Local soccer fans were spoiled for choice this afternoon as both U12 teams played their first competitive home games of the season. An immaculate playing surface insured perfect conditions and both games did not disappoint.
Full match report from (soon to be Sports Write of the Year winner) Declan Gill
LSDL Premier League
Lisnagry FC 1 Pike Rovers 2
One could cut the tension with a knife around the hallowed grounds of Scanlon Park before kick off of this eagerly anticipated clash of Lisnagry and perennial LSDL table toppers, Pike Rovers. With both teams using the full width of the superb pitch and playing some very attractive, flowing football - it was apparent that it would take a little moment of genius to break the deadlock. Pikes high line was paying dividends but at the same time ￼a packed village end terrace knew one precision pass could penetrate even this superb Crossagalla defence.
Although close on a number of occasions, Lisnagry were denied time after time with the Pike No 3 Ahuhange having an outstanding day at the office while the home goalkeeper Conway was keeping his team in the game with a string of excellent saves.
Then just on the stroke of halftime, the away team struck to gain a crucial advantage. Pike then began to assume control of the ball in the 2nd half despite moments of individual brilliance from Glynn, Ferte and Kett.
Going 2 up entering the closing minutes, Lisnagry did give their vocal support some hope with a well taken penalty in the 64th minute but at the final whistle, there was no argument that the marginally better side on the day were victorious.
All in all a plucky display against a well drilled Pike IX and plenty of positives to take away. But murmurs around Scanlon afterwards indicated the manager has just two more games to turn the season around before his club Chairman, ruthless multi millionaire NZ born businessman Greg Coulter wields the axe with young Ducks supremo Ken Casey tipped for the hot seat.
Squad: Conway, Ferte, O’Connor, Devine, McNamara, Glynn, MoLoughney, Gabri, Cronin, Kett, Ryan, Coulter, Moroney.
Management: Coulter, Kett, Devine,
LSDL Division 2
Lisnagry 5 Shelbourne 3
The Mighty Ducks are flying high at the top of Division 2 table with promotion on their minds after a resounding win over a well touted Shelbourne side that had sauntered to a 8-3 success the previous weekend.
Lisnagry threatened from the word go with the mercurial partnership of local boys Hickey & Hogan in complete control of the midfield battle. Just like they combined last week to score from a last ditch corner, Hickey sent in a pitch perfect inswinger with Hogan this time deciding to connect with a sensational volley.
Expensive new Belgian forward Maxime then slotted home to help justify his record transfer fee before the powerful Ben Gillen made it 3 to send the home crowd into raptures.
With Calor Kosangas Manager of the month Casey again pulling the strings from the sideline and full squad rotation in effect the Ducks supporters did suffer a few anxious moments as Shelbourne equalised in the 3rd quarter but 2 late goals from those men again - Maxime and Hogan - guaranteed the full points.
Special mention of the 2 goalkeepers who played a vital role in the win - the athletic Bartak and also Gill, who made a vital intervention in the closing minutes - nearly cutting the Shelbourne attacker in half with a shuddering goal saving tackle. As ex Munster branch Rugby Referee and popular man in the middle, Jimmy Clancy remarked after enquiring about the bone crunchers parentage - “he didn’t lick it off the ground”.
Squad: Bartek, Gill, Casey(capt), O’Connell, Lynch, Fogarty, Hickey, Hogan, Gillen, Gallagher, Maxime, Quinlivan, Ryan
Scorers: Hogan 2, Maxime 2, Gillen.
Management: Casey, Gill.