Match Reports

O’Neill’s LFA Junior Cup Round 1 25/09/11

Clonmore United 0 Tullamore Town 1

Tullamore travelled to Boora last Sunday to take on near neighbours Clonmore United and got through to the next round by the narrowest of margins. Played on a tight pitch in driving rain the well organised and highly motivated home side never allowed their more illustrious opponents to dictate proceedings and, in a keenly contested first half, one would have been hard pressed to tell which was the Leinster Senior League side. With Paul McConway and Andy Quinn outstanding in defence and Gearoid Byrne pulling the strings in midfield, Clonmore enjoyed the better of the first half exchanges. Indeed were it not for the work rate of Matthew Carragher and the defensive performances of Anthony Coyne, Mark Gorman and Anthony Heffernan, Tullamore could very easily have found themselves in arrears. With both teams fully committed, chances were at a premium as it became obvious that the first goal would have a huge impact on the final result. With forwards struggling to find space, Tullamore’s main threat came from dead ball situations with Martin Holleran whipping in dangerous crosses but, with the home defence holding firm, the first half ended in stalemate.

Within minutes of the restart the visitors were ahead, and it came from a predictable source. Tullamore won a free out wide on the right and Martin Holleran cleverly drove a low near post shot into the back of the net. Goals change games, and this was certainly the case as Tullamore began to play with greater urgency and confidence and they nearly increased their lead minutes later when a searching Mark Gorman cross just drifted beyond the far post. They again went close when Ken Furlong failed to hold an Anthony Heffernan long range effort and Adrian Kelly drove the rebound wide. As they continued to press, Matthew Carragher headed a Holleran corner over and then Kelly cut the ball back to Daithi Gorman but his twenty yard drive was too high. Following another corner, Anthony Coyne had his shot blocked on the line and then great play between Carragher and Jason Pohl sent Ronan Kelly clear but Furlong brilliantly tipped his effort around the post. With minutes remaining Clonmore almost levelled when, following a corner, the ball fell to Brian Gleeson in the area but his goal bound effort was charged down by Michael Kenaney. There then followed an extraordinary sequence of events as Tullamore went on the counter attack. Holleran crossed to Pohl but Ken Furlong somehow managed to keep out his point blank shot and, as the ball broke free, Kelly crashed it off the underside of the crossbar with Kenaney firing the rebound against the upright as the referee brought this pulsating cup tie to a conclusion.

Tullamore manager, Jimmy Green, used this fixture to introduce a number of younger players and was highly delighted with their contributions. For Clonmore there were excellent performances from Ken Furlong, Paul McConway, Andy Quinn and Gearoid Byrne while Anthony Coyne, Mark Gorman, Anthony Heffernan and Martin Holleran were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young midfielder, Matthew Carragher.

Tullamore: Phillip Coffey, Anthony Heffernan, Mark Gorman, Anthony Coyne, Michael Kenaney, Adrian Kelly, Matthew Carragher, Daithi Gorman, Martin Holleran, Jason Pohl and Ronan Kelly.

Subs: Mark Gooding and Kieran Carragher.

LFA Leinster Youths Cup 24/09/11

Tullamore Town Youths 2 Crossabeg AFC (Wexford) 0

This was a game that the Tullamore boys dominated for long periods but their inability to convert a litany of scoring opportunities meant that they had to wait until the last ten minutes before despatching their resilient opponents. The first chance came as early as the first minute when Shane Martino burst into the area and rolled the ball to Dylan Melia but, with the goal gaping, he miscued his shot and the danger was cleared. They again went close when Ross Kinnarney headed a Michael James corner over and then Ted Conway sent Martino clear but Colm O’Dowd was quickly off his line to save. Melia then got on the end of an Aaron Hensey knock on but he delayed his shot and Sean Stephenson got across to clear. It was not all one way traffic and Jamie Coyne had to be alert to deny Conor O’Sullivan when he was put through by Cian Lambert. Adam Shelly then played a lovely ball out to Martino who picked out James but he was taken down, and from the resultant free James fired over. With quarter of an hour gone Shelly and Conway combined to send Martino clear on the right but his cross shot clipped the outside of the far post. They again went perilously close when Mark Casey sent in a pin point cross to Conway but the big centre forward headed over from three yards. The home side were nearly made to pay for their profligacy when Emmett Fox got on the end of a long clearance but his lob just drifted past the right hand post. As Tullamore returned to the attack Conway and Martino sent Melia clear but O’Dowd tipped his effort around the post and then Eddie Connolly found Martino on the right but his shot flew wide. Melia got on the end of a lovely through ball from Hensey but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Stephenson and then good play by Shelly resulted in James firing over as the referee brought the first half to a close.

Tullamore began the second half in explosive style when Michael James picked the ball up in the inside left channel and fired in a rocket that Colm O’Dowd brilliantly tipped over. At the other end Andy Butler swung in a dangerous cross that was headed to safety by Eddie Connolly and then Conor O’Sullivan made a great run through the middle but was denied by a superb Ross Kinarney tackle. With an hour gone Dylan Melia slipped the ball inside to Ted Conway but he fired wide when he seemed certain to score. Crossabeg again threatened when Cian Lambert broke into the area but Ross Condron got across to avert the danger and then Conway sent Martino clear but the outstanding Sean Stephenson stopped him in his tracks. With manager John O’Connor introducing Macdarragh O’Neill and Terry Byrne, the home side went all out for a winner and they were straight into the action when Mark Casey, Adam Shelly and Shane Martino combined to send O’Neill clear on the right and his searching cross just missed out the inrushing Byrne. The all important goal arrived on eighty minutes but it was shrouded in controversy. Connolly picked out Martino on the right and he cut in along the endline with the ball appearing to go out of play but, as the Crossabeg defence fatally hesitated, Martino pulled the ball back to Macdarragh O’Neill and he gleefully powered it into the roof of the net. As they looked to press home their advantage Matthew Hyndes sent Martino clear but he was bundled over in the area with the referee waving play on. With five minutes remaining they made the game safe when Mark Casey played a lovely diagonal ball through to the mercurial Martino and he swept it into the back of the net. Casey was again in the thick of the action when he played a great ball through to O’Neill who found Martino but his shot was blocked on the line. With a minute remaining Connolly and O’Neill combined to pick out Terry Byrne but his effort found the side netting as the home side ran out deserving winners.

This was a very impressive performance by the Tullamore boys but manager John Connolly will be hoping they will have found their shooting boots before the next round. There were excellent contributions from Ross Kinnarney, Mark Casey and Adam Shelly with Sean Stephenson, Andy Butler and Cian Lambert the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s flying winger, Shane Martino.

Tullamore: Jamie Coyne, Eddie Connolly, Rory Condron, Ross Kinnarney, Mark Casey, Shane Martino, Adam Shelly, Aaron Hensey, Michael James, Ted Conway and Dylan Melia.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Terry Byrne, Matthew Hyndes and Diarmuid Carroll.

Leinster Senior League Sunday Major Division 16/09/11

Greystones Utd 1 Tullamore Town 3

Tullamore travelled to Greystones last Friday for their third away game in a row and came away with all three points thanks to a terrific second half performance. Playing on an artificial surface the visitors took time to settle with neither side able to create any clear cut chances in the early stages. With Ken Doyle returning to the defence, Brian Francis was pushed into midfield where his pace and vision caused problems for the home side. Keeper Phillip Coffey made a couple of good saves while at the other end Jason Pohl was always a threat but was unable to break the deadlock. On the stroke of half time Ronan Kelly had a great chance but his effort flew the wrong side of the post as the first half ended scoreless.

The second half started badly for Tullamore when in the fifty second minute Ken Doyle was adjudged to have handled in the area and the resultant penalty was duly despatched to the net. Town quickly shook off this set back and went in search of an equaliser as they slowly but surely began to tighten their grip on the game. With Kevin Duffy, Matthew Carragher and Brian and Stephen Francis dominating midfield they pinned the home side back and in the sixty fifth minute the equaliser duly arrived. Stephen Francis played the ball into the area and, when Jason Pohl challenged the keeper, the ball broke back to Ronan Kelly and, with his back to goal, he hooked a brilliant shot into the roof of the net. As they went all out for a winner Brian Francis let fly from twenty five yards but his shot was superbly saved by the home keeper. He was not to be denied minutes later when he played a lovely one two with Duffy and, from the edge of the area, he crashed the ball into the top left hand corner to put his side in front. Tullamore added a third in the eightieth minute when the outstanding Carragher made a great run into the box where he was upended and dead ball expert, Trevor Moylan, sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

This was a hugely impressive performance that will have delighted manager, Jimmy Greene. In what was a great team effort there were excellent contributions from Mark Gorman, Brian Francis, Matthew Carragher and Stephen Francis, but the man of the match award went Tullamore’s outstanding striker Ronan Kelly for his non stop running and superb goal.

Tullamore: Phillip Coffey, Trevor Moylan, Mark Gorman, Ken Doyle, Fergal Gorman, Stephen Francis, Kevin Duffy, Brian Francis, Matthew Carragher, Jason Pohl and Ronan Kelly.

Subs: Stephen Keogh, Adrian Kelly and Mark Goodings (all used).

CCFL Division 1 17/09/11

Tullamore Town 0 Abbeyleix Ath 1

Tullamore saw their 100% record go up in smoke in this top of the table clash last Saturday as a hard working Abbeyleix side carried out a smash and grab raid in Leah Victoria Park. The home side should have gone ahead straight from the kick off when Trevor Francis was put through but his tamely hit shot was comfortably saved by Shane Burke and he then got on the end of a Stephen Keogh cross but his glancing header flew wide. As they continued to dominate the early exchanges chance after chance went a begging as they failed to turn possession into scores. With twenty minutes gone a Francis free kick rebounded off Burke and, as the ball ran free, Aidan Nicholson fired it across the area only for Keogh’s effort to be taken off the line. Three minutes later Abbeyleix struck with devastating effect when Neill Cooney played a great ball out of defence and Stephen Hawkins ghosted between the Tullamore centre backs before hammering the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. With the home side still reeling the visitors nearly increased their lead when Adrian Freeman picked the ball up in the inside right channel only to be denied by a superb one handed save by Ciaran Carragher. As Town battled to get back in the game Nicholson got on the end of a Martin Holleran cross but Burke kept out his effort and then Daithi Gorman swept the ball out to Keogh but Francis just failed to get on the end of his searching cross. Their profligacy continued when Keogh again picked out Francis with a pin point cross but he guided his close range header wide as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

With Alan Martin coming on at half time Tullamore looked a much more potent force and he was straight into the action when he combined with Mark Gorman and Stephen Duffy to set up Stephen Keogh, but Shane Burke was quickly off his line to save at his feet. Aidan Nicholson then played a lovely ball out to Martin on the right and he cut inside his marker but again Burke came to his sides rescue with a fine save. With Martin proving a constant threat down the right he again breached the Abbeyleix defence but his dangerous cross was hooked clear. With sixty five minutes on the clock manager Noel Courtney introduced Barry Walsh, Jonathan O’Donoghue and Anthony Heffernan in an attempt to get his side back in the game and it almost paid immediate dividends when Martin sent Mark Gorman clear on the right but his cross was headed over by Heffernan. Great play by Alan Martin created danger when he again released Gorman and his vicious cross shot was brilliantly finger tipped clear by Shane Burke. Following a goalmouth melee Martin and O’Donoghue had shots taken off the line and then a fine thirty yard effort from Nicholson was well held by Burke. With Neill Cooney, Ryan Peacock and Darren Whelan outstanding at the back Abbeyleix held firm and, despite further good play by Alan Martin and Stephen Keogh, Tullamore failed to make the vital breakthrough. Deep into injury time the visitors almost increased their lead when Willie Bowen latched onto a poor back pass but Ciaran Carragher brought off a fine save to deny him as Tullamore were left to rue their many missed chances.




For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ken Doyle, Willie Duffy, Stephen Duffy and Stephen Keogh with Shane Burke, Neill Cooney, Ryan Peacock, Darren Whelan and Adrian Stynes the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding right winger, Alan Martin.

Tullamore: Ciaran Carragher, Niall Gorman, Ken Doyle, Mark Gorman, Willie Duffy, Martin Holleran, Daithi Gorman, Stephen Duffy, Aidan Nicholson, Stephen Keogh and Trevor Francis.

Subs: Alan Martin, Barry Walsh, Jonathan O’Donoghue, Anthony Heffernan and Dean Molloy.

CCFL Division 1 10/09/11

Tullamore Town 3 Temple Villa 2

Coming from two goals down, Tullamore snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying minutes of this dramatic encounter in Leah Victoria Park last Friday evening. Dominating the early stages they went close on eight minutes when Trevor Francis cut the ball back to Ross Whittaker and his twenty yard drive was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Dave Harmon in the Villa goal and then good work on the right by Barry Walsh resulted in a corner from which Francis fired narrowly over. They again threatened when Francis got on the end of a fine Stephen Keogh cross but his shot was charged down by Ian Gardiner in the area. Keogh again created danger when Jonathan O’Donoghue swept the ball out to him on the left but his cross shot flew inches outside the far post. As they continued to press, Daithi Gorman played a great ball down the right to Walsh with Francis just failing to connect with his searching cross. With twenty seven minutes on the clock the home side were caught cold when Anthony Coyne knocked Ian Gardiner’s dangerous cross behind and from the resultant corner David Tone fired the visitors in front from close range. With Tullamore still reeling, Tone and Thomas Brown combined to create confusion with Coyne nearly putting through his own goal in attempting to clear. On thirty four minutes the men from Moate increased their lead when Noel Mulligan latched onto a lovely glancing header from Tone and raced fifty yards before sliding the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net. As Town looked to get back in the game O’Donoghue and Gorman combined to set up Keogh but his swerving shot flew outside the far post and then Niall Gorman lofted the ball into the area only for Walsh to see his drive cannon off the top of the crossbar as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.

Tullamore began the second half in determined fashion with Barry Walsh and Jonathan O’Donoghue testing the Villa keeper with long range efforts but their situation was not helped when Daithi Gorman was forced off following a clash of heads on fifty five minutes. With the experienced Stephen Duffy coming on as replacement the home side began to slowly regain control of midfield and they went close when Trevor Francis knocked the ball back to O’Donoghue but his effort was well held by Dave Harmon. As the pressure continued to mount, manager Aidan Courtney threw on young players Martin Holleran and Darragh Gorman as Tullamore again moved into top gear. Holleran was quickly into the action when he won a free on the edge of the area which Stephen Keogh fired over and then Shane Colsh played in Francis but again the shot was too high. With sixty five minutes on the clock they were back in the game with a goal of real quality when, following a corner, Keogh cut the ball back to Stephen Duffy and from fully thirty five yards he curled a superb shot into the top right hand corner of the net. Two minutes later they were level when Harmon did well to tip a vicious inswinging free kick from Ross Whittaker over the bar and, from the resultant corner, Trevor Francis deflected Stephen Keogh’s low drive beyond the reach of the Villa keeper. As they went all out for a winner, Keogh pulled the ball back for Stephen Duffy but his effort flew narrowly past the right post and then good play by Duffy and Keogh down the left saw O’Donoghue head wide. But it was not all one way traffic and Ciaran Carragher had to be quickly off his line to avert the danger as David Tone broke into the area. With four minutes remaining Town struck for the winner when Shane Colsh played a great ball through the middle and the outstanding Stephen Keogh skipped between the two central defenders before coolly placing the ball past the advancing keeper to clinch all three points for his side.

This was a hugely entertaining game in which Tullamore demonstrated that they have real strength in depth together with a wonderful mix of youth and experience and, with maximum points from their opening three fixtures, will be hoping to keep the momentum going over the next number of weeks. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Shane Colsh, Stephen Duffy, Trevor Francis, Darragh Gorman and Martin Holleran, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s match winner, Stephen Keogh.

Tullamore: John O’Connor, Niall Gorman, Shane Colsh, Anthony Coyne, Willie Duffy, Ross Whittaker, Daithi Gorman, Jonathan O’Donoghue, Stephen Keogh, Trevor Francis and Barry Walsh.

Subs: Ciaran Carragher, Stephen Duffy, Martin Holleran, Darragh Gorman and Enda Carroll.