Women’s Division Two Cup Final
Vale Wanderers 1
By Darragh Bermingham
A converted penalty and a fortuitous strike from wide proved enough to see off the challenge of Vale on a blustery Sunday morning in Burrin Celtic’s the Valley. The Kilkenny side started the better, passing the ball around the slick surface with authority. However, they rarely threatened the opposition goal. Wanderers grew into the game with Susan O’Leary and Laura Regan looking bright. With the wind at their backs, the team in green were beginning to pile the pressure onto the Newpark defence through a series of corners. However, it was Newpark who went close to breaking the deadlock after just 15 minutes. Denise Doyle picked up the ball on the halfway line, brushed off challenges from Vale and rampaged into the opposition penalty area only to strike the side netting. Vale responded in perfect style, Philomena Murphy playing a brilliant through ball in behind the Newpark defence. Susan O’Leary pounced and was taken down by the ‘keeper who was booked and left helpless as Murphy fired the resulting penalty into the top corner to give Vale the lead. Newpark tried to respond and looked a threat through Maria Connolly and Doyle but Vale kept the pressure on until the break and the side in green were well on top when the half time whistle blew.
The question in the second half was: Could Vale hold onto their slender lead against such a strong wind and strong side. Newpark flew out of the traps and pinned Vale back into their own half with Demi Donovan beginning to influence the game. Newpark won a number of frees which were wasted but Vale couldn’t break out and had their backs to the wall early on. A terrible clearance fell straight to Donovan who found Doyle with a tidy pass. Her return put Donovan in the box where her nimble footwork drew a foul and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. She stepped up and slotted it home to bring her side level. Newpark continued to dominate as they searched for the goal that would give them the lead but Vale were holding on with Claudia Watchorn defending admirably. However, it looked only a matter of time before Newpark got their second. A throw in found Doyle who set up Suzanne Meagher to cross. Her cross took a wicked bounce which looped over the Vale ‘keeper and nestled in the net to make the score 2-1 to Newpark but with over 20 minutes left to play. Aoife Dunne and O’Leary began to battle hard again as Vale looked desperately for a way back into the game. Wanderers began to put pressure on the Newpark defence who were starting to sit back as full time approached. Vale looked more likely than Newpark to net the next goal as they searched for the equaliser which would force extra time. However, it wasn’t to be and Newpark held out for a well-deserved win.
Kirwan Memorial U18 Youths Cup – Semi – Finals
Nurney Villa AFC 1
St Patricks Boys 1 AET
Nurney Villa win 5-4 on Penalties.
Nurney Villa faced St Patrick’s Boys in this Semi – Final and it was ‘a battle royal’ between these two well matched sides, with ‘no quarter given or asked’, with both defences being well on top.
Nurney started the brighter, as it took St Pat’s some time to settle into any real rhythm, but there weren’t any clear-cut chances for either side, with wind, rain and a bumpy pitch, meaning that conditions were not conducive to playing good controlled football, with the ball in the air a lot.
Both sides were giving their all, but in the main they nullified each other, however, on 30 minutes, Nurney suffered a major blow, when David Lillis launched himself into a reckless challenge and the Referee gave him a straight red card. Nurney reorganised and took the lead on 35 minutes, with Christian O’Riordan getting on the end of a long kick – out and he lobbed the Pat’s Keeper from ten yards, despite a valiant attempt to clear his lines from a St Pat’s defender and they took this lead to the interval.
St Pat’s started to put pressure on the Nurney defence, as they utilised their extra man, but they were very well marshalled by Jack Rowan and ‘Buzz’ O’Neill, however, after about 15 minutes in St Pat’s tricky, little Winger, latched on to a ball, deceived a Nurney defender and then shot, low and hard, to find the bottom corner of the net, for 1-1, which on the balance of play, was well deserved.
Nurney’s attacks were ‘few and far between’, but after about 15 minutes, from the end of normal time, as Christian O’Riordan controlled a loose ball at the edge of the penalty area and he fired in a ‘piledriver’, with his right foot, that was deflected on to the crossbar, by the St Pat’s keeper and it rebounded to safety, as St Pat’s rode their luck.
The game then passed into a phase, where both teams were cancelling out, each other’s efforts and there was a lot of scrappy play, in mid-field and the end of normal time came, with no further score and the game entered ten minutes each way of extra time.
It was a lot more of the same in both extra – time periods and there were no more, clear chances and it was then straight into the dreaded Penalty shoot-out.
Nurney won the toss and opted to go first and they quickly took a 2-0 lead, before St Pat’s got back level at 2-2, then 3-3, then 4-4, before Michael Murphy made it 5-4 and St Pats sixth kick was saved by Declan Murphy and thus Nurney progress to the Final, against Parkville Utd and St Pat’s hopes of a League and Cup double, are shattered.
Standing out for Nurney Villa AFC were Sean Taylor, Jack Rowan, Buzz O’Neill and their ‘Man of the Match’ Keeper Declan Murphy, whilst it was a hardworking, overall performance by a disappointed St Pat’s team.
Parkville Utd 3
Vale Wanderers 2
Parkville defeated a gallant Vale team to reach the final against Nurney Villa and keep their hopes of a League and Cup double alive and they crushed Vale’s chances of reaching their first final, as they leave behind, underage Football.
Parkville went ahead after only two minutes, with their first chance, as Tom Pollard’s cross from deep, was met with a powerful header from Ryan Clarke that flew into the far corner of the net for 1-0.
The game ‘ebbed and flowed’ with no clear-cut chances being created by either side, although it was Vale who played all the football, as they took the game to the joint League leaders and were asking serious questions of the Parkville defence, who nonetheless stood firm.
On 30 minutes, Dylan Bradley for Vale showed his class, as he skipped past two Parkville players, in the box and then fired into the bottom corner for the equaliser at 1-1. Vale didn’t let up, but they again fell behind on 40 minutes, when a ‘cross cum shot’ by Griffin Kennedy of Parkville somehow eluded all the defenders and ended up in the net for 2-1.
On the stroke of the interval, Vale again came up with another goal, as Daniel Heffernan produced a fine header from a Ronan McAllister cross for 2-2, that they took to the interval.
It was all to play for, in the second – half, with Vale looking the likely winners as Dylan Bradley and Ceilum Darcy showed what a good pairing they are, as they caused havoc in the Parkville defence, but time and time again, Parkville’s defence managed to clear their lines.
The introduction of Emre Yilmaz and TJ Kavanagh gave Parkville an attacking edge for the last 20 minutes and on 85 minutes, it paid off, as Yilmaz picked up a ball on half-way and in a sensational run, he beat three players and then pulled the ball back from the bye line for TJ Kavanagh to slot the ball home for 3-2.
Despite Vale trying their best to try and grab an equaliser to take the tie to extra time but Parkville held out strong and progress to the Final where they’ll meet Nurney Villa AFC.
Standing out for Parkville were Sam Meaney and Ryan Clarke, whilst best for Vale were Conor Daly, Daniel Heffernan, Ceilum Darcy and their ‘man of the match’ Dylan Bradley.
Keating Memorial Premier Cup Semi Finals
New Oak Boys 3
Hanover Harps 3 AET
Hanover win 4-1 on pens
Jamie Hennessy was Hanover’s hero in the shoot-out, saving two penalties, as Harps overturned a 2-0 half-time deficit to advance to the final of the Premier Cup. Hanover narrowly beat New Oak in last year’s final and a repeat result looked unlikely as The Boys led 2-0 at the break. The first goal arriving on the half hour when Conail Dunne won a free kick down the left wing and Lee Murphy headed home Dean Kelly’s perfect delivery. Harps pressed to get back into the game but were rocked on the stoke of half time when Kelly scored with a fine effort from just inside the box. The second half saw Harps emerging late from the dressing room, perhaps after an ear bashing from management, but whatever the reason it had the desired effect, Simon O’Shea reducing the arrears after barely 30 seconds. The visitors had the momentum now and were level 20 minutes from time when Simon Doyle fired home. With the final stages failing to produce a winner the game advanced to extra time and Mark Davis completed the turnaround for Hanover when he struck to put Hanover ahead for the first time in the game. New Oak weren’t done however and when they were awarded a free kick in the dying seconds Kelly again crossed for Murphy to score and send the game to penalties. Niall Swan scored the decisive penalty for Harps after Hennessy saved twice from 12 yards to see the holders through to the final. Best for Hanover were Trevor Power, Simon Doyle, Kevin Power and Paul Core. New Oak’s best included Cian Dowling, Lee Murphy and Dean Kelly
TULLY’S TRAVEL CUP SEMI-FINAL
Palatine Celtic 3
Nurney Villa ‘A’ 1
Holders Palatine qualified for this seasons Tully’s Travel Cup final, with a worthy victory over an under par Nurney side.
Celtic were on top early on and took a well-deserved 11th minute lead when Jason Kane sprang the offside trap to slot beyond Pat Hughes. Kane had to leave the field injured soon after, but his replacement Darragh Fitzpatrick rose to meet a free kick in the 22nd minute and find the Nurney net with his header for a 2-0 lead.
Celtic were full value for their 2-0 half-time lead and went further ahead when the Villa defense failed to clear a corner and Lorcan Carroll lashed it home from the edge of the box. Nurney responded well in the last quarter, but it was too late by then, although Pakie Fleming pulled a goal back and he had a goal bound effort taken off the line by Ken McDonald, but over the 90 minutes Pal were well deserving winners.
Tops for Celtic were Dillon Cottor, Ricardo Tavolieri and Darragh Fitzpatrick. For Nurney Peter Abbey, Thomas Murphy and Eddie Dermody tried hard.
Vale Wanderers ‘A’ 0
Crettyard United ‘B’ 1
A single goal gave Cretty their ticket to the final of the Tully’s Travel Cup.
The Laois side had the better of the game, but it was never safe as Vale fought to overcome the concession of a 1st half goal, they could not breakdown a well organised United rearguard. Despite Danny Darcy hitting the crossbar with a free kick and Ciaran Fitzpatrick coming close, Crettyard held on comfortably to qualify for the final.
Nationalist Premier Division
Parkville United 3
Baltinglass Town 2
Ope Bolarin struck late to win this Premier division tie for United. Despite the perfect playing conditions both teams failed to spark in a first half battled out in midfield. Baltinglass did manage to take the lead on the half hour when Gareth Doyle rose above a static Parkville defence to head home a fine cross from Dan O’Brien, a rare moment of quality in a quiet first 45 minutes. The second half provided much more football and United deservedly levelled matters on 58 minutes, Dan O’Connor’s cross headed home by Ross Hanley. Parkville weren’t done there and 2 minutes later they were in front, Conor McCarney picked up the ball on the half way line, ran at the Baltinglass defence and after slipping a couple of tackles, rounded the keeper to put United in front. All the quality that was missing in the first half was there for all to see in the second. Back came the visitors and a draw looked on the cards when Gareth Doyle netted again with 15 minutes to play. United responded again though and after piling on the pressure in the last 5 minutes Cormac Flynn unlocked the Balto back line for Bolarin to claim the winner for the hosts. Best for Parkville were Dan O’Connor, Conor McCarney and Paul Earle while Baltinglass had solid performances from Paul Redmond, John Martin and goal scorer Gareth Doyle
O’Neill’s Division 3 Cup Semi-Final
New Oak Boys ‘C’ 5
Nurney Villa ‘B’ 4
Nurney let a 4-1 half-time lead slip to league champions New Oak, as the home side go on to the Cup Final with their hopes of the double intact.
Villa got off to a flying start when Colin Townsend set up Adam Kenny, who shot low to the net. They doubled the lead when the Boys keeper dropped a Dermot Maher free kick and Eoin Doyle pounced for goal No. 2. Adam Kenny shot the Nurney side further ahead after 32 minutes, before John Nangle pulled a goal back. Danny Thompson then hit the crossbar with a penalty kick, in a thrill a minute game. Colin Townsend with a well struck free kick put Villa 4-1 up on the stroke of half-time.
The Villa defense then crumbled under 2nd half pressure. Danny Thompson struck for two goals in two minutes, one direct from a corner kick to bring his side right back in the game. A wonderful volley from John Nangle had the sides level on 63 minutes. Just when it seemed the game was heading for extra time James Williamson struck for the winner in the 90th minute.
For New Oak Michael Byrne, Danny Thompson and John Nangle were outstanding. For a brave Nurney John Stringer, Anthony Hogan and Colin Townsend excelled.
White’s Pharmacy Division
Hacketstown United 7
St. Joseph’s FC 0
Hacketstown with their second win of the weekend, a 3-2 win over St. Anne’s on Friday evening and this hammering of an understrength Joseph’s side means they have forced a play-off with St. Anne’s for runners up spot to champions Ballymurphy Celtic in Division 2.
The home side were in control of this tie throughout the 90 minutes and led 4-0 at half-time with goals from Mark Joyce, Tom Tallon, Shane McGrath and Colm O’Connor.
They proceeded to add three more goals to their tally in the 2nd half with both Mark Joyce and Shane McGrath scoring their second goal of the game and Dale Stevenson rounded off the scoring to complete a comfortable win.
It was a fine team performance from United to see them into the play off.
LFA Women’s Junior Cup Semi-Final
Killeigh Ladies 1
Crettyard Ladies 2
Crettyard booked their place in the Leinster final with a hard fought victory away to Killeigh.
The first half was a scrappy affair with no real chances of note for either side apart from one through ball which split the Killeigh defense and allowed Niamh Power to finish well.
Crettyard upped the tempo in the second half and doubled the advantage through Aisling Behan. With five minutes left Killeigh pulled a goal back to give Crettyard a nervous finish, but they held on to secure a first ever Leinster final place.
Best for Crettyard were Aisling Behan, Mary-Claire Kelly and Elaine Ware.