2014/15 Match Reports

Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town  6   Hyde Park FC  2

Following on from their great win against Portlaoise the previous Tuesday, Tullamore produced a stunning six goal salvo in Leah Victoria Park last Friday to see off a shell shocked Hyde Park FC. The Balbriggan side were on the back foot from the outset and were fortunate not to fall behind within minutes of the off when Macdarragh O’Neill went on a weaving run that carried him into the area before being crowded out. Ken Doyle flashed a header narrowly wide from a corner and then Brian Gill played a lovely ball through to Pat Gorman but William Crosby bravely blocked his close range effort and, when the ball broke back, he fired the rebound over. With ten minutes gone the home side hit the front when O’Neill latched onto a clearance and played a great ball through to Shane Dolan who drove it into the bottom right corner. As Park hit back Darren Sweetman picked out Carl Sower, but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Brian Norris. They again went close when Anthony Daly burst through the middle and laid the ball off to Ryan McMahon but he fired over. With quarter of an hour gone Tullamore doubled their advantage when Gill played a superb pass down the right to Brian Francis and he played the ball inside for Dolan to slide it past Crosby from close range. Minutes later they increased their lead when O’Neill raced onto a slide rule pass from Gorman and, from twenty yards out, lofted the ball over the keeper and into the net. They should have added to their tally on twenty five minutes when Brian Francis pounced on a defensive mistake to play in Dolan but, with the goal at his mercy, he fired over. Park were unlucky not to get a goal back when Sweetman played a great ball through to McMahon but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save by Alan O’Connell. A lovely flowing move involving Trevor Moylan, Brian Gill and Macdarragh O’Neill ended with Pat Gorman firing over but with half an hour gone they struck again. Brian Francis sent Gill clear in the inside right channel and when he was taken down in the area Moylan drove the resultant spot kick into the bottom right corner. Five minutes later they brought their tally to five when Shane Dolan latched onto a Gorman through ball and finished to the net to complete a fine hat-trick. The visitors got a goal back when, following a corner, Richard Collins picked the ball up on the edge of the area and drilled it into the bottom right corner. Tullamore went back on the offensive and with forty minutes on the clock Macdarragh O’Neill scored another of his signature goals when he got on the end of a great Enda Carroll pass and cheekily chipped the ball over the advancing Crosby and into the net. With minutes remaining in the first half Dolan again went close when he headed Trevor Moylan’s corner narrowly over as the interval arrived with the home side 6-1 in front.
The second half opened in spectacular fashion when Brian Francis picked the ball up twenty five yards from goal and crashed it against the underside of the crossbar with the keeper beaten. Park went close when Richard Collins played a lovely ball through to Ryan McMahon but his effort flew outside the left post while, at the other end, Brian Norris and Pat Gorman combined to create space for Macdarragh O’Neill but his shot was well saved by William Crosby. They again went close when Francis went on a surging run through the middle, but he was denied by a superb John Richardson tackle. Crosby came to his sides rescue when he brilliantly tipped Trevor Moylan’s wicked free kick around the post and he was again in the thick of the action when he was quickly off his line to clear after Norris had played in Brian Francis. With Rory Condron and Ken Doyle dominant at the back it was almost inevitable that Tullamore would take their foot off the pedal and on seventy minutes the visitors reduced the arrears when McMahon’s long range effort squirmed under the body of Kevin Bryant and just made it over the line. As the home side hit back Enda Carroll saw his fine twenty five yard effort well held by Crosby and then great interplay between Pat Gorman and Brian Gill ended with Gorman firing over. With Steven Francis and James Carthy coming on, the home side saw out the remaining minutes without incident as they ran out comfortable winners of a very entertaining game.
This was a hugely impressive exhibition of attacking football from Tullamore that augurs well for the coming season. The arrival of former Athlone Town player Brian Gill has added real quality to their play and his ability to operate in tight situations and to produce the telling pass under pressure was a highlight of the game. The players appear to have bought into new manager Tony O’Sullivan’s free flowing brand of football which, if they can maintain this level of performance, promises to provide plenty of thrills and spills over the next number of months.
There were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Pat Gorman, Brian Gill and Macdarragh O’Neill, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Shane Dolan. 
Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis, Pat Gorman, Brian Gill, Macdarragh O’Neill and Shane Dolan.
Subs: Kevin Bryant, Steven Francis, James Carthy and Stephen Duffy.

29/05/15

LSL Tom Cullen Cup Final

Two-Goal Dolan Fires Tullamore To Double Cullen Cup Glory

Tullamore Town ..... 2

Knocklyon Utd ....  1

 

AS he held the Tom Cullen Cup aloft in front of his jubilant teammates and supporters, Tullamore Town captain Trevor Moylan once again remembered an absent spirit.

'I'd like to dedicate that to Mark Casey,' he said, recalling the untimely death of one of the team's rising stars shortly before last year's Cullen Cup final, which also ended in victory for the Town.

Putting together back to back cups, winning promotion to the intermediate grade, and staying in contention for the league title until the final week of the season is the stuff of which dreams are made.

But such has been Tullamore's year.  Team manager Tony O'Sullivan and his assistant Shane Colsh have overseen a campaign which has delivered much, and, at time of writing, could yet deliver more.

But last Friday night in Ballyoulster's ground in Celbridge it was a matter of justifying the favourite's tag and retaining the Tom Cullen Cup.

Town had played Knocklyon in the league only seven days earlier and it had proved a tense affair, Tullamore winning 3-2.

But the first half of the cup decider proved a better reflection of the Major Division Sunday standings, a top two side versus a team in the bottom six.

Tullamore appeared more skilful, were quicker to the ball, stronger and cleaner in the tackle, and more prepared to play swift ball to feet.

That alertness earned an early reward.  In the seventh minute Knocklyon goalkeeper Ronan McCauley played a poor kick-out which failed to reach the half-way line of what was a relatively short pitch and flew towards Brian Gill's right wing.

The Tullamore man challenged his Knocklyon opponent, got a touch on the ball and sent it forward to livewire striker Shane Dolan who grabbed possession and shot past McCauley in a flash.

It was exactly the boost Tullamore needed and a couple of minutes later Dolan was in the box and poised to score again but on this occasion McCauley came out quickly enough to deny him.

Knocklyon seemed to be unnerved and in the 11th minute a mix-up at the back allowed Dolan in again and with McCauley well off his line and committed to sweep up, the young Killeigh man opted to chip the ball goalwards only to see it float left and wide.

Tullamore were well on top, especially around midfield.  Kevin Williamson was positioned in front of the back four and was able to pick up plenty of ball and work it forward with his precision passing.

Enda 'Butch' Carroll was unmatched in the centre of the park and Stephen Francis completed a spine which gave Tullamore a platform to mount yet more attacks, one of which forced a free kick 25 yards out which Moylan drove over the bar.

The second goal arrived after 19 minutes when Kevin Minnock worked hard down the left wing and delivered the ball to the two-footed Dolan who again was too quick for Knocklyon and expertly applied the finish.

To their great credit, Knocklyon did not let Tullamore overrun them after that and slowly began to get a foothold in the game.

Their inspiration was big centre half Ian Gaughan and his encouragement saw them get some joy down their right wing, resulting in pressure on Minnock and Brian Norris.

But the Tullamore defence held firm, restricting Knocklyon to some corner kicks which offered little threat.

Indeed, Brian Francis alongside Ken Doyle in the middle of the Tullamore back four was peerless.

Francis had switched to that position from midfield because of the unavailability of Rory Condron and he proved himself a more than able deputy.

In the 33rd minute Moylan had to go off having damaged a hamstring but his replacement, Matty Hynes, was also impressive as Tullamore demonstrated the depth of their bench.

Tullamore were still 2-0 up at the break and were never as dominant again in the game.

Knocklyon continued to battle but rarely looked like scoring while Tullamore offered little up front either, Stephen Francis and Kevin Minnock did have half chances.

The Dublin team then suffered a self inflicted blow in the 73rd minute when Alan McQuaid kicked out at Williamson and referee Andrew Murphy showed a straight red.

Tullamore manager O'Sullivan must have sensed it was time to finish off the game as he then brought in two fresh attackers, Derek Coolahan and Michael James, for Minnock and Dolan.

Man of the match and two goal hero Dolan deservedly got a loud round of applause as he left the pitch.

Knocklyon responded by releasing all three substitutes from the sideline, a move which was to prove mistaken not long afterwards because Gaughan picked up a bad injury and had to go off, reducing United to nine men.

Just prior to that setback however, Knocklyon threw themselves a lifeline when Frank Brooks' 84th minute free kick was headed from left to right to the bottom corner of the net by substitute Lorcan Paton.

Tullamore were not upset by the concession of that goal and could have scored at least twice more themselves before the final whistle.

James crossed for Coolahan to shoot over while under pressure from a defender and James then knocked a left-footed effort just wide.

Also during seven minutes of added time Coolahan had another opportunity which arrowed narrowly wide of the left post as Tullamore held on to see the game out.

The second successive Cullen Cup triumph in the Leinster Senior League was also notable as it handed brothers Stephen and Brian Francis their third cup medal in only three seasons.  In 2013 they  had helped Tullamore win the Michael Dolan Cup in the Combined Counties Football League.

Tullamore Town: Alan O'Connell; Trevor Moylan, Brian Norris, Ken Doyle, Brian Francis, Kevin Williamson, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Shane Dolan, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock.  Subs: Matty Hynes for Trevor Moylan (33 mins), Derek Coolahan for Kevin Minnock (77 mins), Michael James for Shane Dolan (79 mins).  Also, Gio Russo, Aaron Moore, Gavin Shiel. 

Knocklyon Utd: Ronan McCauley; Ian McNamee, Alan McQuaid, Fionn Prendergast, Ian Gaughan, Frank Brooks, Sean Gillen, David Kennedy, Martin Ryan, Alex Fullerton, Shane Young.  Subs: Lorcan Paton, Keith Flynn and David Gillen for Alex Fullerton, Shane Young and Frank Brooks (81 mins).

Referee: Andrew Murphy. 

Back To Back Cullen Cups For Triumphant Tullamore Town

 

THOUGH his participation on the field of play ended after only 33 minutes because of a torn hamstring, Tullamore Town captain Trevor Moylan was obviously delighted to be given the honour of lifting the Tom Cullen Cup in Celbridge last Friday night.

Team manager Tony O'Sullivan revealed Moylan had needed 'a rub' before the game and the player himself said that stretching for a ball in the battle with Knocklyon had been the cause of the injury.

'I'm blaming Kevin Williamson for the bad pass,' he joked afterwards, adding that his replacement at right back, Matthew Hynes, was more than able to cope with the task handed to him in the cup final.

'Matty had a solid game and hopefully he'll be solid during the week as well,' remarked Moylan, resigned to being sidelined for Tullamore's last two league games of the season, against cup final losers Knocklyon again on Thursday night, and then against league title favourites Liffey Wanderers.

Tullamore were hoping that Liffey would drop points in their matches against Greenhills/Greenpark last night (Tuesday, June 2), and/or Hyde Park this Thursday (June 4) before Town and Liffey meet in what could be a league decider on Saturday (June 6) at Leah Victoria Park.

'If it came down to the last game you'd have taken it at the start of the year, to get promotion and be in with a chance of winning the league and win a cup is great,' said Moylan.

Earlier, in his speech as he received the cup, Moylan mentioned that team manager Tony O'Sullivan and his assistant Shane Colsh had 'brought a feel-good factor back to the club'.

'Anyone who's been involved with the club will tell you that this year's been great right from the start and hopefully we'll be able to get more silverware,' he declared.

For his part, O'Sullivan was just happy to get through the final and come out at the end with a trophy, his first with Tullamore Town.

Even being 2-0 up thanks to a Shane Dolan double at half-time did not fill him with confidence.

'After the 45 minutes I said lads we haven't been setting the world on fire but yet we've scored twice,' he explained.

'I thought we scored two excellent goals.  I thought our three in midfield commanded the whole game and I thought Knocklyon stuck to their 4-4-2 which I found amazing because they were allowing their two front guys to be overrun. 

'At half-time I spoke about it and said they will probably change it and we said about holding it tight for the first 15 minutes and not conceding a goal because if they scored early it would make it a game and if we had scored it was game over.'

He had been forewarned because the previous Friday Tullamore had just about edged a league game between the sides 3-2.

'They were always dangerous.  Even last Friday night they were quite dangerous.  I thought even when they scored the first goal of the second half we would be alright because they were down to ten men and then their other player got injured and they were down to nine,' said O'Sullivan.

He introduced Derek Coolahan and Michael James in an effort to put Knocklyon away and both had good chances on the counter attack.

'We broke twice then and I thought we should have finished it then to put a bit more of a gloss on it.  But I told the boys at half-time I'd take a scrappy second half,' he said.

06/06/15

Leinster Senior League Major Division

Tullamore Town 0 Liffey Wanderers 0

There was to be no fairy tale ending to Tullamore’s great year as they failed to secure the three points they needed to top the Division in their last game of the season in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. Against FAI Junior Cup winners Liffey Wanderers this was always going to be a tightly contested affair but the dominance of the home side in the first half hour against their more illustrious opponents gave hope to the large support that a famous double was on the cards. They were desperately unlucky not to take the lead within minutes of the start when Kevin Williamson picked out Shane Dolan on the left and his deep cross was cleverly controlled by Brian Gill in the area, but Phillip O’Connor brought off a superb point blank save to deny him and, from the resultant corner, Dolan fired narrowly over. Pressing high up the pitch Tullamore forced the beleaguered Liffey defence into conceding a litany of free kicks as they battled to contain the rampant home forwards but, with dead ball expert Trevor Moylan sidelined through injury, they failed to profit from a number of promising situations. As the half wore on the experienced Liffey midfield began to wrest back control of the game with Ken Roche getting on the end of an Anthony O’Connor free kick and sending a glancing header inches outside the left post. Stephen O’Callaghan then sent Aidan Roche clear on the right but he was denied by a fine crisp Ken Doyle tackle. With thirty minutes gone Lee Roche broke through in the inside left channel but Alan O’Connell did wonderfully well to deflect his goal bound effort over and from the corner O’Callaghan headed narrowly wide. As Tullamore hit back Enda Carroll robbed Carl O’Brien and slipped the ball through to Shane Dolan, but Phillip O’Connor was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With minutes remaining in the first half Aidan Roche pounced on slack defensive play and burst into the area only to be stopped in his tracks by a crunching Ken Doyle tackle as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all.

On the resumption Tullamore went in search of the all important opener with Shane Dolan pulling the ball back to Brian Norris and his searching cross was headed over by Brian Gill. Liffey threatened when Lee Roche just failed to get on the end of Anthony O’Connor’s cross while, at the other end, a fine run down the right by Mattie Hynes resulted in a corner. The visitors again went close when Ken Roche headed on a long clearance to Lee Roche but he fired over. Manager Tony O’Sullivan rang the changes as he brought on Michael James and Pat Gorman but it was Liffey who looked the more dangerous as Alan O’Connell did well to tip Lee Roche’s swerving free kick over. As the game continued to ebb and flow Brian Francis swept the ball down the right to Pat Gorman but Dylan Roche got across to clear. Kevin Williamson played a great ball through to Michael James but Phillip O’Connor just managed to knock the ball to safety and then Brian Gill did well to get on the end of a Brian Norris pass, but his cut back failed to pick out any of his supporting team mates. With seventy five minutes on the clock Aidan Roche found Lee Roche in the area but Alan O’Connell brilliantly tipped his effort over to keep his side in the game. A lovely flowing move involving Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Enda Carroll and Brian Gill created an opening for Michael James but he failed to get enough purchase on his shot. With five minutes remaining the tension reached boiling point with Brian Gill and Stephen O’Callaghan being red carded and minutes later Kevin Williamson somehow contrived to get himself sent off as Tullamore became more and more desperate. As the game moved into time added on they nearly snatched the winner when Enda Carroll and Pat Gorman combined to pick out Stephen Francis who pulled the ball back to Michael James but, on his weaker foot, he fired his effort past the left post as the referee brought an absorbing contest to a conclusion.

This was a tremendous effort by Tullamore but ultimately the absence of Trevor Moylan, Rory Condron and Macdarragh O’Neill proved an insurmountable obstacle. In what was an outstanding season an emotional Tony O’Sullivan expressed his thanks to all the players for their efforts and further added that in all his years in football he had never experienced such a sense of pride in the achievements of a team he had managed. On the night there were excellent contributions from Alan O’Connell, Ken Doyle and Enda Carroll, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s tireless midfielder, Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Mattie Hynes, Ken Doyle, Brian Francis, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Kevin Williamson, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Kevin Minnock and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Michael James, Pat Gorman, Derek Coolahan, Paul McTighe, Gavin Sheils and Gio Russo.

Liffey Wanderers: Phillip O’Connor, Dean Young, Paul Gannon, Dylan Roche, William Keegan, Carl O’Brien, Stephen O’Callaghan, Ken Roche, Aidan Roche, Lee Roche and Anthony O’Connor.

Subs: James Mooney, Dan Wilson, Paul Mooney, Ben Uzell and Barry Roe

22/05/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 3 Knocklyon Utd 2

Newly promoted Tullamore Town leap-frogged to the top of the league with this hard fought win over Knocklyon United in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. The home side began brightly and they nearly went ahead when Kevin Williamson’s free kick was deflected onto the crossbar. Ken Doyle and Kevin Minnock combined to set up Trevor Moylan but his effort was turned around the post by Ronan McCauley and, from the resultant corner, Moylan fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area. As the visitors hit back David Kennedy made a fine run through the middle but Brian Francis did well to get back to snuff out the danger. They again threatened when Alex Fullerton picked out Shane Young but Gavin Sheils saved well. With twenty minutes gone Tullamore opened their account when Brian Gill was taken down twenty five yards out and promptly dusted himself down before crashing the free kick into the bottom right corner. They nearly increased their advantage when Brian Francis released Stephen Francis but Frank Brooks got back to knock the ball behind and from the corner Brian Francis had his goal bound effort charged down by Ian McNamee. With half an hour gone Tullamore struck again when Brian Gill took a Kevin Williamson pass in his stride and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. As they looked to kill the game off Stephen Francis sent Mark Hayes clear on the left and he picked out Brian Gill in the area, but his effort was blocked on the line by Liam Martin. Trevor Moylan went close twice when his inswinging corners curled inches outside the far post, but it was far from one way traffic as David Kennedy played in Alan McQuade, but Enda Carroll did well to get back to clear. With minutes remaining in the first half Knocklyon were back in the game when Alex Fullerton was taken down in the area and David Kennedy drove the spot kick into the bottom left corner to leave the interval score 2-1 in Tullamore’s favour.

The home side went back on the attack on the resumption with Trevor Moylan and Brian gill creating an opportunity for Shane Dolan but his header was well saved by Ronan McCauley. It quickly became obvious that Knocklyon were not content to play a supporting role in the unfolding drama and they nearly levelled when Shaun Gillen played the ball through to David Kennedy, but a heavy first touch allowed Gavin Sheils to clear. Brian Gill almost completed his hat-trick when he got on the end of a Kevin Williamson free kick but his header flashed outside the right post. As the visitors began to tighten their grip on midfield David Kennedy and Alex Fullerton combined to send Frank Brooks clear but he fired wide and then Kennedy played in David Gillen, but he was denied by a great point blank save from Sheils. With seventy minutes gone Fionn Prendergast was adjudged to have handled a Michael James cross but Trevor Moylan’s penalty was brilliantly tipped around the post by Ronan McCauley. From the resultant corner, Gillen, under pressure from Brian Francis, headed into his own net to restore Tullamore’s two goal advantage. Knocklyon hit back with Gavin Sheils doing well to keep out Kennedy’s near post header while at the other end Shane Dolan knocked a Kevin Williamson free kick back across goal to Michael James, but his close range header was turned around the post by McCauley. With ten minutes remaining the visitors scored again when David Kennedy picked out Alex Fullerton and he drove the ball into the bottom left corner. With the match moving into injury time Tullamore had a real scare when a dangerous left wing cross eluded both Gavin Sheils and the inrushing Shaun Gillen as they managed to hold out for a priceless three points that carried them to the top of the table.

In what was a very entertaining game Knocklyon clearly demonstrated that they are going to be a very hard nut to crack in this Friday’s Cullen Cup Final in Celbridge. For the home side there were fine contributions from Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis and Brian Gill while Alan McQuade, David Gillen and Alex Fullerton were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Brian Francis.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Brian Francis, Mark Hayes, Kevin Minnock, Stephen Francis, Kevin Williamson, Enda Carroll, Brian Gill and Shane Dolan.

Sub: Michael James Mattie Hynes and Derek Coolahan

19/05/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 4 CYM Terenure 0

Tullamore’s return to Intermediate football was copper fastened in some style last Tuesday night in Leah Victoria Park. Tony O’Sullivan’s charges made no mistake as they raced into a four goal lead within twenty five minutes and thereafter never looked like relinquishing their advantage. They were quickly out of the traps with Stephen Francis picking out Brian Gill on the right and his dangerous cross was hooked to safety by Dan Gale. Francis was again in the thick of the action on five minutes when he won back possession and slipped the ball through to Shane Dolan and, from twenty five yards out, he crashed a superb shot into the top left hand corner of the net. As they continued to press a Trevor Moylan inswinging corner nearly found its way to the net and he again went close when his swirling free kick curled narrowly outside the far post. They increased their lead on ten minutes when, following a corner, Brian Gill rose above the defence to power his header into the roof of the net. With twenty minutes gone Gill’s aerial prowess was again in evidence when he got on the end of a lofted cross from Brian Norris and out-jumped the Terenure keeper to put his side three goals in front. Five minutes later they added a fourth when Kevin Minnock’s low cross was deflected into his own net by Davey Taylor. There was no respite for the visitors as Brian Gill played a lovely ball through to Shane Dolan who skipped around the keeper, but Michael Thornton got back to prevent a certain goal. Terenure had another miraculous escape on thirty five minutes when Minnock found Dolan and his fierce drive was brilliantly tipped onto the underside of the crossbar by Dan Smyth. Dolan turned creator when his clever flick released Gill who picked out Stephen Francis, but his shot was deflected outside the post as the referee brought a somewhat one sided first half to a conclusion.

Tullamore began the second half where they had left off and nearly increased their advantage when lovely play from Shane Dolan in the box brought a great one handed save from Dan Smyth. They again went close when Stephen Francis played in Brian Gill who rounded the keeper but Davey Taylor got back to block his effort on the line. A powerful run through the middle by Brian Francis resulted in his shot being charged down by Jamie Tevlin and then Enda Carroll picked the ball up on the right and drilled his effort inches outside the far post. Terenure threatened on the hour when Sam Kearney’s right wing cross just missed out Aaron Dunne while, at the other end, Stephen Francis flashed a long range effort narrowly wide. Dan Smyth came to his sides rescue on twenty minutes when he brilliantly tipped Enda Carroll’s shot over the bar and he again did well when he got down to keep out Derek Coolahan’s close range effort. It was not all one way traffic and the visitors were unlucky not to get a goal back on eighty minutes when Ross Connolly picked out Vinny Ogbe, but Alan O’Connell did well to parry his goal bound effort with Sam Kearney driving the rebound over. As Tullamore hit back Coolahan sent Brian Francis clear but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Dan Gale and he again went close when he got on the end of a lovely sweeping move involving Kevin Williamson, Shane Dolan and Brian Norris, but his effort was too high. With five minutes remaining Williamson picked out Mattie Hynes in the area, but Smyth did well to tip his effort over. Terenure went close when they won a free kick on the edge of the area and Ross Connolly fired inches outside the left post. Derek Coolahan and Brian Francis combined to pick out Enda Carroll but Michael Thornton executed a fine block tackle to deny him. With minutes remaining Stephen Francis got on the end of a Mattie Hynes cross but he volleyed over as the home side ran out comfortable winners of an entertaining game.

With only three games remaining Tullamore are now only two points behind leaders Portlaoise Town with a game in hand. However it is FAI Junior Cup winners, Liffey Wanderers, who are in the driving seat. They are four points behind Tullamore with four games in hand, but they have yet to travel to both Portlaoise and Leah Victoria Park. Manager Tony O’Sullivan expressed his delight at his team winning promotion with three games to go but stressed that he has by no means given up on the league title.

Tullamore are also hoping to retain the Tom Cullen Cup when they travel to Celbridge this Friday, 29th May, to take on Knocklyon United in the final, kick-off 7.00 pm.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll and Brian Gill with Dan Smyth, Jamie Tevlin and Dan Gale the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s midfield general, Kevin Williamson.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Ken Doyle, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Enda Carroll, Kevin Williamson, Stephen Francis, Kevin Minnock and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Gio Russo, Derek Coolahan and Mattie Hynes (all used).

 

12/05/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 7 Glenmore Eblana FC 0

Tullamore’s season continues to go from strength to strength. Having qualified for the Tom Cullen Cup Final they are now on the cusp of Intermediate Football following this swashbuckling performance against Glenmore Eblana in Leah Victoria Park last Tuesday. It was also a time for reflection as a minutes silence was observed before the game by players and supporters for Clara Town’s wonderful football man, Joe Stanley, who sadly passed away recently. With eight minutes gone the home side were rocked back on their heels when Glenmore’s speedy winger, James Duff, was taken down in the area following a tremendous run through the middle. Shane Whelan stepped up to take the penalty but his well struck effort was superbly turned around the post by Alan O’Connell. Tullamore hit back with Brian Francis chasing down a long clearance from O’Connell and cutting the ball back to Stephen Francis, but his shot was deflected wide. Trevor Moylan’s corner just missed out Enda Carroll at the near post and then Brian Francis weaved his way into the area only to be denied by a fine save from Nathan Haines down low to his right. The pressure paid off on seventeen minutes when Brian Norris picked out Macdarragh O’Neill and he played a great ball through to Brian Francis who coolly despatched it into the bottom right corner. Good play by Kevin Minnock on the right created danger but Lloyd Massey got back to knock the ball behind. The home side again went close when O’Neill pulled the ball back to Brian Francis who had his shot charged down with Trevor Moylan driving the rebound over. It was all one-way traffic at this stage with Enda Carroll playing the ball down the left to O’Neill who picked out Minnock at the far post, but he just failed to control the ball and the chance was lost. They increased their advantage on twenty five minutes when Stephen Francis played a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill in the inside left channel and he drilled it into the far corner to put his side two up. He nearly added to his tally when he was put through by Kevin Williamson but Haines was quickly off his line to avert the danger and the keeper again came to his sides rescue when he did well to keep out a Brian Francis effort after being put through by Enda Carroll. With thirty seven minutes on the clock Town struck for their third when the predatory O’Neill got on the end of a long clearance to fire home his sixth goal in two games. Glenmore had their keeper to thank minutes later when the lively Brian Francis latched on to a Massey back pass, but Nathan Hynes brought off a superb one-handed save to deny him. With forty five minutes gone Williamson played a defence splitting pass through to Stephen Francis who rounded the advancing Haines and coolly placed the ball in the unguarded net. Williamson again turned provider when he played a great diagonal ball to Kevin Minnock but Massey got across to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Trevor Moylan drove the ball across the face of the goal. Glenmore nearly reduced the arrears on the stroke of half time when Craig Tallant got on the end of a through ball but his effort flashed past the left post as the interval arrived with the home side four goals to the good.

With leading goal scorer Brian Gill coming on for the injured Ken Doyle at half time there was no respite for the under pressure Glenmore. Within minutes of the restart Kevin Minnock won a corner on the right and Stephen Francis got on the end of Rory Condron’s cross to send a glancing header inches outside the left post. With fifty minutes gone Macdarragh O’Neill sliced through the visitors defence before picking out Brian Gill who was taken down in the area. Dead ball expert Trevor Moylan drove the spot kick into the bottom right corner and, when the referee made him take the penalty again, he promptly repeated the trick to put his side five goals up. Moylan then turned provider when he won back possession and slipped the ball through to Minnock but his effort flew outside the far post. Derek Coolahan was introduced on the hour and nearly made an immediate impact when he got on the end of a Macdarragh O’Neill cross but he fired over from close range. He again went close when another O’Neill pass found him, but he failed to get enough purchase on his shot and Nathan Haines saved comfortably. It was third time lucky on seventy minutes when Brian Gill and Kevin Williamson combined to pick out Coolahan in the area and this time he made no mistake as he squeezed the ball under the advancing keeper and into the back of the net. Tullamore were now rampant and nearly went further ahead when Gill played a great ball through to O’Neill who unselfishly squared it for Shane Dolan, but Carl Flanagan did wonderfully well to get back to knock the ball behind. Glenmore threatened when Craig Tallant just failed to get on the end of a James Duff cross and, when the ball was knocked clear, Shane Whelan drove it outside the left post. The home side again went close when Shane Dolan played a lovely ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill but Nathan Haines brought off a great point blank save to deny him. Brilliant play by Dolan on the right saw him leave two defenders in his wake but Haines again brought off a fine save to deny him. With five minutes remaining Kevin Williamson picked out O’Neill on the edge of the area and his slide rule pass found Shane Dolan who fired home from close range to bring the final tally to a magnificent seven.

This was a supremely confident performance from a Tullamore team who have been outstanding all season. They play Knocklyon United next Tuesday, 19th May, needing a win to guarantee them promotion to Intermediate Football and which would also leave them topping the League table. It was also good to see Shane Dolan returning in such fine form after sustaining a nasty head injury last week. The only cloud hanging over a wonderful evening was the news that Macdarragh O’Neill and Rory Condron are heading to Canada for the Summer and would miss the remainder of the season. These two young players have contributed enormously to the team’s success over the last twelve months and everyone connected with the club wish them well. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Stephen Francis, Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Francis with Nathan Haines, Lloyd Massey and James Duff the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s influential playmaker, Kevin Williamson.

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

Subs: Brian Gill, Derek Coolahan and Shane Dolan (all used).

13/03/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 5 Lorcan Celtic 0

Lorcan Celtic, who provided such stiff opposition in last season’s Tom Cullen Cup Final, were simply swept aside in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as Tullamore continued on their inexorable march towards promotion. Their inventive and skilful play ensured that they dominated from start to finish and, but for some heroic defending by the visitors, the result could have been a great deal more pronounced. It only took them three minutes to take the lead when good play by Brian Francis saw him thread the ball though to Brian Gill who fired it past Joseph Foster from close range. Francis was again the instigator when he picked out the overlapping Trevor Moylan but Dean Monaghan got across to clear. Moylan went tantalisingly close when Enda Carroll found him twenty five yards out and his audacious chip came crashing back off the crossbar. As they continued to press Brian Francis played the ball through to Shane Dolan but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Monaghan. Macdarragh O’Neill then got in on the act when he played a lovely ball through to Brian Gill but Foster was quickly off his line to gather. O’Neill then created confusion on the left before picking out Shane Dolan in the area, but his effort flew inches outside the right post. Stephen and Brian Francis combined to pick out Dolan who fired past Foster, but he was pulled back for off-side. Stephen Francis then sent O’Neill clear but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save from Foster. With twenty five minutes on the clock Shane Dolan got on the end of a Brian Gill through ball and rounded the keeper, but Dean Monaghan got back to block his shot on the line. They were not to be denied minutes later when Brian Francis and Shane Dolan combined to send Stephen Francis clear and he skipped past the diving Foster before placing the ball in the net. The Francis brothers were now running the show from midfield and set up the third goal when they put through Brian Gill who cleverly chipped the ball over Foster and into the net to put his side three up. They again contrived to create an opening for O’Neill but his effort was too high. Celtic tried to get back in the game when Ian McEnerney picked out Karl Price on the left, but he was stopped in his tracks by a fine sliding tackle from Ken Doyle. With minutes remaining Brian Gill dispossessed a defender and raced through but Craig Murphy got across to clear as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the home side three goals to the good.

Lorcan Celtic began the second half in a more positive frame of mind with Karl Price putting through Ian McEnerney but he was denied by a great Rory Condron tackle and, from the resultant corner, Craig Murphy headed narrowly past the right post. As Tullamore hit back Brian Gill picked out Brian Francis but Dean Monaghan got back to knock the ball behind. Shane Dolan and Macdarragh O’Neill then combined to create an opening for Gill but Liam Kelly came to his side’s rescue with a fine relieving tackle. With an hour gone lovely play by Stephen Francis saw him send O’Neill clear in the inside left channel, but Joseph Foster saved brilliantly to keep his side in the game. Dean Monaghan was like the boy in the dyke as he again prevented Brian Gill and Mark Hayes from breaching his defensive wall, but he was powerless to intervene on sixty five minutes when Gill was taken down in the area and Trevor Moylan duly despatched the penalty into the bottom right corner. As the pressure on the Celtic goal showed no sign of abating Brian Gill had his well struck free saved by Foster and he again went close when he got on the end of a Gio Russo knock down but his effort flew over. He was denied his second hat-trick in successive games when he received the ball from Stephen Francis and rounded the keeper, but Dylan Territt somehow managed to get across to hook his shot off the line. Foster was again called into action when he blocked Trevor Moylan’s near post effort and then Kevin Williamson picked out Kevin Minnock but his shot curled outside the right post. With minutes remaining Gio Russo won back possession and sent Minnock clear in the inside left channel and this time he made no mistake as he drilled the ball into the far corner to round off a very impressive team performance.

As we move into the business end of the season Tullamore appear to be gaining momentum. The return of Kevin Williamson is sure to strengthen the squad as they gear up for the run in, with Liffey Wanderers and Portlaoise still very much in the frame. There were excellent contributions from Mark Hayes, Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Gill with Joseph Foster, Dean Monaghan and Craig Murphy the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award was shared between Brian and Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Mark Hayes, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis, Macdarragh O’Neill and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Gio Russo, Kevin Minnock, Kevin Williamson and Derek Coolahan.

06/03/15

Tom Cullen Cup – last 16

Tullamore Town 5 Hartstown Huntstown FC 1

If you enjoy your football, then Leah Victoria Park is definitely the place to be these days. This young Tullamore side produced another sparkling performance last Friday night, punctuated by four goals of exceptional quality, as they gave notice that they are not about to relinquish their hold on the Tom Cullen Cup lightly. They were quickly into their stride with Brian Gill winning back possession and playing a lovely ball through to Shane Dolan, but he fired past the near post. Brian Francis then picked out Gill on the right and, when he was taken down by Liam Moran, Macdarragh O’Neill headed the resultant free kick narrowly over. As Hartstown hit back Moran played a great ball through to Sean O’Reilly but he failed to control it and the chance was gone. Gill again created havoc when he broke clear on the right but his searching cross was headed outside the far post by O’Neill. As the pressure continued to build Stephen Francis picked out O’Neill who pulled the ball back for Dolan, but his well struck shot flew inches outside the right post. Brian and Stephen Francis then combined to create an opportunity, but Kyle Delavri got down well to keep out Stephen’s long range effort. The introduction of Ken Dunne for the injured Thomas Morton added new impetus to the visitors attack and he nearly breached the home defence on twenty five minutes, but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Rory Condron. With half an hour on the clock the game raced headlong into a frenetic five minute period. It began when lovely play on the right by Brian Gill saw him play the ball back to Trevor Moylan who delivered a superb pass over the defence and into the path of the inrushing Shane Dolan who drove his shot unerringly inside the right post. Within minutes Hartstown were back in the game when Ken Dunne’s shot struck a defender and looped into the air, giving the diving Gavin Sheils no chance. They went straight back on the offensive and only two crunching tackles by Ken Doyle kept them at bay but, unfortunately for the Dublin outfit, Ian Roche retaliated and was immediately shown the red card. Tullamore brought their numerical advantage to bear on forty minutes when Brian Gill got on the end of a Rory Condron corner to send a towering header into the top right hand corner of the net. As they continued to press Shane Dolan and Enda Carroll combined to pick out Trevor Moylan but his dangerous cross was knocked clear by Sean McNamara. Macdarragh O’Neill then went on a great run on the left leaving three defenders in his wake before finding Dolan who played the ball inside to Gill, but he fired wide when well placed. The visitors tried to hit back with Mark Walsh breaking clear on the left, but he was denied by a great sliding tackle from Ken Doyle as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with Tullamore 2-1 to the good.

The home side went back on the offensive on the resumption with Trevor Moylan overlapping on the right but Bryan Lynam got across to clear and then Macdarragh O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Brian Gill but Kyle Delavri was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With fifty five minutes gone they should have added to their advantage when Brian Norris and O’Neill combined to put through Shane Dolan who rounded the keeper but, with the goal at his mercy, he dragged his shot outside the right post. He was not to be denied minutes later when he got on the end of a Stephen Francis pass and cleverly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the far corner for an outstanding score. He nearly completed his hat-trick when Moylan picked him out with a great cross field ball but this time his effort was just too high. As they continued to pile forward Brian Norris sent Brian Francis clear on the left but Liam Moran got back to clear and then, with seventy minutes gone, they conjured up the goal of the game. Stephen Francis threaded the ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill and he held off his marker before playing the ball out to Brian Gill on the right who brilliantly despatched it across the face of the goal and into the top left hand corner for a quite superb score. Hartstown never gave up the chase and they nearly got a goal back when Mark Walsh got on the end of a Richie Roche free kick, but his close range header was brilliantly kept out by Gavin Sheils. As Tullamore hit back Arron Hensey broke clear in the inside left channel but Kevin Dunne did well to get back to clear. With five minutes remaining they concluded the scoring when Hensey picked out Kevin Minnock on the left and, as he skipped past Kyle Delavri, he was hauled down with Brian Gill drilling the resultant penalty into the bottom right corner to complete his hat-trick and see his side safely through to the quarter finals.

This was yet another outstanding all-round performance from a group of players who are growing in confidence with every game and clearly demonstrated that, when at full strength, they are as good as any team in the league. There were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Brian Francis and Shane Dolan with Liam Moran, Ken Dunne and Mark Walsh the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Brian Gill.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis, Macdarragh O’Neill and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Kevin Minnock, Eoghan Smith, Arron Hensey and Gio Russo.

20/02/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 3 Mid Sutton FC 1

The Tullamore bandwagon continued on it’s merry way last Friday as the Town saw off the challenge of a well organised Mid Sutton side in Leah Victoria Park. They were straight out of the traps with Stephen Francis and Shane Dolan combining to send Macdarragh O’Neill clear, but Willie Egan was quickly off his line to avert the danger. Dolan then found Kevin Minnock in space but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Richie Marshall and, from the resultant corner, both Dolan and O’Neill had shots blocked on the line. Minnock was proving particularly lively and he set up the opening goal on thirteen minutes when he dispossessed a defender and sent Brian Gill clear only for him to be taken down in the box. Dead ball expert Trevor Moylan duly despatched the penalty into the bottom left hand corner to put his side in front. As they looked to press home their advantage O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Gill on the right, but his cross just failed to pick out Shane Dolan at the far post. Dolan turned provider when he picked out Minnock but Stephen Dunne got across to clear and then Stephen Francis threaded the ball through to O’Neill but Egan was alive to the danger. Tullamore again went close when Moylan’s effort was deflected wide and from the corner his inswinging cross was taken off the line by Stephen Hanaphy. With Mid Sutton seemingly content to soak up the pressure the home side continued to dominate and a lovely sweeping move involving Gill, Francis and O’Neill saw Dolan just missing out Minnock at the far post. With thirty five minutes gone they deservedly added to their advantage when Moylan’s searching cross was headed over his own bar by Marshall and, when Brian Norris’ corner eluded the defence, Shane Dolan was first to react to drive the ball into the roof of the net. The visitors were desperately unlucky minutes later when Marshall’s free kick was headed on by Philip Flannelly to Carl Hitchcock, but his header flew inches outside the left post. As the home side hit back, wonderful play by Macdarragh O’Neill on the right saw him leave his marker for dead with a lovely chip, but his volleyed cross shot was cut out by Richie Marshall. With forty minutes gone Mid Sutton reduced the arrears when Philip Flannelly picked out Stephen Hanaphy on the left and his pin point cross was headed just inside the right post by Alan Keogh. With minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore almost restored their two goal advantage when Kevin Minnock pulled the ball back to Shane Dolan and his well struck shot flashed inches outside the far post as the interval arrived with the home side 2-1 to the good.

Tullamore began the second half in dramatic fashion when Brian Gill picked out Shane Dolan with a lovely reverse pass and he brilliantly lobbed the keeper only for his effort to back off the crossbar. He again went close when he got on the end of a Trevor Moylan cross but he failed to hit the target. Dolan then turned provider as he sent Gill clear but Thomas Hendrick did well to get across to clear. As the pressure continued to mount Macdarragh O’Neill went on a rampaging run through the middle before being taken down with Moylan driving the resultant free outside the right post. With sixty two minutes on the clock Mid Sutton hit the self destruct button. Hendrick was red carded when he chopped down Stephen Francis when he was straight through on goal and, in the ensuing melee, Sanky Murphy was sent off for abusive language, leaving his team with a mountain to climb in the remaining half hour. As the home side began to make their numerical advantage pay dividends Brian Gill picked out Shane Dolan who pulled the ball back to O’Neill, but he was denied by a fine save from Willie Egan. With seventy minutes on the clock Gio Russo introduced himself to the game in sensational style when, with his first touch, he fired the ball into the top right hand corner of the net from fully thirty yards for a superb goal. As they continued to press Dolan played a clever ball inside to Enda Carroll but he was denied by a fine Philip Flannelly tackle and then a lovely flowing move involving Trevor Moylan, Gio Russo and Brian Norris ended with Shane Dolan firing over. With five minutes remaining the woodwork again came to the visitors rescue when Derek Coolahan picked the ball up on the edge of the area and curled his shot around Egan only to see it come back off the far post as Tullamore laid claim to all three points.

This win keeps Tullamore in second place in the League table and well on course for promotion. In spite of having two players sent off Mid Sutton provided the home side with a stiff challenge throughout and might well have taken something from this game had they remained at full strength. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis and Kevin Minnock while Richie Marshall, Alan Keogh and Carl Hitchcock were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding centre forward, Shane Dolan.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Ken Doyle, Brian Norris, Macdarragh O’Neill, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Gio Russo, Derek Coolahan, Mattie Hynes and Aaron Moore.

SFAI Cup Under-13

Tullamore Town 1 Cabinteely FC 6

The Tullamore boys dreams of reaching the last eight of this prestigious competition were shattered in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday by a Cabinteely team that were quite outstanding. The home side began brightly with Mark Bolton playing a great ball through to Nikita Spovla, but he was taken down on the edge of the area. As the visitors hit back Ben Moran Jackson and Daniel Tsarcevskis combined to pick out Conor Browne on the right and his cross shot flew across the face of the goal. It soon became apparent that the visitors were a team bristling with talent as their controlled two touch football saw them dominate proceedings and, with fifteen minutes gone, they opened the scoring when Eoin O’Neill burst through the middle and planted the ball in the bottom left corner of the net. As they looked to tighten their grip on the game Toby Owens played a lovely ball through to Tsarcevskis, but Jake Hafferty was quickly off his line to avert the danger. With twenty minutes on the clock they increased their advantage when O’Neill broke clear on the left and, when Hafferty blocked his effort, Tsarcevskis was on hand to place the rebound in the net. As they continued to press, Owens fired in a dangerous cross that Corey White did well to head clear. It was far from all one way traffic and Tullamore went close when Daniel Fox picked the ball up on the right and fired inches outside the far post. Cabinteely nearly increased their advantage when Tsarcevskis saw the Tullamore keeper off his line and cleverly lobbed him, only to see the ball come back off the right post. They were not to be denied on twenty five minutes when lovely play from Sean Schutte in the middle saw him pick out Toby Owens who threaded the ball through to Eoin O’Neill and he fired home at the near post. With Mark Bolton working hard in mid-field and Michael and Daniel Fox looking dangerous up front the home side began to battle their way back into the game and, with half-time approaching, they hit back in spectacular fashion. Jay Sheeran pounced on a Cabinteely clearance and from twenty five yards he fired a great shot into the roof of the net to put his side back in the game.

With a strong wind at their backs on the resumption Tullamore tried to put the visitors under pressure, but it was Cabinteely who threatened first when Toby Owens broke clear on the left and fired narrowly wide. Nikita Spovla tested the visitors defence when he picked the ball up in the inside left channel but Charlie Dunne got across to clear. The home side were dealt a hammer blow five minutes into the second half when Ben Moran Jackson played a superb ball through to Daniel Tsarcevskis and he made no mistake to put his side three goals in front. Tullamore went close when Michael Fox just failed to get on the end of Mark Bolton’s free kick while, at the other end, Eoin O’Neill and Conor Browne combined to send Toby Owens clear, but he was denied by a fine save from Jake Hafferty. The home side were desperately unlucky not to get a goal back when Michael Fox was fouled on the right and Jay Sheeran’s beautifully flighted free kick was taken off the line with the keeper beaten. As they continued to press Daniel Fox’s long range effort was well held by Jack Jenkins in the Cabinteely goal. The visitors increased their lead when Eoin O’Neill picked the ball up on the left and played it inside to George Downer who found the bottom right corner. They were now in complete control and went close when Luke Dunne played a great ball through to Downer, but this time his shot drifted outside the left post. They again threatened when Ben Moran Jackson picked out James Dunne but he fired inches past the right post. With minutes remaining they brought their tally to six when George Downer played the ball through for Eoin O’Neill to complete a fine hat-trick and see his side safely through to the quarter finals.

This was a wonderfully entertaining cup tie between two teams that were a credit to their respective clubs. While Cabinteely fully deserved their victory, the Tullamore boys never gave up and demonstrated that they have many great days ahead. Credit is also due to both managers for getting all their players on to the pitch during the game, ensuring that they participated fully in what was a very special occasion. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Eoin McCarthy, Jack Coyne and Mark Bolton while Pedro Malanda, Daniel Tsarcevskis and Eoin O’Neill were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s mid-fielder and goal scorer, Jay Sheeran.

Tullamore: Jake Hafferty, Eoin McCarthy, Sam Toya, Corey White, Jack Coyne, Jay Sheeran, Mark Bolton, Daniel Fox, Michael Fox, Nikita Spovla, Eoin Sheeran, Sam Bello, Alex Thompson, Josh Mills and Ruairi Daly.

Cabinteely: Jack Jenkins, Ben Moran Jackson, Pedro Malanda, Enda Douglas, Charlie Dunne, Jamie Dodd, Conor Browne, Toby Owens, Sean Schutte, Eoin O’Neill, Daniel Tsarcevskis, George Downer, Luke Dunne, James Dunne, Rufus Ngegwe and Joseph Power06/02/15

The Tom Cullen Cup 1st Round

Tullamore Town 3 Jobstown Celtic 0

Tullamore began their defence of the Tom Cullen Cup in Leah Victoria Park last Friday where a second half salvo saw them safely through to the next round. Jobstown made a lively start to the game with Kunle Doyeni overlapping on the left and sending in a searching cross that was confidently taken by Shane Flanagan who was making his debut in goal for the first team. He was again called into action when he had to come quickly off his line to deal with a through ball from John Redmond while, at the other end, good play by Macdarragh O’Neill sent Brian Francis away but Doyeni got back to clear the danger. With twenty minutes gone the home side nearly hit the front when a Trevor Moylan free kick was deflected into the path of O’Neill, but his effort flew narrowly over. A quick breakout by Jobstown saw David Simpson pick out Dean Meehan, but he was denied by a smart save from Flanagan. O’Neill created danger when he threaded the ball through to Francis but he fired wide under pressure. The visitors again threatened when Joe Grennan got on the end of Alan Byrne’s free kick but his looping header cleared the crossbar. Tullamore went close when Eoghan Smith played a lovely pass through to Brian Francis, but Dean Meehan did well to get back to knock the ball behind. Brian Gill then sent Macdarragh O’Neill free on the right and his dangerous cross was scrambled clear by the Celtic rearguard. Gill again created danger when he pounced on a defensive error to pick out O’Neill, but his swerving shot was just too high. As the visitors hit back Kunle Doyeni made a great break on the left but his low drive flew across the face of the goal. As the game continued to ebb and flow lovely play by O’Neill saw him swop passes with Gill, but he was crowded out in the area. Jobstown showed no sign of flagging and they again created danger when Meehan sent Redmond clear but Rory Condron got back to tidy up. With five minutes remaining in the first half Tullamore had a real shout for a penalty when, following a fine move involving Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis and Gio Russo, Macdarragh O’Neill appeared to be tripped by Doyeni in the area, but the referee waved play on. Celtic were dealt a severe blow when Darren Egan was forced out through injury but they nearly made the breakthrough when Dean Meehan threaded the ball through to John Redmond, but he was denied by a superb tackle from Moylan. Tullamore should have hit the front on the stroke of half time when Condron, O’Neill and Smith combined to pick out Russo at the far post, but his close range effort flew inches wide as the interval arrived with both sides tied at nil all.

Just as the home side should have scored a minute before halftime, Jobstown should have opened their account a minute after the restart. Dean Meehan played a lovely reverse pass to Ross Byrne in the area but, with the goal at his mercy, he lost his footing and the chance was gone. Eoghan Smith picked out Gio Russo on the left but his cross was confidently claimed by Robert De Courcy while, at the other end, Alan Kavanagh got on the end of a weak clearance and drove his shot inches past the left post. With fifty five minutes on the clock the visitors had an amazing escape when Russo cut the ball back to Smith and, when his effort came back off the far post, Macdarragh O’Neill crashed the rebound off the crossbar. With an hour gone manager Tony O’Sullivan changed the game dramatically with the introduction of Kevin Minnock and Pat Gorman. Minnock was straight into the action when he sent O’Neill clear, but De Courcy was quickly off his line to avert the danger. They again went perilously close when Enda Carroll played a great ball through to Brian Gill but, as he attempted to round De Courcy, the keeper got down to make a superb save at his feet. As Tullamore began to dominate proceedings Brian Francis sent Minnock clear but he failed to get enough purchase on his shot and De Courcy saved down low to his left. As the pressure continued to mount Trevor Moylan picked out Francis with a clever free kick, but his effort flew across the face of the goal. With seventy minutes gone Shane Dolan was introduced into the fray and his impact was immediate. Brian Francis was again the creator as he sent him clear in the inside left channel and Dolan drove the ball unerringly into the bottom right hand corner for a fine goal. Five minutes later Trevor Moylan conjured up memories of Carlos Alberto’s wonder strike in the 1970 World Cup Final when he raced onto a half clearance on the right and smashed it first time into the far corner to put his side two goals in front. Within minutes he was in action at the other end when he executed a terrific last ditch tackle to deny Ross Byrne as he looked certain to score. Tullamore threatened when Rory Condron went on a great run through the middle before picking out Brian Gill who played in Shane Dolan, but his effort was too high. Dolan continued to be a thorn in the Celtic defence and he again went close when he got on the end of a Kevin Minnock through ball, but De Courcy saved down low to his left. With minutes remaining they brought their tally to three when Ken Doyle brilliantly charged down a goal bound effort and played the ball out to Brian Gill who threaded it through for Shane Dolan to rifle it into the roof of the net. He was cruelly denied his hat-trick with the last kick of the game when the referee blew the final whistle just as he was driving his shot past De Courcy but, in truth, a 4-0 scoreline would have been harsh on a very good Jobstown Celtic team.

This was another impressive performance by Tullamore in a season that is going from strength to strength. Manager Tony O’Sullivan has to take a lot of credit for the timing of his substitutions which were pivotal in turning the game in his sides favour. A special mention also for young Shane Flanagan who had the distinction of keeping a clean sheet in his first outing with the senior team. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis and Shane Dolan while Robert De Courcy, Alan Byrne and Dean Meehan were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Rory Condron.

Tullamore: Shane Flanagan, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Macdarragh O’Neill, Brian Gill, Eoghan Smith, Enda Carroll, Gio Russo and Brian Francis.

Subs: Pat Gorman, Kevin Minnock and Shane Dolan

30/01/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 3 Leicester Celtic 2

Tullamore continued their relentless push for promotion in Leah Victoria Park last Friday with this pulsating win over a very good Leicester Celtic side. This lifts them into second place in the table, four points behind Portlaoise with two games in hand. They began slowly and were lucky not to fall behind after three minutes when David Kalopa broke clear in the inside right channel and cut the ball back to Graeme Buckley but, with the goal at his mercy, he dragged his shot outside the right post. As Tullamore hit back Brian Norris fired in a searching cross, but Yinka Adebonale was quickly off his line to deny the inrushing Brian Gill. Kalopa again threatened when he burst through the middle but Rory Condron did well to get back to clear the danger. With twenty minutes gone the Rathfarnham side jumped into the lead when Niall Dillane’s left wing cross was only partially cleared to Graeme Buckley and, from twenty yards, he fired an unstoppable shot just inside the right post. They again went close when Kalopa cut in from the left but he was denied by a great sliding tackle from Ken Doyle. Tullamore’s tendency to play the ball long saw them continually give away possession, but they nearly equalised on the half hour when Adebonale failed to hold onto a Brian Norris free kick and Shane Dolan saw his close range effort taken off the line. As they began to move up through the gears Trevor Moylan picked out Dolan in the area but his shot was deflected over and, from the resultant corner, Stephen Francis volleyed inches past the left post. With thirty five minutes on the clock they drew level when Stephen Francis was fouled twenty five yards out and dead ball expert Trevor Moylan blasted the free kick into the top right hand corner of the net. They nearly hit the front when lovely play by Brian Gill saw him pick out Shane Dolan and his clever reverse pass played in Moylan, but his effort was well saved by Adebonale down low to his right. Gill again created danger when his weaving run carried him into the area but Colm Whelan got back to clear. As they continued to press Brian Francis burst through the middle but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Graeme Buckley as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with both teams tied at 1-1.

With manager Tony O’Sullivan bringing on ace goalscorer Macdarragh O’Neill at the interval, Tullamore moved into attacking mode. Gio Russo was first to threaten when he broke clear on the left but Rory Fortune got across to clear. Stephen and Brian Francis then combined to pick out Trevor Moylan on the right and his cross was headed on by O’Neill to Russo at the far post, but his effort flew wide. With fifty five minutes gone they hit the front in somewhat fortuitous fashion when Russo’s right wing cross deceived Yinka Adebonale in the Celtic goal and ended up in the back of the net. The visitors quickly shook off this setback and were desperately unlucky not to equalise on the hour when Kevin Miley picked out Sean Keller in the area, but he was denied by a tremendous point blank save from Gavin Sheilds. Another sweeping move involving Keller, David Kalopa and Niall Dillane created an opening for Paul Connolly but he fired over when well placed. With seventy minutes on the clock Sean Keller won back possession and, from fully twenty five yards, the Leicester captain crashed the ball in off the right post for a superb equaliser. If Keller’s goal was spectacular, Tullamore’s response was sensational. Straight from the kick off Macdarragh O’Neill picked the ball up forty yards out and sliced through the Leicester defence before placing his shot past Adebonale and into the bottom left hand corner for an amazing individual goal. As they looked to finish the game off Brian Gill sent O’Neill clear in the inside right channel but this time Adebonale brilliantly tipped his goal bound effort on to the crossbar and, from the resultant corner, Ken Doyle’s diving header flashed inches past the left post. With Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock coming on Town continued to press and they again went close when O’Neill was taken down thirty yards out and Trevor Moylan fired the free kick narrowly wide as they deservedly laid claim to all three points.

This was a wonderfully entertaining game that was enormously enhanced by some truly memorable goals. For the home side there were outstanding contributions from Ken Doyle, Rory Condron and Macdarragh O’Neill with Sean Keller, Graeme Buckley and David Kalopa the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s captain fantastic, Trevor Moylan.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheilds, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis, Gio Russo and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock.

23/01/15

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Enniskerry Town 1 Tullamore Town 3

Tullamore made the long journey to Wicklow last Friday night to take on promotion rivals Enniskerry Town. In what was a potential six pointer they produced one of their best performances of the season as they dominated for long periods and emerged comfortable winners of a very entertaining game. They got off to the perfect start when, with only seven minutes on the clock, Brian Norris played a lovely ball down the left to Shane Dolan who delivered the perfect cross for Brian Gill to power his header past the home keeper. Playing with great confidence they nearly increased their advantage when Brian Francis burst through the middle but this time the keeper brought off a fine save to keep his team in the game. Tullamore were not to be denied on twenty six minutes when Trevor Moylan’s corner was fumbled by the keeper and Shane Dolan reacted superbly to fire the ball into the roof of the net. He was again in the thick of the action when he got on the end of a Brian Francis pass but, at full stretch, he fired over as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the visitors two goals to the good.

On the resumption Enniskerry went on the offensive but the well drilled Tullamore rearguard were equal to everything that was thrown at them. Despite being under pressure they continued to be dangerous on the break and with sixty five minutes gone they struck again to deadly effect. They won a corner on the right and, when Trevor Moylan swung the ball in, Brian Gill rose above the home defence to send a great header into the top corner of the net for his second goal of the game. Tullamore were now in control but Enniskerry never gave up and with ten minutes remaining they reduced the arrears when Eamon O’Brien got on the end of a right wing cross to sweep the ball past Alan O’Connell. The home side tried to mount a comeback but it was the visitors who came closest to scoring when Stephen Francis sent Shane Dolan clear, but his goal bound effort was brilliantly turned around the post. With manager Tony O’Sullivan bringing on Macdarragh O’Neill, Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock they saw out the remaining minutes to lay claim to all three points.

This was a tremendous display by Tullamore in which everyone played their part. Alan O’Connell and his back four were on top of their game but it was in midfield that this victory was carved out. Brian and Stephen Francis and Enda Carroll dominated proceedings and provided a constant supply of ball to the front three of Brian Gill, Shane Dolan and Gio Russo who worked tirelessly throughout. They have now reached the half way stage with 31 points from a possible 39 and are in a wonderful position to challenge for promotion. With so many outstanding performances on the day it was difficult to pick a man of the match, but the vote finally came down in favour of Brian Gill whose two fine headers decided the game.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Brian Francis, Shane Dolan and Gio Russo.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock (all used).16/01/15

LFA Junior Cup

Tullamore Town 3 Moyne Rangers 1 (aet)

Two goals in the dying minutes of extra time saw Tullamore safely through to the last sixteen of the Leinster Junior Cup against an excellent Moyne Rangers side in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. The final score does not fully reflect the ebb and flow of this absorbing cup tie which remained on a knife edge right up to the final whistle. The home side began brightly with Trevor Moylan’s cross being deflected wide by Mark Kirwan and from the resultant corner Enda Carroll saw his fine header well held by Patrick Doyle. As the visitors hit back James Peare picked the ball up from a throw in, but his long range effort failed to trouble Alan O’Connell in the home goal. With fifteen minutes gone Town nearly hit the front in bizarre circumstances when Richard Farrell, in attempting to clear a dangerous Moylan cross, knocked the ball past the advancing Doyle only to see it drift narrowly outside the left post. Rangers again tried their luck from distance when Thomas Mahon blasted his free kick straight at O’Connell while at the other end Brian Francis picked out Stephen Francis in the inside left channel, but his effort ended up in the side netting. As they continued to press Stephen Francis and Trevor Moylan combined to set up Brian Francis but his shot was charged down and he again went close when he got on the end of a lovely through ball from Brian Gill, but Patrick Doyle was quickly off his line to avert the danger. Town nearly made the breakthrough on thirty five minutes when Brian Francis intercepted a back pass but Anthony Russell recovered brilliantly to clear the danger. Russell was in action at both ends when, following a free, he headed narrowly over and then got back to cut out a searching left wing cross from Shane Dolan as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the scores tied at nil all.

Straight from the kick-off Tullamore hit the front when Brian Francis was taken down just inside the area and Trevor Moylan despatched the resultant penalty into the bottom right corner. They nearly increased their advantage when Shane Dolan got on the end of a long clearance, but Patrick Doyle kept his side in the game with a superb save down low to his right. Dolan again went close when he was put through by Brian Francis but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Richard Farrell. With seventy five minutes on the clock Moyne Rangers were back in the game when Robert Vickers won a corner on the right and when the ball was swung in Richard Farrell somehow managed to steer his header through a forest of defenders and into the back of the net. Tullamore nearly restored their advantage when lovely play between Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Francis saw the latter break into the area, but the ball got caught under his feet and he was crowded out. They went close when Gio Russo played a great crossfield ball to O’Neill but he was hauled down on the edge of the area and Russo was again in the thick of the action when he got on the end of a long clearance, but Doyle brought off another fine save to deny him as the game moved into extra time.

The Enniscorthy side went all out for a winner on the resumption with Robert Vickers bursting through but Ken Doyle got across to clear and Vickers again created danger when his left wing cross just failed to pick out the inrushing Thomas Mahon. Tullamore went close when Macdarragh O’Neill broke free on the right but his shot flew across the face of the goal. Lovely play by Peter O’Rourke saw him slip the ball through to Mahon who pulled it back to James Peare, but his effort was too high. The second period of extra time saw the home side wresting back control of the game with Gio Russo racing clear in the inside left channel, but he was denied by a great sliding tackle from Patrick O’Shea. With minutes remaining they struck for the all important goal. Enda Carroll picked out Brian Francis on the left and when he drove the ball low into the area Eoghan Smith was on hand to fire it past Patrick Doyle from close range. They immediately added to their tally when Rory Condron won possession in his own area and, showing admiral composure, played the ball out to Macdarragh O’Neill who delivered a defence splitting pass into the path of Brian Francis who squeezed his shot under the advancing keeper to leave the final score 3-1 in Tullamore’s favour.

This was a pulsating cup tie in which both sides contributed enormously. Moyne Rangers organisation and clever football posed a real challenge to the home side but they stuck resolutely to their guns and emerged deserving winners of a hugely entertaining game.

There were excellent contributions from Stephen Francis, Gio Russo, Macdarragh O’Neill and Eoghan Smith while Thomas Mahon, Anthony Russell, Patrick O’Shea and Alan Tobin were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s all action centre forward, Brian Francis.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Cillian Killally, Shane Dolan and Brian Francis.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Gio Russo, Eoghan Smith, Patrick Gorman, Kevin Minnock, Michael James and Gavin Sheilds

 

 

 

 

28/11/14

Leinster Junior Cup 4th Round

Tullamore Town 5 Athy Town 0

A second half hat-trick from Eoghan Smith saw Tullamore comfortably through to the 5th Round of the Leinster Junior Cup in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. They were quickly out of the blocks and hit the front after only five minutes when Brian Francis and Enda Carroll combined to pick out Trevor Moylan on the right and his beautifully flighted cross was headed home by Brian Gill at the far post. They increased their advantage on fifteen minutes when, following a short corner, Moylan pulled the ball back to Stephen Francis and his shot appeared to take a slight deflection as it looped up and squeezed inside the left post. As they continued to press Kevin Minnock played a lovely ball through to Shane Dolan but in attempting to round the keeper he was dispossessed. It was not all one-way traffic and Athy nearly got back in the game when Jack Bolger’s speculative drive had to be clawed out from under the crossbar by Alan O’Connell. Tullamore went close when the visitors keeper, under pressure from Minnock, misplaced his clearance to Shane Dolan, but his attempted lob was too high. Kevin Minnock again threatened when he got on the end of Brian Gill’s superb through ball, but he elected to pass when well placed and the chance was lost. Athy hit back with Devon Germaine bursting through the middle but Brian Francis got back to clear the danger while at the other end Stephen Francis played in Shane Dolan, but Shane Foley kept his effort out with his feet. Dolan again went close when, following a free kick, his header was deflected narrowly wide and then Eoghan Smith nearly found the net from close range after Foley fumbled Trevor Moylan’s well struck shot. Cillian Killally tried his luck from distance when he latched onto a clearance but his blistering drive flew inches over as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with the home side two goals to the good.

Tullamore began the second half where they had left off with Eoghan Smith playing a lovely ball through to Kevin Minnock but his effort was charged down. Minutes later they increased their lead when Stephen Francis sent Shane Dolan clear and he unselfishly played the ball inside for Smith to coolly slide it into the bottom right corner. They again went close when Enda Carroll threaded the ball through to the overlapping Cillian Killally and his low cross just missed out Dolan at the far post. The home sides crisp passing game was a delight to watch as they had the visitors chasing shadows for long periods and they duly added to their advantage on sixty three minutes when Shane Dolan pounced on a defensive error to pick out Eoghan Smith who drove the ball under the diving Shane Foley and into the back of the net. Dolan and Smith were again in the thick of the action when they combined to send Macdarragh O’Neill clear but his goal bound effort was charged down. As they continued to turn the screws Mick Walsh did well to clear Trevor Moylan’s dangerous cross but with seventy five minutes on the clock they brought their tally to five. Brian Gill played the ball through to Eoghan Smith in the inside right channel and he drove it into the far corner to complete a superb hat-trick. Athy never gave up and Simon Luttrell was unlucky when his fine effort was blocked by Alan O’Connell with Mark Hayes getting across to complete the clearance. As Tullamore went back on the attack Shane Dolan picked out Derek Coolahan on the left but Anton O’Keeffe did well to get back to clear the danger. The visitors went close when Jason Enright cut through the middle before laying the ball off to Devon Germaine but he fired past the far post. The home side hit back with O’Neill heading Moylan’s deep cross back to Brian Gill but Shane Foley did well to keep his effort out. With minutes remaining he was again called into action when he brilliantly tipped Derek Coolahan’s long range shot over as Tullamore ran out deserving winners of an entertaining game.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Cillian Killally, Brian Francis, Enda Carroll and Stephen Francis with Tim Flood, Jason Enright and Simon Luttrell the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Eoghan Smith.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Rory Condron, Brian Francis, Cillian Killally, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock, Eoghan Smith and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Mark Hayes and Derek Coolahan07/11/14

LSL Sunday Major

Tullamore Town 4 Enniskerry YC 2

Tullamore retained their position as joint League leaders in a thrilling encounter with Wicklow side Enniskerry YC in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. In a game with enough twists and turns to confound even the most avid reader of Agatha Christie novels, they finally made it safely across the line. Having taken a two goal lead and appearing to be cruising, they somehow conspired to hand the initiative back to Enniskerry who will consider themselves unlucky not to have left with something from this match. Starting like a runaway train Tullamore nearly hit the front on two minutes when Brian Gill won possession on the right and played a superb ball behind the defence and into the path of the inrushing Kevin Minnock, but he fired over from close range. They again threatened when Macdarragh O’Neill charged down an attempted clearance with the ball almost rebounding into the net. As they continued to press, O’Neill picked out Trevor Moylan and his searching cross was headed over his own bar by Evan Brack and Moylan was again in the thick of the action when O’Neill just failed to get on the end of his right wing cross. A quick Enniskerry breakout saw Glen Byrne’s effort well held by Gavin Sheils, but with fifteen minutes on the clock Tullamore struck for the opener. Kevin Minnock picked out Brian Francis in midfield and from thirty yards out he fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner to put his side in front. They should have increased their advantage minutes later when Macdarragh O’Neill got on the end of Trevor Moylan’s fine cross but he flashed his header outside the post. The visitors served notice of how dangerous they could be when Kyle Kelly’s cross was headed narrowly wide by James Bailey at the far post. As Tullamore hit back Brian Gill played a lovely ball down the right to Trevor Moylan and keeper Craig Williams did well to keep out his dipping cross shot. Great play by Brian Francis saw him pull the ball back to Enda Carroll, but his effort just flew outside the angle of bar and post. With thirty five minutes gone they scored another outstanding goal when Brian Francis played the ball upfield to Macdarragh O’Neill and he held off two defenders before slipping it through to Brian Gill who cleverly clipped it over the advancing Williams and into the net. Within minutes the visitors were back in the game when, following a corner, Jay Byrne latched onto a clearance and picked out Glen Byrne in the area and he drove the ball home from close range. With Tullamore still rocking they nearly equalised when Jay Byrne’s dangerous inswinging corner was tipped over the bar by Gavin Sheils as the interval arrived with the home side 2-1 in front.

There was little evidence of what was to come as Tullamore began the second half brightly with Macdarragh O’Neill picking out Kevin Minnock on the left and Craig Williams doing well to keep out his near post effort. With fifty five minutes gone they were hit with a sucker punch when Enniskerry won a free kick on the right and, when the ball was floated in, Jay Byrne got across the advancing keeper to place his header in the back of the net to level the game. As the home side tried to restore their lead Trevor Moylan found Brian Gill in the area but Williams saved well at his feet and then Minnock got on the end of a fine crossfield ball from Moylan, but he drove his shot wide. In an attempt to shake things up manager Tony O’Sullivan introduced Shane Dooley up front with Macdarragh O’Neill moving to the left wing, but it was the visitors who were asking all the questions. They should have hit the front on seventy minutes when Jay Byrne’s looping cross fell to James Bailey but his shot struck the outside of the post and then Glen Fitzsimons picked out Kyle Kelly with Gavin Sheils doing well to keep out his near post effort. Bailey again went perilously close on seventy five minutes when he won possession on the edge of the area, but his shot flew inches outside the right post. Pat Gorman came on for the injured Ken Doyle and was straight into the action when Macdarragh O’Neill threaded the ball through to him in the area but he was crowded out. With eighty three minutes on the clock Tullamore conjured up the all important score when the keeper failed to hold a Stephen Francis free kick and, as the ball pinged around the area, Shane Dooley pounced to drive it through a forest of legs and into the back of the net. As they went for the jugular O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Dooley but Trevor Hall got across to clear and minutes later the same two players combined, but this time Dooley was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Jay Byrne. Shane Dooley was now in full flight and he again went close when he chased down a long Gavin Sheils clearance, but his effort was well saved by Craig Williams down low to his left. With minutes remaining they wrapped the game up in style when Stephen Francis burst through the middle and played a beautifully weighted pass to Macdarragh O’Neill who brilliantly skipped past two tackles before sliding the ball under the advancing Williams to ensure their title challenge remains firmly on course.

This was an exhilarating game of football in which both teams contributed enormously. Special mention also goes to referee Pat Geoghegan who never lost control of proceedings and time and again demonstrated his authority by moving quickly and decisively to diffuse a number of potential flash points. While some of Tullamore’s defending will have given manager Tony O’Sullivan cause for concern he will have been delighted with his team’s battling qualities as they fought their way back into the game against a very good Enniskerry side. There were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Cillian Killally, Brian Francis and Shane Dooley with Evan Brack, Glen Byrne, Kyle Kelly and James Bailey the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding playmaker, Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Rory Condron, Ken Doyle, Cillian Killally, Brian Gill, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Brian Francis, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Shane Dooley, Pat Gorman, Shane Dolan, Derek Coolahan and Alan O’Connell.

01/11/14

CCFL U17 Division

Willow Park 0 Tullamore Town 3

Tullamore got back to winning ways last Saturday when they travelled to Athlone and comprehensively despatched Willow Park on a rain swept pitch. They started well with Stephen Leonard testing the Willow keeper from long range and David English firing narrowly wide. The home side battled back as they began to tighten their grip on midfield, but Tullamore held firm with Sean Connolly and Adam McGuinness outstanding in defence. Willow did create chances during this period but nothing clear cut as keeper Conor Langton dealt comfortably with everything that was thrown at him. Tullamore were always dangerous on the break and should have broken the deadlock when Mark Geraghty was sent clear by David Buckley but, on his weaker foot, he dragged his shot outside the post. They took the lead minutes later when Stephen Leonard cut in from the right and fed the ball to David Buckley who in turn played it square to David English. He played it out wide to Mark Geraghty whose shot deflected across goal to the unmarked John Paul Casey who calmly controlled the ball before cutting inside and driving it low into the bottom left corner of the net. Growing in confidence they took control of the game with Leonard, Buckley and English all having shots well saved by the Willow keeper. They increased their advantage in spectacular fashion when David English collected the ball from David Buckley in midfield, skipped past two challenges and, from twenty five yards out, curled a beautiful shot into the top left corner of the net to leave Tullamore two goals to the good at the interval.

The second half continued in similar vein with Tullamore enjoying the better of the exchanges, but it was not all one-way traffic. Willow nearly reduced the arrears when, following a corner, the ball broke back to their centre half and he saw his goal bound effort blocked on the line by Stephen Leonard. Paul Luby came on for the injured Mark Geraghty and was quickly into the action when David Buckley played him in with a lovely slide rule pass, but the keeper was quickly off his line to deny him. He again went close when he got on the end of Sean Connolly’s headed clearance, but with only the keeper to beat he fired wide. The chances were coming thick and fast and Connolly threatened when he got on the end of a Jack Goodings free kick, but his header flew narrowly wide. The visitors made it three nil when the keeper failed to hold onto a through ball and, as it broke back into play, David Buckley was first to react as he drove it into the back of the net for his second goal in two games. Tullamore remained in control and created further chances through Stephen Leonard, Cian Brennan and Brendan Kelleher without adding to their tally as they ran out comfortable winners of a very entertaining match.

This was an excellent team performance with special mention going to Stephen Leonard who worked tirelessly throughout while David English and David Buckley in midfield were a constant threat, but the outstanding contributions came from centre half Sean Connolly and left full back Adam McGuinness. They were both totally dominant in defence with team captain Sean Connolly just shading it for the man of the match award.

Tullamore: Conor Langton, Adam McGuiness, Sean Connolly, Mike McArdle, Brion Carroll, Jack Goodings, David English, David Buckley, John Paul Casey, Mark Geraghty, and Stephen Leonard.

Subs: Paul Luby for Mark Geraghty, Cian Brennan for John Paul Casey, Brendan Kelleher for David Buckley, Adam Condron for Stephen Leonard and Adam Finlay24/10/14

 

 

 

 

LSL Polikoff Cup 

Polikoff Cup 2nd Round

Tullamore Town  0   Hartstown/Huntstown FC  3

Tullamore’s great six match winning run was brought to a shuddering halt in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as they were unceremoniously bundled out of the Polikoff Cup by a well drilled Hartstown/Huntstown team. They began brightly and on seven minutes Kevin Minnock cut in from the left and Kyle Delavri did well to keep his low drive out with his feet. The Dublin side threatened when Larry Doolan broke clear in the inside left channel but Brian Francis got across to cut out the danger. As the home side went in search of the opener Macdarragh O’Neill had his blistering shot parried by Delavri and then Brian Gill burst through the middle, but he was denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Darren McGrath. With twenty minutes gone Tullamore suffered a major setback when their influential midfielder Stephen Francis was forced out through injury. With Pat Gorman coming on they renewed their efforts and went close when Gill had his shot charged down and, when Trevor Moylan latched on to the loose ball, Delavri saved down low to his left. As they continued to press O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Minnock, but Darren McCabe came to his sides rescue with a great relieving tackle. It was not all one-way traffic and Rory Condron had to be alert to dispossess Mark Walsh and then David Simpson broke clear on the left but Enda Carroll got back to block his cross. As Tullamore hit back a great weaving run by Brian Gill saw him pick out Kevin Minnock, but he flashed his shot past the post when well placed. Pat Gorman almost got on the end of a fine Trevor Moylan cross but Steven Jenkinson got back to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Gill’s header flew inches outside the right post. With minutes remaining in the first half Derek Coolahan sent Macdarragh O’Neill clear, but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save from Kyle Delavri as the interval arrived with the game tied at nil all. 

The second half proved to be an entirely different proposition as the visitors began to emerge from their defensive shell. Despite this Tullamore were first to threaten when good play down the left by Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock was cut out by Darren McCabe and then Derek Coolahan won possession and broke through the middle, but he delayed his shot and was crowded out. As Hartstown/Huntstown began to tighten their grip on the game Kevin Dunne latched on to a weak clearance and fired narrowly over but, with fifty eight minutes on the clock, they hit the front. In a classic break-out Larry Doolan picked out Sean O’Reilly in the inside left channel and he expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Gavin Sheils and into the far corner. The home side nearly got back in the game when Rory Condron’s in-swinging free kick was hooked off the line but on seventy five minutes they fell further behind. Once again a quick counter attack sent Mark Walsh scything through the defence and he made no mistake as he drove his shot past Sheils to give his side a two goal advantage. As Town tried to get back in the game Brian Francis headed Trevor Moylan’s free kick over and he again went close when he went on a great run through the middle before laying the ball of to Kevin Minnock, but his effort flew outside the right post. With three minutes remaining their fate was sealed when Thomas Martin played a lovely ball through to Sean O’Reilly and he coolly placed his shot inside the far post to see his side safely through to the third round.

In many respects Tullamore were hoisted on their own petard as they were undone by Hartstown/Huntstown’s counter attacking play, a tactic they themselves have used to devastating effect over the last number of weeks. 
Manager Tony O’Sullivan will be hoping to have key players Ken Doyle, Brian Norris and Stephen Francis restored to full fitness this Friday for their game against Knocklyon United as they look to consolidate their position at the top of the LSL Major Division. 

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Rory Condron, Eoghan Smith, Derek Coolahan, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Pat Gorman, Mattie Hynes, James Carthy, and Enda Ravenhill.  

Hartstown/Huntstown: Kyle Delavri, Darren McCabe, David Simpson, Steven Jenkinson, Brian Lynam, Darren McGrath, Sean O’Reilly, Kevin Dunne, Mark Walsh, Ian Roche and Larry Doolan.
Subs: Thomas Martin.
Polikoff Cup 2nd Round

Tullamore Town  0   Hartstown/Huntstown FC  3

Tullamore’s great six match winning run was brought to a shuddering halt in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as they were unceremoniously bundled out of the Polikoff Cup by a well drilled Hartstown/Huntstown team. They began brightly and on seven minutes Kevin Minnock cut in from the left and Kyle Delavri did well to keep his low drive out with his feet. The Dublin side threatened when Larry Doolan broke clear in the inside left channel but Brian Francis got across to cut out the danger. As the home side went in search of the opener Macdarragh O’Neill had his blistering shot parried by Delavri and then Brian Gill burst through the middle, but he was denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Darren McGrath. With twenty minutes gone Tullamore suffered a major setback when their influential midfielder Stephen Francis was forced out through injury. With Pat Gorman coming on they renewed their efforts and went close when Gill had his shot charged down and, when Trevor Moylan latched on to the loose ball, Delavri saved down low to his left. As they continued to press O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Minnock, but Darren McCabe came to his sides rescue with a great relieving tackle. It was not all one-way traffic and Rory Condron had to be alert to dispossess Mark Walsh and then David Simpson broke clear on the left but Enda Carroll got back to block his cross. As Tullamore hit back a great weaving run by Brian Gill saw him pick out Kevin Minnock, but he flashed his shot past the post when well placed. Pat Gorman almost got on the end of a fine Trevor Moylan cross but Steven Jenkinson got back to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Gill’s header flew inches outside the right post. With minutes remaining in the first half Derek Coolahan sent Macdarragh O’Neill clear, but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save from Kyle Delavri as the interval arrived with the game tied at nil all. 

The second half proved to be an entirely different proposition as the visitors began to emerge from their defensive shell. Despite this Tullamore were first to threaten when good play down the left by Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock was cut out by Darren McCabe and then Derek Coolahan won possession and broke through the middle, but he delayed his shot and was crowded out. As Hartstown/Huntstown began to tighten their grip on the game Kevin Dunne latched on to a weak clearance and fired narrowly over but, with fifty eight minutes on the clock, they hit the front. In a classic break-out Larry Doolan picked out Sean O’Reilly in the inside left channel and he expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Gavin Sheils and into the far corner. The home side nearly got back in the game when Rory Condron’s in-swinging free kick was hooked off the line but on seventy five minutes they fell further behind. Once again a quick counter attack sent Mark Walsh scything through the defence and he made no mistake as he drove his shot past Sheils to give his side a two goal advantage. As Town tried to get back in the game Brian Francis headed Trevor Moylan’s free kick over and he again went close when he went on a great run through the middle before laying the ball of to Kevin Minnock, but his effort flew outside the right post. With three minutes remaining their fate was sealed when Thomas Martin played a lovely ball through to Sean O’Reilly and he coolly placed his shot inside the far post to see his side safely through to the third round.

In many respects Tullamore were hoisted on their own petard as they were undone by Hartstown/Huntstown’s counter attacking play, a tactic they themselves have used to devastating effect over the last number of weeks. 
Manager Tony O’Sullivan will be hoping to have key players Ken Doyle, Brian Norris and Stephen Francis restored to full fitness this Friday for their game against Knocklyon United as they look to consolidate their position at the top of the LSL Major Division. 

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Rory Condron, Eoghan Smith, Derek Coolahan, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill.
Subs: Pat Gorman, Mattie Hynes, James Carthy, and Enda Ravenhill.  

Hartstown/Huntstown: Kyle Delavri, Darren McCabe, David Simpson, Steven Jenkinson, Brian Lynam, Darren McGrath, Sean O’Reilly, Kevin Dunne, Mark Walsh, Ian Roche and Larry Doolan.
Subs: Thomas Martin.

Tullamore Town 0 Hartstown/Huntstown FC 3

Tullamore’s great six match winning run was brought to a shuddering halt in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as they were unceremoniously bundled out of the Polikoff Cup by a well drilled Hartstown/Huntstown team. They began brightly and on seven minutes Kevin Minnock cut in from the left and Kyle Delavri did well to keep his low drive out with his feet. The Dublin side threatened when Larry Doolan broke clear in the inside left channel but Brian Francis got across to cut out the danger. As the home side went in search of the opener Macdarragh O’Neill had his blistering shot parried by Delavri and then Brian Gill burst through the middle, but he was denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Darren McGrath. With twenty minutes gone Tullamore suffered a major setback when their influential midfielder Stephen Francis was forced out through injury. With Pat Gorman coming on they renewed their efforts and went close when Gill had his shot charged down and, when Trevor Moylan latched on to the loose ball, Delavri saved down low to his left. As they continued to press O’Neill played a lovely ball through to Minnock, but Darren McCabe came to his sides rescue with a great relieving tackle. It was not all one-way traffic and Rory Condron had to be alert to dispossess Mark Walsh and then David Simpson broke clear on the left but Enda Carroll got back to block his cross. As Tullamore hit back a great weaving run by Brian Gill saw him pick out Kevin Minnock, but he flashed his shot past the post when well placed. Pat Gorman almost got on the end of a fine Trevor Moylan cross but Steven Jenkinson got back to knock the ball behind and, from the resultant corner, Gill’s header flew inches outside the right post. With minutes remaining in the first half Derek Coolahan sent Macdarragh O’Neill clear, but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save from Kyle Delavri as the interval arrived with the game tied at nil all.

The second half proved to be an entirely different proposition as the visitors began to emerge from their defensive shell. Despite this Tullamore were first to threaten when good play down the left by Eoghan Smith and Kevin Minnock was cut out by Darren McCabe and then Derek Coolahan won possession and broke through the middle, but he delayed his shot and was crowded out. As Hartstown/Huntstown began to tighten their grip on the game Kevin Dunne latched on to a weak clearance and fired narrowly over but, with fifty eight minutes on the clock, they hit the front. In a classic break-out Larry Doolan picked out Sean O’Reilly in the inside left channel and he expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Gavin Sheils and into the far corner. The home side nearly got back in the game when Rory Condron’s in-swinging free kick was hooked off the line but on seventy five minutes they fell further behind. Once again a quick counter attack sent Mark Walsh scything through the defence and he made no mistake as he drove his shot past Sheils to give his side a two goal advantage. As Town tried to get back in the game Brian Francis headed Trevor Moylan’s free kick over and he again went close when he went on a great run through the middle before laying the ball of to Kevin Minnock, but his effort flew outside the right post. With three minutes remaining their fate was sealed when Thomas Martin played a lovely ball through to Sean O’Reilly and he coolly placed his shot inside the far post to see his side safely through to the third round.

In many respects Tullamore were hoisted on their own petard as they were undone by Hartstown/Huntstown’s counter attacking play, a tactic they themselves have used to devastating effect over the last number of weeks.

Manager Tony O’Sullivan will be hoping to have key players Ken Doyle, Brian Norris and Stephen Francis restored to full fitness this Friday for their game against Knocklyon United as they look to consolidate their position at the top of the LSL Major Division.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Rory Condron, Eoghan Smith, Derek Coolahan, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Pat Gorman, Mattie Hynes, James Carthy, and Enda Ravenhill.

Hartstown/Huntstown: Kyle Delavri, Darren McCabe, David Simpson, Steven Jenkinson, Brian Lynam, Darren McGrath, Sean O’Reilly, Kevin Dunne, Mark Walsh, Ian Roche and Larry Doolan.

Subs: Thomas Martin17/10/14

Leinster Junior Cup 2nd Round

St.Paul’s FC (Artane) 1 Tullamore Town 4

Tullamore’s wonderful start to the season reached new heights last Sunday when they travelled to the AUL Complex in Dublin to take on cup favourites St. Paul’s. The Artane side are currently leading the AUL Premier Division and have six representatives on the Oscar Traynor team. This result was undoubtedly the shock of the round but, as the scoreline indicates, it was a well deserved victory. Not for the first time this season manager Tony O’Sullivan got his tactics spot on. Playing with three in the middle and relying on front men, Brian Gill, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill to counter attack with pace, they continued to harass the home defence. Brian and Stephen Francis along with Enda Carroll were immense in midfield and their work rate and composure on the ball never allowed their more illustrious opponents to dictate affairs. Their defence and goalkeeper were also outstanding and it is testimony to their good play that St.Paul’s had to wait thirty minutes for their first shot on goal. They attempted to break down Tullamore by playing long diagonal balls to their six foot four inch centre forward, Stuart Glenn, but centre backs Ken Doyle and Rory Condron won the vast majority of the aerial duels. Despite their good play the visitors fell behind on thirty five minutes when Glenn got on the end of a free kick to send a fine back post header into the net. Within three minutes Tullamore were back in the game when, following a Trevor Moylan corner, goalkeeper Craig Reilly fumbled the ball under pressure from Brian Francis and Ken Doyle was first to react to bundle it into the back of the net. They hit the front on the stroke of half time when Brian Gill won possession on the end line, nutmegged the full back and, with his back to goal, back heeled the ball past the keeper for an audacious score.

St.Paul’s began the second half with all guns blazing but they were repeatedly frustrated by Tullamore’s uncompromising defence and the neat passing movements of their midfield trio. The pivotal moment of the game arrived on sixty three minutes when the referee awarded a penalty to the home side for an Enda Carroll hand ball. Martin Moore struck the ball powerfully towards the bottom left corner but Gavin Sheils brilliantly blocked his effort and, as the ball broke back, Brian Norris played it out to Brian Francis. He in turn sent Brian Gill clear on the left and he crossed the ball for the inrushing Macdarragh O’Neill to slot it past the advancing Craig Reilly in the home goal. In a matter of seconds, instead of being all square, Tullamore now had a two goal advantage. St.Paul’s threw everything into attack in an effort to get back in the game but on seventy minutes the visitors struck again. Centre half Darren Murphy attempted to dribble the ball out of defence but was dispossessed by Macdarragh O’Neill who raced through to fire home his second, and Tullamore’s fourth, to guarantee his sides place in the third round. The home team never gave up and nearly got a goal back in the last minute when a fine Stuart Glenn header came back off the post. The referee’s final whistle was greeted by scenes of great jubilation from players, management and supporters as a shell shocked St.Paul’s looked on in disbelief.

This was an amazing victory by any standards as this Tullamore team continues to go from strength to strength. Great credit goes to manager Tony O’Sullivan and his assistant Shane Colsh, but especially to the players who are currently representing their town with such distinction.

In what was a superb team performance there were outstanding contributions from Gavin Sheils, Brian Francis and Enda Carroll, but the man of the match award went to their midfield playmaker, Stephen Francis.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Brian Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Shane Dolan, Derek Coolahan and Mattie Hynes (all used).26/09/14

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Fairview Rangers 1 Tullamore Town 2

A goal in injury time by Macdarragh O’Neill gave Tullamore a priceless victory in Dublin on Friday night. This was their fifth league win in six games and they are now firmly positioned in second place in the table. They enjoyed the lions share of the play and even had two goals disallowed in what was a very impressive performance. They thought they had taken the lead on seventeen minutes when, following a corner, Cillian Killally’s header appeared to cross the line but, to the dismay of the Tullamore players, the referee waved play on. With Fairview relying on the long ball they rarely troubled the visitors defence and with Enda Carroll and Stephen Francis pulling the strings in midfield Tullamore always looked more likely to make the breakthrough. They had another goal ruled out when Ken Doyle latched on to a clearance from a corner and hammered the ball home but the referee whistled for offside. They finally made their pressure pay on fifty four minutes when Brian Gill worked an opening on the edge of the area and his goal bound effort took a slight deflection giving the home keeper no chance. As they continued to press Kevin Minnock fired narrowly over but on seventy minutes they were rocked back on their heels. Fairview won a free kick on the edge of the box and O’Sullivan found the corner of the net despite a great effort by Gavin Sheils to keep it out. Tullamore came storming back with the Fairview keeper making three fine saves to deny Brian Francis, Shane Dolan and Cillian Killally but, just when it seemed it was not going to be their night, they launched one final attack. Brian Francis received the ball from a short corner and fired in a shot that looped up off a defender for Macdarragh O’Neill to rise above his marker and send a great header into the top corner of the net to lay claim to all three points.

This was a fine win that reflects the tremendous spirit in the team at the moment. Gavin Sheils made his debut in goal and was very impressive throughout. In front of him the defence was superb while in midfield Stephen Francis and Enda Carroll were outstanding. Up front Brian Gill, Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Francis gave the home defence a torrid time with their pace and movement. Manager Tony O’Sullivan has instilled a great belief and work ethic in the team which will hopefully stand them in good stead over the coming months.

In what was an excellent all round performance the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s all action midfielder, Enda Carroll.

Tullamore: Gavin Sheils, Cillian Killally, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Kevin Minnock, Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Francis.

Subs: Shane Dolan, Pat Gorman and James Dunne.

21/09/14

Leinster Junior Cup

Kilmore United 2 Tullamore Town 8

Tullamore made the long journey to Wexford and despite an early scare they eventually came away with a comprehensive win, a feature of which was a four goal salvo from in form striker Brian Francis. They were quickly into their stride and took an early lead when Macdarragh O’Neill won possession on the edge of the area and sent a lovely shot into the far corner of the net. Kilmore levelled on fifteen minutes through Keogh and five minutes later the same player struck again to put his side in front. Tullamore got back in the game when Brian Francis was taken down in the box and Brian Gill expertly converted the spot kick. They regained the lead on the stroke of half time when Brian Francis won possession thirty yards out on the left and fired a rocket into the top corner of the net to leave the score 3-2 at the interval in the visitors favour.

Tullamore increased their lead within minutes of the restart when Eoin Smith played a great ball through to Brian Francis and he outpaced the home defence before firing past the advancing keeper. Minutes later he completed his hat-trick when he ran on to another fine pass from Smith and rounded the keeper before placing the ball in the net. Smith was again the architect in chief when he played another defence splitting pass to Macdarragh O’Neill to bring the visitors tally to six. With seventy five minutes gone Brian Francis struck for his fourth when he latched on to a poor clearance and lobbed the keeper from thirty yards and Keith O’Connor wrapped up the scoring when he finished off a fine move to see his side comfortably through to the next round.

This was a hugely impressive performance by Tullamore with excellent contributions from Rory Condron, Eoin Smith, Stephen Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill, but the man of the match award went to their four goal striker, Brian Francis.

Tullamore: Kevin Minnock, Mattie Hynes, Rory Condron, Ken Doyle, Brian Norris, Eoin Smith, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Cillian Killally, Macdarragh O’Neill and Brian Francis.

Subs: Keith O’Connor and Aaron Colsh.

12/09/14

FAI Junior Cup

Tullamore Town 1-3 Mountview Utd

High flying Tullamore were brought crashing back to earth in Leah Victoria Park last Friday as they were comprehensively turned over by a very impressive Mountview United. Starting slowly, they never managed to get out of third gear as they found themselves on the back foot for most of the game. They were the authors of their own misfortune when, with only five minutes on the clock, an attempted clearance went straight to Gerry Ward and he promptly placed the ball in the unguarded net. The crisp passing, tough tackling visitors grabbed the initiative and only a fine relieving tackle from Brian Norris prevented Martin Mullarney adding to their advantage. Tullamore went close when Keith O’Connor picked out Brian Gill, but his effort was brilliantly tipped over by Stephen Daly. Ken Doyle was in action at opposite ends of the pitch when he bravely charged down a Niki Soso shot and then got on the end of an Enda Carroll free kick, but his header flew across the face of the goal. Soso again threatened when he broke clear on the left but he was denied by a great Rory Condron tackle and then Ward fired over when well placed. Mountview deservedly increased their lead on twenty minutes when, following a free kick, Mullarney placed a lovely header into the top corner. The home side nearly got back in the game when Carroll was taken down twenty yards out and Shane Dolan drove the resultant free inches wide. They again went close from a dead ball situation when Condron curled his effort outside the right post. As they continued to press Macdarragh O’Neill broke free on the left but a great tackle by Craig Geare stopped him in his tracks. He again went close when he got on the end of a defence splitting pass from Pat Gorman, but Daly was quickly off his line to block his effort. Mountview went close when, following a corner, Kevin Bryant tipped Ray Hyland’s near post header over. As the home side went back on the offensive Brian Gill headed O’Neill’s corner kick over and he again went close when he got on the end of O’Connor’s fine cross, but again his header was off target. With the first half drifting into time added on, Tullamore were thrown a lifeline when O’Neill was bundled over in the area and Shane Dolan drove the spot kick into the bottom left corner to leave the score 2-1 in the visitors favour at the interval.

Tullamore began the second half brightly with Brian Norris picking out Shane Dolan at the near post but his glancing shot was well held by Stephen Daly. Mountview went back on the attack with Niki Soso being denied by a fine Ken Doyle tackle and then Martin Mullarney broke clear in the inside right channel only for Kevin Bryant to bring off a brilliant point blank save. Richard Coates threatened when he got on the end of Mullarney’s cross but he volleyed wide and then Doyle again came to his sides rescue with a great sliding tackle to keep out the dangerous Soso. Their pressure paid off on seventy minutes when good play on the edge of the area saw the ball break back to Mullarney and he coolly slotted it into the bottom right corner. Within minutes Mountview were reduced to ten men when Gerry Ward was red carded for a second offence. Tullamore tried to make their numerical advantage pay with Kevin Minnock cutting in from the left, but his shot was well saved by Daly. They again went close when Rory Condron picked out Brian Gill and his fierce drive flew narrowly past the left post. The visitors finished the stronger with Niki Soso twice being denied by great defensive work from Rory Condron as they deservedly booked their place in the next round.

This was a strangely lethargic performance by Tullamore. The absence of Trevor Moylan and Brian Francis was sorely felt, but the fact that they were outfought in so many positions will be a cause for concern. The free flowing football that has been such a feature of their play to date was rarely in evidence as they were reduced to playing long balls in the latter stages. There were excellent contributions from Rory Condron, Brian Norris and Stephen Francis with Chris Barber, Gerry Ward and Martin Mullarney the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Ken Doyle.

Tullamore: Kevin Bryant, Keith O’Connor, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Enda Carroll, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Macdarragh O’Neill and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Shane Dooley, Kevin Minnock, James Carthy and Peter Daly

05/09/14

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 2-0 Ratoath Harps

Tullamore moved into second place in the League with this very impressive win over a combative Ratoath side in Leah Victoria Park last Friday. Playing a lovely brand of attacking football they chalked up their fourth win in a row as they continue to thrive under the stewardship of new manager Tony O’Sullivan. They started brightly and with only ten minutes on the clock they nearly opened their account when Brian Gill won possession on the edge of the area, but his audacious chip just drifted over the bar. They were not to be denied when minutes later Gill played a lovely reverse pass to Pat Gorman and he cut the ball back for Macdarragh O’Neill to rifle it into the corner of the net. It was not all one way traffic and Tullamore had a scare on fifteen minutes when, following a corner, James Cassidy’s fine header was blocked on the line by Brian Francis. They immediately went back on the attack and nearly increased their advantage when O’Neill played a great ball through to Gorman but his effort was brilliantly kept out by the Ratoath keeper. The home side went close on twenty minutes when Stephen Francis sent O’Neill clear, but the keeper again came to his sides rescue and minutes later Brian Gill made a great run across the box but fired narrowly wide. With the interval approaching Macdarragh O’Neill pulled the ball back for Stephen Francis but his effort was too high as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion with Tullamore one goal to the good.

The second half began in similar fashion with Macdarragh O’Neill making a great run through the middle before laying the ball off to Enda Carroll, but his effort was charged down. O’Neill again went close on fifty five minutes when he got on the end of Trevor Moylan’s free kick, but his header just flew outside the post. With their back four dominant they finally made their pressure pay on the hour when Moylan played a superb thirty yard pass through to Stephen Francis and he finished expertly to the net. Tullamore were now in complete control and minutes later Moylan whipped in another fine cross but O’Neill’s brilliant header just cleared the crossbar. As they continued to press Shane Dolan fired narrowly wide and then Stephen Francis had another fine effort taken off the line. With the clock ticking down Dolan pulled the ball back for Stephen Duffy, but his shot was too high as the referee brought the curtain down on a very entertaining game.

In what was a fine all-round team performance, special mention goes to eighteen year old Kevin Bryant who was making his first team debut in goal and came through with flying colours. There were excellent contributions from Brian Norris, Trevor Moylan, Stephen Francis and Brian Gill, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young striker, Macdarragh O’Neill.

Tullamore: Kevin Bryant, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Brian Gill, Stephen Francis, Pat Gorman, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis and Macdarragh O’Neill.

Subs: Stephen Duffy, Shane Dolan, Matthew Hynes, James Carthy, Keith O’Connor and Cillian Killally.

26/08/14

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 4-2 Greenhills/Greenpark FC

Tullamore’s terrific start to the season continued apace as they saw off a very good Grenhills/Greenpark side with a swashbuckling first half performance in Leah Victoria Park. With only five minutes on the clock they hit the front when Enda Carroll played a superb ball through to Brian Francis who held off two defenders before driving the ball under the diving Karl Doherty. It was déjà vu three minutes later when Carroll again sent Francis clear with exactly the same result as they raced into a two goal lead. As the visitors hit back Darren O’Reilly fired in a dangerous cross that was headed to safety by Brian Norris and then good play by Gerry Seery saw him break through on the right, but Alan O’Connell managed to block his effort with his feet. Town lifted the siege and went close when Stephen Duffy sent in a right wing cross that fizzed across the face of the goal. With twenty five minutes gone Greenhills got back in the game when Ken Doyle was adjudged to have impeded Audri Sondi in the area and Darren Goode drove the resultant spot kick into the bottom left corner. Within minutes Town had restored their two goal advantage with a score of exceptional quality. Macdarragh O’Neill started the move when he picked out Pat Gorman who sent the ball towards Enda Carroll and he cleverly allowed it to go through to the overlapping Trevor Moylan who pulled it back for Gorman to cushion it into the path of Carroll on the edge of the area and he promptly despatched it into the bottom left corner. Greenhills went back on the offensive with Daniel Geraghty firing inches over from twenty yards and then Sondi picked out Damian Dunne at the far post, but he failed to get enough purchase on his header and O’Connell saved comfortably. With thirty three minutes on the clock the home side went further ahead when O’Neill picked the ball up wide on the left and turned his marker inside out before teeing the ball up for Moylan to power an unstoppable shot just inside the left post. Darren Goode tried to get his side back in the game with a long range effort, but he was off target as the interval arrived with the score 4-1 in Tullamore’s favour.

On the resumption Tullamore continued to press with Steven Francis and Stephen Duffy combining to create an opening for Brian Francis, but his effort was charged down by Chris Ayers. Pat Gorman headed a Brian Norris cross narrowly over and he again went close when he got on the end of a great Macdarragh O’Neill through ball, but he just failed to control it. As Greenhills began to get a grip on the game Darren O’Reilly found Audri Sondi on the edge of the area, but he was denied by a superb one handed save from Alan O’Connell. A lovely jinking run by O’Neill saw him pick out Duffy on the right but his searching cross was cut out by Owen McCurtin. With seventy minutes on the clock the visitors got themselves back in the game when Daniel Geraghty won possession thirty yards out and fired a rocket into the bottom right corner. The home side were clearly under the cosh at this stage but, with Alan O’Connell commanding his area and Ken Doyle and Rory Condron holding firm at the centre of their defence, they steadied the ship and went back on the offensive. O’Neill fired over from twenty five yards and minutes later Gorman pulled the ball back to Trevor Moylan, but his effort was well held by Karl Doherty. With the clock ticking down, good play on the right by Sondi saw him create an opening, but his shot flew outside the far post as the referee brought a very enjoyable game to a conclusion.

This result lifted Tullamore into second place in the table after four games and, while it is very early days, the manner in which they have attained this position has been a great source of satisfaction. Manager Tony O’Sullivan has instilled a new belief in the side and has been delighted with the response he has received from the players. The only cloud hanging over their performances to date has been a tendency to take their foot off the pedal when in control of matches.

There were excellent contributions from Alan O’Connell, Steven Francis and Enda Carroll with Darren Goode, Audri Sondi and Daniel Geraghty the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s all action centre forward, Brian Francis.

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

Subs: James Carthy, Matthew Hynes and Jonathan Smith22/08/14

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division

Tullamore Town 6-2 Hyde Park FC

Following on from their great win against Portlaoise the previous Tuesday, Tullamore produced a stunning six goal salvo in Leah Victoria Park last Friday to see off a shell shocked Hyde Park FC. The Balbriggan side were on the back foot from the outset and were fortunate not to fall behind within minutes of the off when Macdarragh O’Neill went on a weaving run that carried him into the area before being crowded out. Ken Doyle flashed a header narrowly wide from a corner and then Brian Gill played a lovely ball through to Pat Gorman but William Crosby bravely blocked his close range effort and, when the ball broke back, he fired the rebound over. With ten minutes gone the home side hit the front when O’Neill latched onto a clearance and played a great ball through to Shane Dolan who drove it into the bottom right corner. As Park hit back Darren Sweetman picked out Carl Sower, but he was denied by a fine relieving tackle from Brian Norris. They again went close when Anthony Daly burst through the middle and laid the ball off to Ryan McMahon but he fired over. With quarter of an hour gone Tullamore doubled their advantage when Gill played a superb pass down the right to Brian Francis and he played the ball inside for Dolan to slide it past Crosby from close range. Minutes later they increased their lead when O’Neill raced onto a slide rule pass from Gorman and, from twenty yards out, lofted the ball over the keeper and into the net. They should have added to their tally on twenty five minutes when Brian Francis pounced on a defensive mistake to play in Dolan but, with the goal at his mercy, he fired over. Park were unlucky not to get a goal back when Sweetman played a great ball through to McMahon but he was denied by a wonderful point blank save by Alan O’Connell. A lovely flowing move involving Trevor Moylan, Brian Gill and Macdarragh O’Neill ended with Pat Gorman firing over but with half an hour gone they struck again. Brian Francis sent Gill clear in the inside right channel and when he was taken down in the area Moylan drove the resultant spot kick into the bottom right corner. Five minutes later they brought their tally to five when Shane Dolan latched onto a Gorman through ball and finished to the net to complete a fine hat-trick. The visitors got a goal back when, following a corner, Richard Collins picked the ball up on the edge of the area and drilled it into the bottom right corner. Tullamore went back on the offensive and with forty minutes on the clock Macdarragh O’Neill scored another of his signature goals when he got on the end of a great Enda Carroll pass and cheekily chipped the ball over the advancing Crosby and into the net. With minutes remaining in the first half Dolan again went close when he headed Trevor Moylan’s corner narrowly over as the interval arrived with the home side 6-1 in front.

The second half opened in spectacular fashion when Brian Francis picked the ball up twenty five yards from goal and crashed it against the underside of the crossbar with the keeper beaten. Park went close when Richard Collins played a lovely ball through to Ryan McMahon but his effort flew outside the left post while, at the other end, Brian Norris and Pat Gorman combined to create space for Macdarragh O’Neill but his shot was well saved by William Crosby. They again went close when Francis went on a surging run through the middle, but he was denied by a superb John Richardson tackle. Crosby came to his sides rescue when he brilliantly tipped Trevor Moylan’s wicked free kick around the post and he was again in the thick of the action when he was quickly off his line to clear after Norris had played in Brian Francis. With Rory Condron and Ken Doyle dominant at the back it was almost inevitable that Tullamore would take their foot off the pedal and on seventy minutes the visitors reduced the arrears when McMahon’s long range effort squirmed under the body of Kevin Bryant and just made it over the line. As the home side hit back Enda Carroll saw his fine twenty five yard effort well held by Crosby and then great interplay between Pat Gorman and Brian Gill ended with Gorman firing over. With Steven Francis and James Carthy coming on, the home side saw out the remaining minutes without incident as they ran out comfortable winners of a very entertaining game.

This was a hugely impressive exhibition of attacking football from Tullamore that augurs well for the coming season. The arrival of former Athlone Town player Brian Gill has added real quality to their play and his ability to operate in tight situations and to produce the telling pass under pressure was a highlight of the game. The players appear to have bought into new manager Tony O’Sullivan’s free flowing brand of football which, if they can maintain this level of performance, promises to provide plenty of thrills and spills over the next number of months.

There were excellent contributions from Trevor Moylan, Pat Gorman, Brian Gill and Macdarragh O’Neill, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Shane Dolan.

Tullamore: Alan O’Connell, Trevor Moylan, Ken Doyle, Rory Condron, Brian Norris, Enda Carroll, Brian Francis, Pat Gorman, Brian Gill, Macdarragh O’Neill and Shane Dolan.

Subs: Kevin Bryant, Steven Francis, James Carthy and Stephen Duffy.

15/06/14

Tullamore Town League Final

An Portach 1-0 Copper Pot Still

A tremendous first half performance by goalkeeper Kevin Bryant laid the foundation for An Portach’s great win against the much fancied Copper Pot Still in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. They were first to threaten when Pat Cosgrove picked the ball up in the inside right channel and saw his clever lob drift just outside the far post with the keeper stranded. CPS hit back when John Kenny fired in a screamer from twenty yards that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Bryant. As the game continued to ebb and flow Dermot Martin picked out Michael James on the right but his effort was too high while, at the other end, good play from Keith O’Connor saw him cut in from the right before crossing to Brian Francis, but his header was well held by Bryant. Francis then turned provider when he played a lovely ball through to Trevor Francis but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Stephen Barrett. Michael James again created danger on the left when his accurate cross picked out Aaron Doyle but his header was saved by Enda Gorman. As CPS began to dominate proceedings O’Connor sent Brian Francis clear through the middle but Bryant pulled off another fine save to turn his effort around the post. An Portach went close when Arron Hensey played in James but Gorman was quickly off his line to avert the danger. CPS again threatened when Brian Francis broke clear on the right and pulled the ball back to Kenny, but Charlie Kelly got across to block his effort. With five minutes remaining in the first half Kevin Bryant brought off a superb save when, at full stretch, he tipped Kevin Williamson’s twenty yard effort onto the upright as the interval arrived with the scores tied at nil all.

CPS were quickly into their stride on the resumption with Kevin Williamson playing in Keith O’Connor but Aaron Doyle cut out the danger with a great sliding tackle. Michael James and Pat Cosgrove exchanged passes down the right with James having his shot charged down and then Cosgrove sent Dylan Murray clear through the middle but Enda Gorman was alive to the danger. Murray tried his luck from distance but his effort flew over and then James tried to cut in from the right but was denied by a fine tackle from O’Connor. As CPS went back on the attack, Williamson picked out Trevor Francis but Stephen Barrett got across to clear while, at the other end, Michael James and Mick Hannon combined to pick out Murray in the area but Gorman saved well at his feet. As CPS went in search of a winner, Williamson volleyed over from a Justin O’Brien cross and then Enda Ravenhill got on the end of a Trevor Francis cross but his effort was also too high. Ravenhill again went close when Brian Francis pulled the ball back to him on the edge of the area, but he shot narrowly outside the far post. Good play by Justin O’Brien on the left saw him pick out John Kenny in the inside left channel, but he fired past the near post as the game moved into extra time. Within minutes of the restart An Portach struck for the winning goal. Enda Gorman did well to block Stephen Barrett’s wicked free kick but, as the ball broke back, Pat Cosgrove drilled it into the bottom right corner to put his side in front. Despite their best efforts CPS could not get back in the game as An Portach held out for a well deserved victory.

For An Portach there were excellent contributions from Kevin Bryant, Dylan Murray, Michael James and Pat Cosgrove with Pat O’Brien, Kevin Williamson, Brian Francis and Keith O’Connor the pick of the CPS side, but the man of the match award went to An Portach’s outstanding central defender, Stephen Barrett.

Following the game the cup was presented to the jubilant An Portach captain, Robin Murray with Kevin Williamson receiving the player of the tournament award along with the leading goalscorer award.

The organising committee would like to thank Michael McDermott of the Copper Pot Still for sponsoring the competition.

An Portach: Kevin Bryant, Aaron Doyle, Robin Murray, Stephen Barrett, Charlie Kelly, Dermot Martin, Arron Hensey, Dylan Murray, Michael James, Mick Hannon and Pat Cosgrove.

Subs: Jimmy Mahon, Stephen Screeney, Mark Mitchell, Trevor Screeney, Dan Murray and Niall McKenna.

Copper Pot Still: Enda Gorman, Paul McTigue, Chris Bracken, Pat O’Brien, Jason Tyrell, Keith O’Connor, Brian Francis, Kevin Williamson, Barry Walsh, Trevor Francis and John Kenny.

Subs: Enda Ravenhill and Justin O’Brien.