Match Reports 2010/11

CCFL Youths Cup Semi-Final

Tullamore Town 3 Abbeyleix Ath 1

Even Lionel would have been impressed. Tullamore’s talented young striker, Gary Buckley, conjured up two second half goals of Messianic proportions in sun drenched Leah Victoria Park last Saturday to guide his side safely into the CCFL Youths Cup Final. They started brightly with Buckley and Stephen Keogh carving out an opening for Jack English but he was crowded out, but on five minutes Abbeyleix raced into the lead. Good play by Joe Bergin down the right saw him cut into the area before pulling the ball back for Daniel Mills to sweep it into the empty net. As Tullamore looked to hit back Martin Holleran played a good ball through to Keogh but Ian Cole was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With twenty minutes gone English saw his shot deflected wide and from the resultant corner Brian Norris had his header saved by Cole. As they continued to press, great play between Norris and Buckley ended with Norris firing across the face of the goal but they had a let off when Bergin dispossessed Norris and floated his effort inches outside the angle of bar and post. The home side again went close when Sami Taharoui picked out David Pearce on the right but again the shot flew across the face of the goal and, when Gary Buckley was taken down, Jack English’s free kick was headed against the crossbar by Brian Norris. Another free kick created danger when Cole did well to tip Stephen Keogh’s effort over and from the resultant corner Norris headed over. A surging run through the middle by Taharoui resulted in a free twenty five yards out but Matt Carragher struck his kick into the wall and then Holleran played a lovely ball through to English but his cross was cut out by Oishin Carroll. Martin Holleran again created danger with a fine run on the left but he was bundled over in the area but, with minutes remaining in the first half. Tullamore should have equalised. Cole misjudged a deep left wing cross from Carragher but Brian Norris headed over from almost under the crossbar as the interval arrived with Abbeyleix one goal to the good.

Tullamore began the second half on the offensive with Gary Buckley knocking the ball on to Brian Norris but Oishin Carroll got across to clear the danger while at the other end Alex Westbrook latched onto a poor clearance but his cross just missed out the inrushing Joe Bergin. With the home side being regularly whistled up for off-side, they struggled to get any kind of rhythm going as the Abbeyleix defence, expertly marshalled by Carroll, dealt comfortably with everything they threw at them. Ryan Murphy was introduced on sixty five minutes and he was immediately into the action when Ian Cole did well to punch his dangerous right wing cross to safety. Cole again came to his sides rescue when he brilliantly tipped Stephen Keogh’s twenty yard effort over and from the resultant corner Leon Dunne crashed his header off the crossbar. It was not all one way traffic and on seventy minutes Joe Bergin flashed a great thirty yard drive inches outside the right hand post, but minutes later Gary Buckley took centre stage. Picking the ball up in midfield he set off on a weaving run that carried him past four defenders and deep into the area before firing home from the narrowest of angles for a stunning individual goal. Tullamore should have taken the lead on seventy five minutes when Brian Norris picked out Jack English in the area but Cole brought off a great point blank save to deny him and then a Stephen Keogh free kick was headed into the side netting by Matt Carragher. With five minutes remaining Gary Buckley struck for the decisive score, and it was another superb individual effort. Again gaining possession in midfield he set off on a wide left wing trajectory before cutting back across the eighteen yard box and drilling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net. It was small wonder that his delighted team mates carried him shoulder high back to the centre circle. In the last minute a deep left wing cross from Stephen Keogh deceived Cole in the Abbeyleix goal and went all the way to the net to put a somewhat flattering look on the scoreline.

This was a game that Tullamore never really looked like losing and yet, paradoxically, never looked capable of winning either until Buckley’s tour de force.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Leon Dunne, Brian Norris and Stephen Keogh with Ian Cole, Oishin Carroll, Joe Bergin and Alex Westbrook the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award was hoovered up by Tullamore’s match winner, Gary Buckley.

Tullamore: Dean Molloy, Sami Taharoui, Leon Dunne, Niall Gorman, Brian Norris, David Pearce, Matt Carragher, Martin Holleran, Stephen Keogh, Jack English and Gary Buckley.

Subs: Ryan Murphy, Mark Allen, Thomas Barnwell, Jason Darby, Paul Kelly and Joe Maloney.

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town  2   Manortown Utd  0

Tullamore consolidated their mid table position with this fine win against Manortown in Leah Victoria Park last Wednesday. With ten minutes gone they went close when Mark Gorman played a great ball through to Martin Lowry but Ian Burke got across to knock the ball behind and from the resultant corner Thomas Fleming volleyed over. The visitors threatened when Gavin Merriman latched onto a bad back pass but Jamie Coyne got down smartly to save while at the other end Trevor Francis sent Aidan Nicholson clear but goalkeeper Brian Clarke did well to get a block on his shot. Clarke was again called into action when he brilliantly kept out a twenty five yard piledriver from Lowry and then Anthony Coyne played a superb ball through to Fleming but his effort flew narrowly over. With forty minutes gone a great move involving Stuart Kavanagh, Mark Gorman and Fergal Gorman saw Kavanagh’s shot taken off the line but on the stroke of half time they hit the front. Aidan Nicholson cut through the middle and played a defence splitting pass to Trevor Francis and he rifled the ball into the roof of the net for a fine goal. They nearly increased their lead minutes later when Nicholson picked out Enda Carroll on the edge of the area but his effort was brilliantly tipped over by Clarke to leave the score 1-0 in the home sides favour at the interval.

Manortown started brightly on the resumption and Jamie Coyne had to be at his best to keep out a Jason Stanley free kick down low to his left and then Stanley sent Lee English clear but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Stephen Francis. Tullamore should have doubled their advantage on fifty five minutes when Aidan Nicholson, Enda Carroll and Trevor Francis combined to set up Thomas Fleming but he fired over when well placed. As the visitors hit back Ian Burke sent Stanley clear with Anthony Coyne doing well to knock his dangerous cross behind while at the other end Tullamore again threatened when Carroll played a great ball through to Fergal Gorman but Burke got across to clear. Stanley went on a surging run on the left with Stephen Francis snuffing out the danger and then Anthony Coyne cut through the middle but just failed to pick out Fleming. Manortown nearly equalised on sixty five minutes when Town lost possession in midfield but goalkeeper Jamie Coyne was quickly off his line to deny the inrushing Jason Stanley, but with twenty minutes remaining the introduction of Gary Buckley saw the game swing decisively in Tullamore’s favour. He was immediately into the action when he picked out Enda Carroll but his effort flew inches outside the far post and then Mark Gorman found Thomas Fleming who knocked the ball back to Anthony Coyne but his shot was just off target. With seventy five minutes gone the home side doubled their account when Aidan Nicholson went on a great run through the middle before picking out Buckley in the inside left channel and he cut inside his marker before drilling the ball into the bottom right hand corner. As they looked to press home their advantage Thomas Fleming went close with a fine effort and then Nicholson played a great ball through to Buckley who slipped it past the advancing keeper, but it just rolled outside the right hand post. The visitors went close when Gerry Lee sent Jason Stanley clear but he shot across the face of the goal and with minutes remaining Anthony Coyne played a lovely ball through to Buckley who rounded the keeper before knocking it back to Enda Carroll, but his effort was taken off the line as the referee brought proceedings to a close.

This was an excellent team performance by the home side with particular contributions from Mark Gorman, Enda Carroll and Gary Buckley while Ian Burke, Gavin Merriman and Gerry Lee were the pick of the visitors, but the Cosgrove’s Bar man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Aidan Nicholson.

Tullamore: Jamie Coyne, Stuart Kavanagh, Stephen Francis, Mark Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Fergal Gorman, Enda Carroll, Aidan Nicholson, Martin Lowry, Trevor Francis and Thomas Fleming.

Subs: Gary Buckley, Ronan Wall and Martin Holleran.

Leinster Senior League
 
Tullamore Town 0 Maynooth Town 2

In a tightly contested game Tullamore were edged out by their more experienced opponents in Leah Victoria Park last Thursday. These two evenly matched sides failed to create any clear cut chances in a fairly lack lustre opening period but with twenty five minutes on the clock the home side were hit with a real sucker punch. Maynooth won a free in their own half and when the ball was lofted into the area William Farrelly knocked it down to Ciaran Potter and he drilled his shot into the bottom right hand corner. A surging run by Anthony Coyne saw him lay the ball off to Martin Lowry but his shot was too high and he again threatened when he got on the end of a superb ball from Stephen Francis but Eamon Gallagher saved down low to his right. Jamie Coyne in the Tullamore goal displayed some nice footwork when he gathered a Fergal Gorman back pass and skipped past the advancing Farrelly to clear. Aidan Nicholson twice went close when he brought another fine save from Gallagher and he was then denied by a great last ditch tackle from Darren Wrafter as the interval arrived with the visitors one goal to the good.

Tullamore were like a team transformed on the resumption as they went all out for an equaliser. Within minutes Enda Carroll raced through in the inside left channel and fired his shot across the face of the goal and then, following a Fergal Gorman corner, Anthony Coyne was unlucky to see his powerful header cannon off a defender and fly over the bar. As they continued to press David Lee sent a fine long range effort inches outside the left hand post and then Carroll volleyed over from a Coyne free kick. But it was not all one way traffic as William Farrelly picked out the over lapping Declan Bambrick but his shot flew outside the far post. The home side again went close when Martin Lowry saw his shot deflected narrowly wide and then a searching Fergal Gorman cross was headed over his own bar by Bambrick. Anthony Coyne again created danger when, following a fine run on the left, his low cross flew across the face of the goal. Tullamore were desperately unlucky on seventy minutes when Thomas Fleming cut in from the left and, from thirty yards out, crashed a tremendous shot off the crossbar. They again went close when a Mark Gorman free kick fell to David Lee but Eamon Gallagher brought off a fine save to deny him. With seventy five minutes on the clock Maynooth struck for theinsurance goal when Joey Glynn got on the end of a long ball out of defence and buried it in the bottom right hand corner for a fine score. As Tullamore looked to hit back Martin Lowry burst into the area but a great Darren Wrafter tackle averted the danger while at the other end Glynn again broke clear but Coyne was quickly off his line to deny him as the referee brought the game to a conclusion.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Mark Gorman and David Lee with Darren Wrafter, Declan Bambrick and Joey Glynn the pick of the visitors, but the Cosgrove’s Bar man of the match award went to Tullamore’s attacking full back, Anthony Coyne.

Tullamore: Jamie Coyne, Stephen Duffy, Mark Gorman, Stephen Francis, Anthony Coyne, Fergal Gorman, Enda Carroll, David Lee, Aidan Nicholson, Martin Lowry and Thomas Fleming.

Subs: Stuart Kavanagh, Ronan Wall and Dean Goode.

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town  2   St. John Bosco  2

Two terrific strikes from Martin Lowry and Enda Carroll were not enough to take all three points in Leah Victoria Park last Thursday as a strong St. John Bosco side battled back for a share of the spoils with only five minutes remaining. This was a game of marked contrasts as a young Tullamore team found themselves pressed back for long periods by their experienced opponents and yet could count themselves unlucky not to have emerged victorious from this exciting encounter. The visitors were first to threaten when Gary Parkes burst through the middle but Derry Guinan managed to get a half block on his shot with Trevor Moylan getting back to complete the clearance. Aidan Nicholson then picked out Lowry with Robert Costello doing well to get down to keep out his twenty yard effort. With seventeen minutes gone Tullamore took the lead when Thomas Fleming got on the end of a long ball out of defence from Mark Gorman and played it inside to Martin Lowry who drilled it into the bottom right hand corner from twenty five yards. They had a real escape when Parkes won possession in the area and when Guinan blocked his effort the ball rebounded off Moylan and went inches outside the post. St. John’s again went close when Andy Keehan picked the ball up from a throw and flashed his shot across the face of the goal and then Parkes sent Keehan clear on the left but Moylan got across to knock the ball behind. As Tullamore hit back Stephen Duffy found Fergal Gorman on the right and he skipped past his marker before firing in a great cross that just missed out the inrushing Carroll. With half time approaching Nicholson was fouled twenty five yards out with Trevor Moylan’s free kick going narrowly wide as the interval arrived with the home side one goal to the good.

The visitors were straight into the attack on the resumption with Andy Keehan’s lofted cross coming down on the crossbar and being scrambled clear. With fifty five minutes on the clock they equalised when Tullamore lost possession in there own half and when the ball was played across the area Ian Byrne popped up at the far post to cut it back into the net from the acutest of angles. They nearly went ahead ten minutes later when Alan Brennan’s shot was deflected wide by Mark Gorman and from the resultant corner Gary Parkes sent a superb half volley crashing off the crossbar. Despite enjoying the lions share of possession they were rocked back on their heels on sixty five minutes when Thomas Fleming pounced on a defensive error and pulled the ball back to Enda Carroll and he rifled it into the top right hand corner from twenty yards to put his side back in front. As St. John’s continued to lay siege to the Tullamore goal Eamon Purdy sent a fine header against the crossbar following a corner and then Trevor Moylan had to be alert to cut out a dangerous cross from Aaron Coleman. With five minutes remaining they deservedly equalised when they won a corner on the left and when the cross came in Derry Guinan, under severe pressure, inadvertently punched the ball into his own net. Town created one more chance in the last minute when Carroll played a great ball through to Aidan Nicholson, but he was impeded at the crucial moment and the chance was gone, as both sides had to settle for a draw.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Mark Gorman, Trevor Moylan, Stephen Duffy and Thomas Fleming with Gary Parkes, Alan Brennan and Eamon Purdy the pick of the visitors, but the Cosgrove’s Bar man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.

Tullamore : Derry Guinan, Stuart Kavanagh, Trevor Moylan, Mark Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Fergal Gorman, Enda Carroll, Stephen Duffy, Aidan Nicholson, Martin Lowry and Thomas Fleming.

Subs : David Lee, Dean Goode, Ronan Wall and Trevor Francis.

CCFL Womens Division

Tullamore Town 7 Banagher Utd 0.

THIS game was over as a contest after twenty minutes with Tullamore racing into a 4-0 lead in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday.
With Sylvia Ghee imperious in midfield and Ali Lenihan lethal up front a battling Banagher side found themselves blown away before they had time to draw breath. With five minutes gone Richelle O'Neill and Claire Cantwell combined to pick out Ghee in midfield and she played a great ball through to Carina Carroll on the right and her cross was superbly volleyed home by Ali Lenihan.
As the home side continued to press Cantwell played a lovely ball through to Carina Carroll who brought a fine save from Amy Herraghty in the Banagher goal down low to her left. With ten minutes on the clock the home side increased their lead when, following a corner, the ball was knocked out to Sylvia Ghee and she promptly drilled it into the bottom left hand corner from twenty yards.
Five minutes later O'Neill played a great ball through to Patrice Stapleton in the inside left channel and she unselfishly squared it to Lenihan who found the bottom right hand corner.
With twenty minutes gone Tullamore won a corner on the right and Ghee's low delivery was expertly dispatched to the net by Ali Lenihan to complete a superb hat-trick. Ghee was again in the thick of the action when she played a great ball through to Richelle O'Neill on the left but her shot flew past the far post and she then created a chance for Patrice Stapleton but Herraghty was equal to her effort.
As Tullamore continued to press Lenihan saw her glancing header flash wide following a corner but they were not to be denied when, five minutes before the break, a curling Sylvia Ghee corner went all the way to the net to leave the score 5-0 at the interval.
Tullamore began the second half on the offensive with Richelle O'Neill playing a short corner to Sylvia Ghee and her lofted cross to the far post just missed out Carina Carroll and then Claire Cantwell saw her shot charged down following a corner.
With the home back four of Joan Lennon, Catherine Gunning, Regina Healion and Olivia Grant dealing with everything Banagher threw at them they continued to control the game. On the hour Ghee picked out Regina Healion who played a fine ball through to Carroll but Amy Herraghty got down to save and then O'Neill found Mary Wyer but her shot flew inches outside the far post.
With seventy five minutes gone Tullamore increased their lead when Patrice Stapleton won a corner on the right and from the resultant kick Catherine Gunning rose above the Banagher defence to power her header into the net for an excellent goal.
They again went close when a great move involving Grant, Ghee, Wyer and Stapleton picked out Carina Carroll but she shot wide, but they were not to be denied when Catherine Gunning picked the ball up in midfield and played in Richelle O'Neill and when her swerving shot came back off the crossbar Patrice Stapleton was on hand to fire home the rebound to wrap up a comprehensive victory.
This was a very impressive performance by the Tullamore girls and the quality of their play was at times of the highest order. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Catherine Gunning, Olivia Grant, Richelle O'Neill and Carina Carroll with Elaine Sullivan, Molly Dunne, Caroline McDermott and Lisa Gardner the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award was shared between Tullamore's Sylvia Ghee and Ali Lenihan.
Tullamore: Bernie Walsh, Joan Lennon, Catherine Gunning, Regina Healion, Olivia Grant, Carina Carroll, Sylvia Ghee, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O'Neill, Ali Lenihan and Patrice Stapleton. Sub: Mary Wyer.

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town 1 Dublin City University 1

With most of the country tuned into The Late Late Toy Show, Tullamore staged their own version in Leah Victoria Park last Friday night with a last minute equaliser and then nearly snatching all three points in injury time. In what was a very entertaining game, Town deservedly kept their fine home record intact, but it was a close run thing. They enjoyed the lions share of possession in the first half but, despite their good play, failed to breach a determined DCU defence. They went tantalisingly close on eight minutes when Aidan Nicholson picked out Trevor Francis on the right and he cut the ball back to Alan Murray who fired past the keeper only for his shot to be taken off the line. The students threatened minutes later when Steve Patten got on the end of a long crossfield ball but he was denied by a superb save from Andy Boyle in the home goal. Tullamore went close when Keith O’Connor won the ball back and found Enda Carroll who played a great ball through to Murray but he was deemed to be narrowly off-side. They again threatened when Stephen Francis played in Murray but this time his attempted lob sailed over the bar while at the other end they were given a real fright when Boyle was nearly caught in possession by Chris Sutton, but he recovered to clear. With half time approaching Gary Walsh was put through in the inside right channel but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Mark Gorman as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all.

Tullamore began the second half brightly with Martin Lowry playing in Enda Carroll but Barry O’Shea got across to clear the danger and then Lowry picked out Aidan Nicholson but he was denied by a fine save from Wayne Vickery down low to his right. As the home side continued to press, Trevor Francis sent Simon Keegan clear on the right and his searching cross was hooked over his own bar by Dave Cullen and from the resultant corner Keegan fired his shot into the side netting. With fifty five minutes on the clock Dave Cullen broke clear on the right with Stephen Francis doing well to knock his dangerous cross behind but from the corner Chris Sutton swept the ball into the net to put the visitors ahead. As Town looked to hit back Martin Lowry flashed a fine long range effort inches outside the right post and then a great move involving David Lee, Alan Murray and Enda Carroll saw Aidan Nicholson slip the ball through to Martin Lowry but his cross shot just flew outside the angle of bar and post. Minutes later Nicholson sent Stephen Duffy clear on the right but his shot crashed into the stanchion and then Mark Gorman played a great ball through to Lowry but Wayne Vickery was quickly off his line to clear. With five minutes remaining Town nearly equalised when Vickery failed to hold a stinging long range drive from Lowry but the keeper recovered in time to deny Brian Kane as he pounced on the rebound. With only a minute remaining Nicholson was fouled thirty yards out and when Trevor Francis lifted the ball into the area the diminutive Enda Carroll got across the front of the keeper to send a lovely looping header into the back of the net. With the bit between their teeth, Tullamore went all out for the winner and, improbably, it nearly arrived deep into injury time. Stephen Duffy sent Aidan Nicholson clear on the right and his deep cross was spectacularly volleyed inches past the far post by the inrushing Keith O’Connor as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Manager Kevin O’Connor and his coaching team will have been well pleased with what was a fine all round performance but, with so many attacking players on display, their inability to turn possession into scores will remain a concern.

There were excellent contributions from Keith O’Connor, Stephen Francis and Enda Carroll but the Cosgrove’s Bar man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Mark Gorman.

Tullamore : Andy Boyle, Fergal Gorman, Stephen Francis, Mark Gorman, Keith O’Connor, Simon Keegan, Enda Carroll, Aidan Nicholson, Martin Lowry, Trevor Francis and Alan Murray.

Subs : David Lee, Stephen Duffy, Brian Kane, Anthony Coyne and Ronan Wall.

LSL Sunday Major 1

Tullamore Town  3   Athy Town  2

Tullamore emerged victorious in the battle of the Towns in Leah Victoria Park last Thursday as their recent good run continued unabated. They got off to the best possible starts when, with only three minutes on the clock, Martin Lowry got on the end of a probing cross from Simon Keegan and fired the ball into the far corner to put his side in front. They nearly increased their lead when Alan Murray broke through the middle but failed to get enough purchase on his shot and Eamon Brownlee in the Athy goal saved comfortably. Anthony Coyne was next to test the keeper when, following a corner, he had his header saved while at the other end Jason Enright got on the end of a free kick but his header flew narrowly wide. With thirty minutes gone the visitors were back on level terms when a corner was knocked on to Ian Foley and he swept the ball home from close range. Aidan Nicholson threatened when he won back possession but his deflected shot was well held by Brownlee and he was again called into action when he held a swerving thirty yard effort from Enda Carroll under the bar. Athy nearly went ahead on the stroke of half time when Enright fired in a great shot from twenty five yards but Dean Goode brilliantly tipped the ball around the post to leave the teams tied at 1-1 at the interval.

Athy began the second half the brighter with Jason Enright playing in Ian Foley but Goode got down to save and then Martin Lowry threatened on the left when he got on the end of an Anthony Coyne throw but he was crowded out. Simon Keegan went close when he broke through the middle but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Sean Byrne while at the other end Paul Rigney fired in a searching cross but Coyne got across to clear. With Enda Carroll and David Lee tightening their grip on midfield Tullamore continued to press and they went close when Carroll released Lowry but again the experienced Byrne snuffed out the danger. The visitors nearly scored in bizarre circumstances on sixty five minutes when a Dean Goode clearance cannoned off Ian Foley and rebounded over the crossbar. With Keith O’Connor coming on the home side redoubled their efforts and a great break out of defence by Mark Gorman picked out Carroll who cut the ball back to Martin Lowry but his shot flew inches outside the far post. But he was not to be denied on seventy five minutes when Enda Carroll sent him clear with a superb reverse pass and he squeezed it under the advancing keeper and into the net. But Athy refused to lie down and five minutes later were back in the game when Ian Devereux broke clear on the right and played a lovely ball through to Brendan Curtis who made no mistake from close range. As Tullamore tried to restore their advantage Brian Francis picked out Aidan Nicholson but he fired over and then with five minutes remaining Martin Lowry again took centre stage. Good play by Alan Murray and Enda Carroll on the left saw the ball being fed back to Anthony Coyne and his deep cross found Lowry who cut inside before driving the ball into the far corner to complete a superb hat-trick. With minutes remaining Carroll played a great ball through to Lowry but this time he was denied by a fine save from Brownlee while at the other end Enright sent Devereux clear on the right but his dangerous cross missed out everyone as the home side ran out narrow but deserving winners.

Manager Kevin O’Connor will have been delighted with this fine battling performance against a very experienced Athy side. For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Brian Francis, Enda Carroll and David Lee with Sean Byrne, Jason Enright and Paul Rigney the pick of the visitors but the Cosgrove’s Bar man of the match award went Town’s match winner, Martin Lowry.

Tullamore : Dean Goode, Stuart Kavanagh, Brian Francis, Mark Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Simon Keegan, Aidan Nicholson, Enda Carroll, Trevor Francis, Martin Lowry and Alan Murray.

Subs : David Lee, Keith O’Connor, Brian Kane, Ronan Wall and Thomas Fleming.

The Lummy O'Reilly Cup 1st Round

Tullamore Town 3 Fettercairn (Tallaght) 0

Tullamore continued their recent good form with this fine victory over Dublin side Fettercairn in a highly competitive cup tie in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. Playing with great confidence they hit the front after only six minutes with a goal of outrageous quality. The visitors goalkeeper, Jose Valgcveles, appeared to have broken up an attack when he cleared the ball from the edge of his own box only for Trevor Francis to send a looping first time drive over his head and into the far corner of the net from fully thirty five yards out. As Fettercairn looked to hit back Mark Hutchinson raced clear on the left but Dean Goode brought off a fine save to deny him and minutes later he was again called into action when Keith Coombes headed a free kick back across goal to Craig Kelch but the keeper got down to save. A great run and cross from Simon Keegan was cut out by Eric Kavanagh and then Alan Murray got on the end of a Francis free kick only for Valgcveles to brilliantly tip his half volley over. They again went close when Francis played a great ball out to Martin Lowry on the left but his shot flew across the face of the goal. Brian Francis, Enda Carroll and Lowry then combined superbly to pick out Murray but, under pressure, he lifted his shot over. Fettercairn showed their quality when Hutchinson, Coombes and Kelch cut through the home defence to create an opening for Gavin Byrne but Brian Francis got across to snuff out the danger. As the first half drifted into time added on Tullamore went further ahead when a Trevor Francis through ball was knocked back to Aidan Nicholson who picked out Alan Murray in the inside right channel and the big centre forward unerringly drilled his shot into the bottom left hand corner to put his side two up at the interval.

Tullamore were quickly out of the blocks on the restart with Nicholson playing in Simon Keegan on the right but he fired wide when well placed while at the other end Mark Hutchinson broke clear on the left but his effort flew inches outside the far post. Gavin Byrne then played a fine ball through to Craig Kelch but Dean Goode was quickly off his line to avert the danger while at the other end Aidan Nicholson played a great ball through to Martin Lowry but he was denied by a superb save from Valgcveles. Nicholson was again in the thick of the action when, following good play, he was hacked down on the edge of the area and from the resultant free Trevor Francis flashed the ball across the face of the goal. As the pressure mounted Aidan Nicholson fired a great thirty five yard effort inches outside the left post but, with sixty five minutes on the clock, the visitors were left with a mountain to climb when Eric Kavanagh was red carded for a bad tackle on Nicholson. Town nearly increased their lead when Martin Lowry intercepted a clearance but Valgcveles brilliantly tipped his effort around the post and then Nicholson played a great ball through to Enda Carroll but his shot narrowly missed the far post. A superb run on the left by Simon Keegan took him through three tackles but as he cut into the area he was crowded out. With eighty minutes gone the home side put the game beyond reach when Brian Francis played a superb ball through to Alan Murray and, just as he was about to pull the trigger, he was taken down by Graham Keane with the referee immediately pointing to the spot and reducing Fettercairn to nine men. Trevor Francis saw his penalty blocked by the outstanding Valgcveles but he pounced on the loose ball to drive it into the back of the net for his second goal of the game. Carroll then fired in a long range effort that flew inches outside the post while at the other end Mark Noone broke clear but Dean Goode saved well down low to his left. With Ronan Wall and David Lee coming on for Tullamore they continued to press but Goode again came to their rescue when he brilliantly tipped Gavin Byrne’s long range shot over. Enda Carroll showed his shooting prowess when he crashed a great thirty yard effort off the angle of bar and upright and with minutes remaining Brian Kane’s attempted chip drifted outside the post as Town ran out deserving winners.

In what was a high octane encounter Fettercairn were undone by a lack of discipline that ultimately cost them dearly. With a midfield of Enda Carroll, Aidan Nicholson and Trevor Francis, manager Kevin O’Connor has at his disposal a wonderful mix of skill, strength and experience that should keep his side in contention throughout the season. A special word of praise to referee Columba McDermott whose authority and expertise prevented this often volatile cup tie from boiling over. For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Dean Goode, Mark Gorman, Aidan Nicholson and Trevor Francis with Jose Valgcveles, Mark Hutchinson and Mark Noone the pick of the visitors. The club would like to thank John Cosgrove for his generosity in sponsoring the man of the match award for the coming season, and the player with the distinction of being the first winner of the Cosgrove’s Bar Award was Tullamore’s dynamic young midfielder, Enda Carroll.

Tullamore : Dean Goode, Stuart Kavanagh, Mark Gorman, Brian Francis, Anthony Coyne, Simon Keegan, Aidan Nicholson, Enda Carroll, Trevor Francis, Martin Lowry and Alan Murray.

Subs : Brian Kane, Ronan Wall and David Lee.

Tullamore progress to next round of FAI Youths Cup

Tullamore Town 2 Parkville United (Carlow) 2 AET

Tullamore Town win 7-6 on Penalties

Goalkeeper Dean Molloy was the hero of the day as Tullamore Towns Youths side defeated Parkville of Carlow 7-6 on penalties after the game finished 2-2 aet, to progress to the next round of the FAI Youths Cup. Molloy saved the first and last penalties of the shootout and it was no more than he deserved as he came close to saving most of the other spotkicks. Aaron McDonagh gave Town a first half lead before Parkville equalised in the second half. Tullamore failed to convert some good chances which meant extra time. Town took the lead early in the second period of extra time thanks to a goal from substitute John Bracken, but the lead only lasted a minute as the Carlow side equalised immediately. The game went to penalties where Tullamore scored the first four kicks before Marty Holleran had his John Terry moment when he slipped taking the kick which could have won it. Sudden death penalties ensued and after Tullamore had gone 7-6 up Dean Molloy saved the crucial penalty to ensure Town progressed to the next round

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town 5 Peamount Moyle 5

In one of the most extraordinary games played in Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore and Peamount Moyle fought out a ten goal thriller last Friday night as the home side extended their unbeaten League run. In a match that had more twists than the proverbial corkscrew they twice came back from the dead on the back of a superb individual performance from striker Martin Lowry who netted three goals. The Dublin side were first to threaten when Dean Molloy raced from his line to make a great point blank save to deny Rory Kelly while at the other end Aidan Nicholson broke through but Alan Curtis was quickly off his line to save at his feet. The visitors again went close when David O’Brien got on the end of a corner but Molloy brilliantly tipped his header over, but it was only a temporary respite as Robbie Dent played a great ball through to Kelly and he rounded the keeper before placing the ball in the empty net. As Tullamore looked to hit back Trevor Francis fired in a dangerous cross that Simon Keegan just failed to get on target, but they nearly fell further behind following a corner but, with Molloy beaten, Keith O’Connor managed to hook the ball off the line. On the half hour Lowry took centre stage when he played a great ball inside to Nicholson and he picked out Enda Carroll who was taken down twenty five yards out. From the resultant free he arrowed the ball towards the top corner and when Curtis managed to claw it back into play, Keegan was on hand to head home from close range. With thirty eight minutes on the clock Town pressed the self destruct button when they somehow managed to concede three goals in as many minutes. The first came when Scott Weir got on the end of a through ball and lobbed the advancing keeper and a minute later Rory Kelly picked the ball up twenty yards out, turned inside and drove it into the bottom left hand corner of the net. With the home side still reeling they struck again when they pounced on a weak clearance to set up David O’Brien who fired his side into a seemingly unassailable 4-1 lead. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore were thrown a lifeline when Keegan was taken down and Francis cut the ball back to Lowry who, from twenty five yards, rifled it into the back of the net to leave the score 4-2 at the interval.

Within five minutes of the restart the home side were right back in the game when Trevor Francis played a great ball through to Martin Lowry and the big centre forward held off his marker before drilling his shot into the bottom left hand corner. Peamount almost responded immediately when Eddie Fagan broke clear but he fired wide while at the other end Keith O’Connor just failed to control the ball when well placed. Tullamore again went close when, following a corner, Anthony Coyne’s effort flew inches outside the right post but they were not to be denied on fifty seven minutes when Francis and O’Connor combined to pick out Simon Keegan and his shot was finished to the net by the inrushing Keith O’Connor. As they continued to press Francis played a great cross field ball to Lowry who brought a superb save from Alan Curtis. With seventy minutes on the clock the visitors looked to have wrapped up all three points when Kevin McEvoy broke clear on the left and cut the ball back to Scott Weir whose low drive found the back of the net to put his side 5-4 in front. But they had not reckoned on the indomitable spirit of Kevin O’Connor’s charges and, with only minutes remaining, they struck for the equaliser. Martin Lowry won possession from a throw in and burst through three tackles before burying the ball in the bottom right hand corner of the net to complete a brilliant hat-trick and guarantee his side a share of the points.

This was a game that left even your humble scribe exhausted and undoubtedly sent the crowd home looking forward to more of the same.

For Town there were excellent contributions from Trevor Francis and Aidan Nicholson with Rory Kelly and Scott Weir the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding centre forward, Martin Lowry.

Tullamore : Dean Molloy, Stuart Kavanagh, Mark Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Jason Tyrell, Simon Keegan, Aidan Nicholson, Enda Carroll, Keith O’Connor, Trevor Francis and Martin Lowry.

Subs : Ken Doyle, Thomas Fleming, Stephen Murray, Derry Guinan and Brian Kane.

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town 2 Park Celtic 0

Tullamore maintained their impressive start to the season with a fine win over a very good Park Celtic side in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. There was no shortage of action in a game that was book ended by goals in the first and last minutes of an evenly contested tie. The home side got off to the best possible start when Simon Keegan was fouled in the first minute and when the Celtic defence failed to deal with Trevor Francis’s inswinging free, Anthony Coyne was on hand to fire the ball home from close range. The visitors nearly equalised minutes later when Joe Tallon pounced on a Derry Guinan error but the Tullamore keeper recovered brilliantly to block his effort. Town threatened when Francis picked out Martin Lowry but his shot was too high and then Mark Gorman threaded a great ball through to Alan Murray but Declan Norris got across to clear. Lowry again went close when he raced clear of the defence but his shot was deflected wide and from the resultant corner Aidan Nicholson saw his effort fly across the face of the goal. As Tullamore continued to press Murray volleyed a Stuart Kavanagh cross wide but the visitors nearly equalised on thirty five minutes. Nico Murphy sent Javie Henderson clear on the left and he guided the ball past the advancing Guinan, but Gorman got back to clear the ball off the line. Tullamore went close when Stephen Murray was taken down twenty yards out but Trevor Francis’s free kick was superbly saved down low to his left by Connor Banaghan. With half time approaching a surging Nicholson run saw him play the ball out wide to Lowry and his fine cross was put in the net by the inrushing Murray but referee Columba McDermott had spotted that the centre forward had used his hand in the process.

The second half began with Mark Gorman firing a Martin Lowry corner narrowly wide and then Aidan Nicholson and Stephen Murray combined to send Lowry away with Connor Banaghan doing well to punch his dangerous cross clear. Park Celtic went close when Declan Norris saw his fine volley deflected wide while at the other end Trevor Francis picked out Lowry but Hugo O’Doherty got across to snuff out the danger. On sixty five minutes Enda Carroll replaced Stephen Murray and was quickly into the action when he got on the end of a great move involving Francis, Nicholson and Lowry, but his shot screwed narrowly outside the post. With the visitors beginning to get the upper hand, Nigel Rooney broke through the defence but Derry Guinan got down well to save and then with seventy minutes on the clock they missed a great opportunity to level the game. Javie Henderson raced clear on the right but his low cross was missed by both Joe Tallon and Ritchie Tynan. Tullamore nearly increased their lead when great play by Lowry saw him pick out Nicholson but his shot flew narrowly over and then Stuart Kavanagh played a fine ball through to Alan Murray but Banaghan was quickly off his line to clear. Celtic again went close when Nigel Rooney got on the end of a long ball out of defence but he was denied by a superb last ditch tackle by Keith O’Connor and from the corner Aidan Nicholson made an amazing goal line clearance from Tynan’s close range effort. Having weathered the storm Tullamore finally put the result beyond reach in the last minute with a goal of real quality. Trevor Francis swept the ball out to Simon Keegan on the right and his pin point cross was brilliantly headed into the roof of the net by Martin Lowry to leave the home side relieved but deserving winners of an excellent game.

With two wins and a draw from their opening three games Tullamore are beginning to build up real momentum in what promises to be a very interesting season. There were notable contributions from Anthony Coyne, Mark Gorman and Martin Lowry with Declan Norris, Nico Murphy and Nigel Rooney the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding midfielder, Aidan Nicholson.

Tullamore : Derry Guinan, Stuart Kavanagh, Anthony Coyne, Keith O’Connor, Simon Keegan, Stephen Murray, Aidan Nicholson, Martin Lowry, Trevor Francis and Alan Murray.

Subs : Enda Carroll, Ken Doyle, Brian Kane, Jason Tyrell and Paul Mooney.

Leinster Senior League

Tullamore Town 1 Fettercairn FC 1

Tullamore opened their LSL campaign with this fine battling performance against a very good Tallaght team in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. The home side were first to threaten when Stuart Kavanagh played the ball forward to Alan Murray who headed down to Trevor Francis but his effort flew narrowly wide and then Simon Keegan exchanged passes with Francis but Jose Gonzalez was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With twenty minutes on the clock great play on the right by Keegan saw him pick out Murray and his lay back was fired over by Keith O’Connor while at the other end Mark Noonan broke through the middle but Jason Tyrell did well to get across to dispossess him. With Derry Guinan in goal dealing confidently with everything thrown at him and Stephen Francis and Ken Doyle outstanding at the back, Tullamore continued to press and they again went close when Murray got on the end of a fine Kavanagh cross but his header was well saved by Gonzalez. They were nearly rocked back on their heels on the half hour when Stephen Caverley intercepted a pass out of defence and raced clear on the left before cracking a swirling shot off the crossbar. Murray was then taken down on the right and when Trevor Moylan delivered the ball into the area Simon Keegan’s effort appeared to come off a defenders hand and minutes later dead ball expert Moylan went close when he flashed a twenty five yard free inches outside the right post. Ploughing a lone furrow up front Alan Murray’s intelligent running and use of the ball was posing a constant threat and he again created danger when he combined with Kavanagh to play Keith O’Connor in but Barry Fitzsimons was quickly across to clear. With half time approaching Fettercairn nearly opened the scoring when Ross Swords crossed from the right and Barry Combes headed narrowly over while at the other end Stephen Murray picked out Moylan but his forty yard drive flew outside the post to leave the sides tied at nil all at the interval.

The visitors went on the attack on the resumption with Stephen Caverley breaking clear on the right only to be denied by a superb Stephen Francis tackle and from the resultant corner Mark Noonan’s fine glancing header drifted inches past the far post. A little levity was introduced to proceedings on fifty five minutes when substitute Brian Kane found himself trapped in his tracksuit but, thanks to the intervention of numerous paramedics, he was released unharmed from the offending garment and was able to take his place on the pitch. As Tullamore hit back a fine surging run through the middle by Trevor Moylan saw him taken down twenty yard out with Trevor Francis firing the free kick over and then Alan Murray played a great cross field ball to Kane but he just failed to control it. With Thomas Fleming coming on for the injured Jason Tyrell the home side hit the front on the hour when the predatory Murray latched on to a fine Stuart Kavanagh right wing cross and as Gonzalez raced from goal he cleverly lifted the ball over him and into the back of the net. They nearly increased their lead when Murray was taken down thirty yards out and Moylan brought a great save out of Jose Gonzalez but they breathed a sigh of relief minutes later when Stephen Francis did brilliantly to deflect an Eddie Needham shot onto the crossbar. With fifteen minutes remaining Tullamore were reduced to ten men when referee Pat Geoghegan red carded Stephen Murray for aggressive behaviour. As Tullamore struggled to hold on to their lead, Fettercairn grabbed the initiative and went close when Mark Hutchinson got on the end of a deep Barry Fitzsimons cross but his shot was too high. The equaliser duly arrived on eighty minutes when they won a corner on the right and Graham Keane headed the ball back across the goal for Eric Kavanagh to power his header into the roof of the net. With five minutes remaining Town went close when Brian Kane played a fine ball through to Trevor Moylan but Gonzalez was equal to his effort as both sides had to be happy with a share of the spoils.

Manager Kevin O’Connor will have been well pleased with this first outing in which his side displayed great determination and organisation. There were excellent contributions from Stephen Francis, Stuart Kavanagh, Jason Tyrell and Alan Murray with Graham Keane, Barry Fitzsimons and Stephen Caverley the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Ken Doyle.

Tullamore : Derry Guinan, Stuart Kavanagh, Stephen Francis, Ken Doyle, Jason Tyrell, Simon Keegan, Stephen Murray, Trevor Moylan, Keith O’Connor, Trevor Francis and Alan Murray.

Subs : Brian Kane, Thomas Fleming, Adrian Egan and Eamon O’Connor.