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EXCELLENT fare from two fine teams as Oliver Bond Celtic edged out Montpelier FC in their Polikoff Cup encounter at DIT Grangegorman.  

This was a rip-roaring local derby that attracted a bumper crowd of over 400 to view the Leinster Senior League spectacle and they were not disappointed as the two rivals served up a feast of cup football. 


  Montpelier FC will be disappointed that they came out the wrong side of the scoreline but they can reflect on a night where they put their more vaunted rivals to the pin of their collar, bossed long periods of the game and it was only in the final stretch that Oliver Bond got their noses in front and used their cup pedigree experience to finally see off a genuinely decent Montpelier side.

This was a high intensity game played at breakneck speed and a bad touch was invariably punished with a crunching tackle. There wasn’t a bad player on the pitch and both sides showed excellent fitness and the fare was of a very high standard with many technically gifted players on display from both sides. 

This was never a dirty game and played in a real sporting spirit, but it was competitive from first whistle to last and lots of credit to Owen Murphy who was the epitome of common sense and kept both teams in check throughout and while there was a flash of yellow on a couple of occasions, it was more to keep everyone on a short leash.  

 Montpelier were the better of the two sides in the opening period and Ciaran Horan fizzed a shot over Jake Carey’s crossbar in the sixth minute after ghosting in past a couple of challenges and letting fly from 25 yards out. Then just short of 10 minutes Mikey Malone nicked a ball off the toe of a defender to set up Gerard Noone at the edge of the box but his shot hit the base of the upright and ran across the goal behind Anthony McGuinness and away to safety.

Experienced Adam Mitchell was forced out of the match in the 14th minute when twisting a knee – a real blow to OBC who are a much more solid side with him in the middle of the back four. 

Jimmy McHugh then saw yellow for an over robust challenge before Montpelier were awarded a penalty when  backtracking defender Dillon Quinn accidentally clipped the heels of Cian Dunne for a cast-iron penalty. 

Ciaran Horan kept his nerve to send Carey the wrong way to open the scoring in the 32nd minute. John Chandler certainly would have been the happier of the two managers at the break but OBC took time to readjust their shape and within three minute of the restart they levelled the game with a well constructed move. 

Malone, McHugh and Troy Carey were all part of the build up with a lovely cross to the back post finding Gerard Noone to head back across McGuinness to find the back of the Montpelier net. 

Willo McAdam entered the fray just short of the hour mark and his close control and ability to find his team mates gave OBC a firmer footing in the game. Montpelier’s  Lorcan Byrne was adding to his growing reputation with some lovely dribbling down Monpelier’s left flank and in the 62nd minute weaved his magic to put in a cross which beat Carey but the ball ran across the open OBC goal and was eventually cleared to safety.

 Montpelier were to come close to regaining the lead in the 67th minute when Ciaran Horan cracked a shot from outside the box off the crossbar before rebounding away from the goal in what was a big let-off for Oliver Bond.

 Those two misses were to come back and haunt Montpelier as OBC finally found their groove with passes ‘sticking’ and they began to push Montpelier a little deeper. McHugh thought he had given OBC the lead on 73 minutes but assistant Adam Conroy’s intervention saw the strike chalked off but it should have served as a red-flag for Montpelier that OBC had finally found their Mojo.  

As the clock wound down towards 90 it looked as if we might be in for extra time and possible penalties – but it was not to be as OBC conjured a brilliant final few minutes to dash Montpelier’s great work, McHugh, OBC’s marquee player and current amateur international was not to be denied and was finally rewarded for leading the frontline.

A brilliant through ball over the top from Troy Carey put McHugh one on one with McGuinness and the big OBC striker got a touch to take it past the Montpelier goal and he let the ball bounce once before glancing the ball to the back of the net – and this time it counted.

Perhaps a tad harsh on Montpelier who had contributed so much to the occasion but there was more salt for the Monpelier wound.

McHugh won a towering header out on the right hand touchline and it was added to be Troy Carey and substitute Alan King was big and brave winning the challenge with Anthony McGuinness and he fired home to the delight of his team mates and the bumper OBC support outside the cage. 

Game, set and match to OBC but they were given a stern examination by Montpelier whose star will continue to rise under the direction of John Chandler and Tony O’Connor in the coming seasons.

 MONTPELIER FC: Anthony McGuinness; Gerard Jordan, Shay Keenan, Kevin Dalton, Scott Fitzsimons, Cian O’Brien, Ciaran Horan, Cian Dunne, David Skelly, Alan Lynch, Lorcan Byrne. Subs: Darren O’Brien, Gerard Loftus, Hayden Murphy, Stephen Middleton, Philip Martin, Darragh Quinn, Luke Tansey. 

OLIVER BOND CELTIC: Jake Carey; Ciaran Walsh, Dillon Quinn, Carl Bateman, Adam Mitchell, Sean McManus, Michael Malone, Thomas Hannon, Troy Carey, Gerard Noone, Jimmy McHugh.  Subs: William McAdams, Alan King, Cillian Hudson, Michael Earley, Scott Thompson, Luke Johnston, Stephen Shepherd.

Referee: Owen Murphy: Assistants: Adam Conroy, Aidan O’Brien.

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