Premier division table toppers Kilreen march on to the 3rd round of the AOH Cup, where they will play Park UTD A or Strand UTD, after defeating Albion 4-0 at Murphys Farm in Bishopstown last Saturday. Albion went into the game as huge underdogs against a much stronger side 3 divisions their superior. Albion started the game well though, realising they would spend 90% of the game defending, they sat back with 2 holding midfielders and allowed Kilreen to pass the ball freely as they closed them in the final third and trying to catch Celtic on the counter attack. Colm O’Donovan & Jamie Daly played their 3rd game as centre half partnership and in the first half looked as though they had been playing together with years. Darren Daly and Jody Mac were playing well at full back and to be fair had to work hard as Kilreen, with little success breaking the ball through centre had to use the wingers as their outlet for any danger in front of goal. Rob Daly was unlucky in the 30th minute when Albion broke down a Kilreen attack, Noel Twomey played the ball to James O’Driscoll who sent a fizzing pass towards Ben O’Donnell. O’Donnell then played through Daly who turned the centre half and left just with the keeper to beat. He hit the shot off his weaker left side which went a good half an inch wide of the corner flag. Unlucky, but a great break in play from the underdogs. Kilreen were starting to show why they were the team to beat in the AUL this year as a headed effort hit the top of the bar and over and minutes later, seeing a rare burst forward from the Albion defence, they broke forward at speed and hit the post. Steve had to make one decent save in the first half with about 5 to play. 0-0 half time.
Kilreen looked like they were playing with more purpose in the second half. Signs started to show that a goal was on the way, though Albion did hold strong for the opening 20 minutes. A messy clearance left Kilreens striker with a break on his own and cooly finished low and right past Steve in goal. Steve was called into action minutes later with a fantastic save to his left which kept the score at 1-0. Rob Daly once again almost made it 1-1, Ryan broke play in centre mid and played to O’Driscoll who launched the ball forward. Daly chased the ball running to a 50/50 with the keeper. He managed to get their just ahead of the keeper toe-poking it through his legs. Luckily for the keeper the ball rubbed his elbow and went inches wide for a corner. Kilreen killed the game with 15 to go with a headed goal from a corner. Albion switched to 4-4-2 with the introduction of Japs & Aaron at this stage. Kilreen soon made it 3-0 and 4-0 in quick succession.
Some positives from the first half for Albion as they showed how well they can work as a unit and how quickly they can break forward from play. On the day though, Kilreen proved to be a step or two above them and were clinical in the second half with their passing & finishing. Best of luck to Kilreen going forward – on this note, not a single card was issued in the 90 minutes. A sign that both teams just wanted to play some ball!
Team: Steve Nyhan, Darren Daly, Jody McNamara (Dan Coleman ’80), Jamie Daly, Colm O’Donovan, Ben O’Donnell, James O’Driscoll, Martin Ryan (Aaron O’Sullivan ’75), Noel Twomey, Martin El-Sahen (JP Hayes ’70), Rob Daly.