Angela Hearst LFA Women’s Interleague Cup Final
Carlow League 4
Kilkenny League 2
Carlow Ladies made history on Sunday when they claimed their first LFA Interleague title at the first time of asking thanks to a terrific display from the home side.
Kilkenny battled hard but Carlow’s clinical finishing sealed victory for them in IT Carlow. While the Cats may have started the better of the two sides, pressing high and threatening through several early free kicks, it was Carlow who broke the deadlock in the early stages of the game. Captain Aishling Behan was taken down in the penalty area as she tried to weave a way through the opposition defence and the referee pointed to the spot. Essmay Mannix stepped up to dispatch the penalty and give Carlow an early advantage. Kilkenny tried to bounce back and went close on a number of occasions through dangerous set pieces. However, it was the home side who again struck the back of the net just ten minutes after the opener. A short corner was eventually whipped in to the area by Niamh Kelly and Lauren McGrath rushed in to apply the finishing touch and give Carlow a two goal cushion. As half time approached, Kilkenny began to pile pressure onto the Carlow goal but Kelly Nolan and Patrice Whelan were more than a match for the Cats’ attacks. Meanwhile Carlow looked dangerous on the break with McGrath and Leanne Tumelty linking up well on the left wing. Carlow went close to a third with McGrath heading off the post but it was Kilkenny’s turn to hit the back of the net. Niamh Bolger whipped in a free kick from the left which found Aishling O’Grady who swept it home to drag her side back into the game. With the introduction of Sinead Corrigan to the Kilkenny forward line, the Cats gained more momentum in attack and were level shortly after, again with a free kick which wasn’t dealt with by the Carlow defence. The ball found Becky Walsh out wide who volleyed into the far top corner to equalise. The half ended shortly after with Carlow rocked by the Kilkenny comeback.
Once again it was Kilkenny who started the half the better of the two sides but again it was Carlow who took the lead, C8’s deflected shot leaving the Kilkenny ‘keeper stranded and nestling in the back of the net to regain the lead for Carlow. The beginning of the second half was a very stop start affair with plenty of set piece opportunities for Kilkenny to whip the ball into the Carlow area. Walsh went close before Aine Lennon won a penalty for her side after being taken down in the box by Stephanie Keogh. Bolger stepped up with the chance to level the scores yet again but her spot kick sailed over the bar to the relief of the Carlow support. Carlow then took the initiative, pushing for the goal that would seal the win as the clock ticked down. With Carlow’s Whelan dominating in midfield, Kilkenny’s attacks rarely got into the final third. However, tactical changes from the Cats who took sweeper Bolger off and pushed their defence further up the field, reaped some reward for the away side. As Kilkenny pushed for the equaliser with Caoimhe Shiel looking dangerous, Carlow too posed a threat on the break but Lennon remained solid at the back for the away side. As full time approached, Carlow defended their goal line for all they were worth with Nolan and Tumelty leading the line. Kilkenny won a free on the right hand side with minutes remaining and they piled everyone forward in the hope of equalising and forcing extra time. However, Nolan rose highest and headed clear. Tumelty raced on to the ball and ran to the corner, winning a throw and gaining some much needed respite for her side. Carlow may have had ideas of just holding the ball in the corner until the final whistle but Aishling Behan had other ideas for her side. When the ball fell to her with her back to goal she turned at speed and slotted home to seal the win on an historic day for Carlow Ladies soccer.
Keating Memorial Premier Cup
Hanover Harps 2
St Patrick’s Boys 0 AET
Extra time strikes from Paul Core and Daryl Hayden saw Harps set up a semifinal date with the winners of New Oak/Killeshin.
After a cagy opening 15 minutes Pat’s created a series of chances in a ten-minute spell and really should have got themselves in front. Phil Neenan somehow blocked Ross Townsend’s goal bound effort on the line before Dominic Byrne flashed a loose ball wide of the post. The Harps defence looked out of sorts and John O’Neill missed a glorious chance to open the scoring after he latched onto a poor back pass but could only drag his shot wide of Jamie Hennessey’s far post. The hosts were stung into action and created their best chance of the half on 35 minutes, Mark Davis turned his marker and arrowed in a cross onto the head of Paul Core but the crossbar kept the tie scoreless. Hanover raced out of the traps at the start of the second half and should have been in front within 30 seconds, Simon O’Shea unable to turn Kevin Power’s cross into an inviting net. On the hour mark Hennessey had to save at feet of John O’Neill after good work from Gearoid Cuddihy and moments later Hennessey was called into action again to keep out a Conor Clack free kick. As the game swung from end to end it was Harps turn to rue missed chances, Hayden fired over the bar from 15 yards after been set up by Simon O’Shea and then Mark Davis saw his shot hit the inside of the post and rebound across the goal line before been cleared away. Pats had the last chance of the 90 minutes when Hennessey again denied O’Neill to send the game to extra time.
Within three minutes of the extra period Harps were in front, Paul Core’s effort from 20 yards took a slight deflection which left Craig Walker stranded in the visitors’ goal. Hayden added the second five minutes from the end when he capitalised on a mix up in the visitors back line to put the result beyond doubt.
Best for Harps on the day were Sean Kavanagh, Cathal Coughlan and Niall Swan. St Pat’s best included Conor Clack, Dominic Byrne and Brian Maguire.
TULLY’S TRAVEL CUP
Celtic Stars 3
Nurney Villa 3
Nurney advanced 3-1 on penalties
Both teams are to be complimented on a thrilling cup tie, despite the poor weather conditions of wind and incessant rain.
With first use of the elements in the first 45 minutes Stars were in ascendancy and Chris Kearney in the Nurney goal was very busy making some good saves, however with a bit of luck Nurney held firm until half-time.
Then with the wind at their backs Nurney had a good half holding the upper hand, but poor finishing let them down and when the Stars management introduced fresh legs they got a grip on the late stages of the game.
It was in injury time before the ice was broken when Luckas availed of slack defending to shoot the opener. In a last gasp attack Thomas Murphy swung in a free kick for Nurney and Michael Murphy sent a glancing header to the net to force extra time.
Two minutes into the extra period Pat Hughes put Nurney ahead and before half-time of extra time Michael Murphy put Villa 1-3 ahead. In the second half of extra time Stars showed great heart to tie up the scoring through William Dixon and a late penalty from Alan Nolan.
In the penalty lottery Nurney came out on top as they scored their first three kicks and Stars scored their first kick and had one saved and blasted the other two wide.
For Nurney Gary Dillon was immense at the back with Adrian Dermody, Peter Abbey and Philip Murphy also notable. Tops for Stars were PJ O’Keeffe, Alan Nolan and William Dixon.
Palatine Celtic 3
Hanover Harps 2 AET
Pal just got the better of Hanover in a rip roaring contest played in testing conditions at the VEC grounds.
Celtic got off to a dream start when after three minutes a great pass from Gary Murphy put Jason Kane behind a static defence to finish with ease. Hanover picked themselves up to press the Celtic side onto the back foot and after they had a big shout for a penalty turned down Hanover forced an equaliser when Padraig Quinlan fired in a fine shot to the roof of the Pal net. Hanover proceeded to dominate and were unlucky when Mark Hession struck the Celtic upright on 40 minutes as the sides retired level at 1-1.
Play swung from end to end in the second half with chances coming and going at both ends, but neither side could get their noses ahead as the final whistle of the 90 minutes came with the sides tied at 1-1 still.
Two minutes into the extra period Jason Kane struck to put Pal 2-1 up, but there was drama to come in the last three minutes. First Gary Murphy trying to make a clearance sliced the ball into his own net to level the tie 2-2, just when it looked as if penalties would be needed to separate the sides Darragh Fitzpatrick fired in a shot for Celtic, which could only be parried by the Hanover keeper and Billy McDonald pounced on the loose ball and shoot home to put Celtic into the semi-finals.
Outstanding for the winners were Lorcan Carroll, Dillon Cottor and Jason Kane. For Hanover Paul Clancy, Dylan Walsh and Padraig Quinlan were best.
DIVISION 2/3 LEAGUE CUP
Hanover Harps ‘C’ 2
Mill Celtic 0
Hanover qualified for a semi-final meeting with Hacketstown United, getting the better of Ballitore side Mill Celtic by two goals at The Plots.
The sides were tied at 0-0 for 35 minutes in an evenly fought tie until Hanover scored the opening goal to go in at the interval 1-0 up.
Mill came out strongly in the second half and Kevin Kelly brought a fine save out of the Hanover keeper, while Eric Mackey had an effort taken off the goal line by a defender with the keeper helpless. Mackey then made the Hanover keeper produce a brilliant save before Hanover widened the gap with goal number two direct from a free kick and they proceeded to victory and advance to the semi’s.
Best for Mill were Andy Horan, Shane O’Neill and Eric Mackey.
Parkville United 2
Burrin Celtic 0
Parkville proved more clinical in front of goal as they got the better of Celtic to qualify for a semi-final place.
Parkville were the dominant side in the opening 45 minutes without creating any goal scoring chances and it was the visitors who came closest when Matty Dowling sent a free kick crashing off the Parkville upright. The sides retired at the break scoreless.
It was Burrin who looked the strongest in the 2nd half, but they never worried the Parkville keeper and then they suffered a body blow when Parkville went ahead with a scrambled goal after 82 minutes. Burrin then went down to ten players when they had a player injured and Parkville found the net again in injury time to clinch victory.
In a good team performance from Parkville, goal scorers were Stephen Hogan and Ope Bolarin. Michael O’Leary, Martin Cummins, Matty Dowling and Colin Darcy fought hard for Burrin.
White’s Pharmacy Division
Ballymurphy Celtic 5
Slaney Rovers 1
League champions for the first time since 2003 and all the hard work finally paid off with a perfect performance.
The home side started well and were 1-0 up on ten minutes when a great move between Jamie Doyle, Thomas Doyle and Tom O’Neill who played a great pass across the box where Ger O’Brien coolly slotted hone. The nerves were eased further on 18 minutes when Thomas Doyle picked up the ball on the week and dribbled past two defenders before being brought down for a penalty. Doyle dusted himself down and confidently finished from the spot. 2-0. Celtic had numerous chances after that to extend the league and Kevin Foley rattled the bar with a great volley following super work from Mike Whelan and Mark Moloney. It was 3-0 on 43 minutes when Ger O’Brien’s corner went all the way to the net.
Slaney came out strong in second half and pulled a goal back on 50 minutes. However, the game was put to bed on 65 minutes when Anto Jordan found Thomas Doyle who played a super diagonal pass to the lively Ger O’Brien who rounded the keeper for his hat trick. The best was saved till last though when the ever green defender Ger Foley busted forward from defence and rounded three players before a one two with Kevin Foley saw him one on one and rattled the net to send the large Ballymurphy crowd into ecstasy on 88 minutes.
This was a brilliant performance from a team with a mix of old and young. Best for Thomas Doyle, Ger Foley, Mike Whelan and Ger O’Brien. Special thanks must also go to joint managers JJ Culleton, Gary Condren and John Whelan.
Kirwan Memorial Youths Cup
St Fiacc’s FC 0
Vale Wanderers FC 9
Vale advanced to the semi-final following this comprehensive victory over Fiacc’s.
The game started evenly enough but once Vale went in front all the fight seemed to go out of Fiacc’s and Vale ran riot for the bulk of the match. The opening goal came courtesy of a fine free-kick taken by Conor Byrne and moments later he doubled his tally as he slotted home for 0-2. Dylan Bradley then grabbed a brace and it was 0-4 at half-time and the game was essentially over.
The second-half started, as the first had ended and both Conor Byrne and Dylan Bradley both completed their hat-tricks to make it 0-6 and then Ceilum Darcy got ‘off the mark’, as he blasted home a loose ball that broke to him, in the box and he quickly added a second for his brace and 0-8. Ronan McAllister wrapped up the game with a tidy finish, from the edge of the box for 0-9, with Fiacc’s never really, in the match.
It was a very strong team performance by Vale and aside from their scorers, their ‘stand- out’ players were Daniel Heffernan, AJ Flynn and Conor Daly, who all had fine games.
Youth’s U18 Division
Mill Celtic FC 1
Parkville United 2
Parkville still with aspirations of forcing a play off for the Championship started the brighter and they forced Eric Evans into a couple of fine saves to keep the game scoreless.
Shane Quirke for Mill shot wide, when well placed and the interval came without any score.
This impasse continued in the early part of the second half, but with 30 minutes to go Parkville went in front 0-1, with a fine strike from outside the penalty box.
Mill nearly equalised, when Brian Mackey, set off on a wonderful solo run and he pulled the ball back to the edge of the area, where Killian Harney-Lawlor shot narrowly over. Just after Parkville grabbed a second goal, when a shot was deflected off a Mill defender into the net for an own goal and 0-2 score line.
A very neat finish from just inside the box by James Corcoran got Mill back into the game and whilst they tried hard to get another goal, Parkville hung on to take the three points and still keep their title hopes alive and kicking’.
Best for Mill were Brian Mackey, Eric Evans and Killian Harney-Lawlor, whilst it was a hard-working team performance from Parkville.
Women’s Division Two Cup
Slaney Rovers 0
Vale Wanderers 5
This game was played in very blustery conditions for both teams.
Vale played very well in the first half and were four goals up before half time. Slaney tried to push forward more in the second half and Carole McGrath had a best chance for Slaney with a great shot that hit the post.
The goal scorers for Vale were Aoife Dunne, Susan O’ Leary and Philomena Murphy while Leeann Corcoran, Kate Ryan and Lisa also stood out. Best for Slaney were Carole McGrath, Chloe Devereux and Laura Kavanagh.
Women’s Division Three Cup
Nurney Villa 0
St. Fiacc’s 7
Nurney were up against the odds from the start as they could only muster nine players. They also had gale force winds to contend with in the first half which put them under constant pressure. The home defence battled manfully to stem the inexorable tide of St Fiacc’s attackers. Fiacc’s went ahead after 15 minutes when Courtney Forbes slotted home and this was quickly followed by a goal from Izzy Humphreys for 2-0 and both of them completed a brace apiece, as half time came with a 0-4 score line.
Nurney tried to utilise the wind in the second half but couldn’t make much impression on Fiacc’s defence but they came close on a couple of occasions. The winners got three more goals, courtesy of Mary Anne Doogue, Sandra Watchorn and Rachel Stanley to complete a comprehensive victory, in a good all-round team performance.
Standing out for Nurney were Jacinta Kearney, Kathleen Phelan and Hazel Dowling in a game played in a really good spirit.
Village FC 2
Kilree Celtic 1
Village advanced to the next round of the cup following this local derby on Sunday.
The home side scored first through a Lizzy Nolan strike on 25 minutes. The Old Leighlin side should have increased their lead but the conditions played a big part in preventing them. Kilree tried hard to get back on level terms before half time but they failed to convert a number of chances.
The Bagenalstown side upped their game in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts when they equalised. With the game heading towards extra time Village scored from the penalty spot to advance to the next round.
Both teams put in sterling performances despite the conditions.