Dunne delivers a point for Bunclody
Dion Dunne's second-half strike helped Bunclody to pick up a valuable point from this excellent Premier Division Youths clash with Moyne Rangers at Bellefield on Saturday.
Moyne Rangers 1 Bunclody 1
Both sides went into this game on the back of some promising displays but in the end the point was fully merited as Bunclody had to fight their way back into the game, having fallen a goal adrift in the opening half when the home side enjoyed lots of possession.
The point keeps both sides very much in the leading pack and, judging from this interesting battle, they will have a leading say in the eventual destination of the title. Solid at the back and creative in midfield, with a more clinical finish they will trouble some of the big guns as the league gains momentum.
From the opening minutes both sides began to make an impact in midfield, with Robbie Donnelly and Darren Fortune becoming increasingly influential as the half progressed.
After just five minutes Nathan Quinn volleyed a Fortune cross wide, while visiting 'keeper Neil Fitzpatrick dealt capably with a fine Robert Clifford effort from the left edge of the area.
Having ridden their luck through the opening exchanges, Bunclody began to increase the tempo of their game with Darren Murphy and Anthony Roche driving their side forward out of midfield, as they began to seriously test the home side's back four.
Conor Thorpe swept a deep ball forward for Dion Dunne to race on to but home 'keeper Ronan Kirwan made a fine save at his right-hand post. Midway through the half the unmarked Dunne fired in another effort from the edge of the area that Kirwan dealt with capably with a fine save.
As the half moved on the respective back fours were beginning to become more dominant. Jack Bolger and Robert Cullen were becoming a key central partnership for the home side, while Conor Thorpe was proving outstanding at the back for the visiting Bunclody outfit, making life extremely tough for the front players.
Five minutes before the interval the breakthrough eventually arrived. Following a spell of pressure, a neat Dayle Donohoe ball was played through to Nathan Quinn and he made no mistake from inside the area, rifling a low shot to the bottom left corner of the net.
But before the second-half had settled Bunclody were back back on level terms. After 50 minutes Dion Dunne raced on to a long clearance out of defence and held off a couple of markers before applying an excellent finish from twelve metres, making it 1-1.
Following this breakthrough both sides were committed to seeking out a winning goal which in turn led to some fine attacking football. As the half drifted on the respective back fours did become more dominant, closing the game out in front of goal.
Indeed, attakcers were restricted to long-range efforts on goal, with Nathan Quinn and Robert Clifford firing in excellent shots that tested 'keeper Fitzpatrick, while at the opposite end a couple of Dion Dunne efforts troubled the home side.
Five minutes from the end, Bunclody created a wonderful chance of snatching all three points when Dion Dunne beat his marker out on the left and sent over an excellent low cross, but the unmarked Brian Hancock saw his blazing shot from the edge of the area go just over the top.
Moyne Rangers: Ronan Kirwan, Calum Grennan, Aaron Gannon, Jack Bolger, Robert Cullen, Darren Fortune, Dayle Donohoe, Tyler O'Connor, Nathan Quinn, Robbie Donnelly, Robert Clifford. Sub. - Willie Doyle for Quinn.
Bunclody: Neil Fitzpatrick, James Fitzgerald, Shane McCarthy, Dylan Raleigh, Conor Thorpe, Darren Murphy, Anthony Roche, Seán Fitzpatrick, Danny Maguire, Brian Hancock, Dion Dunne. Subs. - James Kavanagh for Thorpe (inj.), Brandon Kavanagh for Fitzpatrick.
Referee: Noel O'Connor.