This was always going to be a tough game. It was third round of the Leinster Cup, away, and on top of that we had drawn Lucan CBS. The reigning Leinster Cup champions since 2011 and currently unbeaten in two years. We knew we’d have our work cut out.
Kick off was 13.30, but traffic was light and the team bus arrived early. The team got kitted out and while Mr. Faherty and Mr. Cassidy laid out the game plan. An intense pre match warm up followed, watched by the rest of CBS who were on their lunch break.
A quick pre match huddle to boost morale settled some nerves.
Tip off brought a fast paced game with both sides chomping at the bit and up for the challenge. Arguably Clonkeen started slightly slower and were loosing out on 50/50 challenges to a bigger, stronger team.
However they found their feet and their determination somewhere about 20 minutes in, Lucan were seeing less and less of the ball and Clonkeen were making good use of the narrow pitch, employing the wing backs, Murphy and Norlan to great effect.
Kevin worked tirelessly in midfield to keep possession and to feed through balls to Luke and McCarthy in Lucan’s third, but soon realised that playing 4 v 1 on the edge of their eighteen year box wasn’t working. Clonkeen started to use the wings and play short sweet passes, with plenty of one touch football. The quick passing of Norlan, Knight and Quinn down the left side came to fruition ten minutes into the second half. Luke received a pass down the line from Quinn after being perfectly worked from the backs. He took on two defenders, cut inside and slipped it passed the keeper from 8 yards to make it 1 – 0 Clonkeen .
With Lucan’s week side exposed Clonkeen continued their attack down the wings, in an almost identical build up Quinn got a pass down the left side and their keeper came all the way to the corner flag to hold him off.
With the angle impossibly tight he left fly, but hit the post.
A goal against the run of play by Lucan brought a halt to Clonkeen’s spate of attacks. A fantastic shot from their strong no. 9 was well deserved – even if an awkward bounce turned an easy save into a challenging ball for Clonkeen goalkeeper Davis. 1 – 1, all square.
Conceding this goal, spurred Clonkeen on further. They were first to every ball and determined to keep possession. Their resilience paid off, with Luke getting through on goal. Their keeper underestimated Luke’s pace and was too slow off the line. 2 – 1 Clonkeen.
Another exceptional piece of play through midfield, allowed Luke enough space to turn an knock the ball on enough to skin the keeper and smash home another goal for Clonkeen. 3 – 1.
Lucan were down but by no means out. The Clonkeen defence had to withstand a barrage of attacks, but centre backs Walsh and man of the match Miyachi were up to the challenge. Thats not to say Lucan didn’t have chances, keeping Clonkeen on their toes and the crowd on the edge of their seats.