Archive for November, 2011

Willow Leave It Late

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday 27th November 2011. FAI Junior Cup 4th Round.
Clara Town 1-2 Willow Park

Willow Park advanced to a 5th Round FAI Junior Cup tie with Evergreen after a 2-1 win over Clara Town at Stanley O’Hara Park.
The visitors took a 1st half lead when a shot from Brian Caldwell took a late deflection to leave Clara keeper Myles Bracken stranded in no mans land as the ball flew into the corner of the net. Willow kept up the pressure and only the width of the crossbar prevented Garry McHugh from doubling their advantage.

In the second half Clara came back into the game and were rewarded with an equaliser when Robert Bracken scored from close range. Town followed up with more attacking football and thought they had gone in front but for an offside call by the referee.

As the game went on, Clara started to get stronger, and with some lapses in concentration and misplaced passes from Willow, they were unlucky not to go ahead. Late in the game however, Willow found another gear and after repeated attacks on the Clara defence, Fergal Murray burst through to nick the winner and send Willow through.

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Clara keeper Myles Bracken gets to the ball ahead of Willow Park goascorer Brian Caldwell

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Athlone Advance To Feis Cup Final

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday 25th November 2011. Feis Cup Semi Final
Garrycastle 2-07 … 2-08 Athlone (AET). Pairc Ciaran.

Athlone GAA Club advanced to the final of the 2011 Feis Cup with the narrowest of wins over nearest neighbours Garrycastle on a cold and wet Friday night in Pairc Ciaran.

With eyes predominantly focused on the upcoming Leinster Semi Final, an expiremental Garrycastle team started the brighter and went into the half time break with a 3 point advantage. The lead was largely helped by the Athlone goalkeeper misjudging Justin McAteers looping shot which dropped just in front of the crossbar and into the net.

As the 2nd half started, Athlone got back into the swing of things to reduce the gap and eventually take the lead when they netted a goal. After more points from both sides John Connellon gave Athlone a boost with another goal only to see it cancelled out as Alan Daly hit the back of the net to draw the game level again before swinging over a point to put Garrycastle into the lead. But with dogged determination Athlone fought back to level the game in the closing minutes.

With heavy legs pounding up and down a heavy pitch the sides matched each other point for point in extra time until Athlone finally pulled ahead in the last minute to win the game by a single point advantage.

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John Egan pushes past Peadar Mulvihill

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Dull Draw Cant Quell Irelands Party

November 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Tuesday 15th November 2011. Euro 2012 Qualifier – Play Off
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Estonia. Aviva stadium, Lansdowne Road.

Despite the fixture being a glorified freindly, Lansdowne Road was packed to the rafters to see a dull 1-1 draw with Estonia, rubber stamping the Rupublic of Irelands place in Euro 2012 Poland/Ukraine.

Stephen Hunt was given a starting role while, rather unfortunately, Jonathon Walters was relegated to the bench as Kevin Doyle returned from suspension.

With all the pre match talk of Robbie Keane notching up another record breaking goal, Irelands only score of the game came from full back Stephen Ward who slotted home from close range after Kevin Doyles header was saved. With the foot well taken off the pedal in the 2nd half, Estonia caught Ireland napping when Estonian captain Konstantin Vassiljev let fly from 30 yards to equalise for the visitors.

But as the final whistle blew, the score and match was forgotton about as the Irish team and fans celebrated like it was 1988!

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Richard Dunne dives in to block Vladimir Voskoboinikovs shot on goal

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No Hanover For Willow As They Advance In Leinster

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday 13th November 2011. LFA Junior Cup 3rd Round
Willow Park 3-0 Hanover Harps.

Willow Park booked their place in Round 4 of the Leinster Junior Cup with a convincing win over Carlow outfit Hanover Harps on Sunday afternoon.

The game had it all … goals, precision free kicks, crunching tackles and a missed penalty, however despite Hanover playing a physical game, Willow were by far the better team on the day.

Willow took a deserved 1st half lead when Robbie Shine fired a pin point accurate free kick past the Hanover keeper into the net.
A mini malee almost broke out not long after when Ronan Frawley fouled Simon O’Shea with a sliding challenge from behind. As players gathered around, Vincent Kavanagh appeared to swing for Shine before being restrained by a team mate, thus ending the storm in a tea cup.

Harps battled on and had their chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty. Up stepped centre half Sean Kavanagh, Kavanagh shot to Paul Bannons right … the Willow keeper guessed correctly but the ball whizzed past the post and wide.

The second half played out muchas the first with Willow having most of the play. Their advantage was doubled when another free kick was awarded around 20 yards out. Shine and Garry McHugh stood over the ball and when everyone expected another shot from the centre half, McHugh let fly to beat the keeper from distance.

As the game was closing in Brian Caldwell was rewarded for a tireless performance up front when he grabbed Willows third goal to end the tie.

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Goalscorer Garry McHugh slides into stop Fernando de Silvas advances

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Peters Bow Out On Penalties

Sunday 6th November 2011. FAI Junior Cup 3rd Round
St Peters 3-3aet Carrick Rovers. Carrick Rovers win 4-2 on pens.

Goalkeeper Clint Marron was hero of the day for Carrick Rovers as they knocked St Peters out of the FAI Junior Cup at the 3rd Round stage of the tournament.

To be fair to the visitors, Rovers should have wrapped things up well within the 90 minutes of normal time but credit to Peters as they plugged away to come from behind twice before taking an extra time lead, albeit a short lived one.

In a very heated encounter, with the score locked at 2-2 at full time, St Peters took an unlikely lead in the 2nd period of extra time when David Donohoe slotted the ball past Marron in the Carrick goal. But the joy was short lived as with 1 minute left on the clock, Carrick were awarded, and scored, a penalty to send the game to a shoot-out where Marron guessed correctly twice to send Carrick through to the 4th round draw.

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Cathal Joyce slides into a challenge with Brian Marron

Clint Marron saves to send Carrick Rovers through to Round 4 of the FAI Junior Cup

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Five Star Mons Cruise To Play-Offs

Sat 29th October 2011. Airtricity League Division 1.
Athlone Town 0-5 Monaghan United. Athlone Town Stadium.

Monaghan United cruised to the promotion playoff spot after a 5-0 demolition of Athlone Town at Lissywollen on Saturday night.

Town, who hadn’t trained in the weeks leading up to the final game of the season, looked every bit a team that just did not want to be there. Despite some battling performances by individuals, as a team their discontent was clear for all to see.

And while management syles differ, Saturdays showed just how much difference there can be. With the score at 5-0, Monaghan boss Roddy Collins was still on the edge of the technical area encouraging his charges to push on for more goals … while a few yards to his left, the home dugout remained silent. In fact the only movement of note was the entrance to, and exit from, the pitch at half and full time.

The contest was effectively over before the half hour mark when Mons put themselves into a 2-0 lead thanks to Jordan Keegan and ex Athlone Declan Fabio O’Brien. Ironicially O’Brien scored for Athlone in last seasons final game, when Town also conceeded 5 goals.
Aidan Collins added a 3rd goal before the break to put the tie beyond doubt.

The second half played out just as the 1st with Monaghan in total control of the game. Sean Brennan got himself on the scoresheet just before the hour mark before Keegan notched up his brace with 15 minutes left. Mons played out the final 25 minutes of the game with 10 men after Keith Quinn received a straight red card after a 2 footed lunge at Jason Hughes, but Town couldn’t do anything with the numerical advantage as the curtain fell on the long, disappointing season.

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Mark Walsh wins an ariel battle with Declan O'Brien

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Jason Hughes has his legs taken from under him by Keith Quinn

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