First Year Soccer

Last Thursday saw the first year soccer team travel to Palmerstown CS, in a second round cup game. Both sides had a by through the first round due to withdrawals from the competition.

A tough battle from both sides on a mucky pitch  meant a great game to watch for the side lines, but a frustrating game to play. End to end stuff, both teams’ defense had a lot of work to do. Most of the football was straight down the middle and scrappy in the first half. A few fantastic saves and some missed chances kept both sides level until five minutes before the half. Clonkeen’s Andrew Byrne, timed a perfectly diagonal run to get onto a through ball just inside the 18 yard box and finished with precision.

This goal, combined with two halftime substitutions gave Clonkeen more strength down the spine of the pitch. Battling and winning every ball in the middle of the pitch put them in the driving seat.

Andrew Byrne rounded off his hat trick (his second in two games) and Byron O’Gorman topped off the score card. Final score 4 – 0 Clonkeen.

An encouraging result, but Clonkeen will need to address their performances in the opening 30 minutes if they are to continue this streak through the competitions.

1st Year Soccer

The first year soccer team traveled the short distance up to Oatlands College last Friday. It was an important game for the Clonkeen team who would be top of the qualifying table if they won. A tense first half, with play dominating the right wing and putting pressure on Conor Knight, who was captain for the game and Oisín O’Connor at right back. Both teams had a shaky start, with multiple off sides called for both teams and Oatlands having a smashing fist half goal disallowed because of off side.

Two changes were made by Clonkeen at half time. This, coupled with the run of the pitch and a revised attitude with far more bite helped them secure a resounding win. With in five minutes Clonkeen were 2 – 0 up. Oatlands held on and mounted a number of courageous counter attacks, but Clonkeen’s Andrew Byrne and Byron O’Gorman were lethal and bagged 3 and 4 goals respectively. Tom O’Connor and Oisín O’Connor also made it onto the scorecard, with a goal apiece. Oisín’s goal was a cracking twenty yard shot, placed perfectly into the top corner. Oisín denies it was a cross gone wrong, similar to Mr. Howley’s fantastic goal earlier in the year.

SDL Final Clonkeen vs. Drimnagh Castle

On Thursday the 6th of March our First Year Soccer team went to Peamount to play Drimnagh Castle in the South Dublin League Final. The lads went there with high hopes as they went into the game on the back of a seven game winning streak. Having played Drimnagh however in earlier rounds of the Leinster Cup we knew we would have a tough encounter on our hands.

The game started with both teams playing cagey controlled football, neither wanting to attack too much in fear of leaving space at the back. As the half went on Clonkeen began to exert some pressure on the game and with it the first goal duly arrived. It was a nice counter attacking move that ended with Luke Hannigan gliding by a defender before curling a beautiful shot into the top corner from the tightest of angles. After that Clonkeen grew into the game and grabbed another before the break.

The expected onslaught came from Drimnagh in the opening ten minutes of the second half but the Clonkeen defence remained resolute and weathered the storm well. A breakaway third goal put the tie to bed before Kevin Quinn and Luke Hannigan (with his FOURTH of the game) added some gloss to the scoreline. In the end it was a truly excellent performance and a very well deserved victory.

The win ensures the team safe passage into the semi-final of the Dublin Cup and, more importantly, the quarter final of the Leinster Champions League. It has been a very exciting year for this bunch of lads and we hope that we can go and add further trophies to this fine run of wins.

1st Years vs. Lucan CBS

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.Pre Match Huddle

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 .
2 -  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.
Corner flag standoff

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.
Long Shot

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.

Smashed home from 20 yards.

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.
Good defending

Left for dust Norlan and man of the match Sean discussing tactics Aerial attack