Denny Premier A: Castleisland 2 – MEK Galaxy 0.
The A team took all three points in their opening game of the league season as they defeated MEK Galaxy at Georgie O’Callaghan Park on Sunday morning.
By Neil O’Sullivan
The opening stages proved to be a cagey affair with MEK set up well defensively while not offering much treat going forward.
Castleisland had the bulk of possession in the opening period but couldn’t find a way to open up a stubborn MEK defence.
Eventually the first chance of the game fell to Stephen McCarthy who was played in behind by Colm Murphy but was denied by a fine save from Scartaglin man David Kerins.
Keeper Kerins the Hero for MEK
Indeed, Kerins proved to be the hero for MEK in the first half with as he made four top class saves from McCarthy, Murphy and O’Donoghue.
With ten minutes to go until the half time break, Eamon Nolan replaced Colin McCarthy after McCarthy couldn’t shake off a dead leg he picked up earlier in the half.
Over the Bar
Just before he break it was Aidan O’Callaghan who almost opened the scoring but his powerful shot was just over the bar.
As the half time whistle blew, the home side hoped they wouldn’t be punished for some poor finishing in the first half.
It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half and Edmond Hartnett looked to his bench for inspiration and introduced the Stan Divane and Cathal O’Donoghue to the line up.
Change of Formation
The substitutions sparked a change of formation for Castleisland in the hope that they could finally get the opening goal of the game.
The next big chance of the game came on the hour mark when MEK had their first sight of goal but the striker couldn’t get his strike off in time and the Castleisland defence was able to clear.
Nolan’s Sweet Strike
With ten minutes to go Castleisland won a corner and after a couple of blocked efforts in the box, the ball eventually fell to Eamon Nolan who hit a sweet strike into the bottom corner of the MEK net.
A much-deserved goal for the home side after a dominant 80 minutes of soccer. The goal forced MEK to come out for the final stages and with four minutes to go Colm Murphy made full use of the extra spaces allowed and cut through the MEK defence before finishing neatly into the bottom corner and securing all three points for The Island.
O’Callaghan’s Goal-Saving Block
MEK almost got a goal back in injury time but Aidan O’Callaghan was there to make a goal saving block.
Overall a dominant performance from the home side where more clinical finishing could have led to a more comfortable day at the office.
The boys are off to a solid start in the league as they bid to make the final for the second year running.
Castleisland AFC Line Up: Steven Bartlett, Pa O’Connor, Micheál Walsh, Aidan O’Callaghan, Pierce Brosnan, Colm Murphy, Tommy Feehan, Mike Hanifin, Adam O’Donoghue, Colin McCarthy, Stephen McCarthy. Subs: Eamon Nolan for Colin McCarthy, Stanley Divane for Micheál Walsh, Cathal O’Donoghue for Pierce Brosnan, Josh Horan for Adam O’Donohgue, Neil O’Sullivan for Mike Hanifin, Kevin Mahony.
Denny Youths League: Killorglin AFC 6 -2 Castleisland AFC
The Castleisland youths suffered a heavy defeat against a strong Killorglin side on Saturday. After being 4-0 down at half time the youths fought back to 4 – 2 with two goals scored by Jason Brennan.
Killorglin added two late goals as Castleisland pushed to get back into the game.
Plenty of positives to take from the game and the management team will be working on improvements at training in the coming weeks.
Senior Fixtures for this Weekend:
Saturday September 28th: Denny Premier B: Castleisland Bs v A.C. Athletic at Georgie O’Callaghan Park – Kick-off 7.30pm.
The Bs start their league season this Saturday night under the lights at Georgie O’Callaghan Park.
A Good Preseason for Bs
The boys have had a good preseason and put up a good battle in the cup against Premier A side Tralee Dynamos.
Mike Cahill will be hoping to get the season off to a good start this weekend against a strong A.C. Athletic side who are always a tough opponent.
Sunday September 29th. Munster Junior Cup Second Round
Castleisland A’s v Newmarket Celtic at Georgie O’Callaghan Park – Kick off at 2pm.
The Munster Junior Cup comes to Castleisland this weekend as the A’s welcome Clare side Newmarket Celtic to Georgie O’Callaghan Park on Sunday.
This will be a big test for the home side as Newmarket is a very good side and currently sits top of the Clare League.