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First half brace sees OBC do enough to end ‘Mun run and book ticket to FAI Junior Cup quarters


OLIVER BOND CELTIC……… 2 BALLYMUN UNITED……………0

OLIVER BOND CELTIC advanced to Wednesday’s FAI Junior cup quarter final draw courtesy of a two-nil victory over a game Ballymun United at the Brickfields All Weather in Drimnagh on Sunday afternoon. 

There was a poignant pre-match ceremony when the host club presented a flower bouquet to the family of club legend, the late Liam (Speedy) Lyons who recently passed away.

The Saturday division visitors put up admirable resistance over the 90 minutes but it was in the opening 15 to 20 minutes when their best opportunities arose and ultimately were left to rue the spurned chances they created in that period. 

Ballymun started on the front foot and made life difficult for the Oliver Bond defence with their high intensity press which resulted in mis-timed clearances and giving the ball up cheaply. 

OPENING GOAL: BACK OF THE NET AS GERARD NOONE FINISHED OFF TROY CAREY’S SHOT

It stopped OBC getting into their familiar passing stride and the yellow shirted visitors chased and harried to good effect and with some clever passing and approach work edged those early sparring sessions.

Karl O’Reilly got a superb shot away from an angle after just two minutes but it fizzed past Jake Carey’s post as the Mun  signaled their  intent to play a full role in the cup contest. Oliver Bond for their part were sluggish and simply struggled to get a foothold in the game in those early sparring bouts, but, on 10 minutes Jimmy McHugh chased a long ball over the top and Ballymun’s high line was carved open.

 BY EAMON SCOTT

McHugh raced onto the ball with Antony Donohue in hot pursuit. McHugh attempted to lob the advancing Stephen Robinson but the normally reliable OBC hitman had too much weight on his strike and it cleared the crossbar and the opportunity was lost. 

Another long ball over the top down the right channel created another opportunity for Gerard Noone but the ball was over run but at least OBC were beginning to establish their presence in the game.

 Chris Sheridan was sticking tight on McHugh off dead ball situations and perhaps too close for McHugh’s comfort which necessitated a word from referee Alan Sitiu on the relevant Law of the Game. 

The Mun were gifted an opportunity on 23 minutes when Troy Carey lost possession just inside the Ballymun half and Dylan Simpson romped down the flank and it took a fine piece of goalkeeping by Jake Carey to avert the danger off his teasing cross. 

The sight of McHugh on the ground seeking attention was not what OBC fans would have wanted to see but the ‘Magic Sponge’ was put to good effect and he was soon back on his feet after a tight thigh muscle was sorted out.

 Carey, in fairness had shown up well for Oliver Bond and was becoming a more and more influential player and it was his trickery and pace on 32 minutes which allowed the former Wolves man in on goal down the left flank.

He got a powerful shot away and although Robinson managed to get a hand to parry the ball, it dropped under his body and from a yard out Gerard Noone was on hand to bundle the ball home. 

McHugh then got a shot away when he pivoted two minutes later from the edge of the box but his low drive was right down the throat of Robinson who held the ball tight. 

But Oliver Bond’ bumper support were celebrating on 40 minutes when they doubled their advantage when McHugh’s quick feet drew a foul inside the box and normal spot kick taker Mikey Malone passed responsibility to Carey.

His penalty was hit with power and accuracy into the bottom left hand corner of Robinson’s net and even though the keeper guessed the right way, he was beaten by the pace of the ball. 

Ballymun featured four seventeen year-olds in their line up and have a nice blend of youth and experience while midfielder Cian Kavanagh was a real powerhouse despite his diminutive size and carried a big presence with his tenacity and range of passing. 

Oliver Bond grew stronger as the game progressed especially across the back line where Carl Bateman was a massive presence alongside Dillon Quinn while McHugh and Carey were always capable of delivering their wizardry. 

A potential turning point came on 57 minutes when Thomas Hannon saw a straight red after an altercation with Robinson when the two collided contesting for the ball with the OBC man hitting out with his foot into the chest of the Ballymun goalkeeper.

After consulting  with his assistant Sitiu reached for the back pocket to produce the red card. With a good 25 minutes of play still to contest Ballymun had time to get back into the contest. 

Ballymun frontman O’Reilly carved out another chance for himself but Jake Carey was equal to the shot getting down smartly to stop the ball finding its way to the net. McHugh then drew yellow for an off the ball incident as Ballymun tried to raise the pressure by committing men forward. 

Some fresh legs off the bench added to the mix and while Ballymun saw more of the ball, Oliver Bond put a couple of banks of four in front of netminder Carey and defended brilliantly.

They’ve been down this road before and the experience gained in previous cup campaigns put them in good stead and they frustrated their opponents with their clever management of  ‘dead ball’ situations and refusing to panic when pressed high up the pitch.  

The introduction of Adam Mitchell late-on alongside  Bateman further strengthened the middle of the OBC back four and while Ballymun never flagged in their commitment to the tie, the clock ran out of time as OBC held firm to seal their place in the last eight. 

OLIVER BOND CELTIC: Jake Carey; Cian Byrne, Dillon Quinn, Carl Bateman, Ciaran Walsh, Sean McManus, Thomas Hannon, Mikey Malone, Troy Carey, Gerard Noone, James McHugh. Subs: Adam Mitchell, Stephen Sandford, James Smith, Sean Gannon, Alan King, Cillian Hudson, Christopher Clarke. 

BALLYMUN UNITED: Stephen Robinson; Chris Sheridan, Shane O’Keffe, Anton Donohoe, Ivan Fullam, Peter Reilly, Cian Kavanagh, Keith McMahon, Dylan Simpson, Karl O’Reilly, Daniel Mhondiwa. Subs: Sean Curry, Aidan Carzan, Yves Bileng, Abasse Camara, Ross Quigley, Giles Basset, Martin Carthy. 

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