First win for Kilmore and first defeat for Campile
Week four of the inaugural Richie Dwyer Over-35 soccer league produced four entertaining contests, with a first win for Kilmore United among the highlights.
Kilmore United 2, Campile United 1: This was another close and entertaining game which started with the visitors in the ascendancy as Martin Nolan headed just wide early doors.
The home team came back into the game with Seán Bates getting a couple of half chances to score, while for Campile, John Whitty and James Keating also had decent opportunities.
The best chance of the first-half though came on the stroke of half-time when a pinpoint cross from Seán Bates was headed just over by James Lowry.
The second-half started like the first with Campile on top, and after they had squandered a great chance to go in front they duly did with just over 15 minutes to go courtesy of Martin Nolan.
The home side's response was almost immediate as Jay Malone finished to the net at the second time of asking after his initial shot had been blocked.
The final ten minutes produced frantic end-to-end stuff. Campile could have gone back in front but their own man blocked the ball on the line when it was going in.
Then with time almost up a mazy James Lowry run ended when he went sprawling in the box.
Kilmore, who had missed penalities in both their previous games, handed the ball to their toddler, Jay Malone, who calmly stroked it home to ensure their first win and Campile's first defeat.
Duncannon 1, St. Leonards 2: Duncannon welcomed local rivals St. Leonards to Mersheen on Friday evening for a game of soccer played in perfect sunny conditions on a perfect surface.
Leonards started the better and had two great chances to go ahead, before a pull of a jersey in the box saw the visitors awarded a penalty. Matty Flynn scored despite the best efforts of Mark Hanton in the home goal.
This game was played at a fantastic pace and despite both teams missing a number of regulars it was fantastic to watch, full of end-to-end action.
A lovely cross by Frank Barden was met with a well-directed header by Nicholas Chapman that just about stayed out, and it remained 1-0 to Leonards at half-time.
The moving of Mark Hanton to midfield got Duncannon right back into the game in the second-half, and it was his through ball to Joe Doyle with ten minutes left that set up the equaliser.
Doyle went to go left but turned back to his right and fired a low, hard shot past the Leonards 'keeper from the edge of the box to tie up the game.
With five minutes left Jimmy Rossiter popped up at the back post to fire Leonards back into the lead, a lead they just about held on to as both sides spurned some great late chances to add to the scoreline.
Corach Ramblers 0, Raheen 1: Corach hosted Raheen on a fine but breezy evening in Danescastle. This league is turning out to be extremely close and this game proved no different.
With goalscoring opportunities at a premium, neither team could break the deadlock in the first-half.
Corach started strongest after the break and had a number of chances to go ahead but just couldn't find the finishing touch they needed.
With 20 minutes to go Raheen struck to score what turned out to be the match-winner after Corach failed to clear their lines from a corner.
A goalmouth scramble was finished off by James Furlong from close range past Toddy Barry in the Corach goal.
Corach pushed hard for the equaliser but failed to break down a stubborn Raheen back line.
One goal was always likely to clinch this game and so it proved, with two teams who could well be in the shake-up at the end of the season.
All Blacks 2, Taghmon United 1: All Blacks returned to action at home against Taghmon who were on a two-game winning streak and were expecting a tough battle.
The game lived up to expectations with both sides not giving an inch.
In the first-half All Blacks threatened the opposition consistently, with several missed chances by the home team.
Combinations from James Delaney on the right with Tadhg McDonald broke Taghmon defence on several occasions. Finally, All Blacks scored their first goal from Anthony Dowd.
Taghmon immediately put several attacks together. Mark Byrne and Alan Jones were controlling in defence for All Blacks, with strong performances by David Sugden and Brendan Mulligan.
The second-half turned into an epic battle with crunching tackles from both sides. All Blacks' second goal arrived following a defensive error, with Mark Byrne on hand to hit a superb volley to the top left corner 20 minutes into the second-half.
As expected, Taghmon rallied with great pressure, and All Blacks were getting nervous.
Defences being tested now, and the pressure led to an untimely handball in the box.
This gave Taghmon a lifeline and the penalty was dispatched to bring it back to 2-1, but the Blacks held out with Graham Whitty in the goal pulling off some fine saves in the dying moments.
Fixtures - Friday, June 9 (all 7.30 p.m.): Campile United v. St. Leonards (John Diskin); All Blacks v. Duncannon (Peter O'Rourke); Raheen v. Taghmon United (David Jenkins); Cup preliminary round, Fastnet Rovers v. Kilmore United (Eric Molloy, Saturday, 7.30 p.m., extra-time and penalties.
Table: Raheen United, played 4, points 8; Corach Ramblers and Campile United, played 4, points 7; St. Leonards, played 4, points 6; Taghmon United, played 4, points 5; Kilmore United, played 3, points 4; All Blacks, played 3, points 3; Fastnet Rovers, played 3, points 2; Duncannon, played 3, points 1.