2013/14 Match Reports

Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all. 
On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.
This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney
Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all. 
On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.
This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney
Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all. 
On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.
This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney
Tom Cullen Cup

Tullamore Town  0   Fairview CYM  0

(Tullamore won 4-2 on penalties)

The spirit of Mark Casey hung like a cloak over Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore edged their way into the quarter finals of the Tom Cullen Cup. A minutes silence was observed before the game in memory of an exceptional young man who had contributed so much to Tullamore Town FC and his local club in neighbouring Killeigh. With Arsenal trialist Eoin Butler between the posts and St.Vincent’s All-Ireland winner Ciaran Dorney up front, Fairview were always going to be a tough nut to crack. Setting up a defensive shield in front of their goal they looked to contain the lively Tullamore forwards but, with fifteen minutes gone, the home side nearly hit the front when good play from Steven Francis and Kevin Williamson found Brian Francis on the right who picked out James Carthy in the area, but his fine header was superbly saved by Eoin Butler. They again went close when Carthy knocked a Williamson free kick back to Enda Carroll but his effort flew inches outside the left post. Williamson played a lovely through ball to Carthy on twenty minutes but Butler was quickly off his line to avert the danger and, following a corner, Trevor Moylan had his goal bound effort taken off the line. Brian Francis and Kevin Williamson combined to pick out Moylan on the right but Enda Carroll just failed to get on the end of his searching cross and then Pat Gorman created an opening for James Carthy, but Butler saved well at his near post. Carthy again went close when his clever lob just drifted outside the right post but, with Adam Firych outstanding at the heart of the Fairview defence, the home side struggled to convert possession into scores. With forty minutes on the clock they went perilously close when Stephen Francis, Carthy and Williamson combined to pick out Brian Francis, but he drove his shot past the right post as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.
Straight from the restart Tullamore nearly made the breakthrough when Brian Francis surged through the middle and laid the ball off to Pat Gorman but he fired wide when well placed and Francis again went close when he got on the end of a great through ball from Enda Carroll, but he was denied by a brilliant point blank save by Eoin Butler. Having soaked up enormous pressure, Fairview began to emerge from their defensive shell and, with the introduction of Gavin Fullam, they slowly began to dominate proceedings. Paid Galvin cut in from the right and picked out Ciaran Dorney who fired over and then Karl Reynolds won possession thirty yards out and flashed his effort inches outside the left post. The lively Fullam played in Jan Toziel but Ken Doyle got across to knock the ball behind and Ross Kinnarney did well to clear a dangerous Reynolds cross as the home side came under increased pressure. As Tullamore hit back Steven and Brian Francis combined to pick out James Carthy in the area but Butler again came to his sides rescue and, when the ball broke back to Carthy, he drove it outside the left post. As the game continued to ebb and flow Galvin sent Fullam clear but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Michael Kenaney while, at the other end, Trevor Moylan cut the ball back to Brian Francis who picked out Jonathan Smith, but he just failed to get his shot away. The introduction of Kevin Minnock on seventy minutes added a real urgency to the home attack and he nearly broke the deadlock when he got on the end of Pat Gorman’s through ball, but Eoin Butler saved superbly at his feet. Minnock was again in the thick of the action when he flashed a great ball across the face of the goal that just missed out the inrushing Gorman and, with minutes remaining, Steven Francis picked out Trevor Moylan on the right but his cross shot flew outside the far post as the game headed inexorably towards the dreaded penalty shoot out.
First up was Trevor Moylan who drove his shot into the bottom right corner with Jan Toziel also finding the right corner to level the scores. Brian Francis restored his sides advantage but Alan O’Connell brilliantly kept out Derek Lynch’s effort. Kevin Minnock converted his kick and Lee Donohoe drove his effort into the top left corner to make the score 3-2. Pat Gorman also found the top corner but Ciaran Downey’s effort was superbly saved by O’Connell as Tullamore emerged 4-2 winners.
There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Trevor Moylan and Enda Carroll with Eoin Butler, Adam Firych, Paid Galvin and Gavin Fullam the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo, Pat Gorman. 
While this was a hard earned victory the prevailing mood throughout the Club was one of intense loss at the passing of a much loved and admired young player.
May he rest in peace.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Williamson, Brian Francis and James Carthy
Subs: Jonathan Smith, Andy Quinn, Kevin Minnock and Rory Condron
Tom Cullen Cup

Tullamore Town  0   Fairview CYM  0

(Tullamore won 4-2 on penalties)

The spirit of Mark Casey hung like a cloak over Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore edged their way into the quarter finals of the Tom Cullen Cup. A minutes silence was observed before the game in memory of an exceptional young man who had contributed so much to Tullamore Town FC and his local club in neighbouring Killeigh. With Arsenal trialist Eoin Butler between the posts and St.Vincent’s All-Ireland winner Ciaran Dorney up front, Fairview were always going to be a tough nut to crack. Setting up a defensive shield in front of their goal they looked to contain the lively Tullamore forwards but, with fifteen minutes gone, the home side nearly hit the front when good play from Steven Francis and Kevin Williamson found Brian Francis on the right who picked out James Carthy in the area, but his fine header was superbly saved by Eoin Butler. They again went close when Carthy knocked a Williamson free kick back to Enda Carroll but his effort flew inches outside the left post. Williamson played a lovely through ball to Carthy on twenty minutes but Butler was quickly off his line to avert the danger and, following a corner, Trevor Moylan had his goal bound effort taken off the line. Brian Francis and Kevin Williamson combined to pick out Moylan on the right but Enda Carroll just failed to get on the end of his searching cross and then Pat Gorman created an opening for James Carthy, but Butler saved well at his near post. Carthy again went close when his clever lob just drifted outside the right post but, with Adam Firych outstanding at the heart of the Fairview defence, the home side struggled to convert possession into scores. With forty minutes on the clock they went perilously close when Stephen Francis, Carthy and Williamson combined to pick out Brian Francis, but he drove his shot past the right post as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.
Straight from the restart Tullamore nearly made the breakthrough when Brian Francis surged through the middle and laid the ball off to Pat Gorman but he fired wide when well placed and Francis again went close when he got on the end of a great through ball from Enda Carroll, but he was denied by a brilliant point blank save by Eoin Butler. Having soaked up enormous pressure, Fairview began to emerge from their defensive shell and, with the introduction of Gavin Fullam, they slowly began to dominate proceedings. Paid Galvin cut in from the right and picked out Ciaran Dorney who fired over and then Karl Reynolds won possession thirty yards out and flashed his effort inches outside the left post. The lively Fullam played in Jan Toziel but Ken Doyle got across to knock the ball behind and Ross Kinnarney did well to clear a dangerous Reynolds cross as the home side came under increased pressure. As Tullamore hit back Steven and Brian Francis combined to pick out James Carthy in the area but Butler again came to his sides rescue and, when the ball broke back to Carthy, he drove it outside the left post. As the game continued to ebb and flow Galvin sent Fullam clear but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Michael Kenaney while, at the other end, Trevor Moylan cut the ball back to Brian Francis who picked out Jonathan Smith, but he just failed to get his shot away. The introduction of Kevin Minnock on seventy minutes added a real urgency to the home attack and he nearly broke the deadlock when he got on the end of Pat Gorman’s through ball, but Eoin Butler saved superbly at his feet. Minnock was again in the thick of the action when he flashed a great ball across the face of the goal that just missed out the inrushing Gorman and, with minutes remaining, Steven Francis picked out Trevor Moylan on the right but his cross shot flew outside the far post as the game headed inexorably towards the dreaded penalty shoot out.
First up was Trevor Moylan who drove his shot into the bottom right corner with Jan Toziel also finding the right corner to level the scores. Brian Francis restored his sides advantage but Alan O’Connell brilliantly kept out Derek Lynch’s effort. Kevin Minnock converted his kick and Lee Donohoe drove his effort into the top left corner to make the score 3-2. Pat Gorman also found the top corner but Ciaran Downey’s effort was superbly saved by O’Connell as Tullamore emerged 4-2 winners.
There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Trevor Moylan and Enda Carroll with Eoin Butler, Adam Firych, Paid Galvin and Gavin Fullam the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo, Pat Gorman. 
While this was a hard earned victory the prevailing mood throughout the Club was one of intense loss at the passing of a much loved and admired young player.
May he rest in peace.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Williamson, Brian Francis and James Carthy
Subs: Jonathan Smith, Andy Quinn, Kevin Minnock and Rory Condron
Tom Cullen Cup

Tullamore Town  0   Fairview CYM  0

(Tullamore won 4-2 on penalties)

The spirit of Mark Casey hung like a cloak over Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore edged their way into the quarter finals of the Tom Cullen Cup. A minutes silence was observed before the game in memory of an exceptional young man who had contributed so much to Tullamore Town FC and his local club in neighbouring Killeigh. With Arsenal trialist Eoin Butler between the posts and St.Vincent’s All-Ireland winner Ciaran Dorney up front, Fairview were always going to be a tough nut to crack. Setting up a defensive shield in front of their goal they looked to contain the lively Tullamore forwards but, with fifteen minutes gone, the home side nearly hit the front when good play from Steven Francis and Kevin Williamson found Brian Francis on the right who picked out James Carthy in the area, but his fine header was superbly saved by Eoin Butler. They again went close when Carthy knocked a Williamson free kick back to Enda Carroll but his effort flew inches outside the left post. Williamson played a lovely through ball to Carthy on twenty minutes but Butler was quickly off his line to avert the danger and, following a corner, Trevor Moylan had his goal bound effort taken off the line. Brian Francis and Kevin Williamson combined to pick out Moylan on the right but Enda Carroll just failed to get on the end of his searching cross and then Pat Gorman created an opening for James Carthy, but Butler saved well at his near post. Carthy again went close when his clever lob just drifted outside the right post but, with Adam Firych outstanding at the heart of the Fairview defence, the home side struggled to convert possession into scores. With forty minutes on the clock they went perilously close when Stephen Francis, Carthy and Williamson combined to pick out Brian Francis, but he drove his shot past the right post as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.
Straight from the restart Tullamore nearly made the breakthrough when Brian Francis surged through the middle and laid the ball off to Pat Gorman but he fired wide when well placed and Francis again went close when he got on the end of a great through ball from Enda Carroll, but he was denied by a brilliant point blank save by Eoin Butler. Having soaked up enormous pressure, Fairview began to emerge from their defensive shell and, with the introduction of Gavin Fullam, they slowly began to dominate proceedings. Paid Galvin cut in from the right and picked out Ciaran Dorney who fired over and then Karl Reynolds won possession thirty yards out and flashed his effort inches outside the left post. The lively Fullam played in Jan Toziel but Ken Doyle got across to knock the ball behind and Ross Kinnarney did well to clear a dangerous Reynolds cross as the home side came under increased pressure. As Tullamore hit back Steven and Brian Francis combined to pick out James Carthy in the area but Butler again came to his sides rescue and, when the ball broke back to Carthy, he drove it outside the left post. As the game continued to ebb and flow Galvin sent Fullam clear but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Michael Kenaney while, at the other end, Trevor Moylan cut the ball back to Brian Francis who picked out Jonathan Smith, but he just failed to get his shot away. The introduction of Kevin Minnock on seventy minutes added a real urgency to the home attack and he nearly broke the deadlock when he got on the end of Pat Gorman’s through ball, but Eoin Butler saved superbly at his feet. Minnock was again in the thick of the action when he flashed a great ball across the face of the goal that just missed out the inrushing Gorman and, with minutes remaining, Steven Francis picked out Trevor Moylan on the right but his cross shot flew outside the far post as the game headed inexorably towards the dreaded penalty shoot out.
First up was Trevor Moylan who drove his shot into the bottom right corner with Jan Toziel also finding the right corner to level the scores. Brian Francis restored his sides advantage but Alan O’Connell brilliantly kept out Derek Lynch’s effort. Kevin Minnock converted his kick and Lee Donohoe drove his effort into the top left corner to make the score 3-2. Pat Gorman also found the top corner but Ciaran Downey’s effort was superbly saved by O’Connell as Tullamore emerged 4-2 winners.
There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Trevor Moylan and Enda Carroll with Eoin Butler, Adam Firych, Paid Galvin and Gavin Fullam the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo, Pat Gorman. 
While this was a hard earned victory the prevailing mood throughout the Club was one of intense loss at the passing of a much loved and admired young player.
May he rest in peace.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Williamson, Brian Francis and James Carthy
Subs: Jonathan Smith, Andy Quinn, Kevin Minnock and Rory Condron

The Tom Cullen Cup Final 30/05/14

Tullamore Town 2 Lorcan Celtic 1

It took ten long years but, for the hundreds of supporters who made the trip to Celbridge last Friday, it was well worth the wait as Tullamore lifted the Tom Cullen Cup following a dramatic final. On a day of mixed emotions and with all their players wearing black armbands in memory of their former team mate Mark Casey, there was a steely resolve in their attitude and their play as they set about unlocking the tough tackling Lorcan Celtic defence. They were first to threaten when Brian Francis won a corner on the right and Ian Sweeney did well to punch clear Trevor Moylan’s inswinging effort. Celtic looked to test the Town defence but Steven Francis got across to head Ian McEnerney’s dangerous free kick to safety. With quarter of an hour gone Tullamore nearly hit the front when Brian Francis and Pat Gorman combined to play in Enda Carroll, but Sweeney brought off a wonderful point blank save to deny him. Brian Francis then picked out Gorman on the edge of the area but his effort was charged down by McEnerney. Celtic’s Glenn McCabe created danger on the right but Ken Doyle got back to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Mark Ellis saw his header well held by Alan O’Connell. Town went back on the attack with Pat Gorman picking out Trevor Moylan on the right and his cross was headed narrowly wide by Macdarragh O’Neill. With twenty five minutes on the clock they went perilously close when Steven and Brian Francis combined to pick out Pat Gorman who pulled the ball back to the inrushing O’Neill, but his shot flew inches outside the right post. As they continued to press, Trevor Moylan had his corner taken off the line and he again created danger when he got on the end of a great through ball from Brian Francis but Paul Oragano got across to clear. With forty minutes gone Celtic nearly made the breakthrough when Glenn McCabe set off on a jinking run that carried him into the area but his shot flew outside the far post and he again went close when he picked the ball up from Glenn O’Hanlon, but this time his effort was too high. As Tullamore hit back Brian Francis and Trevor Moylan combined to create danger but Mark Ellis knocked the ball behind and, from the corner, Rory Condron just failed to get his header on target as the referee brought a nail biting first half to a conclusion.

Within minutes of the restart Macdarragh O’Neill was presented with a wonderful opportunity when he was played through by Enda Carroll but, with the goal at his mercy, the normally lethal striker dragged his shot outside the left post. He nearly made amends minutes later when he picked the ball up on the left but his drive flashed across the face of the goal. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman got on the end of Trevor Moylan’s right wing cross but his header failed to hit the target. With an hour gone manager Pat Ruane introduced Derek Coolahan into the fray and his arrival seemed to inject new life into the Tullamore attack. He was quickly into the action when he collected the ball from Pat Gorman in the inside left channel, but his effort was blocked on the line by Donal Murphy and he again went close when he won possession twenty yards out and drove his shot past the right post. Michael Kenaney played a lovely ball down the left to Brian Francis who picked out Pat Gorman, but he was crowded out. With sixty five minutes gone Ian McEnerney was forced out through injury with Nicholas Whelan coming on in his place and, with his first touch, he fired Celtic into the lead. Getting on the end of Karl Andrews knock-on he placed his shot inches inside Alan O’Connell’s right post for a fine goal. Tullamore went straight back on the attack and went close when Stephen Duffy was fouled twenty yards out and Trevor Moylan’s wicked free kick shaved the crossbar. With Andy Quinn coming on they redoubled their efforts but were nearly rocked back on their heels when Glenn McCabe won back possession and fired his shot narrowly past the right post. Drawing on all their resources they renewed their search for an equaliser and, with seventy five minutes on the clock, it duly arrived. Rory Condron’s clever free kick deceived the Celtic defence allowing Derek Coolahan to glance the ball into the net to put his side back in the game. Within minutes they had hit the front when Brian Francis picked out Macdarragh O’Neill on the left and he set off on a weaving run that ended with him being hauled down in the area with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. As the large crowd held its collective breath, dead ball expert Trevor Moylan drove the penalty unerringly into the bottom right corner to give Town a priceless lead. With James Carthy coming on and Brian Francis moving back into central defence they went into defensive mode as Celtic threw everything into attack in an effort to retrieve the game. But Tullamore were not for turning and, with their back four holding firm and Alan O’Connell confidently fielding everything that came his way, they saw out the remaining minutes for a famous victory.

This was an absorbing cup final that well and truly lived up to its billing and was a credit to both clubs. For the winners there were excellent contributions from Michael Kenaney, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis and Derek Coolahan with Mark Ellis, Ian McEnerney, Karl Andrews, and Glenn McCabe the pick of the Lorcan Celtic team, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young central defender, Rory Condron.

Amid scenes of great celebration the cup was presented to team captain Macdarragh O’Neill and, in an emotional acceptance speech, he dedicated their great win to Mark Casey.

Tullamore Town: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Michael Kenaney, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Stephen Duffy, Pat Gorman, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Derek Coolahan, Andy Quinn, James Carthy, Chris Bracken, Trevor Francis, Anthony Coyne and Keith O’Connor.

Lorcan Celtic: Ian Sweeney, Darren Bollard, Craig Murphy, Mark Ellis, Paul Oragano, Ian McEnerney, Karl Andrews, Sean Cooper, Glenn McCabe, Glenn O’Hanlon and Colin White.

Subs: Donal Murphy, Dylan Murray, Nicholas Whelan and Robert Keogh.Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 06/05/14

Tullamore Town 1 Knocklyon Utd 2

A depleted Tullamore saw their promotion hopes go up in smoke in Leah Victoria Park as they failed to capitalise on a promising start against Dublin side Knocklyon United. They began brightly with Trevor Moylan playing a great ball through to Derek Coolahan but he was taken down and minutes later the same two players again created danger, but this time Fionn Prendergast got across to clear. With ten minutes on the clock the lively Coolahan lit the game up when he won possession twenty yards out and crashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom right corner to give his side an early advantage. He turned provider when he played in James Carthy but Stephen Ronnan saved at his near post and then Andy Quinn picked out Michael Kenaney but his effort was charged down. As the visitors hit back, Paul Young and Martin Ryan combined to send Dan Ryan clear, but Chris Bracken got back to snuff out the danger. Rory Condron did well to dispossess Frank Brooks as he threatened on the right and then Young pulled the ball back to Ryan but he fired outside the far post. With forty minutes gone they deservedly equalised when the Tullamore defence failed to deal with Dan Ryan’s low cross and Martin Ryan pounced on the loose ball to drive it into the back of the net. The home side nearly regained the lead when Ronnan failed to hold Trevor Moylan’s free kick but Chris Bracken fired wide as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

On the resumption Knocklyon went straight into the attack with Shaun Gillen picking out Sean Gilles on the right with Ken Doyle doing well to knock his searching cross behind. As they continued to press Andy Quinn hacked a Frank Brooks cross to safety and then Paul Young cut the ball back to David Kennedy but Trevor Moylan got back to clear. Tullamore hit back with Keith O’Connor making a great run through the middle and laying the ball off to Derek Coolahan but he fired over. Moylan tried his luck from distance but his effort was too high as the visitors wrested back control of the game. Good play from Keith Flynn saw him create an opening for Paul Young but Chris Bracken got across to clear, but they were not to be denied on seventy five minutes when Frank Brooks picked the ball up on the edge of the area and fired a lovely shot into the bottom left corner to put his side in front. Tullamore nearly got back in the game when Enda Carroll got on the end of Moylan’s right wing cross but his effort was hooked off the line by Fionn Prendergast. Carroll again went close when played in by Coolahan, but Stephen Ronnan was quickly off his line to knock the ball behind. As they continued to press Andy Quinn was taken down on the edge of the area but Rory Condron fired over and minutes later a Trevor Moylan free kick was deflected outside the left post. With minutes remaining O’Connor picked out Moylan in the area but Ronnan did brilliantly to block his close range effort with Quinn firing the rebound over.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Chris Bracken and Derek Coolahan with Stephen Ronnan, Shaun Gillen and Paul Young the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Rory Condron.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Ted Conway, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Chris Bracken, Keith O’Connor, Trevor Moylan, Andy Quinn, Michael Kenaney, Derek Coolahan and James Carthy.

Subs: Eddie Kinahan, Enda Carroll and Trevor Francis.Tom Cullen Cup Semi-Final 25/04/14Tullamore Town 2 St John Bosco 0

A goal in each half saw Tullamore safely through to their first final in ten years as they swept aside the challenge of high flying St John Bosco in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. In what has been a great season for the Town, this was a most welcome bonus as they continue their push for promotion. The visitors were first to threaten when Jordan Buckley burst through the middle but he placed his shot outside the right post with only the keeper to beat. With Steven Francis and Stephen Duffy holding firm in midfield the home side slowly began to enjoy the better of the exchanges and, with twenty five minutes gone, the game’s defining moment arrived. Brian Francis played a great ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who was tripped by keeper Gareth Boyne as he attempted to round him. As he struggled to stay on his feet the referee played advantage and, when his shot was handled on the line, Pat Geoghegan had no alternative but to reduce St John’s to ten men and award a penalty. Dead ball expert Trevor Moylan made no mistake from the spot as he drove the ball into the top right hand corner to give his side a priceless lead. With both defences on top chances were at a premium as half time arrived with Tullamore holding on to their one goal advantage.

Town began the second half in determined mood with Chris Bracken picking out Enda Carroll on the left and his searching cross just drifted outside the far post. As St John’s hit back, Jordan Buckley broke clear on the left but was denied by a great sliding tackle from Ken Doyle and then Alan O’Connell did well to hold an Aaron Coleman free kick. With sixty five minutes on the clock the home side increased their advantage and again it was the lethal Macdarragh O’Neill who did the damage. Brian Francis played a lovely ball through to him in the inside right channel and he made it six goals in his last seven games as he coolly drew the keeper before placing the ball in the far corner. With manager Pat Ruane bringing on Derek Coolahan and Keith O’Connor, Tullamore upped the tempo as they looked to kill the game off. They were both quickly into the action when Coolahan picked up Stephen Duffy’s pass but his cross was safely gathered by Gareth Boyne and then O’Connor broke through on the right but Liam Flood got back to clear. Duffy and Francis combined to create an opening for O’Neill but he was denied by a fine tackle from Stephen Scully. With five minutes remaining the visitors nearly got a goal back when Liam Flood got on the end of Scully’s cross, but his diving header flashed outside the right post when he seemed certain to score. Aaron Coleman threatened when he cut in from the left but O’Connell saved at his near post and then, following a free kick, Craig Fitzgerald headed narrowly over. Lovely play from Macdarragh O’Neill saw him pick out Keith O’Connor, but his effort flew past the right post as Tullamore booked their place in the final.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Alan O’Connell, Steven Francis, Stephen Duffy and Macdarragh O’Neill with Stephen Scully, Jordan Buckley, Aaron Coleman and Craig Fitzgerald the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Ken Doyle.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Chris Bracken, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Stephen Duffy, Andy Quinn, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Derek Coolahan, Keith O’Connor, Michael Kenaney, Ross Kinnarney and Ted Conway.

CCFL Women’s Shield Final 25/04/14

Tullamore Town 2 Clara Town 0An injury to Clara’s Jessie O’Connor, which necessitated her being taken to hospital by ambulance, cast a shadow over what was otherwise a very entertaining final in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. The incident occurred in the seventy fifth minute following a collision between O’Connor and the Tullamore goalkeeper, Alex Davis, resulting in the game being held up for nearly thirty minutes.

From the outset the home side were into their stride with Ali Lenehan testing the Clara keeper from distance and then Richelle O’Neill threaded a clever ball through the defence, but Karen Monaghan was alive to the danger. With fifteen minutes gone Hilary Francis played a great ball through to Lenehan but Monaghan brought off a wonderful point blank save to deny her and she was again called into action when she had to parry Ciara Neville’s long range effort. As Clara hit back, Tara Scanlon played in Leanne Daly but Ciara Dunne got across to clear the danger and then Denise Mackey and Scanlon combined to create an opening for Trina Deehan, but she was denied by a great tackle from Regina Healion. With twenty five minutes on the clock Tullamore hit the front. Ciara Dunne won possession on the right and picked out Orla Bryant who played a lovely ball across the area for the inrushing Richelle O’Neill to volley it into the back of the net. Minutes later they almost increased their advantage when Lenehan played the ball through for O’Neill, but this time her effort came back off the left upright. As they continued to press, O’Neill and Emma McNiffe combined to set up Lenehan but her shot was charged down and then a great run by Claire Cantwell saw her pick out Lenehan, but Emer Rickard got across to clear. Both players again created danger when Lenehan played the ball down the right to Cantwell but her effort flew into the side netting. With half time approaching McNiffe played in Bryant but she fired past the right post as the interval arrived with Tullamore one goal to the good.

Ten minutes into the second half Tullamore struck again in spectacular fashion when Ali Lenehan picked the ball up twenty five yards out and drove it into the roof of the net for a wonderful goal. Tara Scully tried her luck from long range but her effort was off target while, at the other end, Ciara Neville’s pass split the Clara defence, but Janelle Gowran got back to knock the ball behind. Following her clash with Jessie O’Connor, Tullamore’s keeper was red carded with Richelle O’Neill deputising in goal. The home defence of Ciara Dunne, Hilary Francis, Regina Healion and Laura Guinan were outstanding as Clara struggled to make their numerical advantage count. Also, in Claire Cantwell and Ali Lenehan, Tullamore had two players capable of turning any game. They nearly went further ahead when Emma McNiffe fired narrowly over and then Lenehan played in Cantwell but her effort was charged down by Emer Rickard. Lenehan again went close when she got on the end of Ciara Dunne’s free kick but Karen Monaghan was quickly off her line to avert the danger. Patrice Stapleton created an opening for Ciara Neville, but Monaghan was equal to her effort. With minutes remaining Cantwell played a great ball through to Stapleton but Ainne Conway got across to cut out the danger as Tullamore ran out deserving winners.

For the home side there were excellent performances from Ciara Dunne, Hilary Francis, and Claire Cantwell with Emer Rickard, Denise Mackey and Martina Gannon the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding forward, Ali Lenehan.

Tullamore Town: Alex Davis, Ciara Dunne, Hilary Francis, Regina Healion, Laura Guinan, Orla Bryant, Ciara Neville, Claire Cantwell, Richelle O’Neill, Ali Lenehan and Emma McNiffe.

Subs: Patrice Stapleton and Denise Maher.

Clara Town: Karen Monaghan, Ainne Conway, Lorraine Coughlan, Emer Rickard, Denise Mackey, Martina Gannon, Janelle Gowran, Tara Scanlon, Leanne Daly, Trina Deehan, Rachel Meehan, Olivia Fitzgerald, Michelle Kelly, Jennifer Brazil, Jessie O’Connor, Elaine Brazil and Louise Molloy.

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 22/04/14

Tullamore Town 3 Shamrock Bhoys 3Tullamore came within a minute of toppling League leaders Shamrock Bhoys in Leah Victoria Park in mid-week, but an equaliser deep into injury time robbed them of all three points. The early exchanges produced few chances but with quarter of an hour gone the home side hit the front. Shane Gallagher could only parry Trevor Moylan’s explosive free kick and ace predator Macdarragh O’Neill was first to react to drive the loose ball into the back of the net. They nearly increased their lead five minutes later when Stephen Duffy and O’Neill combined to send Enda Carroll clear, but Gallagher brought off a wonderful point blank save to keep his side in the game. Alan O’Connell had to be alert to deal with a quick free kick from Kevin Farrell and then Jamie Kelly pounced on a defensive error, but he fired past the left post. Tullamore went further ahead on twenty five minutes when the lively O’Neill won back possession only to be hauled down in the area with Trevor Moylan firing the spot kick into the right corner. O’Neill again created havoc when he intercepted a pass but Gallagher saved well. A fine flowing move involving Moylan, Brian Francis and Keith O’Connor resulted in Andy Quinn’s effort being charged down. With forty minutes gone Shamrock’s battled their way back into the game when Graham McCormack blasted an unstoppable shot past O’Connell from the edge of the area. The home side nearly restored their two goal advantage when Trevor Moylan’s free kick flew inches outside the right post while, at the other end, Greg Kilkenny broke clear only to be denied by a great point blank save from O’Connell as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

Shamrock’s went all out for an equaliser on the resumption with Graham McCormack going close and Alan O’Connell doing well to parry Greg Kilkenny’s free kick. A fine run by Macdarragh O’Neill produced a corner with Enda Carroll heading over from the resultant kick. As the visitors began to take control, Trevor Moylan and Rory Condron did well to clear dangerous crosses and then McCormack and Daniel McCann fired over in quick succession. Tullamore bounced back with O’Neill sweeping the ball out to Andy Quinn and then just failing to get on the end of the return. Great play between Steven Francis and Keith O’Connor created a chance for O’Neill but he was crowded out. With forty minutes on the clock Jack Douglas broke clear in the inside right channel but O’Connell kept his shot out with his feet and, from the corner, Graham McCormack headed his side level. With minutes remaining Tullamore jumped back into the lead when Ted Conway picked out Derek Coolahan on the edge of the area and he cut inside his marker to drive the ball low into the net for a superb goal. But there was more drama to come and, as the game moved into time added on, Douglas crossed from the left and Tony Harris bundled the ball into the back of the net to leave both sides with a share of the spoils.

This was an action packed encounter that Tullamore will feel they should have won. There were excellent contributions from Stephen Duffy, Andy Quinn and Keith O’Connor with Lee Tobin, Graham McCormack and Jamie Kelly the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding lone striker, Macdarragh O’Neill.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Chris Bracken, Keith O’Connor, Enda Carroll, Andy Quinn, Stephen Duffy, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Derek Coolahan, Steven Francis, Ted Conway and Michael Kenaney.Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 19/04/14

Tullamore Town 1 Dublin City University 0

A brilliant headed goal by team captain Macdarragh O’Neill ten minutes from time was all that separated these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. Following on from their excellent away win against Leicester Celtic earlier in the week this was another impressive performance by Tullamore that keeps them well in the promotion race. They went straight into the attack with Keith O’Connor and Derek Coolahan having shots charged down in the first few minutes. DCU hit back with Steven Adjo picking out Larry John, but his effort flew past the right post. Good play by O’Neill saw him pull the ball back to Coolahan but he fired over and minutes later he got on the end of a Trevor Moylan free kick and found Enda Carroll, but his shot was blocked on the line. Chances were at a premium as both teams looked to impose their game on proceedings but, with Andy Quinn pulling the strings in midfield, Tullamore slowly began to get the upper hand. They went close when Brian Francis won possession out on the left and drilled the ball across the face of the goal and then fine play from Keith O’Connor saw him pick out O’Neill in the area, but he was crowded out. The visitors threatened when Jesse Edorpati got on the end of Barry O’Shea’s left wing cross but his fine near post header was well held by Alan O’Connell while, at the other end, Derek Coolahan cut the ball back to Macdarragh O’Neill but his effort was charged down. A lovely flowing move involving Carroll, O’Neill and O’Connor created danger, but O’Shea got across to clear as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the scores tied at nil all.

DCU began the second half brightly with Jesse Edorpati breaking clear on the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to tidy up. Brian Francis, Enda Carroll and Trevor Moylan combined to pick out Keith O’Connor, but his dipping cross shot just cleared the crossbar. As Tullamore continued to press Moylan again found O’Connor on the right but Mark McCourt knocked his cross behind and, from the resultant corner, O’Connor had his effort charged down. The visitors nearly jumped into the lead when Eric Farrell pounced on hesitancy in the home defence, but Alan O’Connell came to his sides rescue with a fine save at his near post. Tullamore hit back with Brian Francis picking out Derek Coolahan on the right, but Ben Dale was quickly off his line to deny the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he played a superb ball through to Coolahan but, in attempting to round the keeper, he lost possession. O’Neill’s influence on the game was becoming more pronounced and a wonderful weaving run saw him pulled down with Dale doing well to hold Moylan’s well struck free kick. It was far from all one way traffic and the home side breathed a huge sigh of relief when O’Connell brought off a great double save to deny Steven Adjo and Larry John. Tullamore went close when Andy Quinn played a terrific cross field ball to O’Neill but he fired past the right post. With Ted Conway coming on they redoubled their efforts and created real danger when Brian Francis got on the end of Chris Bracken’s through ball and picked out Derek Coolahan in the area, but his effort flew outside the left post. Coolahan again threatened when good play between Francis and Carroll sent him clear, but Larry John did well to get back to deny him. With eighty minutes on the clock they finally made the breakthrough when Macdarragh O’Neill got on the end of Trevor Moylan’s pin point cross to send a thundering header into the roof of the net. As DCU went in search of an equaliser Endorpati burst through the middle, but Rory Condron showed tremendous composure as he got back to coolly head the ball back to his keeper. Tullamore quickly wrested back control of the game with Coolahan heading Bracken’s free kick narrowly over as they laid claim to all three points.

While both teams were missing key players they served up a wonderfully entertaining game of football that will have delighted their respective managers. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill with Ben Dale, David Moylan and Larry John the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young defender, Rory Condron.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Chris Bracken, Keith O’Connor, Brian Francis, Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll, Derek Coolahan and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Ted Conway, Michael Kenaney, Steven Francis and Anthony Coyne.Leinster Senior League Sunday Major 15/04/14

Tullamore Town 2 Leicester Celtic 2

Tullamore staged a stirring fight back in Leah Victoria Park last Friday when they came from two goals down against third placed Leicester Celtic to earn a share of the spoils in a hugely entertaining game. With some of his senior players unavailable through injury and suspension, manager Patrick Ruane was forced to shuffle his pack and he will undoubtedly be well pleased with the performance of the players he brought in. That said they were slow out of the blocks as the visitors quickly established a stranglehold on the game and within minutes opened up the home defence, but Andy Murphy shot straight at Peter Daly when well placed. They again threatened when Sean Keller latched on to a poor clearance but Daly saved comfortably. With ten minutes on the clock they hit the front when Murphy picked out Evander Chatara on the left but Rory Condron got across to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, captain Rob Ellison found room at the back post to head powerfully into the roof of the net. As they looked to hammer home their advantage Murphy cut in from the left and brought a fine save from Daly at his near post. With only quarter of an hour gone they struck again when Chatara chased down a long clearance and from thirty yards brilliantly lifted the ball over the advancing Egan and into the net to put his side two up. Tullamore tried to get back in the game with Michael Kenaney getting on the end of Trevor Moylan’s cross but Mark Lew saved well and then good play from Macdarragh O’Neill picked out Enda Carroll in the area but he was crowded out. With twenty minutes gone they got themselves back in the game in spectacular fashion when Moylan delivered a great ball into the area and James Carthy rose above the defence to send a wonderful header into the top right hand corner of the net. As Celtic hit back Niall O’Kane fired in a fine searching cross but Ellison just failed to get enough purchase on his header while, at the other end, Pat Gorman cut the ball back to Trevor Moylan but his goal bound effort was deflected out for a corner. They again went close when Moylan picked out Brian Francis on the right but his low cross just missed out the inrushing Carthy. As the game continued to ebb and flow Pat Gorman headed narrowly wide from Moylan’s free kick and then Sean Keller won possession on the edge of the area and fired inches outside the left post. With minutes remaining Brian Francis just failed to pick out Gorman and when O’Neill played the ball back into the area he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Keller as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the visitors 2-1 in front.

Straight from the restart Celtic nearly increased their lead when Andy Murphy broke clear on the left and fired inches past the far post. Tullamore went close when Eoghan Keegan headed a Trevor Moylan cross over his own bar and from the corner Mark Lew brilliantly tipped Pat Gorman’s header over. Moylan again created danger when his free kick just failed to pick out Andy Quinn at the far post and then good play between Brian Francis and Pat Gorman saw Quinn fire the ball across the face of the goal, just missing out the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill. As the visitors hit back Andy Murphy broke clear in the inside left channel but Peter Daly saved at his feet. He was again called into action when he did well to tip Evander Chatara’s effort around the post and, from the resultant corner, he brought off a superb save to deny Niall O’Kane. As they continued to press, Murphy went close when he broke clear but Ross Kinnarney did well to block his goal bound effort. A fine move involving Rory Condron, Pat Gorman and Trevor Moylan ended with James Carthy firing inches outside the right post but, with seventy five minutes on the clock, they struck for the equaliser. Macdarragh O’Neill picked the ball up on the edge of the area, cut inside his marker and, with clinical precision, drilled his shot into the bottom right corner of the net. They nearly jumped into the lead when good play between Gio Russo and Pat Gorman created another opportunity for O’Neill but his effort flew past the right post while, at the other end, Michael Kenaney brought off a fine tackle to deny David Kolopa. There was an extraordinary passage of play on eighty minutes when Kolopa raced clear but, thinking he was off-side, he inexplicably pulled up allowing the Tullamore defence to recover the situation. Kolopa was proving a handful and he again created danger when he crossed to Niall O’Kane but his shot was charged down. Russo went close when he got on the end of O’Neill’s header but Mark Lew was quickly off his line to clear while, at the other end, Josh Tobin picked out Kolopa but Ross Kinnarney got across to snuff out the danger. Celtic nearly won it with minutes remaining when Rory Fortune’s right wing cross was knocked clear to Rob Ellison, but his goal bound effort was superbly tipped around the post by Peter Daly as referee Pat Geoghegan brought proceedings to a conclusion.

While neither team will be happy with the concession of two points they both served up a thrilling game that was in the balance right up to the final whistle. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill with Rob Ellison, Andy Murphy, Eoghan Keegan, Evander Chatara and Sean Keller the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding defender, Trevor Moylan.

Tullamore: Peter Daly, Trevor Moylan, Rory Condron, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll, Pat Gorman, Brian Francis, Macdarragh O’Neill and James Carthy.

Subs: Kevin Williamson, Kevin Minnock and Gio Russo (all used).Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 28/03/14

Tullamore Town 0 St John Bosco 3

"Goals change matches" is a well worn football truism, but the manner and timing of those goals can also have a profound impact on how a game plays out. This was very much the case in Leah Victoria Park last Friday when Tullamore conceded a bizarre goal five minutes before half time and then went two down immediately after the restart. Up until that point they had more than matched the League leaders and looked well capable of taking all three points. They started brightly and were desperately unlucky in the fifth minute when, following a Pat Gorman corner, Ken Doyle had a great header taken off the line by Andy Keehan and minutes later Trevor Moylan crashed his free kick off the underside of the bar with Enda Carroll heading the rebound narrowly over. They again threatened when Macdarragh O’Neill slipped the ball through to Brian Francis but Keehan got across to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Pat Gorman headed outside the left post. As the visitors hit back Christopher Kelly sent Derek Hoare clear in the inside left channel but Moylan got back to shepherd the ball to safety. Tullamore went close when Brian Francis picked out Pat Gorman who saw his effort deflected wide but, with forty minutes on the clock, disaster struck. Ken Doyle looked to have tidied up when he played the ball back to keeper Alan O’Connell but, as he attempted to clear, the ball appeared to hit a divot leaving him striking at thin air as the ball rolled past him and into the unguarded net. They were dealt another hammer blow minutes later when club captain, Steven Francis, was forced out through injury with Andy Quinn coming on to replace him. Despite these setbacks they nearly levelled on forty five minutes when Brian Francis and Pat Gorman combined to pick out Macdarragh O’Neill in the area, but Robert Costello brought off a wonderful point blank save to deny him. As they continued to press, fine play between Quinn and Carroll saw O’Neill play a great ball through to Francis, but Liam Flood did well to get across to snuff out the danger as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with St John Bosco one goal to the good.

Tullamore’s worst fears were realised on the resumption when within minutes of the restart they conceded a second goal. The visitors won a free kick out on the left and when the ball was played into the area Derek Hoare got across the front of the defence to send a fine glancing header into the corner of the net. This gave St John’s the platform to push on as they pinned the home side in their own half for long periods. Craig Fitzgerald went close when he broke clear in the inside left channel but Alan O’Connell was equal to his effort and then Derek Hoare went on a great run through the middle, but O’Connell saved superbly down low to his right. Hoare again went close when he got on the end of Aaron Coleman’s through ball but Ross Kinnarney got across to clear the danger. As Tullamore tried to hit back, a fine run on the right by Kevin Minnock resulted in a corner with Robert Costello doing well to hold on to Trevor Moylan’s effort. Gio Russo was introduced to the fray and he was quickly in the thick of the action when he won a free on the right and, when Rory Condron played the ball into the area, Brian Francis had his close range shot charged down. Ken Doyle had to be at his best when, following an Aaron Coleman free kick, he just managed to get ahead of the inrushing Daniel Purdy. Purdy again went close when he volleyed over from a corner and Ian Byrne nearly increased his sides advantage when he latched onto a back pass, but Doyle did well to get back to clear. St John’s were not to be denied and, with minutes remaining, they breached the home defence again when Aaron Coleman crossed from the right and Jordan Buckley swept the ball home at the far post. Tullamore never gave up on the game and were unlucky not to get a goal back when Pat Gorman sent Brian Francis clear in the inside right channel, but his effort was brilliantly tipped around the post by Robert Costello as the League leaders ran out deserving winners.

This was a tremendously frustrating game for Tullamore who probably felt that the Gods had somehow conspired against them. It was also a difficult game, in particular for the younger players, following on from the terrible events of the last few weeks. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron and Macdarragh O’Neill with Robert Costello, Andy Keehan, Ian Ellis and Aaron Coleman the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding midfielder, Enda Carroll.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Kevin Minnock, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Andy Quinn, Gio Russo, Kevin Williamson , James Carthy, Michael Kenaney and Jonathan Smith

LSL Tom Cullen Cup 21/04/14

Tullamore Town 0 Fairview CYM 0

(Tullamore won 4-2 on penalties)

The spirit of Mark Casey hung like a cloak over Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore edged their way into the quarter finals of the Tom Cullen Cup. A minutes silence was observed before the game in memory of an exceptional young man who had contributed so much to Tullamore Town FC and his local club in neighbouring Killeigh. With Arsenal trialist Eoin Butler between the posts and St.Vincent’s All-Ireland winner Ciaran Dorney up front, Fairview were always going to be a tough nut to crack. Setting up a defensive shield in front of their goal they looked to contain the lively Tullamore forwards but, with fifteen minutes gone, the home side nearly hit the front when good play from Steven Francis and Kevin Williamson found Brian Francis on the right who picked out James Carthy in the area, but his fine header was superbly saved by Eoin Butler. They again went close when Carthy knocked a Williamson free kick back to Enda Carroll but his effort flew inches outside the left post. Williamson played a lovely through ball to Carthy on twenty minutes but Butler was quickly off his line to avert the danger and, following a corner, Trevor Moylan had his goal bound effort taken off the line. Brian Francis and Kevin Williamson combined to pick out Moylan on the right but Enda Carroll just failed to get on the end of his searching cross and then Pat Gorman created an opening for James Carthy, but Butler saved well at his near post. Carthy again went close when his clever lob just drifted outside the right post but, with Adam Firych outstanding at the heart of the Fairview defence, the home side struggled to convert possession into scores. With forty minutes on the clock they went perilously close when Stephen Francis, Carthy and Williamson combined to pick out Brian Francis, but he drove his shot past the right post as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

Straight from the restart Tullamore nearly made the breakthrough when Brian Francis surged through the middle and laid the ball off to Pat Gorman but he fired wide when well placed and Francis again went close when he got on the end of a great through ball from Enda Carroll, but he was denied by a brilliant point blank save by Eoin Butler. Having soaked up enormous pressure, Fairview began to emerge from their defensive shell and, with the introduction of Gavin Fullam, they slowly began to dominate proceedings. Paid Galvin cut in from the right and picked out Ciaran Dorney who fired over and then Karl Reynolds won possession thirty yards out and flashed his effort inches outside the left post. The lively Fullam played in Jan Toziel but Ken Doyle got across to knock the ball behind and Ross Kinnarney did well to clear a dangerous Reynolds cross as the home side came under increased pressure. As Tullamore hit back Steven and Brian Francis combined to pick out James Carthy in the area but Butler again came to his sides rescue and, when the ball broke back to Carthy, he drove it outside the left post. As the game continued to ebb and flow Galvin sent Fullam clear but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Michael Kenaney while, at the other end, Trevor Moylan cut the ball back to Brian Francis who picked out Jonathan Smith, but he just failed to get his shot away. The introduction of Kevin Minnock on seventy minutes added a real urgency to the home attack and he nearly broke the deadlock when he got on the end of Pat Gorman’s through ball, but Eoin Butler saved superbly at his feet. Minnock was again in the thick of the action when he flashed a great ball across the face of the goal that just missed out the inrushing Gorman and, with minutes remaining, Steven Francis picked out Trevor Moylan on the right but his cross shot flew outside the far post as the game headed inexorably towards the dreaded penalty shoot out.

First up was Trevor Moylan who drove his shot into the bottom right corner with Jan Toziel also finding the right corner to level the scores. Brian Francis restored his sides advantage but Alan O’Connell brilliantly kept out Derek Lynch’s effort. Kevin Minnock converted his kick and Lee Donohoe drove his effort into the top left corner to make the score 3-2. Pat Gorman also found the top corner but Ciaran Downey’s effort was superbly saved by O’Connell as Tullamore emerged 4-2 winners.

There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Trevor Moylan and Enda Carroll with Eoin Butler, Adam Firych, Paid Galvin and Gavin Fullam the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo, Pat Gorman.

While this was a hard earned victory the prevailing mood throughout the Club was one of intense loss at the passing of a much loved and admired young player.

May he rest in peace.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Williamson, Brian Francis and James Carthy

Subs: Jonathan Smith, Andy Quinn, Kevin Minnock and Rory Condron

CCFL Counties Cup 3rd Round

Tullamore Town 1-3 Noreside Celtic 

Despite giving up home advantage, Division 2 side Noreside Celtic advanced to the last 16 of the CCFL’s top cup competition with an impressive win over Premier Division side Tullamore Town on Sunday.

Having trailed by 1-0 at the break after playing against the strong wind, Noreside scored three times in the second-half through Michael O’Brien, Adrian Dollard and impressive substitute Ben Conroy to secure their place in the last 16.

They were helped by the fact that Tullamore were reduced to ten men before the break when Derek Coolahan was shown a straight red card but Noreside played some excellent football and were deserving of their win.

Playing with the advantage of the wind, Tullamore dominated possession early in the game playing some nice passing football. They had some early efforts but snapshots from Enda Ravenhill and Derek Coolahan were easily saved by Gearoid Lowry.

Noreside came close to breaking the deadlock on the quarter-hour mark when full-back Damien Lalor was put through by Eoin Phelan but his shot was saved by Peter Daly.

Two minutes later however the Laois side found themselves behind when Tullamore broke down the right wing. A perfectly weighted ball from Stephen Duffy put Eddie Keenahan through and his shot from a narrow angle found the back of the net after hitting both posts.

Noreside came close to equalising on the half hour mark but a cross from the right just eluded the outstretched foot of Aaron Moore. The ball was only half cleared and broke to Michael O’Brien but his shot was blocked by Keith O’Connor.

At this stage Noreside were coming more into the game and their cause was further helped when Tullamore’s Derek Coolahan was shown a straight red card after he slid in to block a clearance from Paul Harding. While the Tullamore player’s foot was off the ground and he was not in control of his slide, there seemed to be no intent in the tackle and on another day he may just have received a yellow card for his ill advised challenge.

Despite being a man down, Tullamore almost doubled their lead before the break when a dangerous free from Stephen Duffy was headed clear by Paul Harding. From the resulting corner, Tullamore again threatened but Damien Lanham was on hand to head the ball away.

After the restart, with the wind now at their backs and with a man advantage, Noreside took full control of the game. It tool them nine minutes to get back on level terms when Michael O’Brien tapped the ball into the empty net after Gearoid Gaughan’s initial piledriver had cannoned back off the post.

Midway through the half they took the lead when a cross from Aaron Moore was headed goalward from close range by Tadhg Doran. Tullamore goalkeeper Peter Daly made a tremendous save but Adrian Dollard was on hand to poke the rebound home.

Ben Conroy almost made it three soon after but his near post shot produced another excellent save from Daly in the Tullamore goal although he did not get credit for the stop as a goal-kick was awarded.

Conroy was not to be denied eight minutes later however as he wrapped up the game for Noreside with an excellent individual goal. With Tullamore pushing for an equaliser, Noreside broke quickly and Michael O’Brien played the ball to Conroy on the left wing. Conroy dribbled forward before cutting inside his marker and he kept his composure to slot the ball under Peter Daly to seal the win.

Tullamore threw everything forward in the closing minutes to try and get back into the game but Noreside held on to secure their place in Round 4 of the Combined Counties Cup.

Tullamore Town: Peter Daly; Keith O’Connor, Mick Kenaney, Chris Bracken, Anthony Coyne, Stephen Duffy, Eddie Keenahan, Trevor Francis, Derek Coolahan, Enda Ravenhill, Cian Daly. Subs: James Carthy for Trevor Francis (28mins), Luke Kelly for Mick Keaney (71mins); Paul McTaigue for Cian Daly (82mins)

Noreside Celtic: Gearoid Lowry; Damien Lalor, Paul Harding, Damien Lanham, Des Sullivan, Tadhg Doran, Gearoid Gaughan, Adrian Dollard, Eoin Phelan, Michael O’Brien, Aaron Moore. Subs: Ben Conroy for Eoin Phelan (66mins)

Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all. 
On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.
This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney. 
Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all. 
On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.
This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney. 

CCFL U18’s Division 1 22/02/2014

Kinnegad Juniors 1 - 3 Tullamore Town

Tullamore’s youths second teams Jekyll and Hyde season continued last Saturday as they defeated league leaders Kinnegad Juniors. Kinnegad went into this match unbeaten all season, but the Tullamore boys who were unlucky not to get a result against Kinnegad at home earlier in the season, went in to the game with with no fear. Tullamore had to make a few changes to previous matches as they had only 12 men available to them. They lined out with Joe Smyth in goal, Scott Kane, Nathan Dunne, Darren Hennessy and Cathal Kavanagh marshalled the defence throughout. Captain Thomas Digan, Jordan Molloy started in the centre, but Jordan Daly who started up front swapped with Jordan Molloy and Tullamore enjoyed good spells of possession and had control of that area for long periods of the game Cormac Deegan and Eoghan Martin were excellent on the wings causing problems going forward and helping out the defence when required. Shane Gorry partnerd the two jordans up front while Bryan Pidgeon was on the bench. Kinnegad started off the brightest and got the opening goal through a free kick after 20 minutes. But the Tullamore lads never dropped their heads and continued with their hard work. Tullamore then switched the 2 Jordan’s and started to get control of the game. They were rewarded just before the halftime break when Scott Kane scored a brilliant goal with a lovely flick from a Jordan Daly Free Kick. Darren Hennessy and Nathan Dunne kept the Kinnegad attacks at bay for the remainder of the half. It was 1-1 at half-time and Tullamore made a change at the break with Bryan Pidgeon coming on for Shane Gorry who had run himself into the ground. Tullamore remained in control for most of the second half, but when the Kinnegad lads threatened Joe Smyth was equal to everything they threw at him and made some Brilliant saves. Jordan Daly and Thomas were controlling the midfield throughout the half and after many attacks Eoghan Martin made it 2-1 when he latched on to a ball over the top of the Kinnegad defence to slot past the on rushing keeper. This then led to some pressure from Kinnegad which the defence and Joe dealt with very well. Jordan Molloy was causing problems for Kinnegad throughout the match and got his goal his performance deserved when his shot from outside the area nestled in the bottom corner of the net. Tullamore defended well for the last few minutes and secured a great win over the league leaders to give hope to the chasing pack in the division. Overall a tremendous result for the Tullamore lads with all twelve lads performing exceptionally well and the reulst shows what can be achieved with hard work and commitment. There could have been twelve man of the match awards but the honour goes to Jordan Molloy for his contribution.

Tullamore Town FC: Joe Smyth, Scott Kane, Darren Hennessy, Nathan Dunne, Cathal Kavanagh, Cormac Deegan, Jordan Molloy, Thomas Duigan, Eoghan Martin, Jordan Daly, Shane Gorry, Bryan Pidgeon

LFA Junior Cup 5th Round 07/02/2014

Tullamore Town 9 Sandford Athletic 0

Tullamore unleashed a tsunami of attacking football in rain swept Leah Victoria Park last Friday as they sailed serenely into the last sixteen of this prestigious competition. Dublin side Sandford Athletic were on the back foot from the off as the home side laid siege to their goal and, following a series of corners, they hit the front on ten minutes when James Carthy fired a beautiful half volley just inside the left post. Pat Gorman went close when he got on the end of a Rory Condron free kick but his shot flew narrowly over and then Brian Francis drilled the ball across the face of the goal, just missing out the inrushing Carthy. With quarter of an hour gone they struck for a second time when Francis picked the ball up twenty yards out and drilled it into the bottom right corner. Within minutes they had increased their advantage when a dangerous cross from Condron was scrambled out for a corner and, from the resultant kick, Jonathan Smith rose above the defence to send a fine header into the back of the net. As they continued to press, Kevin Minnock broke clear in the inside left channel and was only denied by a superb save from John Mullen. Lovely play on the left between Condron and Minnock created a chance for Smith but Mullen came to his sides rescue and he again did well to keep out Steven Francis’ long range effort. As Tullamore moved up through the gears James Carthy played in Jonathan Smith but Mullen was quickly off his line to avert the danger and Brian Francis then picked the ball up on the right and fired inches past the far post. With thirty five minutes on the clock they brought their tally to four when Rory Condron lofted the ball into the area and James Carthy got across the defence to send a great near post header into the roof of the net. Two minutes later they increased their lead with probably the pick of the scores when Condron drove the ball across the face of the goal for Kevin Minnock to expertly side foot it into the bottom right corner. Brian Francis went close when he won possession on the right and curled his effort outside the far post while, at the other end, Liam Slattery fired in a dangerous cross that was hooked clear by Ross Kinnarney as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with Tullamore five goals to the good.

There was no respite for Sandford on the resumption as the home side picked up where they had left off with Kevin Minnock knocking the ball back to Pat Gorman and, when his shot was charged down, Jonathan Smith drove the rebound narrowly over. Gorman then played a great ball through to James Carthy who pulled it back for Steven Francis, but he just failed to control it. Francis again went close when lovely play between himself and Rory Condron created a scoring opportunity, but he was crowded out. With sixty five minutes on the clock they added to their tally when Steven Francis forced an error from the Sandford defence and James Carthy pounced on the loose ball to round the keeper and fire into the empty net to complete a fine hat-trick. Manager Patrick Ruane introduced Arron Hensey and he was immediately in the thick of the action when he sent in a pin point cross from the right, but Steven Francis’ header flew narrowly over. With seventy minutes gone they sliced open the visitors defence when Hensey played a great reverse ball through to Enda Carroll and he pulled it back for Kevin Minnock to drill his shot into the bottom corner. Andy Quinn came on for Steven Francis as they continued to press, but it was not all one way traffic, and Sandford showed their quality when Kevin McDermott picked the ball up thirty yards out and crashed a tremendous effort off the right post. Tullamore quickly reasserted their dominance when Enda Carroll cleverly played in Jonathan Smith who blasted his shot off a defender and into the roof of the net. With the score standing at 8-0 the visitors must have been somewhat discombobulated at the sight of ace goalscorer, Macdarragh O’Neill, entering the fray. He quickly established his attacking credentials, playing a lovely one two with Pat Gorman, but his effort was charged down. O’Neill showed his predatory instincts on eighty five minutes when he won back possession and raced clear before driving his shot into the bottom left corner for a fine individual goal. He nearly brought the scoring to double figures when he took off on a great diagonal run that carried him past three defenders before running out of space. He again threatened when he got on the end of an Enda Carroll through ball, but Kevin Minnock just failed to control his cut back as the home side emerged comfortable winners.

Played in extremely challenging conditions, this was a hugely impressive display of attacking football from Tullamore. Congratulations are also due to Sandford Athletic on reaching this stage of the competition and for contributing to what was a very entertaining game.

For the home side there were excellent performances from Rory Condron, Enda Carroll, Steven Francis and James Carthy while John Mullen, Dave Delahunty, Liam Slattery and Fergus Kennedy were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Pat Gorman.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Brian Francis, Enda Carroll, Pat Gorman, Steven Francis, Kevin Minnock, James Carthy and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Arron Hensey, Andy Quinn and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 21/01/14

Tullamore Town  2   Crumlin United  0

A Brian Francis opportunist goal and a classic Macdarragh O’Neill strike were the difference between these two fine sides in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore lifted themselves into the top four of the LSL. They started brightly and with only a minute on the clock they nearly hit the front when Brian Francis won possession twenty five yards out and fired in a daisy cutter that flew inches outside the right post. Excellent play between Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Macdarragh O’Neill created another chance for Francis, but Derek Kavanagh got across to clear the danger. Crumlin displayed their attacking potential when David Dempsey picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before driving his shot wide while, at the other end, O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Francis who slipped it to Kevin Minnock in the inside left channel, but his effort was too high. They again went close when a Brian Francis cross was headed back across goal by Pat Gorman, but O’Neill just failed to get on the end of it. Francis again created danger when he won back possession and unselfishly pulled the ball back for O’Neill but he was crowded out. The visitors had a real let off on twenty five minutes when Pat Gorman played a great ball through to Brian Francis and, as he rounded the keeper, he was taken down with Mitch O’Dwyer escaping with just a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Rory Condron curled his effort narrowly over. Emboldened by their good fortune Crumlin went back on the offensive with Phillip Dupont picking out Stephen Nicholl, but he was denied by a great tackle from Ken Doyle. They again went close when Karl Dennion found Dermot Hennessy but his fine twenty yard effort flew outside the left post and then Alan O’Connell had to come quickly off his line to clear a dangerous through ball from James Loughlin. Lovely play on the right between Andy Quinn, Enda Carroll and Macdarragh O’Neill nearly opened up the visitors defence and Carroll again went close when he got on the end of a Steven Francis through ball, but O’Dwyer just managed to nick it away from him. As they continued to press, Pat Gorman swept the ball out wide to Kevin Minnock who crossed for O’Neill, but his header was well held by the keeper. Dermot Hennessy nearly opened the scoring for the visitors when he burst through in the inside right channel, but Ken Doyle did brilliantly to charge down his goal bound effort. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore nearly jumped into the lead when Steven Francis picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and his low cross shot was kept out by Mitch O’Dwyer at the second attempt as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all.

On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Stephen Francis playing a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill who pulled it back to Enda Carroll but his effort was blocked on the line. With fifty five minutes on the clock they made the all important breakthrough when the Crumlin defence failed to deal with Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick and, as the ball broke free in the area, Brian Francis pounced to drive it into the bottom right corner. With Ross Kinnarney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and nearly increased their advantage when Moylan and Pat Gorman combined to send Brian Francis clear in the inside left channel and he cleverly chipped the advancing keeper only for the ball to drift agonisingly past the far post. It was far from all one way traffic and the visitors went close when Dermot Hennessy latched on to a misplaced clearance and drove the ball narrowly over. As the home side went back on the offensive, lovely play between Kevin Minnock and Enda Carroll sent Macdarragh O’Neill free, but he was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Derek Kavanagh. O’Neill was again in the thick of the action when he brilliantly slipped his marker only to be taken down and, from Trevor Moylan’s free kick, Minnock crashed a wonderful half volley off the crossbar. But the best was yet to come and on sixty five minutes it duly arrived. Pat Gorman sent Kevin Minnock clear on the right and when he whipped the ball into the area the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill fired the sweetest of volleys into the roof of the net for one of the finest goals seen at the venue in recent years. To their great credit the visitors lost none of their enthusiasm and they were desperately unlucky when Lee Smyth got on the end of Phillip Dupont’s deep cross only for his header to come back off the post. Tullamore threatened when Trevor Moylan went on a surging run through the middle and fired over while, at the other end, Stephen Nicholl cut in from the left but Ross Kinnarney got across to block his goal bound effort. With five minutes remaining Dermot Hennessy played a superb fifty yard pass through to Phillip Dupont but Alan O’Connell pulled off a tremendous save to divert his shot around the post as the home side laid claim to all three points.

This was a game played in a wonderful spirit in which both these young teams were a credit to their respective managers and clubs. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan and Macdarragh O’Neill while Karl Dennion, Stephen Johnstone, Lee Smyth and Sean McDermott were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Enda Carroll.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Andy Quinn, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Trevor Moylan, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Ross Kinnarney, Jonathan Smith, James Carthy and Michael Kenaney. 
Leinster Junior Cup 4th Round 01/12/13

Wicklow Town 2 Tullamore 3 (aet)

Tullamore’s excellent recent form continued last Sunday as they advanced to the 5th Round of the Leinster Junior Cup after this hard earned victory against Wicklow Town. Unable to play their usual passing game on a narrow bumpy pitch they had to show plenty of resolve and fighting spirit to overcome their more physical opponents. The home side also had a long throw expert who was a source of constant anxiety to the Tullamore defence. Wicklow hit the front on eighteen minutes when John Shanley latched onto a ball into the area and sent a fine left footed drive into the back of the net. Three minutes later the visitors were back in the game when Pat Gorman got on the end of Rory Condron’s cross to send a great header into the roof of the net to level the scores. As they began to enjoy the better of the exchanges Arron Hensey was twice denied by the home keeper as half time arrived with both sides tied at 1-1.

On the resumption Tullamore continued to press and deservedly took the lead on fifty minutes when Pat Gorman played the ball through to Arron Hensey and his crisp shot from the edge of the box found the corner of the net. Wicklow tried to get back in the game by playing long balls into the area but Ken Doyle and Ross Kinnarney were equal to everything they threw at them. Despite coming under increased pressure Tullamore were always dangerous on the break but with only three minutes remaining the home side struck for the equaliser. Ross Kinnarney was adjudged to have fouled the home side’s centre forward and from the resultant spot kick John Shanley brought the game into extra time.

Two minutes into extra time Tullamore regained the lead when Mark Casey went on a great run on the right and pulled the ball back to Arron Hensey and he hammered it into the bottom left corner to register his 10th goal in the last six matches. He was denied his hat-trick when his fine thirty yard effort was brilliantly turned around the post by the home keeper. With Wicklow struggling to get back in the game the visitors comfortably held out for a well deserved victory.

Having lost only three games out of sixteen this season and with six of last years Youth team in the squad, Tullamore continue to play a lovely brand of football that is winning them added support with every passing week.

There were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman and Arron Hensey, but the man of the match award went to their outstanding young playmaker, Mark Casey.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Andy Quinn, Steven Francis, Pat Gorman, Rory Condron, Mark Casey and Arron Hensey.

Subs: Kevin Minnock and Jonathan Smith (both used).CCFL Premier Division 17/11/13

Tullamore Town 3 Birr Town 1

Tullamore showed they are not going to relinquish their League title without a fight as they clinically despatched near neighbours, Birr Town, in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. The first fifteen minutes produced little of note but, when Eddie Kenehan won a corner on the right, Niall Lynch’s cross found its way to Aidan Nicholson on the edge of the area and his shot flew inches outside the right post. A lovely flowing move involving Keith O’Connor, Niall Gorman and Mark Hayed ended with Derek Coolahan’s sweetly struck half volley just clearing the bar. As the visitors hit back Barry Harding surged through the middle but Anthony Coyne got across to block his effort and then Shane Pardy went close when he charged down Peter Daly’s attempted clearance, but he was adjudged to be off-side. Tullamore went back on the offensive with Niall Gorman picking out Derek Coolahan on the right who cut the ball back to Keith O’Connor, but James Butler got in a great block tackle to deny him. With twenty five minutes on the clock the home side jumped into the lead with a beautifully crafted goal. Anthony Coyne lifted the ball over the top to the overlapping Mark Hayes and he pulled it back to Aidan Nicholson who drove it low into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Within a minute Birr were dealt another hammer blow when they were reduced to ten men after Barry Harding was given a straight red card for a foul on Nicholson. As Tullamore looked to press home their numerical advantage, Nicholson played a great ball through to Coolahan but his cross shot flew outside the far post and he again breached the Birr defence when he got on the end of a Niall Gorman through ball but elected to pass when well placed and the opportunity was gone. Coolahan was again in the thick of the action when he picked out Eddie Kenehan on the right but James Butler got back to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant kick, Niall Lynch expertly curled the ball into the net direct from the corner to leave the score 2-0 at the interval.

Within minutes of the restart Birr were back in the game when Paul Egan played the ball through to Aaron Flanagan on the left and his pin point cross was headed home by Stephen Lyons at the far post. With Tullamore still reeling Justin Joyce picked out Stefan Shalloe, but his hooked shot was well held under the bar by Peter Daly. The home side quickly reasserted their supremacy with Enda Ravenhill playing in Keith O’Connor but he was denied by a fine tackle from James Butler but, with fifty five minutes gone, they restored their two goal advantage. O’Connor got on the end of a lovely through ball from Aidan Nicholson and this time he made no mistake as he coolly rolled it past the advancing Sean Ryan and into the far corner. With Anthony Coyne and Chris Bracken dominant at the heart of the Tullamore defence they continued to enjoy the lions share of possession and should have added to their tally when the speedy Derek Coolahan raced clear in the inside left channel, but his shot flew inches outside the left post. They again went close when Cian Daly got on the end of O’Connor’s left wing cross but his header was well held by Ryan while, at the other end, Stefan Shalloe cut in from the left and brought a fine save from Peter Daly in the home goal. As manager Alan Murray rang the changes Pat Tyrell, Leon Cunningham and Ryan McNeill were introduced into the fray as Birr battled to get back in contention. With minutes remaining Peter Daly was again called into action when, following a corner, he brilliantly turned Stephen Byrne’s close range volley over the bar and then Mark Hayes did well to get back to prevent Shalloe breaking through on the right as Tullamore ran out deserving winners of a very entertaining game.

On the basis of this performance it is difficult to understand why they have struggled in the league but, if they can continue in this vein, it could still turn out to be an eventful season.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Anthony Coyne, Niall Lynch and Keith O’Connor with Stephen Byrne, James Butler and Paul Egan the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s attacking midfielder, Aidan Nicholson.

Tullamore: Peter Daly, Niall Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Chris Bracken, Mark Hayes, Keith O’Connor, Niall Lynch, Enda Ravenhill, Aidan Nicholson, Derek Coolahan and Eddie Kenehan.

Subs: Cian Daly, Pat Tyrell, Leon Cunningham and Ryan McNeill (all used)Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 08/11/13

Tullamore Town 1 Hyde Park 1

Tullamore dropped two vital points in Leah Victoria Park last Friday in a game that they could, and probably should, have won. They began brightly with Kevin Minnock skipping past his marker before playing in Arron Hensey, but he was pulled back for off-side. Stephen Francis then picked out Pat Gorman but Jonathan Fitzpatrick was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With quarter of an hour gone Francis and Hensey combined to put Kevin Minnock through but Richie Collins got across to cut out the danger and Francis again threatened when he took off on a surging run but his effort flew outside the left post. As they continued to press Andy Quinn picked out Trevor Moylan on the right but his deep cross was well held by Fitzpatrick. Park showed how dangerous they could be on twenty five minutes when David Healy headed over when well placed following good work from John Richardson and Anthony Daly. They again went close when Robert Halligan fired in a low cross from the right but Trevor Moylan did brilliantly to get back to clear. As Tullamore hit back Moylan and Francis combined to pick out Hensey in the area but Collins hooked the ball clear and Hensey again went close when he just failed to get on the end of a Moylan free kick. As the game continued to ebb and flow Alan Hammond picked out David Healy on the right and his cross was headed wide by Anthony Daly while, at the other end, Enda Carroll played in Andy Quinn but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle by Darren Sweetman. The home side again threatened when Rory Condron picked out Arron Hensey on the left but his shot flew across the face of the goal but, with forty minutes gone, they hit the front. Pat Gorman won possession twenty five yards out and unleashed a rocket that the keeper could only parry and, when the ball broke back, Arron Hensey was on hand to drive it into the bottom left corner. Minutes later they were desperately unlucky not to increase their advantage when Hensey played in Stephen Francis who slipped the ball past the advancing Fitzpatrick, but Richie Collins got back to execute a brilliant goal line clearance. The visitors were still well in the game and David Healy nearly broke through in the inside right channel while, at the other end, Francis played in Arron Hensey but Collins again got back to clear as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with Tullamore one goal to the good.

On the resumption Hyde Park went in search of an equaliser with John Richardson firing in a dangerous left wing cross that Alan O’Connell did well to scramble clear. Tullamore hit back with Enda Carroll bringing a fine save from Jonathan Fitzpatrick and he again threatened when, following good play from Pat Gorman and Stephen Francis, he drilled his shot narrowly wide. Francis had good reason to curse his luck on the hour when he got on the end of a through ball from Arron Hensey only to see his shot come back off the right post. David Healy fired in a searching cross for the visitors that was headed clear by Rory Condron but, with sixty five minute gone, they were reduced to ten men following a second yellow card. Tullamore went back on the offensive with Mark Casey and Pat Gorman combining to pick out Trevor Moylan but his long range effort flew past the left post but, with seventy five minutes on the clock, Park struck for the equaliser. Anthony Daly played the ball over the top for Danny Baxter and he drove his shot unerringly into the bottom right corner to level the game. As the home side looked to regain the lead Trevor Moylan picked out Pat Gorman but his wicked cross shot was brilliantly tipped around the post by Jonathan Fitzpatrick and then Macdarragh O’Neill swept the ball out to James Carthy on the right but his cross was charged down. The visitors demonstrated that there was a little more Hyde than Jekyll to their character on thirty five minutes when they were reduced to nine men following a straight red card. As Tullamore tried to profit from their numerical advantage O’Neill, Francis and Gorman combined to set up Arron Hensey but his effort was charged down while, at the other end, a quick break on the right by Robert Halligan saw his dangerous cross headed clear by Ken Doyle. With the clock ticking down O’Neill saw his low cross smothered by Fitzpatrick and he again went close when he got on the end of Moylan’s deep free kick but his header flew outside the far post. As the game moved into time added on Trevor Moylan picked out Arron Hensey in the area but his header was brilliantly kept out by Fitzpatrick as the nine men held out for a hard earned point.

Tullamore will see this as two points dropped but they are still well in the running for league honours having lost only two games out of ten.

A special word of commendation for referee Columba McDermott who remained in control of a difficult game and never shirked from making the hard calls when required. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Pat Gorman and Arron Hensey while Robert Halligan, John Richardson, Danny Baxter and David Healy were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Andy Quinn, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Enda Carroll and Arron Hensey.

Subs: Mark Casey, James Carthy, Macdarragh O’Neill and Jonathan SmithCCFL Womens Division 03/11/13

Tullamore Town 5 Roscrea Town 0

Tullamore’s recent fine form continued unabated in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday with this comprehensive win over Roscrea Town. They were quickly into their stride and, with only five minutes on the clock, a surging run on the right by Ali Lenihan saw her pick out Orla Bryant, but she was denied by a point blank save from Denise Loughman. Lenihan was again in the thick of the action when she was taken down and, from the resultant free kick, Richelle O’Neill saw her effort clip the crossbar and then Claire Cantwell sent O’Neill free on the left and her searching cross was headed narrowly wide by Lenihan. She then turned provider when she played a lovely ball through to O’Neill in the inside left channel but her fizzing shot flew inches past the far post. With quarter of an hour gone the home side hit the front when Cantwell picked out Richelle O’Neill and, when her looping shot came back off the crossbar, the referee spotted a handball and O’Neill duly fired the spot kick into the bottom right corner. As Roscrea went in search of an equaliser Ciara Dunne did well to cut out a dangerous break by Mellisa Quilligan and then Aoife Maloney was denied by a great tackle from Laura Guinan. Quilligan again threatened on the right but Hilary Francis was alive to the danger while, at the other end, O’Neill picked out Bryant on the left, but her cross was well taken by Denise Loughman in the visitors goal. As Tullamore moved up through the gears Claire Cantwell found Richelle O’Neill on the left and her low drive flew across the face of the goal and then Ali Lenihan played a superb ball through to O’Neill but she fired over when well placed. A great run on the right by the speedy Melissa Quilligan created danger but Alex Davis was quickly off her line to cut out her low cross and she was again called into action when Laura Spencer sent Quilligan clear but Davis saved bravely at her feet. With thirty five minutes gone Tullamore increased their advantage when Richelle O’Neill picked out Jenna Cornally in the inside left channel and she drilled her shot low into the back of the net. Lenihan and O’Neill then combined to set up Cantwell but Loughman saved well while, at the other end, Quilligan almost broke through on the right but Ciara Dunne got across to clear. The home side again went close when Ali Lenihan flashed a fine header past the post following a free kick, but they were not to be denied on forty minutes when Orla Bryant was taken down twenty yards out and dead ball expert Richelle O’Neill fired the resultant free kick into the roof of the net to put her side three up at the interval.

On the resumption Tullamore went back on the offensive with O’Neill firing in a cross that deceived the keeper but Mary Reams scrambled the ball clear. The dangerous Melissa Quilligan went on a great run through the middle but was stopped by a crunching tackle from Regina Healion and then Mary Reams attacked down the left but was taken out by Claire Cantwell. As the home side hit back Orla Bryant picked out Jenna Cornally but Orla Franks got back to clear while, at the other end, Quilligan broke clear on the right and hammered her shot off the near post. A feature of the game had been Ali Lenihan’s clever distribution but she showed she could also finish when she latched onto a Claire Cantwell through ball on sixty five minutes and fired it into the roof of the net. With Camilla Dunne and Denise Maher coming on, Tullamore tightened their grip on the game as Roscrea began to visibly tire. With seventy minutes gone Richelle O’Neill struck the woodwork for the third time when she got on the end of a lovely through ball from Cantwell and brilliantly chipped the keeper only for the ball to come back off the left upright. Ciara Neville played a great ball through to Lenihan but she elected to pass when well placed and the chance was gone. Neville again turned provider when she played in O’Neill but Denise Loughman was quickly off her line to save, but she was helpless on eighty five minutes when Claire Cantwell slipped the ball through to Ali Lenihan who made no mistake from close range to wrap up a fine team performance.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ciara Dunne, Richelle O’Neill and Ali Lenihan with Mary Reams, Laura Spencer and Melissa Quilligan the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield dynamo, Claire Cantwell.

Tullamore: Alex Davis, Ciara Dunne, Hilary Francis, Regina Healion, Laura Guinan, Ali Lenihan, Claire Cantwell, Ciara Neville, Richelle O’Neill, Orla Bryant and Jenna Cornally.

Subs: Camilla Dunne, Denise Maher and Sarah Spollen (all used)Leinster Junior Cup 2nd Round 18/10/13

Tullamore Town 3 Claughbawn (Wexford) 0

Tullamore eased into the third round of the Leinster Junior Cup with this comprehensive win over a game Claughbawn side in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. Manager Patrick Ruane availed of the opportunity to give squad players a run out and they all played their part in a solid team performance. Striker Arron Hensey continued his recent good form with two fine goals and an assist to take his tally to five goals in the last three games. Ken Doyle was outstanding in a defence that was never over stretched while Mark Casey and Pat Gorman pulled the strings in midfield. Eddie Kinahan posed a constant threat on the wings and up front Arron Hensey’s powerful running terrorized the Claughbawn defence. The first shot of note came in the fifteenth minute when Pat Gorman let fly from twenty five yards but his effort was well held by O’Brien in the visitors goal. Minutes later he was again called into action to keep out a Trevor Moylan free kick but, with thirty five minutes on the clock, Tullamore broke the deadlock. Kevin Minnock won possession in midfield and played a lovely ball through to Arron Hensey who skilfully rounded the keeper and found the net. On the stroke of half time Eddie Kinehan made a great run down the right but his cut back just failed to pick out Hensey as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

Tullamore went back on the offensive after the break and with fifty five minutes gone they again went close when Arron Hensy and Pat Gorman combined to pick out Trevor Moylan but his twenty yard rocket flew inches past the far post. They increased their advantage minutes later when Hensey chased down a long clearance and fired in a great cross that was headed home by Pat Gorman. With the home side in complete control they went further ahead when Arron Hensey picked the ball up in midfield and surged through the middle and from twenty five yards hammered an unstoppable shot past O’Brien for a wonderful individual goal. To their credit Claughbawn never gave up on the game and their best player, Paudie Cullen, made a great run in the seventy fifth minute only to see his fine effort come back off the crossbar as Tullamore ran out comfortable winners.

For the home side their were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Pat Gorman, Mark Casey and Eddie Kinahan, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s two goal striker, Arron Hensey.

Tullamore: Anthony Coyne, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Kevin Minnock, Pat Gorman, Enda Carroll, Mark Casey, Eddie Kinehan and Arron Hensey.

Subs: Derek Coolahan, Michael Kenaney, Enda Ravenhill and Chris Bracken

CCFL Women’s Division 13/10/13Tullamore Town 0 Mullingar Ath 4

Following on from their fine win over Clara last week, Tullamore were brought crashing back to earth by an excellent Mullingar side in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. The visitors were quickly into their stride and a lovely flowing move ended with Karen Hegarty firing over. With fifteen minutes gone the home side should have hit the front when Claire Cantwell sent Ali Lenehan through on goal, but she shot narrowly past the right post. As Mullingar went back on the attack Laura Thompson’s long range effort was well held by Alex Davis and then Carol Glennon broke clear in the inside left channel but she fired wide. Hegarty again created danger when she picked out Leona Archibald but her shot was deflected wide and then Hilary Francis did well to charge down Hegarty’s goal bound effort. As Mullingar continued to press Thompson’s cross broke back to Archibald who fired over but, with minutes remaining in the first half, they hit the front. Amy Matthews got on the end of a through ball and from twenty yards out sent a great shot into the top right hand corner. They nearly increased their lead on the stroke of half time when Karen Hegarty fired inches past the far post to leave the score 1-0 in the visitors favour at the interval.

On the resumption Mullingar continued to press Tullamore with Ciara Blundell firing over from distance and, with sixty five minutes gone, they increased their lead when a Laura Thompson free kick appeared to deceive the defence and found its way to the net. Minutes later they increased their advantage when Sinead Morrissey had her shot blocked on the line but Amy Matthews made no mistake from the rebound. They again went close when Blundell played in Carol Glennon but Richelle O’Neill got across to clear the danger and then Glennon and Sinead Morrissey combined to send Ciara Blundell free on the left, but her shot flew into the side netting. Debbie Ennis brought a fine save from Alex Davis down low to her right but with five minutes remaining Mullingar made the game safe when the home side were caught in possession in their own area and Leona Archibald coolly placed her shot into the bottom right hand corner to round off a very impressive display.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Alex Davis, Claire Cantwell, Ciara Neville and Ali Lenehan with Laura Thompson, Ciara Blundell, Karen Hegarty and Amy Matthews the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award went to Mullingar’s outstanding playmaker, Leona Archibald.

Tullamore: Alex Davis, Laura Guinan, Regina Healion, Hilary Francis, Camilla Dunne, Jenna Cuskelly, Claire Cantwell, Ciara Neville, Emma McNiffe, Richelle O’Neill, Ali Lenehan and Denise Mahon.

FAI Junior Cup 12/10/13

Greystones Utd 4 Tullamore Town 2

A depleted Tullamore side travelled to Greystones on Saturday last and, having contributed to a very entertaining game, made their exit from the FAI Junior Cup. Missing five first team players they lined out with 16 year old Joe Smith in goal and, despite being beaten on four occasions, he gave a fine account of himself with a series of excellent saves. The home side hit the front on fifteen minutes when a headed clearance fell to Leon Gallagher on the edge of the area and he drilled his shot into the back of the net. Five minutes later Tullamore were back in the game when Stephen Francis went on a great run that took him past three defenders before playing a lovely ball through to Arron Hensey who coolly rounded the keeper and placed the ball in the unguarded net for a fine equaliser. They nearly jumped into the lead on twenty five minutes when they won a free thirty five yards out and Trevor Moylan’s perfectly struck kick was brilliantly tipped over by the home keeper. Greystones regained the lead on thirty two minutes when striker Declan Mahoney got on the end of a long clearance and lobbed the ball over the advancing Smith to put his side back in front. Tullamore again hit back when Macdarragh O’Neill went on a great run on the right before pulling the ball back to Arron Hensey who made no mistake from the edge of the area as he fired home his second of the game. The home side went back in front on forty minutes when danger man Declan Mahoney curled a lovely free kick around the defensive wall and into the top corner to leave the score 3-2 at the interval.

With Stephen Francis pulling the strings in midfield Tullamore enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second half but, despite a few half chances, they failed to breach the strong home defence. Greystones made the game safe with five minutes remaining when Declan Mahoney finished off a fine counter attacking move to complete his hat-trick and see his side through to the next round.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from James Carthy, Kevin Minnock and Arron Hensey, but the man of the match award went to their outstanding midfielder, Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Joe Smith, Trevor Moylan, Ross Kinnarney, Chris Bracken, Rory Condron, James Carthy, Stephen Francis, Kevin Minnock, Macdarragh O’Neill, Arron Hensey and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Gio Russo and Cormac Bradley (all used)

Leinster Senior League Major Division 04/10/13

Tullamore Town 4 Mid-Sutton Schalke 1

A strong second half showing saw Tullamore return to winning ways and re-ignite their title challenge in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. They got off to the worst possible start when, with only four minutes on the clock, the visitors won a corner on the left and Colm Walsh sent a great near post header past Alan O’Connell to put his side in front. Tullamore went in search of an equaliser and a fine run through the middle by Macdarragh O’Neill saw the ball break back to Scott Delaney but his shot flew outside the right post. Delaney again went close following good work between O’Neill and Andy Quinn, but this time his effort was too high. Mid-Sutton threatened when Conor O’Reilly broke clear in the inside right channel but Alan O’Connell saved well while at the other end O’Neill played in Delaney who fired wide. O’Neill again turned provider when he picked out Delaney at the far post but his header was just off target and then Jonathan Smith flashed a great shot inches past the right post. With minutes remaining in the first half their pressure finally paid off when O’Neill pulled the ball back to Trevor Moylan and his deep cross was headed powerfully into the roof of the net by Arron Hensey to leave the scores tied at 1-1 at the interval.

Tullamore began the second half in determined mood with Andy Quinn surging through the middle before laying the ball off to Jonathan Smith, but Dan Farrell saved superbly at his feet. Trevor Moylan and Stephen Francis combined to pick out Scott Delaney but his effort just flew outside the right post and then Arron Hensey got on the end of a Moylan corner, but his header was too high. Excellent play by Macdarragh O’Neill saw him release Jonathan Smith but again Farrell came to his sides rescue with a fine save. It was not all one way traffic and Mid-Sutton went close when Stephen McDonnell picked out Conor O’Reilly, but he was denied by a great save from Alan O’Connell. With an hour gone Tullamore jumped into the lead when Smith’s effort broke back to Scott Delaney and, when his shot was deflected wide, Delaney drove Trevor Moylan’s corner low into the back of the net. As the visitors hit back McDonnell broke clear on the right but his dangerous cross was cut out by Ross Kinnarney while, at the other end, Trevor Moylan sent his free kick fizzing inches past the right post. They again went close when Arron Hensey got on the end of a Scott Delaney header but his thunderous volley was off target and then a fine run on the left by O’Neill resulted in a corner from which Delaney headed narrowly over. Manager Patrick Ruane freshened things up by bringing on Gio Russo and with seventy five minutes on the clock they increased their advantage with a goal of real quality. Stephen Francis won possession in the middle and picked out Macdarragh O’Neill on the left and he brilliantly flicked the ball past the advancing Farrell and then held off a second challenge before firing into the unguarded net. They nearly added to their tally minutes later when O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Russo on the right but his searching cross just missed out the inrushing Hensey. With Enda Carroll coming on in midfield, Tullamore continued to press and they again went close when Francis picked out Gio Russo but his effort was too high and then O’Neill cut the ball back to Trevor Moylan but he also fired over. Moylan and Delaney then combined to play in Russo, but Farrell was quickly off his line to avert the danger as the visitors struggled to contain a now rampant Tullamore. As the game drifted into time added on they wrapped up the scoring when the outstanding Moylan went on a great run down the right and, when Mid-Sutton failed to clear his low cross, Stephen Francis pounced on the loose ball to drive it into the back of the net and set the seal on a fine team performance.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Andy Quinn, Stephen Francis, Macdarragh O’Neill and Arron Hensey with Thomas Hendrick, Colm Walsh, Conor O’Reilly and Alan Keogh the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s attacking full back, Trevor Moylan.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Michael Kennaney, Andy Quinn, Stephen Francis, Scott Delaney, Macdarragh O’Neill, Arron Hensey and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Gio Russo, Enda Carroll and Stephen Duffy (all used).

CCFL Women’s Division 01/10/13

Tullamore Town 1 Clara Town 0

Games between these near neighbours have always been close run affairs and this was certainly no exception as Tullamore just made it across the line in a very entertaining encounter. Clara were first to threaten when Tara Scanlon burst through the middle but her run was cut out by Claire Cantwell. As the home side hit back Alison Lenehan played a great ball through to Orla Bryant but Lauren Nagle was quickly off her line to avert the danger. They again went close when Bryant was taken down on the right and from the resultant free kick the ball fell to Jenna Cornally, but her close range shot was well held by Nagle. Cornally turned provider when she played in Cantwell but Lenehan got across to cut out the danger and then Ciara Dunne picked out Orla Bryant, but her shot was saved at the near post. With twenty five minutes gone Tullamore made the all important breakthrough. Claire Cantwell set off on a surging run through the middle before being taken down and, when the keeper failed to hold Richelle O’Neill’s free kick, Jenna Cornally pounced on the loose ball to drive it into the back of the net. Clara immediately hit back with Jessie O’Connor bearing down on goal but O’Neill got across to clear and then Anne Daly played in O’Connor but she fired past the right post. With Richelle O’Neill and Hilary Francis holding firm at the heart of the home defence, Tullamore nearly increased their advantage when Alison Lenehan went on a great run on the left and fired the ball across the face of the goal, but both Ciara Dunne and Jenna Cornally had their shots charged down. The visitors threatened when Jessie O’Connor found Tara Scanlon but Camilla Dunne got across to clear while at the other end Denise Maher did well to dispossess Orla Bryant. With forty minutes on the clock Lenehan played a lovely ball out to Cornally who was taken down and, from O’Neill’s free kick, Ciara Dunne flashed a great header inches past the near post as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

On the resumption Tullamore went straight into the attack with Claire Cantwell playing in Alison Lenehan, but Lauren Nagle was quickly off her line to clear. Clara almost equalised when Denise Mackie played a lovely ball through to Janelle Flanagan in the inside right channel, but she was denied by a great sliding tackle from Richelle O’Neill. Mackie again created danger when she picked out Olivia Fitzgerald but her effort was well held by Alex Davis. As they continued to press, Flanagan got on the end of a long clearance but fired wide under pressure from O’Neill while, at the other end, Denise Maher picked out Jenna Cornally but she shot wide. With Claire Cantwell working tirelessly in midfield and Richelle O’Neill orchestrating affairs at the back, Tullamore weathered the storm and slowly began to wrest back control of the game. They went close when Ciara Dunne won possession and played a great ball out to Cornally but she was again off target. Clara were not going quietly and a surging run through the middle by Anne Daly saw her pick out Denise Mackie but her shot was comfortably saved by Alex Davis. With minutes remaining Tullamore nearly made the game safe when, following a corner, the excellent Richelle O’Neill saw her blistering drive come back off the upright as they emerged narrow but deserving winners.

This was a great start for the home side against a very good Clara team and while there was precious little between them, Tullamore had a few seasoned campaigners who tipped the balance in their favour. An added bonus was the return of Alison Lenehan after a serious injury and all associated the club wish her well for the coming season. There were excellent contributions from Hilary Francis, Laura Guinan, Claire Cantwell and Alison Lenehan while Denise Markie, Emer Rickard, Tara Scanlon and Anne Daly were the pick of the visitors, but the player of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Richelle O’Neill.

Tullamore: Alex Davis, Laura Guinan, Richelle O’Neill, Hilary Francis, Camilla Dunne, Jenna Cornally, Claire Cantwell, Ciara Dunne, Brigid Fox, Orla Bryant and Alison Lenehan.

Subs: Denise Maher and Sharon Heeney.

Clara: Lauren Nagle, Olivia Fitzgerald, Corrine Coughlan, Emer Rickard, Rachel Meehan, Martina Gannon, Janelle Flanagan, Denise Mackie, Tara Scanlon, Jessie O’Connor and Anne Daly.

Subs: Michelle Kelly, Elaine Brazil, Karen Monaghan, Noelle Tyrell, Stephanie Meehan, Shannon Mulpeter, Triona Deehan, Linda Barr and Donna Monaghan

FAI Cup 1st Round Under-17 21/09/13Tullamore Town 7-3 Killavilla Utd

There was no shortage of goals in this exciting cup tie in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday as the Tullamore boys cruised into the next round. They were quickly into their stride and after only two minutes they hit the front. Good play between Jordan Daly and Thomas Digan saw Daly pick out Brian Pidgeon and he cut through the Killavilla defence before coolly slotting the ball past the advancing keeper. With fifteen minutes gone Pidgeon turned creator when he chased down a long clearance and played in Ciaran Ennis who swept the ball home from close range. As Tullamore took there foot off the pedal, Killavilla grasped their opportunity. With thirty five minutes on the clock they pulled a goal back when Town failed to clear their lines and five minutes later they equalised following a penalty. Incredibly the goals continued to come as the home side jumped back in the lead when Brian Pidgeon picked out Jordan Daly and from the narrowest of angles he fired home to leave the score 3-2 in Tullamore’s favour at the interval.

With Cormac Deegan coming on at half time the home side tightened their grip on the game with Sean Maher and Darren Hensey dominant at the back and Jordan Daly and Thomas Digan pulling the strings in midfield. They increased their advantage on the hour when Deegan flashed the ball across the face of the goal and Daly was on hand to drill it into the far corner. Minutes later they struck again when Sean Maher headed on a corner and Cormac Deegan sent a lovely half volley into the back of the net to put his side 5-2 in front. With seventy five minutes gone Deegan conjured up a goal of real quality. Picking the ball up wide on the right he cut inside, leaving three defenders in his wake, and when the keeper parried his first effort he cleverly lifted the rebound over him for a wonderful individual score. Killavilla refused to lie down and, following a mix up in the home defence, they bundled the ball home from close range to reduce the arrears. But Tullamore were to have the last word when Thomas Digan was taken down thirty yards out and dead ball expert Jordan Daly drove the resultant free kick into the top right hand corner as they ran out comfortable winners of a very entertaining game.

This was a wonderful exhibition of attacking football by the home side. There were excellent contributions from Sean Maher, Cathal Kavanagh, Thomas Digan and Cormac Deegan, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Jordan Daly.

They face a tough assignment in the next round having been drawn against crack Athlone outfit Willow Park, but on the evidence of this performance they should be well able to give a good account of themselves.

Tullamore: Joe Smith, Sean Nolan, Darren Hensey, Sean Maher, Cathal Kavanagh, Brendan Deering, Jordan Daly, Thomas Digan, Bart Lewinski, Brian Pidgeon and Ciaran Ennis.

Subs: Cormac Deegan, Stephen Cummisky and Armandes Timas.

Leinster Senior League Major Division 14/09/13

St John Bosco 3 Tullamore Town 0

Tullamore travelled to the Iveagh Grounds last Saturday and, following a pulsating game, saw their unbeaten run come to an end against the League leaders. Played on a lovely surface, both these fine sides produced a game packed full of good football with the scoreline somewhat flattering the home side. Tullamore were dealt a double blow before a ball was kicked when Macdarragh O’Neill and Mark Casey were forced to pull out due to illness and a back injury respectively. The early stages saw both defences on top but with twenty minutes gone the first real chance fell to Tullamore. Arron Hensey chased the ball down the left and rounded the keeper but, from a very acute angle, he tried to turn back inside and his effort was scrambled clear. Just before half time St John’s jumped into the lead when a fine cross from Dean Blood was controlled by Aaron Coleman on the edge of the area and he coolly placed it past Alan O’Connell to leave the score 1-0 at the interval.

Within two minutes of the restart the home side had increased their lead when Dean Blood got on the end of a great left wing cross and sent his header into the top corner. Five minutes later the dangerous Blood repeated the feat when he out-jumped the Town defence to send a looping header into the back of the net. To their credit Tullamore refused to go under and, displaying all the qualities that has underpinned their great start to the season, they took the game to St John’s. Long range efforts from Scott Delaney and Stephen Francis almost reduced the arrears and with seventy five minutes gone they were very unlucky not to open their account. James Carthy made a great break on the left and pulled the ball back to Arron Hensey but, with the goal at his mercy, he fluffed his shot and the opportunity was gone. Despite holding their own for the remainder of the game, Tullamore were unable to breach the home defence as the League leaders ran out deserving winners.

In what was a very entertaining match the main difference between the sides was St John’s ability to convert their chances. This was always going to be a major challenge for this young Tullamore team who have performed so well this season and, had they been at full strength, would surely have ran the home side a lot closer. There were fine contributions from Trevor Moylan, Stephen Francis, Andy Quinn and Arron Hensey, but the man of the match award went to Town’s outstanding central defender, Ken Doyle.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Mattie, Hynes, Stephen Francis, Scott Delaney, Stephen Duffy, Andy Quinn and Arron Hensey.

Subs: James Carthy, Jonathan Smith and Chris BrackenLeinster Senior League Sunday Major 05/09/13

Tullamore Town 1 Maynooth Town 0

The temperatures may be falling but the sun continues to shine on Tullamore’s season as, following this important win, they find themselves sitting proudly on top of the Leinster Senior League. A priceless first half goal from their captain, Scott Delaney, was enough to extend their unbeaten run to five games in what was a hugely entertaining match. They began brightly with Delaney playing a great ball through to Trevor Moylan who saw his effort deflected wide and, from the resultant corner, Moylan fired inches past the left post. Maynooth nearly jumped into the lead on ten minutes when, following a free kick, the home defence misjudged the flight of the ball and Alan O’Connell had to be at his most alert to tip it over the bar. Tullamore were unlucky on fifteen minutes when lovely play from Macdarragh O’Neill saw him lift the ball over his marker only for his volley to be knocked behind and from the corner Delaney flashed his header narrowly wide. They again went perilously close when Rory Condron’s free kick picked out O’Neill who crashed his effort off the crossbar and, as the ball broke back into play, Scott Delaney saw his diving header taken off the line. With twenty five minutes on the clock they hit the front when O’Neill was hauled down and, when Shane Nolan could only parry Moylan’s blistering free kick, Delaney pounced on the loose ball to drive it into the back of the net. Maynooth went in search of an equaliser with Thomas Donnelly playing in Dan Reynolds, but he fired over when well placed and Donnelly again created danger when his low cross just failed to pick out Reynolds at the far post. As Tullamore hit back, a fine move involving Andy Quinn and Trevor Moylan released James Carthy through the middle, but Nolan was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With their back four giving nothing away they again went close on thirty five minutes. Macdarragh O’Neill’s glancing header sent Stephen Francis clear on the right and, when he played the ball into the area, O’Neill’s fine header was brilliantly tipped around the post by Shane Nolan. As they continued to press, Scott Delaney won possession in midfield and played a great ball through to O’Neill, but he was denied by another superb save from Nolan. With the clock ticking down the visitors nearly got back in the game when James Airey got on the end of Adam Knop’s left wing cross, but his header was scrambled clear as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with Tullamore one goal to the good.

On the resumption Maynooth went on the offensive with Ben Reynolds racing clear on the right, but Ross Kinnarney cut out the danger with a great sliding tackle. The game shifted inexorably in the visitors favour on the back of two events early in the second half. First, Tullamore’s danger man, Macdarragh O’Neill, was forced out through injury and secondly, Maynooth introduced Francis Ilunga and David Folan into the fray. Ilunga immediately asserted himself in midfield while Folan’s distribution from the right was a constant threat to the home rearguard. Tullamore manager Patrick Ruane rang the changes by bringing on Arron Hensey and Mark Casey as they struggled to contain the revitalised visitors but, with Ken Doyle and Ross Kinnarney outstanding at the heart of the defence, they held firm. A fine break on the right by Daniel Burke was cut out by Scott Delaney while at the other end Declan Banbrick did well to head clear Trevor Moylan’s dangerous free kick. With seventy five minutes on the clock Maynooth nearly equalised when Dan Reynolds played in James Airey, but Alan O’Connell saved superbly with his feet. With Jonathan Smith coming on up front, Tullamore went back on the attack with Arron Hensey cutting the ball back to Scott Delaney but his effort was too high. As the game continued to ebb and flow Thomas Donnelly sent David Folan clear on the right and collected his return pass before firing wide and Folan then picked out Adam Knop in the middle but he volleyed over. With five minutes remaining Knop sent in a great cross from the left but Donnelly’s header was well held by O’Connell while, at the other end, Rory Condron’s free kick just drifted outside the far post as the referee brought this white knuckle encounter to a conclusion.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron and Macdarragh O’Neill with Shane Nolan, Daniel Burke, Francis Ilunga and David Folan the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to the home sides captain and match winner, Scott Delaney.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Andy Quinn, Scott Delaney, Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Macdarragh O’Neill and James Carthy.

Subs: Arron Hensey, Mark Casey, Jonathan Smith, Mattie Hines and Chris Bracken.

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major 01/09/13Shamrock Bhoys 2-2 Tullamore Town

Tullamore travelled to Bray last Sunday and came away with a well earned point as they extended their unbeaten league run to four games. Played on a small bumpy pitch Tullamore struggled to impose their normal passing game against a strong physical side and in the end were delighted to come away with a share of the spoils. They started brightly with Scott Delaney firing over from twenty yards and minutes later Stephen Francis was just off target. They took the lead on fifteen minutes when Andy Quinn latched onto a headed clearance and from fully twenty five yards sent an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. Tullamore held the lead for only ten minutes when the ball was cut back from the left and the Shamrock’s centre forward fired home from the edge of the area. With half an hour gone the home side jumped into the lead when the Tullamore defence failed to deal with a long ball and their centre forward had no difficulty beating Martin Cunningham from close range.

Shamrock Bhoys seemed content to defend their lead in the second half as they looked to hit Tullamore on the break but, with seven of last season’s under-19 team, they continued to press for an equaliser and were rewarded in the eighty fifth minute with another goal of real quality. Following a free kick the ball was headed clear and James Carthy picked it up twenty yards out and crashed it into the roof of the net to maintain his team’s unbeaten start to the season.

This was a stiff test for the young Tullamore side but they were not found wanting. There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Scott Delaney, Stephen Francis and Mark Casey, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding centre half, Ken Doyle.

Tullamore: Martin Cunningham, Mark Hayes, Ross Kinnarney, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Andy Quinn, Stephen Francis, Scott Delaney, Chris Bracken, Macdarragh O’Neill and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Mark Casey, James Carthy, Arron Hensey and Cian Daly.

CCFL Premier Division 30/08/13

Tullamore Town 1-1 Abbeyleix Athletic

Tullamore and Abbeyleix played out a very entertaining draw in Leah Victoria Park last Friday, but the home side were ultimately frustrated by the concession of a last minute equaliser. The first real chance of the game came in the eighteenth minute when Abbeyleix striker Niall Wallace shot wide from ten yards. As Tullamore hit back Eddie Kinahan broke clear but dragged his effort past the far post and then Mark Casey, making a welcome return from injury, fired narrowly over from twenty five yards. The home side broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Casey picked out Mattie Hynes and his fine cross was met by the inrushing Pat Gorman who made no mistake from close range.

Abbeyleix began the second half in determined fashion and with fifty minutes gone they nearly got back in the game, but Niall Wallace fired over when well placed. Minutes later Tullamore thought they had a good shout for a penalty when Eddie Kinahan chased a long ball into the area and was taken down by the keeper, but the referee waved play on. Wallace again went close on the hour when he broke clear, but he was denied by a superb save from Anthony Coyne and they again went close when a fine left wing move saw the ball come back off the post. As Tullamore hit back Shane Delaney had his excellent twenty yard effort well saved by the visitors keeper. With the finish line in sight the home side conceded a free kick on the edge of the area and Wallace drove the ball into the bottom corner to give his side a share of the points.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Anthony Coyne, Mark Hayes, Ross Kinnarney and Mark Casey, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Pat Gorman.

Tullamore: Anthony Coyne, Niall Gorman, Ross Kinnarney, Mark Hayes, Michael Kenaney, Mattie Hynes, Enda Ravenhill, Mark Casey, Kevin Minnock, Pat Gorman and Eddie Kinahan.

Subs: Niall Lynch, Shane Delaney and Sean Rosney (all used).

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major 27/08/13

Tullamore Town 3-1 Athy Town Town

Tullamore served up a feast of attacking football on a glorious evening in Leah Victoria Park as the home side continued their great start to the season. Two goals from dead ball expert Trevor Moylan and one from teenage prodigy Macdarragh O’Neill saw them safely past an excellent young Athy side. They began brightly with Moylan playing the ball down the right to O’Neill and his searching cross forced a full length save from Michael Keogh as he parried the ball to safety. They again went close when Stephen Francis put Mark Hayes through, but Keogh was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With five minutes gone the visitors were desperately unlucky not to take the lead when Devon Germaine sent Mick Kelly clear through the middle and, as Alan O’Connell raced from his goal, he clipped the ball past him only to see it come back off the upright. As the home side hit back great play by Trevor Moylan and Andy Quinn saw them pick out Jonathan Smith on the right and his fine cross was headed narrowly over by O’Neill and then a Moylan cross broke back to Smith who fired over. With Athy contributing enormously to a hugely entertaining game they nearly broke the deadlock when Germaine got on the of Kelly’s through ball and fired over but, with twenty minutes gone, Tullamore jumped into the lead. Andy Quinn was fouled out wide on the left and Trevor Moylan curled his free kick beyond the reach of Michael Keogh and into the top right hand corner of the net. As they looked to press home their advantage Jonathan Smith cut the ball back to Macdarragh O’Neill but he was denied by a great tackle from Brendan Curtis. On the half hour it was almost déjà vu as Moylan nearly repeated his dead ball heroics, but this time Keogh did superbly to tip his effort around the post and from the resultant corner Scott Delaney had his goal bound header deflected wide. With forty minutes gone they increased their lead when O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Hayes and, when Niall Foley knocked his cross clear, Moylan pounced on the loose ball and picked out the predatory O’Neill at the back post and he made no mistake from close range. Within minutes they added to their tally when Keogh was adjudged to have taken down Mark Hayes and Trevor Moylan drove the spot kick unerringly into the bottom right corner. With minutes remaining they again went close when Stephen Francis slipped the ball through to Hayes in the inside left channel, but his effort flew across the face of the goal as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the home side three goals to the good.

Mattie Hynes replaced the injured Stephen Duffy at half time and he was quickly into the action when he picked out Jonathan Smith in the area, but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save from Michael Keogh. Athy refused to throw in the towel and Mick Kelly had reason to curse his luck when his attempted lob sailed narrowly over. As Tullamore hit back Smith played a lovely reverse pass to Hynes but he fired wide and then Trevor Moylan drilled a thirty yard free kick inches past the left post. With an hour gone the visitors got back in the game with a marvellous counter attacking move. Following a Tullamore corner, Karl Foley won possession in his own area and played the ball upfield to Mick Kelly and then raced the length of the pitch to get on the end of Kelly’s cross to sweep the ball home. Lovely work between Scott Delaney and Macdarragh O’Neill ended with Delaney firing past the far post and then a fine break on the right by Stephen Francis saw him pick out Mattie Hynes but his effort was deflected wide. With the introduction of Michael Kenaney and Cian Daly the home side went back on the attack and a quick free kick by Stephen Francis found Mark Hayes but his shot was charged down by Mick Walsh. Athy were always dangerous and they went close when Karl Foley played in Mick Kelly on the right but Scott Delaney got across to clear. With the clock ticking down Tullamore nearly restored their three goal advantage when O’Neill, Daly and Moylan combined to pick out Michael Kenaney, but his shot was blocked on the line and then a great weaving run by Rory Condron just missed out Mattie Hynes at the far post as Tullamore ran out deserving winners.

This was a wonderful advertisement for the game by two outstanding young teams. For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Rory Condron, Stephen Francis, Mark Hayes and Macdarragh O’Neill while Michael Keogh, Karl Foley, Brendan Curtis and Mick Kelly were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s match winning full back, Trevor Moylan.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Chris Bracken, Scott Delaney, Rory Condron, Andy Quinn, Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Mark Hayes, Macdarragh O’Neill and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Mattie Hynes, Michael Kenaney, Cian Daly and Eddie Kinahan.

CCFL Premier Division 21/08/13

Tullamore Town 0-1 Edenderry Town

This battle of the Town’s failed to live up to its billing as these two evenly matched sides struggled to gain an advantage in Leah Victoria Park last Wednesday. After a quiet opening the visitors created the first opportunity on fifteen minutes when David Keogh swung the ball in from the left and Ray Pender’s close range header was scrambled clear. With chances at a premium it was hard to see the deadlock being broken, so when Edenderry hit the front the goal was as surprising as it was spectacular. Alan Farrell won possession thirty yards out and unleashed a rocket into the top left corner of Alan O’Connell’s net to put his side in front with twenty five minutes on the clock. As Tullamore hit back Pat Gorman got on the end of Kevin Minnock’s corner but his header was too high. They again went close when Mark Hayes picked out Anthony Coyne on the right and his searching cross found Gorman, but his looping header drifted outside the far post. Coyne again turned provider when he raced clear on the right but his low cross just missed out the inrushing Keith O’Connor as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

Tullamore began the second half brightly with Trevor Francis playing a great ball through to Keith O’Connor, but he was denied by a last ditch tackle from John Doyle. Eddie Kinahan then got on the end of a Michael Kenaney clearance but the ball was knocked behind and, from the resultant corner, Kevin Minnock fired his effort across the face of the goal. As they continued to press, Trevor Francis and Enda Ravenhill combined to send Keith O’Connor clear in the inside left channel, but he failed to get enough purchase on his shot and Ciaran Cummins saved comfortably. With Alan Farrell and Paul Hanlon dictating affairs in midfield and Alan Pender posing a constant threat up front, Edenderry continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges. Tullamore manager Alan Murray tried to freshen things up by introducing Martin Holleran and Shane Delaney and Holleran was quickly into the action when he combined with Kinahan to pick out Pat Gorman but Cummins was equal to his effort. As they continued to press, Eddie Kinahan got on the end of Anthony Coyne’s deep cross but the ball slid the wrong side of the post. Despite enjoying most of the possession there appeared to be a lack of urgency in the home sides play as their propensity to play the ball back and forth across their back four left them marooned in their own half for long periods. With the clock ticking down they upped the tempo and went close when Anthony Coyne picked out Shane Delaney and his low cross just missed out the inrushing Derek Coonahan. With ten minutes remaining Coyne broke clear on the right and fired in a wicked cross shot that was brilliantly tipped over by Cummins and, from the resultant corner, Pat Gorman headed wide. As they continued to press, Kevin Minnock’s deep cross picked out Shane Delaney at the far post but his header flew narrowly wide and he again went close when he just failed to get on the end of Derek Coonahan’s cross as the referee brought the game to a conclusion.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Mark Hayes, Michael Kenaney and Anthony Coyne with Alan Farrell, Paul Hanlon and Alan Pender the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Ross Kinnarney.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Anthony Coyne, Mark Hayes, Ross Kinnarney, Michael Kenaney, Kevin Minnock, Trevor Francis, Enda Ravenhill, Keith O’Connor, Patrick Gorman and Edward Kinahan.

Subs: Martin Holleran, Shane Delaney and Derek Coonahan

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major 16/08/13

Tullamore Town  1-0 Enniskerry FC

Tullamore got their league campaign off to a flying start with this terrific win over a very experienced Enniskerry side in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. Fielding a very young team, manager Patrick Ruane placed his faith in the Club’s under age structures and was richly rewarded. They were first to threaten when Stephen Francis picked out Macdarragh O’Neill on the left but his effort was well held by Eoin Fox at the near post. Stephen Duffy then sent Jonathan Smith clear on the right and his fine low cross flew across the face of the goal. With ten minutes gone a great burst through the middle by O’Neill nearly unlocked the visitors defence but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Oscar Brennan. Tullamore again went close when Smith got on the end of a Chris Bracken free but his header was kept out by Fox at his near post. As Enniskerry came more into the game Niall Meldon fired in a dangerous cross that Jamie Coyne did well to smother and then a goal bound effort from Steve Redmond was charged down by Stephen Francis. A fine move involving O’Neill, Francis and Scott Delaney ended with O’Neill being crowded out in the area. Lovely play by O’Neill on the right created space for Mattie Hynds but again the danger was cleared and, with minutes remaining in the first half, O’Neill set off on another mazy run that carried him into the area, but Evan Brock got across to clear as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the scores tied at nil all.

Tullamore began the second half in sensational fashion when straight from the kick-off they won a corner on the right and when Mark Hayes whipped the ball in it broke back to Scott Delaney and he hammered an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net. They nearly added to their advantage minutes later when Delaney picked out Jonathan Smith in the inside right channel but his effort just slipped past the far post. As Enniskerry began to tighten their grip on the game Trevor Hall got on the end of a left wing cross but his header was too high. They again went close when Hall fired in a dangerous cross that Jamie Coyne did well to push behind and, from the resultant corner, Steve Redmond shot over. Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession the visitors could never relax as Macdarragh O’Neill’s skill on the ball posed a constant threat to their defence. As manager Patrick Ruane tried to freshen things up he introduced Derek Coolahan into the fray, but it was Enniskerry who went closest as Jamie Coyne punched clear a dangerous cross and then did well to hold onto Alan Cleary’s long range effort. With Rory Condron and Ken Doyle outstanding at the back and Stephen Francis working tirelessly in front of his defence, Tullamore weathered the storm and hit back when O’Neill chased down a long clearance and brought a fine save from Eoin Fox. Francis then turned provider when he played a great ball through to Scott Delaney but his shot was deflected wide. With five minutes remaining Francis swept the ball out to Coolahan on the left and he picked out O’Neill but again Fox came to his sides rescue. As the visitors went all out for an equaliser Jamie Coyne did well to keep out Alan Cleary’s twenty five yard effort and then Steve Redmond sent Ruairi Byrne clear in the inside right channel but Coyne saved superbly with his feet. With time running out the home side lifted the siege and with minutes remaining nearly increased their lead. Great play by Scott Delaney on the right saw him pick out Mark Hayes who played the ball into Macdarragh O’Neill, but his beautifully struck shot was brilliantly tipped around the post by Fox as the referee brought this nail bighting encounter to a conclusion.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Rory Condron, Ken Doyle, Stephen Francis, Scott Delaney and Macdarragh O’Neill with Eoin Fox, Steve Redmond, Ruairi Byrne and Trevor Hall the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young winger, Mark Hayes.

Tullamore: Jamie Coyne, Stephen Duffy, Ken Doyle, Chris Bracken, Rory Condron, Mattie Hynds, Stephen Francis, Scott Delaney, Mark Hayes, Macdarragh O’Neill and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Derek Coolahan, Fergal Gorman, Cian Daly, Jack English and Michael Kenaney

Pre Season Friendly

Tullamore Town  2-0 Ballinasloe Town

Roscommon and District League champions, Ballinasloe Town, provided excellent opposition for Tullamore in this friendly last Thursday as manager Patrick Ruane prepared his charges for the upcoming season. The home side were first to threaten when Fergal Gorman’s cross shot was well held by Paraic Maloney. With fifteen minutes on the clock the visitors showed how dangerous they could be when David Cisowski got on the end of a right wing cross but was denied by a fine last ditch tackle from Ken Doyle. As Tullamore hit back a great run through the middle by Macdarragh O’Neill carried him past two defenders before screwing his effort narrowly wide. Ballinasloe again went close when Gary Egan picked out Jermi Villerceaux, but his fine shot was superbly saved by Alan O’Connell. Rory Condron created an opening for Jonathan Smith but his effort was saved and then Jason Pohl and Smith combined, but this time his effort was charged down by Lee Johnson. As the home side continued to press Fergal Gorman played a lovely ball down the inside right channel to O’Neill but Maloney was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With thirty five minute gone they nearly made the breakthrough when Pohl picked out Jonathan Smith and his blistering shot was brilliantly turned around the post by Maloney. Minutes later they almost found themselves in arrears when Cisowski latched onto a back pass and was only denied by a great relieving tackle by Gorman. Ballinasloe again went close when Gary Egan picked the ball up thirty five yards out and sent a rocket inches outside the left post. With minutes remaining in the first half O’Neill threaded the ball through to Smith but Maloney saved at his feet as the interval arrived with the scores tied at nil all.

Straight from the restart Tullamore almost jumped into the lead when Stephen Duffy’s free kick flew narrowly wide and then Trevor Moylan crashed a thirty yard free kick off the crossbar with Macdarragh O’Neill firing the rebound inches past the right post. Ballinasloe’s response was immediate with Paraic Brock and David Cisowski combining down the right, but his cross just missed out the inrushing Lucas Szafraniec. Jason Pohl then picked out Stephen Duffy and his clever through ball released O’Neill but his effort was charged down. With Michael Kenaney coming on for the injured Ken Doyle, Tullamore redoubled their efforts and on the hour they hit the front. Scott Delaney played the ball out to Fergal Gorman on the right and then followed through to take the return and sweep the ball into the far corner for a fine goal. As they looked to press home their advantage O’Neill and Gorman combined to set up Jonathan Smith but he just failed to make contact. Manager Patrick Ruane introduced Stephen Keogh and Derek Coolahan and they were immediately into the action when Keogh played the ball out to Coolahan on the left and his pin point cross found Jason Pohl in front of goal, but his first touch let him down and the chance was lost. As Ruane continued to ring the changes Sean Rosney entered the fray and within minutes the home side had increased their advantage with a lovely flowing move. Michael Kenaney and Scott Delaney combined to pick out Rosney in the inside right channel and he cleverly threaded the ball through to Jason Pohl who drilled it into the bottom corner to put his side two in front. A powerful run on the right by Coolahan nearly unlocked the visitors defence but  Pohl just failed to make contact with his cross while at the other end David Cullen broke through the middle but his effort was well held by Alan O’Connell. Tullamore again went close when Trevor Moylan and Derek Coolahan combined down the right with Paraic Maloney scrambling Moylan’s effort out for a corner. Showing tremendous character Ballinasloe refused to lie down and, in the final minutes, Eoin Keighery brought a fine save from O’Connell and then David Cisowski picked out Lucas Szafraniec on the left and his wicked cross shot was brilliantly tipped around the post by the Tullamore keeper as the referee brought this very entertaining game to a conclusion.

Manager Patrick Ruane expressed his general satisfaction with his team’s performance and was particularly pleased with the younger players.

Alan O’Connell was an impressive last line of defence while the back four looked organised and secure against the lively Ballinasloe forwards. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Alan O’Connell, Rory Condron, Jonathan Smith and Derek Coolahan while Gary Egan, Lucas Szafraniec and David Cullen were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding captain, Scott Delaney.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Chris Bracken, Rory Condron, Fergal Gorman, Stephen Duffy, Scott Delaney, Jason Pohl, Macdarragh O’Neill and Jonathan Smith.

Subs: Michael Kenaney, Stephen Keogh, Derek Coolahan and Sean Rosney.