New Oak Boys….. 0 Oliver Bond Celtic…….. 1
LFA Junior Cup
They battled hard, they dug deep, they fought, they gave it all they had but it simply wasn’t good enough. That was the story of the game for New Oak who battled hard but just fell short against a strong Oliver Bond Celtic side. It was a tale of two halves, nothing between the two sides, a goal in the 3rd minute from James McHugh the difference between them.
It was a bright start from the Dublin side who threatened early on, McHugh looking sharp, causing the most problems as they dominated the first half. Thirteen minutes in, a Sean Gannon cross from the right found his head but he couldn’t control it. Two minutes later he steered another Gannon cross straight to Kelan Gaffney in the New Oak goal. New Oak’s first opportunity of the game fell on 16 minutes when they were awarded a free but David Doyle’s effort was hit straight into the ‘keeper. Oliver Bond kept threatening with McHugh’s long range effort going wide and a William McAdams effort from the right being deflected away.
By HARRY SHORTHOSE
On the half hour mark, David O’Shea rattled the crossbar for the reigning Carlow champions whilst at the other end, a break away from McHugh saw him drill an effort low and hard but Gaffney was on hand to save, bailing his team out, not for the first time in this game.
Four minutes later, Gaffney was on hand to bail his side out once more, intervening to grab the ball at the feet of the dangerous McHugh. As the clock turned into injury time, it was all action as a Doyle free was deflected away before Dean Kelly’s resulting corner was cleared.
New Oak came out fighting in the second half, trying to take the game to their Dublin opponents. Gaffney had to bail his team out again first though four minutes into the game as he cleared an effort from McHugh. New Oak did have their chances in the game though with Doyle and Cian Dowling both having efforts saved. It was a complete turnaround from New Oak who had already beaten North End and Evergreen in the competition already as they started to stamp their authority on the game.
The best chance of the game fell to Dean Kelly who found himself in acres of space in the middle and plenty of time but his shot just rattled off the crossbar and away on the hour mark whilst four minutes later, Conor Byrne struggled to control Dean Kelly’s corner from the left and it was cleared.
With 12 minutes to go, Doyle’s free from the right found Andy Wall who struggled to control the ball and it fell to Corey Harmon but the ‘keeper got to it first. New Oak thought they had equalised with 10 minutes to go when Doyle’s free was parried away at the bottom corner with the rebound falling to a New Oak player which was hit home only for the Kilkenny referees to adjudge it offside
. Captain, Lee Murphy was sent off for abuse, adding further to their woes. It looked like game over but New Oak weren’t giving up. Andy Wall’s squared a cross across the box to Doyle who teed up Kelly but his shot was saved.
Oliver Bond were struggling and New Oak were awarded several frees in the dying moments but neither Kelly nor Doyle could convert them and when the final whistle blew, it was more a sigh of relief for the Dublin side as for a second week in a row, a Carlow side was knocked out of Leinster by the barest of margins.
New Oak Boys: Kelan Gaffney, Lee Murphy, Cian Dowling, David O’Shea, Michael Calvey, Cathal Gaffney, Conor Byrne, Craig Wall, Dean Kelly, Andy Wall, David Doyle. Subs: Will Hayes, Greg Sykula, Corey Harmon, Daryl Coleman, James McGrath, Dylan Keightley, Gavin Dowling, Dylan Keightley, Barry O’Driscoll.
Oliver Bond Celtic: Jake Carey, Sean Gannon, Luke Johnston, Carl Beaton, Adam Mitchell, Sean McManus, William McAdams, Michael Malone, Owen Connors, James McHugh, Troy Carey. Subs: Sean English, Phillip Salmon, Aaron Fagan, Patrick Connors, Graham Murphy.