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KDFL Senior Focus

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

League Cup action!

KDFL Lumsden League Cup Semi Final

(By Wayne Bubba Doyle)

Moone Celtic FC 0 Naas United FC 3

Clane duly obliged to host this side of the Lumsden Cup Semi-finals on a Sunny Sunday afternoon. With Moone Celtic and Naas Utd contesting for a coveted place in the Final.

Naas very business like from the opening kick-off, after a straight long ball by Keith Higgins gave Stephen French a chance to stretch his legs, his pace took him past the Moone rearguard, but he just dragged his shot wide in the opening minute. Darragh Flaherty was next to threaten for Naas as he produced a mazy run skipping by three Moone players before Cormac Burke made the vital tackle to quell the danger. Chris Heaslip looked particularly dangerous for Moone out wide when he got down the right flank and whipped in a quality cross that Jamie Dunne at full stretch cleared over his own crossbar to avert the threat. Moone steadily finding their feet and that man Heaslip again the provider with another inviting set-piece was headed just wide by Callum Kelly.

Samuel Omoteso picked up the ball on the left wing and carved a path through the middle bearing down on goal as he was about to pull the trigger on his effort ,Aaron Dunne flew across with perfectly timed challenge. Naas Utd broke the deadlock with twenty minutes played after Flaherty picked up ball on the left wing he weaved his way through a host of Moone players and delivered a pinpoint cross, Stephen French rose highest and powered in a bullet head header from twelve yards to give Naas the lead. Naas doubled their advantage moments later when Jamie Dunne pass was intercepted by Aaron Kennedy the ball ricocheted into the air and Stephen French hit a phenomenal dipping volley on the bounce first time from thirty yards that whizzed past Daire Phelan in the Moone goals to make it 2-0.

Moone to their credit responded brilliantly with a sublime passage of play through the middle that involved Liam Woran who a laid a ball to Paddy Derring ,Derring turned and split the Naas Rearguard with perfectly weighted pass to Callum Kelly who has his effort well saved by Keith Higgins a glorious chance to edge themselves back into the game. Keith Higgins distribution from his box was excellent and Moone were struggling to deal with them long balls. Stephen French had his opportunity to bag the Hattrick after he created a excellent chance for himself, with a clever flick over Dunnes head he raced in on goal and tried a cheeky lob that Daire Phelan smothered well in the Moone goal to keep it 2-0 at the half.

Moone came out the second half full of Vigor and real intensity and had Naas pinned back in the opening exchanges of the second half, with Callum Kelly, and Aaron Kennedy both having efforts from long range. That left Moone susceptible to the counterattack and Naas nearly added a third with substitute Ross Callaghan got down the left wing and squared a ball back into the path of Stephen French who shot just grazed the post and wide. The game became a little predictable and stale with both defences clearing aimlessly, but that worked in Naas Utd favour after Jamie Dunne cleared long Stephen French raced after it and rounded the keeper and had to get a quick shot away under pressure from Cormac Burke, but again his effort struck the post and away to safety. Naas added a third on the hour mark with JP Higgins winning a vital header on the halfway line the ball broke to Darragh Flaherty who showed immaculate control and dribbling before getting to the endline and picking out Ross Callaghan on the six yard box for a simple tap in to make it 3-0.

Moone introduced Davey Wilson and he added a real fulcrum on which they could build an attack and that proved effective straight away after great hold up play by Wilson, who laid a ball to Callum Kelly who got a shot away but was comfortably saved by Keith Higgins. It was then Wilsons turned and he swivelled and got a shot away from distance that just flew wide after good build up play by Moone. Moone had a lot of possession in the second half but could not capitalise and JP Higgins and Jamie Dunne didn't miss a beat in the Naas Rearguard. A Valiant effort from Moone who played their part and have some excellent young and experienced players and will no doubt be back again. Naas showed their quality and were efficient in front of goal, as well as unassailable in defence. Best for Moone were, Cormac Burke, Aaron Dunne, Chris Heaslip, Callum Kelly put in real shift for a young man.

Best For Naas were JP Higgins, Jamie Dunne, Vernon Nolan , Jodan Martella, Darragh Flaherty, Victor and Stephen French up front was a constant danger.

Clane United FC 1 Clonmullion FC 4

Clonmullion made it to their third Lumsden Cup Final in a row with victory over Clane United in Bawnogues on Sunday afternoon. Clane started the game better of the two and went 1-0 up after four minutes when some great work by Cathal Geoghegan put the youthful James Ralph through to head home past the CLonmullion keeper. Clonmullions first effort on target came on the tenth minute after Mark Hughes and Nicky Leonard combined to set up Nathan Robinson who squared to Jody Dillon whose effort was well saved by Sean Brennan.

A minute later Chris Chanders shot straight at Brennan after getting on the end of a Robinson flicked header from a Lee Day free kick. Robinson delivered a free kick of his own which Hughes got his head to but Brennan denied him again. Clonmullions Chanders again went close after Jay Connell and Dean Fennessy combined for a one two with Connell whipping in a great ball but the striker headed over the bar. With ten minutes left in the first half Clane almost doubled their lead when Commiskey and Ralph played a neat one two with the latter putting Brogan clear but his left footed effort just clipped the wrong side of the post. Clonmullion came back again and centre half Keane Cully chipped a brilliant pass over the advancing Clane defence and Chanders put in a great cross to the back post but Benny Lawlor couldn't rise high enough to score. Just on the stroke of half time Fennessy’s run and persistence almost paid off as he dribbled into the box and when the ball bobbled up off defender Stephen Leavy Fennessy’s half volley was well saved by Brennan. Just before the break Clane’s Killian Patchell broke out of defence and Found Ralph again however his effort was expertly saved by the Clonmullion keeper Lawless.

Clonmullion started the second half on the front foot and a quick Dillon throw to Fennessy saw him hook the ball over his shoulder to the in rushing Chanders who fired just wide. The holders continued to push for the equaliser and twelve minutes into the second half Cully played a neat pass to Chanders who slid the ball into substitute Dylan Kennedy who still had a lot to do but he calmly finished low to Brennans right giving the keeper no chance and levelled matters at 1-1. Ten minutes later Clonmullion made it 2- 1 when Lee Day whipped a free kick to the front post where Cully was first to react and flicked home from close range. Cully turned provider five minutes later when he played a great diagonal ball to Lawlor who was tripped in the box by Leavy and the referee pointed to the spot. Hughes made no mistake to put his side 3 - 1 up. Kennedy went close with twelve minutes left when a Day corner kick was headed clear by Noel Haverty but his volley was just too high. Clane came close with five minutes left when a Leavy free kick was flicked onto the post and out for a corner by keeper Michael Lawless. From the resulting corner by Ralph, Commiskey rose highest but headed just wide. Clonmullion got their fourth in injury time when Daragh Kelly played an excellent curling pass to the marauding Kennedy who in turn curled an unstoppable shot past Brennan to cap a brilliant second half performance. Best for Clane were keeper Brennan, Leavy and Haverty in defence Commiskey in midfield and Ralph and Brogan up front. Best for the winners were Hughes and Cully at the back, Day and Robinson in midfield and Lawlor and Chanders worked hard throughout with Kennedy outstanding when introduced in the second half.

League shied Action!

Suncroft AFC 2 Kildare Town AFC 1 (AET)

Suncroft will contest the league shield final for the eight time in the club’s history after making it through a tough local derby game against Kildare Town in the semi-final. Kildare almost took a very early lead, getting through 1v1 in the opening minute with 'Croft 'keeper John Doran alert and making an excellent save. Suncroft failed to convert their opportunities throughout the half with both Niall Flynn and Dylan both coming close on a couple of occasions. An entertaining first half finished level at 0-0.

Suncroft fell behind on the hour mark, a swift counter attack with Town captain Keith Kinsella involved resulted in a neat finish from the left winger cutting in. The home side were able to bring in some fresh legs and that helped turn the game around. Substitute Eamon Doyle firing in a cross with the finish applied by Niall Flynn to level the scores with fifteen minutes remaining on the clock. Suncroft thought they had scored the winner with five minutes remaining when Shane Higgins played Dylan Connolly through on goal but his shot hit the underside of the cross bar and stayed out of the net. After the 90 minutes the scores were 1-1 and the game moved into extra time.

The first half of extra time was a nervy affair with neither side capable of creating any openings. With three minutes played in the second half of extra time Stevie Coyne floated a perfectly weighted cross to Niall Flynn who took the ball expertly on his chest before flicking a right footed effort past the Town 'keeper. Kildare almost struck back immediately when a long range free-kick found the head of Chris Darby who was unlucky to see his header crash back off the crossbar. The home side held out for the remaining minutes of extra time to seal their passage to the final. Suncroft had some standout performers in centre half duo Shane Higgins and Cathal Mahon, Kieran Sheedy and man of the match Niall Flynn. With very important contributions made from the bench by Eamon Doyle and Ryan Leonard also

League Action !

Coill Dubh AFC 2 Rathangan AFC 0

Coill Dubh AFC bolstered their survival hopes after clinching all three points in a well-contested match against Rathangan. Rathangan showed their intent in the early exchanges, with Lee Doyle's clever runs causing trouble for Coill Dubh's defence. Goalkeeper Luke Anderson was called into action, making two exceptional saves to keep his team in the game. Midway through the first half, Coill Dubh broke the deadlock. Billy McNamee split the Rathangan defence with a precise low pass, finding the path of Barry Noone, who calmly slotted the ball home. Coill Dubh were well in control and enjoying their best period of the game, heading into halftime with a 1-0 lead. In the second half, Coill Dubh continued their impressive passages of passing play. They doubled their lead when awarded a free kick deep in Rathangan's territory. Cian MacMahon, who has consistently impressed at wing-back this season, delivered a pinpoint cross. Conor Comiskey volleyed home, extending Coill Dubh's advantage heading into the final quarter. Rathangan rallied in the closing stages, showing determination, but their efforts were ultimately in vain as the match ended 2-0 in favour of Coill Dubh. While it was a solid team performance, notable mentions go to Joe Bowers, Trevor McDonald, Jason Wyse, and Dylan Hannon, who all performed admirably. Ryan Murran, back to his very best in recent weeks, contributed significantly. Special recognition goes to Luke Anderson, returning from injury, who displayed a level of maturity beyond his years with a standout performance. Additionally, young Cian McMahon, adapting seamlessly to the wing-back role, delivered a brilliant performance that contributed significantly to Coill Dubh's victory.

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