Denny Division 1A League Final; Skeliga Fc 3-1 Castleisland Afc B

Skeliga Fc , Denny Division 1A League Champions

Denny Division 1A League Final
Sunday 12th July 2015
Skeliga Fc 3-1 Castleisland AFc B

Pictures and Report by Tommy Naughton
(Pictures Copyright to KDL & T.Naughton and cannot be used anywhere else without permission)

Skeliga Fc captured the Denny Division 1A League title on Sunday with a win over Castleisland AFC B team. In truth on the day Skeliga were the much better side and after losing league finals the past two seasons this is one their club just about deserves.

The game was only three minutes old when we had the first goal of the game. Pierce Brosnan took a free kick from the left wing just inside the Skeliga half , the ball went long into the box where keeper Ronan McCarthy came to catch but misjudged the flight of the ball and could only get his fingertips to it as it fell over the line to give Castleisland the lead. Skeliga’s first real chance came in the eleventh minute when Sean Cournane was wide of the target with a free kick just outside the penalty area. Skeliga were now beginning to get more possession of the ball and starting to dictate the pace of the game. Brendan O’Sullivan picked out Chris Farrelly on the left wing before he whipped a dangerous ball into the near post where Ray Huggard had to concede a corner. From the resulting Brendan O’Sullivan corner Sean Cournane flicked the ball goal wards only to be punched away to safety by David O’Callaghan in the Castleisland goal.
Castleisland nearly double their lead on the twenty minute mark when Pierce Brosnan curled a free kick just passed the far post after Danny Feehan was taken down on the edge of the box. The game was all level after twenty eight minutes when Skeliga Fc were awarded a penalty for a hand ball inside the area. Sean Cournane stepped up and made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way to level the game. Four minutes later and Skeliga were in front and again it was the same goal scorer. Chris Farrelly on the left wing chipped the ball over the defence were Cournane was quickest in a race to the ball before firing a left footed shot passed the advancing keeper. Castleisland were now struggling to contain Cournane and he went close again seven minutes before the break when he got on the end of a long ball out of the back from Stevie Boyle but from a tight angle he shot wide at the near post. Castleisland’s last chances of the first half came from successive corners by Mike Cahill were Danny Feehan first had his shot blocked before Ray Huggard saw his header blocked also .

Just like the first half we had an early goal in the second half as Skeliga doubled their lead with two minutes of the restart. Sean Cournane won the ball in the centre of the pitch and play a defence splitting pass into the path of Rory Keating whose diagonal run beat the high offside line. Keating kept his composer to round the keeper outside the area before walking the ball into the empty goal. Castleisland were now feeding on scraps as Skeliga went for the killer goal and were off target with chances from Jimmy Stapleton and Rory Keating early in the half. Pa O’Rourke had Castleisland’s first chance of the half in the fifty fifth minute when he tried his luck from distance but his half volley was wide of the target. Then with twenty five minutes left on the clock Skeliga who were well in control were reduced to ten men when captain Brendan O’Sullivan was shown two yellow cards in the space of a minute .
Castleisland were now lifted by this and within three minutes were awarded a penalty when John Feehan was pushed over in the box by Johnny Clifford. Danny Feehan stepped up to take the kick against Ronan McCarthy who hadn’t seen much of the ball since the howler of a first goal that he conceded. However the keeper redeemed his earlier mistake with a fantastic penalty save when he guessed correctly to his right hand side. With this miss it seem to suck the remaining life out of a Castleisland side who were just lacking that bit of creativity and when they did manage to get into the danger area they found the centre back pairing for Skeliga in outstanding form. The final whistle went after five minutes of injury time to the delight of a Skeliga side who had felt a lot of heartache in recent finals.
League secretary John O’Regan thanked both sides for an outstanding and entertaining game before presenting Skeliga Fc captain Brendan O’Sullivan with the trophy.

League Secretary John O'Regan presents trophy to Skeliga Fc Captain Brendan O'Sullivan

Skeliga Fc ; Ronan McCarthy, Johnny Clifford, Barry O’Sullivan, Stevie Boyle, Pat Cournane, Chris Farrelly, Brendan O’Sullivan, Thomas Curran, Jimmy Stapleton, Sean Cournane, Rory Keating. Subs; Kealan Moriarty for Rory Keating (77 mins), Dan Curran for Jimmy Stapleton (77 mins), Jason O’Sullivan for Pat Cournane (90 mins).

Skeliga Fc

Castleisland Afc B ; David O’Callaghan, Ray Huggard, Niall Casey, Neill O’Sullivan, Mike Cahill, Martin Moriarty, Colin McCarthy, Pierce Brosnan, Danny Feehan, Connie O’Rourke, Pa O’Rourke. Subs; John Feehan for Colin McCarthy (64 mins), Eamonn McLoughlin for Pa O’Rourke (64 mins), Ethan O’Connor for Connie O’Rourke (67 mins).

Castleisland Afc B

Match Officials;
Referee , Adrian Quirke
Assistants , Adrian O’Shea & Tom O’Sullivan.

Match Officials and Club Captains