Ward hits late Blacks winner
Richie Dwyer Over-35 league ties produce keen fare
All Blacks 4, Duncannon 3: All Blacks, with a home fixture in very challenging conditions, took on a strong Duncannon F.C. in the Richie Dwyer Over-35 soccer league.
The game, as per all league fixtures, once again did not disappoint. It was end to end with great soccer from both sides.
Duncannon started strongly with two great goals in the first-half. The first came from a superb free-kick from 20 yards that flew into the top corner from Mark Chapman before Joe Chapman added a second.
The Blacks were very unsettled but managed to secure one back with a Thady Redmond finish up front prior to half-time.
The All Blacks re-grouped at the break and a big effort was made for the second-half. Challenges and shots on goals continued with All Blacks piling on the pressure.
Pat Sinnott blasted the ball home and struck for the equalising goal, and All Blacks were dominant at this stage.
Duncannon continued to threaten though, with Graham Whitty in the Blacks goal called into action on more than one occasion. Again a lapse in concentration saw Duncannon get their third goal as Joe Chapman scored his second.
Feeling the pressure, All Blacks continued a stage of dominance with Thady Redmond securing a penalty. Anthony Dowd stepped up and confidently placed the ball in the left corner to a big cheer from the Blacks home support.
Multiple chances fell to the All Blacks and Duncannon to take the lead once again. Finally the deadlock was broken from a well-driven left midfield ball delivered to Anthony Dowd from left-back Brendan Mulligan.
Anthony sent in a high ball which landed in the goalmouth. The ever-poaching Dara Ward was on hand to get the ball over the line following the goalkeeper's parry, and the Blacks held out for a hard-fought 4-3 victory.
Campile United 2, St. Leonards 2: Campile United entertained 'our lovely neighbours' St. Leonards on Friday, with the winners getting the right to drink in Hart's for the following month.
It was a high-tempo affair with the first goal going the way of Campile. Owen Barron was fouled after he ran on to a through ball from Anthony Lawlor, and Owen tucked away the resultant penalty.
St. Leonards, never ones to be outdone by Campile, got their own penalty, which was scored by the lively Matty Flynn.
In the second-half Campile again took the lead when Owen Barron rifled home from a Dax Howlin pass. Campile looked to have won the game when Darren Kehoe's shot hit the underside of the crossbar but somehow managed to stay out.
The visitors grabbed a draw when Jacob Goronoski finished the rebound from a Matty Flynn shot in the dying seconds.
Raheen/Cushinstown 1, Taghmon United 2: Taghmon started the game on the front foot with the early pressure but Raheen-Cushinstown grew into it and took the lead when a long-range Mark Lee shot fortuitously evaded the goalkeeper.
Fortune favoured the away team shortly after when they were awarded a penalty. The spot kick was confidently struck for a 1-1 half-time scoreline.
The home team began to control the second-half but missed great chances from close range for a second that their play deserved. Taghmon grabbed what proved to be the winner with a well-struck shot after good work down the right.
Raheen/Cushinstown fought hard for a second with big shouts for penalties, but Taghmon held on for a crucial three points to keep them in contention.
Fastnet Rovers 0, Kilmore United 1: Fastnet hosted their neighbours in this highly-entertaining preliminary round cup match sponsored by Rowe Windscreens on Saturday.
Both teams started brightly and the standard of football on show was superb, with both moving the ball well and producing some good chances early doors.
The wind favoured the visitors in the first-half, and it was from a corner that they took the lead. A superbly-delivered corner found Colin Benson who powered home from close range.
Fastnet had a lot of the ball and their best chance of the half fell to Richie Walsh, whose effort from just outside the box barely sailed over the top as Jimmy Benson in the Kilmore goal was well beaten.
The second-half saw the home team with the wind in their backs and Fastnet enjoyed the lion's share of the possession, with Kilmore happy to sit back and play counter-attacking football.
Gavin Cunningham rattled the crossbar following a pull back from the impressive Dermot Cullen, and the evergreen 'Whacker' Murphy was just wide with a long-range effort soon after.
But with the very impressive James Lowry breaking up a lot of Fastnet play, it was becoming increasingly more difficult for Rovers.
Kilmore were awarded a penalty following a clumsy challenge on Seán Bates, but Brian McGovern saved brilliantly as Fastnet pushed on for the equaliser. Darren Walsh now pushed forward, and with Dermot Cullen, Dermot Reville and 'Whacker Murphy', and the impressive Stevie Moran, all making an impact, Fastnet controlled a lot of the game from then on.
They just couldn't find the final ball though, thanks in no small part to the resolute play of a well-organised Kilmore defence. One final effort from Darren Walsh late on from a header came back off the bar, and from the rebound Kilmore again cleared their lines.
And so it finished 1-0 to Kilmore as they progress to a home quarter-final on Friday against Raheen.
Fixtures (Cup quarter-finals, Friday, 7.30 p.m.): Kilmore v. Raheen (Peter O'Rourke); All Blacks v. Campile (Anthony Tobin); St. Leonards v. Duncannon (David Jenkins); Corach Ramblers v. Taghmon (Damien Donovan).
League standings: 1, Campile United, played 5, points 8; 2, Raheen United, played 5, points 8; 3, Taghmon United, played 5, points 8; 4, Corach Ramblers, played 4, points 7; 5, St. Leonards, played 5, points 7; 6, All Blacks, played 4, points 6; 7, Kilmore United, played 3, points 4; 8, Fastnet Rovers, played 3, points 2; 9, Duncannon, played 4, points 1.