FAI Junior Cup (Dublin Sunday, Round 2): Inchicore Athletic 2-3 Blessington Sr Sun

Here is the first match report from our Senior Sunday team who notched up their 4th consecutive away win of the season today. Well done lads and a big thanks to Senior Sunday player Barry Connolly for putting it together. Barry will continue to share news on here about the team.

Blessington managed to overcome a tough opponent and a very tough pitch this morning in the Phoenix Park. The grass on the pitch was long and the pitch was massive so a nice flowing , fast paced match was never on the cards. Blessington managed to get the better of the early stages and scored very early on with a sublime lob over the ‘Keeper from Scott Doyle. The ball fell to him 25 yards out and with his first touch, hit a perfectly weighted strike to leave the keeper without a chance. They could have made it two when Paddy Carroll struck the post with a fine effort only to see the ball fly past him to end any chance of kocking in the rebound.

Inchicore came into the game without really testing ‘Keeper David Nolan, but when they sent in a corner, the referee saw fit to give a penalty for what appeared to be a 50/50 tangle in the box. It was converted calmly by the Inchicore number 8 to make it all square.

A nice passing sequence from Mark Daniels and Conor Murphy sent Full Back Barry Connolly down the line where he beat the left back and sent in a cross which was deflected out for a corner. Paddy Carroll  took it and it beat everyone and bounced in. Probably what Blessington deserved going in at half time, even though it was lucky to say the least.

Blessington started the Second Half with purpose and left winger Phillip Sheridan beat two defenders only to be taken down in the box. The referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Conor Murphy stepped up but couldn’t keep his 100% penalty record for the season as the ‘Keeper saved easily. Inchicore then went down to 10 men when their number #11 jumped in on Murphy with both feet showing and was sent from the field of play. Inchicore used this as a motivator and started to push Blessington back. They abandoned all formation which caused problems for Blessington but their numerical advantage allowed them to counter attack. Good work from Carroll on the left of the Inchicore box allowed Sheridan to finish with ease, clipping over the ‘Keeper, to make it 3-1.

Inchicore kept pressing in the late stages and forced another penalty when their Left Winger crossed into the box and David Carroll tried to control the ball low down with his chest only to guide it into the Centre Forward’s path. Carroll got up and clumsily challenged him to the ground and the number #8 duly obliged for the second time. This made it a nervy last few minutes for Blessington but the task was made easier as Inchicore went down to nine when their number #6 stupidly lashed out and Blessington closed the game out.

Blessington: David Nolan, Barry Connolly, Bryan Carroll, David Carroll, Paul Allen, Scott Doyle, Mark Daniels, John Lynch, Conor Murphy, Phillip Sheridan, Paddy Carroll.

Subs: Shane Bird, Derek Balfe, Gary Mahon, Darren Larkin

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc

Website: www.blessingtonfc.com



U11 Willie Madden League Cup: Railway Union A 1:1 Blessington A

The much travelled Blessington U11A team were on the road again this week to the sunny climes of Park Avenue in Sandymount to play old friends and rivals Railway Union. Anyone attached to either of these two U11 teams knows the history between them is dramatic and exciting. Little did anyone know that the referee would be the centre of attention this time…

From the start of the game the respect for each other was evident as each team probed for openings but anxious not to concede early on. There was plenty of good football but little in the way of goal chances. Blessington’s Paddy Brady in goal probably the busier of the two keepers as he marshalled his back three of Tadhg Murphy, Cian Doyle and Aidan Murphy with plenty of encouragement and instructions.

The powerful Blessington midfield of Sam Gallagher, Edward Carter and Eni Ilori gradually took a foothold in the game and the pendulum swung up the other end of the pitch. Few teams can handle these three and pass after pass found Shane Sargent and Folu Ilori. The first real chance for Blessington was fashioned by Sam who has found real form this season. After dispossessing his opponent he turned inside and played a stinging pass down the line to Shane who did well to flick it by the full back and unleashed a vicious volley that cannoned off the bar. Eni Ilori eager to support his team mate did well to react to the rebound but couldn’t control it.

The final chance of the half fell to Folu Ilori who forced the Railway Union keeper into a great save that had goal written all over it. HT 0-0. Railway were obviously the happier that the break had come.

Some personnel changes from both teams were introduced hoping to secure a breakthrough and it was Blessington who adapted first. Thomas O’Leary back at the ground where he first scored for the club back in 2010 came close with a wonderful strike after running onto a great pass from Adam Walsh. Next up was Shane Sargent who narrowly shot wide. The players sensed the breakthrough was coming. However, inexplicably the referee came into focus for the rest of the game at this moment but I will return to that later because the Blessington goal needs a special mention.

A goal fashioned from defence in a sweeping move involving three Blessington players but clever runs off the ball by two others that created the space needed.  The industrious Seán Brien nicked the ball from the Railway No#10 and played a neat pass to Edward Carter who played the ball first time to Eni. Eni had lots to do with three players to beat but Adam Walsh and Thomas O’Leary like wide receivers in NFL powered up the wings in support. The Railway Union full backs pulled out wide to mark them and Eni had the gap he needed.  With the goal at his mercy and only the keeper to beat Eni showed tremendous calm as he passed the ball not unlike Thierry Henry in his prime into the left corner of the net. 1-0 Blessington with the promise of three points – maybe!

But a match against Railway Union is not without drama for us. With ten minutes remaining and Railway Union players from the next match assembling on the side line a moment of confusion was created. The ball was cleared by the Blessington defence only for it to be knocked into the play by one of these other players. One of the Blessington players retrieved the ball to give it to the referee who instantly awarded a penalty to Railway Union. When the Railway Union player missed the penalty the referee allowed him the opportunity to take it again. Apparently the player did not wait for the referee’s whistle. The second opportunity wasn’t wasted and the teams were level.

Blessington to their credit and character did not let this setback to affect their attitude and they were determined to win all three points and spent the remainder of the game parked in the oppositions half. Time unfortunately ran out for them. Both sets of players shook hands at the end of the game – plenty of respect for each other at the end of another great game.

In the post match huddle I told them was very proud of them for keeping their reputations and emotions intact under difficult circumstances. Not easy at 10 years old!

Onwards and upwards…

Blessington FC:

Paddy Brady, Cian Doyle, Seán Brien, Tadhg Murphy, Aidan Murphy, Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher, Eni Ilori, Shane Sargent, Folu Ilori, Adam Walsh, Thomas O’Leary.

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc

Website: www.blessingtonfc.com