Mulholland praises Pearse Og players for overcoming underdog tag again

Pearse Og

A jubilant Pearse Óg hurling manager Brendan Mulholland insisted his side welcome the underdog tag they get and was in great spirits that he again delivered in relation to the job he had been brought in to do.

Despite being reigning champions, they had lost two league finals last year and some had even questioned them in victory in this competition last year and were again surprisingly labelled underdogs going into this one, something the manager has no problems with.

“We like going into these games as underdogs because we had people saying that Knockbridge were caught on the hop last year which I think was very unfair on us and I think that we matched them man for man and it was a lot closer than last year for sure,” Mulholland smiled. “I always thought we had the upper hand and I didn’t feel like we were under pressure and now two in a row I am just delighted.

“We are a group who are the smallest panel who just keep coming back and to win two in a row really is unbelievable for them.”

 

“They are a great team too and very difficult team to play against,” he continued. “Knockbridge have been in the last nine or 10 finals in a row and they have got the pedigree there for turning up in finals but I’ll just say that when I came in it was my job to knock Knockbridge off their perch and thankfully that is what we did last year and again today.”

 

“We had a lad playing out there for us at corner back who is 41 years of age and he has played from the very beginning 22 years ago when we started the club and he has been there all the way,” the championship winning manager went on. “We have lads who are 37 or 38 in the team, a lot of older players, and a few lads of 40 on the bench as well so really we do have a small panel and to win the championship two years in a row is just unreal. It is a brilliant feeling.”

 

“There was a bit of a worry on the morning in terms of the game because the weather can affect it in a big way and it can actually change who you are going to play or whether or not you play seven defenders or stay at six so I’m delighted, it was a bit windy when it was going across the pitch but the rain stayed away and we wouldn’t let it be an excuse for the day,” the happy boss said afterwards.

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Louth Senior Hurling Championship: Knockbridge 1-7 Pearse Og 2-9

Pearse Og

 

 

Pearse Óg revelled in their role of underdogs once again to retain the Paddy Kenny Cup in a repeat of last year’s final to make it two in a row with a win over Knockbridge.

It was a tighter affair than it had been on that occasion but once again there was no disputing the fact that they were worthy winners.

Both sides put a point on the board inside the opening two minutes of this one as each adjusted to weather conditions that were quickly becoming more difficult for each as strong winds swirled around Dunleer.

Pearse Óg’s Domhnall McArdle crashed a furious drive at goal that was saved very well by Brendan McNally but a minute later he was forced to pick it out of the back of the net when Brian Hassett got the vital touch on a Gerard Smyth ball knocked into the mix.

David Mahony then put a free between the posts to keep up Brendan Mulholland’s side’s quickfire start before Knockbridge hit back with some frenzied scoring of their own on the 11 minute mark.

Firstly, a quick ball inside found Ronan Byrne to notch his second of the contest before a melee in the penalty area saw Colm Teefy lose his hurl but undeterred, he proceeded to poke the ball past David Kenna with his foot for a goal of their own.

Knockbridge were buoyed by this flurry of scores and added to it further thanks to the hurl of Shane Fennell who claimed two points from frees but he unfortunately had to retire moments later through injury and was replaced by Sean Byrne.

The reigning champions rallied after going behind, refusing to allow Adrian Cummins’ men to pull too far in front and soon had them pegged back to level footing once again when Donnach Callan collected Gerard Smyth’s short free and pointed before Shane Callan blasted over an outrageous free from his own half.

It would be the nine-time champions who went in at the break with their noses in front when captain Conor Kerrigan clipped over a classy point after controlling well on the right beside the touchline and finding his target.

Scores were slow to come by for large parts of the second half, the conditions certainly playing their part, as the sides continued to trade scores and it was not until midway through the half that Pearse Óg finally put a bit of daylight between the sides, Callan getting forward to crack a fine point over that was followed up by a Smyth free.

A Sean Byrne free reduced the deficit to one again but with three minutes remaining, David Mulholland ensured the cup would be staying where it was, picking up on a Mahony pass and drilling past McNally to secure a hard-fought victory.

 

Knockbridge Hurling: Brendan McNally, Conor Kerrigan (0-1), James Quigley, Ricky McKeown, Mark Wallace, Ronan Byrne (0-2, 1f), Gavin Kerrigan, David Dunne, Darie McKiernan, Shane Fennell (0-2, 2f), Shane Darcy, David Kettle, Gavin Kane, Brian Dunne, Colm Teefy (1-0). Subs: Sean Byrne (0-2, 2f) for S Fennell, 24 mins; Stephen Kettle for G Kerrigan, 42 mins; James Costelloe for B Dunne, 50 mins

 

Pearse Og: David Kenna, Matthew Myles, Noel Callan, Barry Myles, Donnach Callan, Shane Callan, Andrew McCrave, Brian Hassett, Domhnall McArdle, Gary O’Brien, David Mulholland, David Mahony, Kenneth O’Hagan, Gerard Smyth, Aidan Callan. Brian McCabe for K O’Hagan, 50 mins; Richard Scanlon for G Smyth, 60 mins

 

Referee: Brian Brady

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Dundalk’s Dillon sets his sights on St Pat’s as table-top battle beckons

John Dillon Dundalk

John Dillon and his Dundalk teammates are looking to carry their magnificent run of form into Inchicore against St Pat’s in their table-topping clash on Friday night but has warned that the title will not be won or lost there.

Although the sides are locked level at the top of the league at the moment, Dillon stressed that he does believe the game will be a decider given his experience of how “weird” title run-ins can be but also believes the fact that his side have twice tasted victory against the Saints this season is a positive going into the clash.

“We have won eight or nine on the bounce and we are looking to carry that in to Richmond Park and there will be lots of twists and turns to come and regardless of what the result is, it will not be a winner takes all game.

“The same thing happened with us last year at Sligo, strange things can happen, and you get involved in weird games and things will change and we just have to concentrate on what we have been doing and hopefully that will be enough,” said the versatile midfielder.

“I think you would be lying if you said having beaten them twice already isn’t a positive but that goes out the window now and we just have to believe in ourselves and I think the team talk after the game no matter what the result is will be that there are still five games left that we have to give everything in.”

The former Crewe Alexandra player tasted league success with the Bit o’ Red last season and insists that the bond between the players that achieved that last year is very similar to the one that exists at Oriel Park now and hopes they can echo the achievements of his old team.

“The lads that are here this year are very similar to the lads we had last year they really are,” the Liverpool man continued. “There is a real togetherness and it sounds like an old cliché but it is so true that we are not just 11 lads playing.

“We are 18 players, a squad who go into games and everyone gives everyone else their backing to do well and everybody knows their roles which is important as formations change to suit players but I think the togetherness is the main thing that is the same as last year and obviously it was enough then so hopefully it can be again this time.”

The 25-year-old has also looked ahead to the run-in and believes the league perhaps anticipated a struggling Dundalk team at this stage and while it seems they may have an easier final six games on paper, that means nothing when the teams take to the field.

“I looked at the fixtures and I think the way the league looked at it was to put us against the so-called lesser teams and were probably expecting Dundalk to struggle at this stage and although on paper it looks like we have an easier run in, that means nothing because at this stage of the season you are playing teams scrapping for every point to beat survival or get into Europe and we just have to rely on ourselves to do the job and nobody else.”

Dillon excelled against Shelbourne in Tolka Park on Friday night in a wide role in the first half before slotting seamlessly into a central berth for the second and is enjoying the freedom afforded to him by Stephen Kenny to test himself in different positions.

“I enjoyed playing wide in the 4-4-1-1 in the first half and setting up the goal for Richie from there and you can get more on the ball there but then in the second I went into the middle which I really do like although I like playing both and Stephen does believe that centre midfield will be the position I end up playing when I’m older but I’m just delighted with the result and to be doing my bit.”

 

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Towell hails rampant Dundalk display against Shelbourne

Richie-Towell-2176704

Richie Towell led Dundalk to another five-star performance and admits all of the hard work was done in the first half against Shelbourne in their FAI Cup clash.

The Lilywhites cruised into the final four by crushing the Dublin outfit with five first half goals and the capital native admits that they learned lessons from their league meeting in Drumcondra last month in which they built up an early two goal lead but relaxed and allowed Shels to break back although they ultimately could not find the equaliser.

“I thought the first half performance was great it really was, to score five goals before the break against any time is a great achievement because we know Shels are a tough team to play against and we knew they would come out of the blocks hard at us but we responded very well and to get five goals is just fantastic,” the midfield maestro said.

“We shot them down straight away and didn’t allow to get any momentum whatsoever and it is what we knew we would have to do because we were 2-0 up against them here last time and they came back at us so we knew we would have to put them to bed early and we did that and it was job done at half time.”

Towell’s double also means he has now hit four in as many games for the club as he has really began to find his goalscoring boots although he revealed it was his second of the game which came courtesy of heading home a John Sullivan cross which gave him the most satisfaction.

“It is nice getting a few goals and really good to get one with my head as well which I’m not known for and the lads were giving me a bit of stick for not scoring with my head so it was good to get that one,” laughed the fan favourite. “But I just felt the overall team performance was great and we played some nice stuff and even Kurtis’ goal was brilliant from the halfway line as well and when you see goals like that going in you know that everything is gelling really well for us.”

Next up for Dundalk is the first v second league meeting with St Pat’s at Richmond Park and although it represents a potentially epic encounter, Towell believes that it will not decide the eventual destination of Irish football’s biggest prize.

“Straight away as soon as the final whistle went, focus turns to Pat’s and training from Monday will be really focused because Pat’s are joint top with us and the table tells you everything, it is a massive game,” the former Celtic man continued. “That said, we both have tough games to come as they play Sligo and Derry and we have Derry too so the run in is still going to be tough but all we are thinking about now is the game in Inchicore.”

Towell was once more the unanimous pick for yet another Man of the Match award, his third from the past five games, which shows the exceptional purple patch he is in at the moment but given that he was substituted at half time, the midfielder was somewhat shocked that he won it at Tolka Park but shrugged off the personal accolades.

He added: “I was a bit surprised to get it after only playing a half but I wasn’t concentrating too much on that to be honest because I am just glad that we did our job and we are in the next round which was the main thing.”

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Shields still taking in ‘breathtaking’ Dundalk turnaround

Chris Shields Dundalk

Dundalk midfielder Chris Shields praised his side’s emphatic first half display in the FAI Cup quarter-final victory against Shelbourne and admits it is a surreal position to find themselves in after a turbulent campaign last year.

However, five first half strikes from the Lilywhites saw off the tame challenge of Shels and although he acknowledged the second half performance did not have quite the same intensity as the first, they were still delighted with the display.

Shields said: “The first half performance especially was great because it is not very often you go in and your 5-0 up at half time and you could nearly say the job was done then but it was important not to let up and give them a chance which unfortunately we did and got dragged into a bit of a battle then which wouldn’t have been the best to watch.

“The back four were immense at soaking up the pressure so credit to them they did a great job after the break considering we were five up and we will take that win and move on to the next round and are only one game away from the Aviva now which would be unbelievable for the town,” he continued.

It is all the more incredible when you consider that Shields was part of the Dundalk team which battled against the drop at this stage last year and are now chasing their double dream against all the odds and Shields says it is almost tough to take it all in at times.

He said: “There is only four of us left from last year being me, John Mountney, Stephen McDonnell and Pete [Cherrie] and if you look where we now are a year on it is a bit breathtaking when you think we were gearing ourselves up for a relegation play-off this time last year and now we are in the cup semi-final and the league is in our hands to go and win.”

With St Patrick’s Athletic next up in Inchicore for Dundalk in a game of epic proportions, Shields will unfortunately be forced to sit it out through suspension after picking up a red card in the derby win against Drogheda United and confesses it is a tough pill to swallow knowing he will have to sit in the stand and watch the events that could determine his side’s title bid unfold.

“I am really disappointed and I knew straight away when I got sent off against Drogheda that I would be missing the Pat’s game which was upsetting for me because it is a big game and I have never really been involved in a top of the table clash,” said the 22-year-old.

“You have to look at the positives though and I would rather miss the Pat’s game and win against Drogheda than play in that one and drop two points in the derby so its swings and roundabouts.”

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Shelbourne 1-5 Dundalk: Lilywhites fire in five to reach final four

Richie-Towell-2176704

A devastating Dundalk performance blitzed Shelbourne at Tolka Park on Friday night as they breezed into the semi-finals of the FAI Cup.

Richie Towell scored twice and Pat Hoban, Andy Boyle also struck as well as a simply sublime strike from Kurtis Byrne wrapped up what was an all too easy victory for the double chasers.

Dundalk were looking to reach their second successive FAI Cup semi-final and continue their bid for a 10th title and their first in 11 years and are one step closer to achieving just that.

Brian Gartland returned to the Lilywhites side following illness last week and Johns Sullivan as well as Byrne following suspension and Dillon took their place as Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell, John Mountney and Tiarnan Mulvenna all made way from the team which was victorious against Drogheda United.

A miscued effort from Towell after five minutes was the best either side could muster in a scrappy opening to the contest before he then went much closer when latching on to a Pat Hoban flick and scoop a lob just over the top but when Dundalk hit their rhythm there was no halting them.

After 13 minutes it was that man Towell involved again and this time he got the end product desired when he exchanged passes with Dillon inside the area and collected the return before curling into the far corner past a despairing Niall Burdon who got a hand on the ball but could not keep it out.

Burdon then did brilliantly to tip over a vicious Darren Meenan strike from 25 yards after he was allowed to advance unchallenged into Shelbourne territory but was beaten again on 19 minutes with a goal very similar to one the Lilywhites had scored on their last visit to Tolka Park this year on league duty.

Meenan swung in a corner from the right and it was met by an emphatic header from Boyle as he came back to haunt his side for the second time this season, skimming in off the underside of the crossbar.

However, the home side did have their chances after going behind in the immediate aftermath of Boyle’s goal as Dean Kelly did well to rise between the central defenders to power a header at goal which Peter Cherrie saved.

He then missed a golden chance as Lee Murtagh fed him the ball inside the box and, with the Dundalk defence slow to react to the space Kelly found himself in, he somehow scuffed his effort high over the top with the goal gaping.

Hoban then blasted over at the other end after being afforded too much time on the edge of the box before Chris Shields did likewise with an ambitious volley from a Mark Rossiter throw as Dundalk continued to look the more likely to increase their lead than Shels did to reduce it.

Sure enough, after the half hour mark they did just that when Towell tore down the centre of the park through the middle of the hosts’ defence and when Burdon came to meet him, he laid off cutely into the path of Hoban who tapped home for an all too easy finish.

Burdon was then called into action again shortly afterwards to deny another scorching Meenan strike from outside the area as the Lilywhites refused to ease up at all in their continued search for goals.

They would keep on coming before the half time whistle was blown with a fourth being added through Byrne with an exceptional strike and a potential winner of the goal of the season award as he collected just inside the Shels half and looked up before flighting a glorious strike over the head of a despairing Burdon.

A minute before the whistle was blown, another was put on the scoreboard when Sullivan got forward on the right and put a superb cross into the box that was begging to be headed and it duly was thanks to Towell who diverted it into the corner of the net.

Hoban fired in the first effort of the second half with a bicycle kick attempt from outside the box as the Lilywhites looked to perhaps outdo the fantastic goal from Byrne in the opening 45.

Shelbourne did manage to pull one back when Murtagh then found space behind their defence although he did appear to be offside and kept a cool head to fire past Cherrie.

After that goal, the game hit something of a lull for the first time as Dundalk comfortably sat on the lead that they had worked so hard to build in the first half.

Shields had to be perfectly positioned to deny Sean Brennan with a goalline clearance before Cherrie rose to tip over a dipping Darren Tinnelly effort.

Vinny Faherty then flashed a header wide of the target at the other end as the Lilywhites saw the game out easily as attentions begin to turn to their massive top of the table league clash with St Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore on Friday.

 

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon; Brian Gannon, Ian Ryan, Graham Gartland, Pat Flynn; Adam Hanlon, Glenn Cronin, Robert Bayly (Stephen Sheerin 70), Sean Brennan; Lee Murtagh (Carl Walshe 87), Dean Kelly (Darren Tinnelly 70).

Subs not used: Charlie Tracey, Stephen Hurley, Adam O’Connor, Paul Andrews.

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Mark Rossiter; Darren Meenan, Chris Shields, Richie Towell (John Mountney HT), John Dillon; Kurtis Byrne (Jordan Keegan 81), Pat Hoban (Vinny Faherty 70).

Subs not used: Aaron Shanahan, Simon Kelly, Nathan Murphy, Tiarnan Mulvenna.

 

Attendance: 1,158

Referee: Padraigh Sutton

STATS

Goalscorers: Towell 13 and 44, Boyle 19, Hoban 32, Byrne 41 (Dundalk). Murtagh 50 (Shelbourne).

Booked: Bayly 22, Kelly 35 (Shelbourne). Mountney 55 (Dundalk).

Shots: Dundalk – 17, Shelbourne – 12

Fouls conceded: Dundalk – 12, Shelbourne – 11

Corners: Dundalk – 4, Shelbourne – 2

Offsides: Dundalk – 0, Shelbourne – 2

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Dundalk derby winner O’Donnell: Only results matter now

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DUNDALK captain Stephen O’Donnell believes his late winner against Drogheda United puts Dundalk back in a great position ahead of their visit to Inchicore to take on table-topping St Patrick’s Athletic.

The sides are locked level at the summit with the Dubliners ahead on goal difference as they battle for the championship but the Lilywhites would not have had the advantage of going in to that game level if O’Donnell had not seized upon a defensive slip-up to score.

“It was so important to get that goal and win this one going to Pat’s because it means we go there on level-pegging rather than knowing we need to win,” he said.

“We will be going there to do that regardless and it was great to get three points out of this one in a game that we didn’t play in.

“I think the ending was better than the game which wasn’t great but Drogheda aren’t a bad side and are tough to play against with quality all around the pitch,” he continued. “I think they can feel hard done by as we probably didn’t deserve to win it.

“But to be honest, performances don’t mean anything at this stage of the season. It is all about results.”

He may have hit the crucial goal in the derby and has the honour of scoring the goal that put Shamrock Rovers into the group stages of the Europa League but was modest in his assessment of the strike and was just pleased to see the net ripple.

“I wouldn’t be a prolific scorer,” the former Bohemians man laughed. “I was quite a way away from the goal but I just wanted to take it early because I thought the ‘keeper might have expected me to come in further with it so I thought it might take him by surprise.

“I knew that [McNally] was going to get the ball and at that stage I thought we were sitting too deep and I didn’t want him to have all the time in the world so I just wanted to pressure them and luckily it worked out my way.”

The double-chasing Dundalk were not at their best on the night but O’Donnell believes that in games such as these, it is not the display of the team that people will remember but rather the fact that they picked up the points but also does not think the impending game against Saints will ultimately determine the destiny of the title.

“I don’t know what the performance was down to but it is hard to play well every week and the key is when you don’t play well still to get the three points so we did that and how many times do you see all of the top teams not play well but grind out the result which is what we did and nobody really remembers the performance at the end of the season and it is all about results from now on in,” the 27-year-old insisted.

“I think that there will be more twists to come even after the Pat’s game so although it was important, I am sure further swings will happen and I do not think the Pat’s game is a winner takes all one, definitely not but it is great to be going there after getting the win and being level.

“Maybe if we had gone in behind them then the onus would have been on us to go out and win it but now we go there even and we will just see how it goes.”

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Louth SFC Relegation Play-Off: O’Raghallaighs 0-10 Kilkerley Emmets 0-9

An incredible second half comeback from O’Raghallaigh’s ensured they secured senior status as they battled back from a five point deficit at half time to break Kilkerley Emmets hearts at the death.

Inside the opening two minutes Shane Lennon popped over two easy free to open his account in a windy Dunleer as Conal McGeough launched a speculative drive towards the O’Raghallaigh’s box which ended up sailing just over the bar and whether intentional or not, it was certainly a fine score.

Ruiari Moore then saw a free clip the post and go wide as his team struggled to get a rhythm going and put a point on the board and with them failing to unduly worry the umpires behind the Emmets goal, it was they who extended their lead further when midfielder Cathal Bellew popped up in advanced territory to shimmy a tackle and knock over.

That was reduced moments later when a 45 from Moore found its way between the posts for their first score after 15 minutes of action before Lennon’s third free of the game kept his side in a commanding position.

Another Moore free came back of the post as he must have begun to wonder if it would not be his day and when Ciaran Brassil was dragged to ground at the other end, captain Lennon deposited another with ease.

A quickly taken free allowed Stuart Cunningham to find space for O’Raghalllaigh’s out wide and he slipped a sweet score over from a tight angle but that was to be as good as it got for them before the break as Lennon claimed his first from open play to send his side in with a five point advantage.

Lennon and Moore exchanged frees as Cathal McGinty’s side certainly re-emerged with the required urgency and purpose and a quick passing move culminating in an outrageous Moore point from distance with the outside of his boot had them believing again.

Shaun McElroy’s free attempted to dent those hopes when it found its target but Murphy and Moore hit back immediately as Kilkerley were never allowed to get too far out of sight and were reeled back to within two when another Moore free had Cillian Quigley tipping over his crossbar.

When Moore’s second 45 found its mark in the final 10 minutes, the Drogheda club were very much in the ascendancy and after a soft free was conceded by the Kilkerley defence with three minutes remaining on the clock, Moore’s dead ball was never in doubt.

With the game then in injury time, the number 14 stepped up again with a free from the ground and their most important score of the season as Lennon surprisingly missed one at the other end with the final kick of the game.

 

O’Raghallaighs: Joe Flanagan, Stephen Murphy (0-1), James Moonan, Graham Leech, Keith Hughes, Stuart Cunningham (0-1), Alan Doyle, Ciaran Brassil, Robert Mulroy, Stephen Kermode, Andrew Rogan, Chris Smith, Ben Rogan, Ruiari Moore (0-8, 5f), Joe Rogan.

Emmets: Cillian Quigley, Emmet Hughes, Sean Doherty, Cormac Bellew, Ciaran Bellew, Finatan Larke, Alan McGeough, Donal McElroy, Cathal Bellew (0-1), Conal McGeough (0-1), Sean Hand, Shaun McElroy (0-1), 1f), Daniel McKeown, Shane Lennon (0-6, 5f), Niall Lennon. Subs: Conal McEneaney for S McElroy, 50 mins; Brian Gernon for N Lennon, 52 mins; Ciaran Clarke for D McKeown.

Referee: Noel Hand

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Louth SFC Relegation Play-Off: Dreadnots 3-12 Glyde Rangers 0-8

Dreadnots ensured they will be playing senior championship football next season by inflicting a heavy defeat on Glyde Rangers.

The game was less than a minute old when they supplied a cruel early blow, Anthony Williams was given far too much room on the edge of the square and he fisted across goal where Connor Campbell stretched to turn the ball home.

Points followed for each in the ensuing minutes before things got worse again for Glyde after nine minutes, Williams pounced to steer a loose ball into the corner of the net for a rampant Dreadnots.

James Califf pointed his second free of the game to move his side six points clear at the midway point of the half as they looked to have settled to the task at hand better than Rangers and were further ahead when the referee rightly consulted with his linesman to award Cian McEvoy a point that had not been initially awarded.

Things got even worse for them when Shevlin tore down the middle of their defence and Mark O’Brien clipped him as he made a beeline for goal, leading the referee to brandish a harsh red card and compound their misery.

They eased up a little in terms of scoring before the break but there was no question when it came around who the dominant side were as Glyde found themselves looking down the barrel with 30 minutes still to play although Martin O’Connor did pull one back before then.

Padraig Rath and Paraic Smith fired over two sublime scores from range at the outset of the second half to continue their side’s charge as they showed no sign of letting up although Gerard Farrell evaded two tackles and knocked over a beauty of his own at the other end.

O’Brien pointed from another free before Darren Malone had to be lively to make a sharp save from an O’Connor goal attempt as the Tallanstown men showed great spirit and effort in continuing to push on despite the situation they found themselves in.

That was until the Clogherhead men moved it into a higher gear as first Williams scored with a terrific point as he exchanged one-twos with a succession of teammates before lofting over the bar and then a scrappy goal followed as McEvoy drilled a breaking ball into the net while Pat Lynch claimed a cracker from just inside the 45.

Califf then did something similar with a sensational score from distance that he made look so effortless in its execution and although Damien Garland did put the final scores on the board for Glyde, from frees the result of this one was never in real doubt.

 

Glyde Rangers: Anthony Nulty, Mark O’Brien, Alan Brennan, Shane Sharkey, Brian Duffy, Conor Sheridan, Ciaran Sheridan, Gerard Farrell (0-1), David Daveney, Cien Sheridan, Seamus Harvey, Barry Sharkey (0-1, 1f), Fiachra Sheridan, Trevor O’Brien (0-3, 2f), Stephen Sharkey. Subs: Martin O’Connor (0-1, 1f) for Sheridan, 25 mins; Damien Garland (0-2, 2f) for G Farrell, 35 mins; Peter Duffy for A Nulty, 41 mins. Sent off: O’Brien, 23 mins.

Dreadnots: Darren Malone, Brian Gargan, Derek Shevlin, Dermot Campbell, Anthony Williams (1-1), Padraig Rath (0-1), Liam Shevlin (0-1), Fergal McGuigan, James Califf (0-3, 2f), Pat Lynch (0-1), Cian McEvoy (1-1), Connor Campbell (1-0), Richard Kirwan, Paraic Smith (0-4, 2f), Luke Judge. Subs: Barry Faulkner for L Judge, 49 mins; Ronan Califf for A Williams, 59 mins.

Referee: Donal Brady

 

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Dundalk ace Rossiter: Table topping means nothing yet

Mark Rossiter Dundalk

 

MARK Rossiter has urged his Dundalk side to forget about being top of the table and concentrate only on their next fixture against Drogheda United.

Victory over UCD at the Belfield Bowl put them into pole position for the first time this season but Rossiter believes that counts for very little just now.

“Being top of the league means nothing at this point in time,” he insisted. “Pat’s have two games before we even play again and the likelihood is they will be back ahead of us.

“We are not going to focus on that though our focus is on Drogheda and getting three points at home from that one which is all we are thinking about.”

The win in Dublin came as a result of a fine performance borne from a strong defence which conceded little and a midfield and attack who were clinical when going forward and the Sligo native saw parallels with the game and the Students’ 3-2 win in Louth earlier this year.

He also praised his side’s fitness and desire in giving everything to push on and create opportunities as well as for the men who scored the quality and crucial goals for the Lilywhites while also admitting it is the work of the team as a whole who are responsible for their outstanding defensive displays which have witnessed them concede just twice in their past five league games.

“I think the game was fairly similar to the last time we played them in Oriel but this time we were a lot more compact and we kept control of the ball a lot better and didn’t give away possession too lightly and if we did we won it back fairly quickly,” ‘Rossi’ said.

“We knew if we worked them hard then we would create openings and Stevie [O’Donnell] did well with a bit of cleverness to draw the yellow card out of Mick Kelly for the second yellow and when they were down to 10 men we just kept passing them off the park, knowing we would get space for shots.

“Thankfully we then got the goal from Hoban who wasn’t having a great night but the boy can finish and then it was a super finish from Richie to seal it.

“We are working well but it is not just Peter [Cherrie] or the back four because we have Shieldsy in front of the back four and Stephen O’Donnell who covers every blade of grass and Richie Towell because as a team we are defending really well and when they are doing their bit further up the pitch it makes it much easier for us,” added the versatile full-back.

Given that Rossiter has been there before with Bohemians for close run-ins and ultimately ended the season as a league champion, he does hope that experience can help his teammates while also believing that of manager Stephen Kenny will be vital.

He continued: “It is not just me who has been and won this league because me and Stevie are fortunate that we have won two leagues each and if we can be any calming influence on some of the younger lads then that’s great and we also have the main man Stephen [Kenny] who has won the league at Bohs and is always talking to the players and his experience will be super for us to just keep the young lads grounded and say look we have seven games to go, let’s win as many as we can and see where it takes us.”

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