man of the match Manny Philips with Victor Oladapo and Stephen French both superb at the back. Best on the day for Clongorey were Ronan Kelly, Bryan Leavy, Marvin Mbala, Dave O'Callaghan and Adam Byrne.
Ballyane Celtic FC 3 Arlington FC 4
A seven goal thriller at Ballycane this morning with neither side conceding an inch in a compelling contest that was end to end from the opening kickoff.
Arlington were out of the blocks quickly and looked threatening on both wing ,with Jake o Reilly and Sam Blackburn having to be on top of their game in the opening exchanges following threats from Arlington’s Pheilum o Kane. The visitors moved the ball at pace but were confined to a few long range efforts as the Ballycane midfield trio of Preston, Bubba Doyle and Larkin tried to establish a dominant hold of midfield with both sets of players putting some quality tackles in.
Ballycane drew first blood with Lee Short played an excellent over the top ball and Liam Dreamy raced through on goal and calmly slotted home to give the home side the lead with twenty minutes played 1-0. The home side nearly doubled their lead moments later when Stephen Durney hit the side netting after a good build up play By Doyle and Preston In midfield. Arlington to their credit were really applying the pressure and created and succession of chances but Kevin Higgins in the Ballycane goal pulled off three excellent saves, two at point blank range from a Shane Nealon's shot and then from Daniel Stefanov's shot on the follow up to keep Ballycane in the lead.
Arlington put the game back on level terms with sweetly struck freekick from twenty yards that nestled in the bottom corner from a spot kick from Ceilum Maher on the half hour mark 1-1. Arlington had the chance to grab the lead moments later after Craig Byrne bundled over Shane Nealon, Nealon stepped up himself but found the Higgins once again and in great form saving low to his right. The game really opening up now with Liam Dreamy and Keelan Noone forcing the Arlington keeper into two good saves consecutively. Lee Short at Centre-half for Ballycane made some vital tackles and interceptions to keep the home side on the front foot. With Dean Preston making massive tackles around the middle never lettings the Arlington midfield settle. Ballycane had the last chance of the half Keelan Noone delivered and pinpoint accurate set-piece from the halfway mark, and Bubba Doyle took flight through a clatter of defender's with a brilliant diving header that produced a excellent save from the Arlington keeper to end the half.
Ballycane playing into strong headwind in the second half with Arlington pinning the home side deep in their half in the opening mintutes. Preston, Bubba Doyle and Larkin really working hard to get Ballycane a steady foot hold in the game. Arlington looked a little sharper in the final third and managed to grab the lead with well worked move down the right flank that was well finished by Stephen Flanagan on the hour mark 2-1. The home side still well in this game created the move of the game, with Jake O Reilly playing first time pass to Bubba Doyle who swivelled and turned his man played a quick pass to Keelan Noone who played an audacious backheel back to Bubba Doyle who split the Arlington Rearguard with an inch perfect first time ball to Liam Dreamy who weaved his way through two player's and was bundled over in the penalty area, and the referee waved it off no penalty. Both sides made a string of changes with Ballycane welcoming back Callum O Reilly after a lengthy injury. Ballycane got themselves right back in the game with very direct goal. A Kevin Higgins goal kick was flicked on expertly by Bubba Doyle and Callum O Reilly raced through on goal and was brought down by the Arlington keeper, no hesitation this time as the referee awarded Ballycane a penalty kick . Up stepped Liam Dreamy who converted with a quality spot kick cool as cucumber to put Ballycane right back on level terms2-2.
The home side looked comfortable at this stage and nearly grabbed the lead after Callum O Reilly latched on a long Kevin Higgins ball got it under control on the end line before whipping in danger cross that Keelan Noone at full stretch just failed to get the vital touch. Ballycanes who defended admirably all day will be disappointed in conceding that third goal after they failed to clear their lines after numerous attempts the ball was eventually prodded home by Arlington’s Shane Nealon with fifteen minutes to play 3-2. The home side to their credit didn't drop the heads and seemed to rally behind each other. Preston and Doyle in Midfield really hounding the ball and that pay dividends almost immediately with the duo forcing Arlington to concede possession and Liam Dreamy latched on that loose ball and hit wicked first time snap shot that found the back of the net from Twenty five yards to bring Ballycane back on level terms 3-3 in an breath taking end to end contest.
The tie looked like it was heading for extra time, but Ballycane threw caution to the wind and went for the win , a quick freekick by Keelan Noone to Bubba Doyle who whipped in a teasing cross which Lee Short directed goal bound and was well blocked , Liam Dreamy has a second bite at it but could find a gap behind a compact Arlington back four. With mere seconds remaining on the clock Ballycane were slow to reset and got caught with classic counter attack that was finished well by Nealon to give Arlington 4-3 lead and subsequently the game . An excellent contest between two teams and special mention to the referee who was exceptional. Best for Ballycane were Kevin Higgins in goal Lee Short and Sam Blackburn at the back the impressive Preston and Bubba Doyle in Midfield , Keelan Noone worked tirelessly up top but Liam Dreamy out wide was on a different level today with a Hattrick. Best for the winners were Robbie Mc Neill , Ceilum Maher , Shane Nealon and man of the match Joe Gorman who at the age of 38 ran his socks off all game.
League Action !
Newbridge Hotspurs 3 Coill Dubh AFC 0
Hotpurs were looking to continue their fine run of form in the league with this home encounter against Coill Dubh whom defeated Hotspurs earlier in the season. In what is the start of a busy week for the Hotspurs, this was the first of three games in seven days. In contrast to recent games that Hotspurs played in, they started this game strongly with the first chance occurring in the first minute when a good overlap run from Robbie Higgins allowed him to cross into the box where Mikey Murphy headed at goal but the header was well saved by the Coill Dubh keeper. Just two minutes later Shane Smith went close when he got on the end of a Mikey Murphy cross but his deft touch went narrowly wide. On the eleventh minute, a Scott O’Donoghue shot from a Shane Smith flick on went wide. On eighteen minute, Greg Kelly had a shot inside the box following a Shane Smith pass which shaved the outside of the post and just one minute later Greg Kelly went close again when his half volley went narrowly wide. On twenty two minute the deadlock was broken and a fine goal it was. A long range Sean Higgins pass with the accuracy of a cruise missile was controlled brilliantly on the chest by Shane Smith who then side footed into the corner of the net from just inside the box to make it 1-0. Just two minutes later Smith went close again when his header from a Sean Higgins cross went narrowly wide. On the twenty seven minute, Tomas Hennessy had a chance when his long range shot went wide of the post. After a relentless half hour by Hotspurs the game calmed down somewhat. Coill Dubh did have some chances but Reece Winders and the Hotspurs defence were on top of their game. Hotspurs got their second of the game when Mikey Murphy hunted the ball down and forced the Coill Dubh defender into an error. Murphy then ran at goal and calmly slotted home past the Coill Dubh keeper. The game went in at half time 2-0.
Hotspurs started the second half well and on fifty two minute nearly got their third goal of the game when a Sean Higgins header from a Robbie Higgins long throw was cleared off the line. On fifteen seven minute, Hotspurs got their third goal of the game and it really was a goal straight from the training ground. The move started in Hotspurs defensive third of the field when Conor McLoughlin intercepted, he played a pass to Robbie Higgins and a sequence of one touch passing between Higgins, Eoin Walsh, Scott O’Donoghue, Shane Smith culminated in a fine left foot pass from Smith to Scott O’Donoghue, O’Donoghue took a touch and whipped in a fantastic cross which was met by the head of Shane Smith who headed home to make it 3-0, a fantastic team goal. Hotspurs continued to create some chances and focused on game management. Eoin McGrath, Dan Kavanagh and Mikey Rooney entered the fray early in the second half. McGrath and Rooney had an immediate impact and were a thorn in Coill Dubhs side. On the 70th minute, Hotspurs nearly added a 4th when a Mikey Murphy shot was well saved.
On the 82nd minute, Hotspurs went close again when a fine individual run by Chris Higgins culminated in a right foot shot which was well saved at the near post. The game ultimately finished 3-0. Best for Hotspurs were Shane Smith, Tomas Hennessy, Conor McLoughlin, Chris Higgins and Hotspurs man of the match for the second game in a row Mikey Murphy