An Corn Cairdis on 26 May 13

This Sunday 26 May 2013, three teams from Blessington FC will play an end of season tournament called ‘An Corn Cairdis’ hosted by Bunclody AFC in Wexford. The other teams involved are St. Ita’s and Dunshaughlin and all four clubs see this as an opportunity to make new friends.

These clubs share Blessington FC vision and are focussed on player development and our U9A, U10A and U11A teams were delighted to accept the invitation.
Bus leaves at 9:45am from the Community College and a planned return with some tired but happy players around 7pm.


U11 Div 3 League: Blessington A 3-3 Ballyowen Celtic

Blessington U11A was at home this week at a very cold Community College with some light snow blowing in the wind. It was great to be back playing again after all the interruptions due to the recent wet weather. This was the first time that Blessington U11A had played Ballyowen Celtic.

From the off it was obvious that Ballyowen Celtic are a good team. They have great desire to win the ball, and were solid in defence. They have a wonderful balance and before Blessington knew what had passed they found themselves 3-0 at HT to three really well taken goals.

Ballyowen started the game really well and forced Blessington into unforced errors. Their first real attack forcing Blessington keeper Paddy Brady into a full length save following a sweet move involving Ballyowen’s no 10 (girl – fantastic player!). She was involved again in the next move which opened the scoring. A long goal kick was expertly flicked on by the no 10 and the Ballyowen forward made no mistake from 6 yards out. The second goal of the game involved a wonderful piece of skill by the Ballyowen no 10. Receiving a pass from her partner upfront, she pulled the ball by the Blessington fullback with her right foot and drilled it home with her left. It was a display of great technique and drew applause from both sets of supporters.

Blessington finally came alive sensing that the game was getting away from them and started to gain a foothold in the game. First Shane Sargent forced a brilliant point blank save from the Ballyowen keeper from close range. A succession chances from corner kicks were well defended by Ballyowen as Shane Sargent, Sam Gallagher and Eni Ilori went close. However Blessington soon found themselves further behind after a loose ball wasn’t dealt with after a scramble in the box and the ball squirmed into the net despite the best efforts of Brady in goal. Blessington had one more chance before the half ended as Leon Murphy curled a shot over the bar. 3-0HT

Blessington brought on some fresh legs to try and open up the solid Ballyowen defence after the break and it almost brought an immediate impact as Thomas O’Leary curled a wonderful shot just over the bar after a great move started by Tadhg Murphy.

Moments later Tadhg intercepted the ball at the edge of his own penalty area and pushed the ball down the line to Sam Gallagher who played the ball directly to Thomas O’Leary and he fired an unstoppable shot low after a great first touch into the net to make it 3-1.

Thomas O’Leary was on target again as Blessington started to pile on the pressure now fuelled with self belief that a comeback might be possible. A powerful run by midfield anchor Edward Carter caused all sorts of problems for the Ballyowen defence who failed to deal with Edward’s pass to Adam Walsh. Adam poked the ball to Thomas O’Leary who somehow got his shot off and make it 3-2.

Ballyowen dropped deeper and deeper as Blessington upped the tempo even further. Blessington almost levelled when Tadhg Murphy struck a wonderful volley from an Aidan Murphy cross only to see the ball cleared off the line.

As the final minutes ticked by it looked as if Ballyowen might hold on for the win but Blessington renowned for comebacks reminded their supporters not to give up until the final whistle. Blessington’s Sean Brien in an unfamiliar role upfront forced a corner after chasing down the Ballyowen full back. Blessington loaded the opposition’s penalty area as Carter fired an out-swinging corner. Those final moments seemed to play out in slow motion. Both teams gave everything to reach the ball Sam Gallagher rose highest to fire a brilliant header into the ground and claim a point for his team.

Moments later the fulltime whistle blew in the snow filled air.

Blessington FC:

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

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc


U11 Willie Madden League Cup: Blessington A 3-1 Brookfield Celtic

Blessington U11A were at home this week at a very cold and frosty Community College to play Brookfield Celtic with both teams looking for the maximum points.

Brookfield started the game brightly after settling much quicker than their opposition. Brookfield’s early chances owed much to the powerful displays by their No #6 and No #8’s. Blessington’s midfield trio of Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher and Leon Murphy struggled to match their pace and strength in the early exchanges and Blessington’s goal keeper Paddy Brady the far busier keeper.

Blessington’s first chance of the game fell to Thomas O’Leary after a neat passing move started by defender Aidan Murphy. Aidan’s crucial tackle at the edge of his own box won possession back and his pass down the line was inch perfect for Sam Gallagher. Sam cut the ball back to Folu Ilori who picked out Thomas who unleashed a swerving shot that the Brookfield keeper was pleased to see go over the bar.

Brookfield raised their game after that and Blessington had difficulty getting out of their half. Blessington had Cian Doyle and Tadhg Murphy in particular to thank for keeping them in the game with important tackles and interceptions, both players having a great game. However Brookfield were determined to have something to take into the break after dominating possession and they really turned the screw. Three successive Brookfield corners were well defended by Blessington and as Edward Carter carried the ball out of defence he was fouled. The Blessington free out fell short however and the big Brookfield No #6 fired a tremendous ball into the box to one of his teammates. The Brookfield forward cleverly passed the ball to his onrushing team mate and his shot rattled the back of the net. 1-0 to Brookfield at HT.

The second half started at another high tempo with plenty of tough challenges from both sides. The halftime introduction of some fresh legs for Blessington started to make the difference and they slowly rose in the ascendency. Strong runs from Adam Walsh and Shane Sargent from midfield drew a series of fouls that would force Brookfield deeper and deeper into their own half. The equalising goal was started with a wonderful pass by Adam Walsh to Thomas O’Leary who had to use all his strength to hold off his marker and laid the ball off to Shane. Shane deftly swivelled around the Brookfield defenders and poked the ball into the bottom right of the goal after sending the keeper the wrong way.

Blessington took the lead soon afterwards. Eni Ilori was tormenting Brookfield down his favoured left wing and was dragged down as he raced towards the Brookfield goal. The resulting free kick was inch perfect and Eni rose highest to flick the ball on giving the keeper no chance. 2-1 Blessington.

Brookfield to their credit stormed back and had two tremendous chances to equalise. The first was a great volley destined for the goal but for the excellent goal line block by Sean Brien. The second chance was snuffed out by Ryan Mahon who tracked another powerful run by the Brookfield No #6 and gave his keeper Paddy Brady time to come out and collect the ball at the feet of the Brookfield player.

The final chance of the game came from a Blessington corner. Edward Carter whipped in a great ball that the Brookfield keeper punched clear, Cian Doyle lofted the ball back towards the goal and again the keeper punched high in the air it through a crowded area. The falling ball was watched all the way by Folu Ilori and he bravely headed the ball into the back of the net capping a fine individual display. 3-1 Blessington.

The final whistle was greeted by home supporter’s cheers that had the pleasure of witnessing a great match of fine football by two fully committed teams.

Well done lads!

Blessington FC:

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

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc



U11 Willie Madden League Cup: Rathcoole A 5-2 Blessington A

Blessington U11A made the short trip to the excellent facilities at Frank Cox Park to play Rathcoole FC. This game had a bit of a twist as they faced their school friend and old Blessington club-mate Jack Leitner who moved to Rathcoole in the close season.

Blessington started brightly and took an early lead after Rathcoole succumbed to some early pressure from Blessington’s midfield. Edward Carter and Eni Ilori testing the Rathcoole defenders with powerful runs and the pressure led to the first corner of the game from which Edward found the back of the net.

Blessington hadn’t played for a number of weeks and unfortunately it became evident that the momentum that had been built up had been lost. We looked good on the ball and moved it well the majority of the time but it was the times that we didn’t have it that cost us the points on Saturday. Rathcoole are a good footballing side and have real pace in their front players. We didn’t really get close enough to them and allowed them to run at our goal time after time. Their equaliser came from a corner as their no #14 rose to meet a perfect cross by Jack Leitner. 1-1 at HT.

Rathcoole took an early lead in the second half after a move on the right from Blessington broke down and the Rathcoole forward gave Paddy Brady no chance with a stunning strike into the top of the goal. Blessington were struggling to contain Rathcoole now and another stinging shot was excellently pushed onto the crossbar by Paddy but fell kindly to another Rathcoole player who tapped in to make it 3-1. Blessington rallied however and were inspired by Aidan Murphy who showed real commitment to drag his team back into the game. Time after time he drove forward in search of a breakthrough and he got it. After winning the ball from Rathcoole’s Jack Leitner at the halfway line he tore down the line and played a lovely ball inside to Sam Gallagher who drilled a low cross into the box to the arriving Folu Ilori who was never going to make a mistake and made it 3-2.

However moments later Blessington felt that déjà vu had struck when Rathcoole went 4-2 up after dispossessing Blessington and finishing the move in style. Another quick goal some moments later finished the contest as Rathcoole found the net for the final time to make it 5-2.

Initially it was difficult to find a positive from this result as it had been a long, long time since we conceded 5 goals but thankfully they appeared later in the afternoon. Aidan Murphy in particular with his determination and commitment was great to see. Our passing game whilst not at its best was still present and our goals all came from excellent movement on and off the ball. And we kept their keeper on his toes throughout the game.

From next week we will train on Astro at Avon Rí as the dark evenings have closed in and will be back on grass in February.

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, Ryan Mahon.

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc


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



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


U11 Willie Madden League Cup: Beechwood A 1-1 Blessington A

Last Saturday saw Blessington U11A on their travels again to play the excellent Beechwood U11A. Already many Blessington teams have faced teams from Beechwood FC this season and one thing we all agree on; is that their football is always of the highest quality. And so it was again this Saturday.

The match was played at the sunny Merrion Cricket Club on Anglesea Road on a pitch of real quality and it produced a game of the highest standard. It was our first visit here.

Blessington shot out of the blocks this week, eager to impress after two great coaching sessions earlier in the week and immediately took a foothold in the game. Shot after shot rained down on the Beechwood goal and they had their No #1 to thank after he kept them in the game, saving from Shane Sargent, Edward Carter, Folu Ilori and Sam Gallagher who struck a tremendous half volley that had goal written all over it. By the time the opening goal came from Blessington the game should really have been over but Beechwood have quality and showed great character to keep the away team shut out for so long. Another chance by Folu was put out for a corner and his brother Eni on his is favoured left foot delivered a cracking ball into the box that caused panic between keeper and defenders and was turned in by an unfortunate Beechwood player. Although harsh on Beechwood it was well deserved by Blessington who were quite comfortable dealing with Beechwood neat passing style. There was real purpose and desire shown by Blessington’s back three of Cian Doyle, Seán Brien, Aidan Murphy and central midfield to be the first to every ball. HT 1-0

The second half began like the first with Blessington rising in ascendency early and fashioned some great chances by Thomas O’Leary and Adam Walsh making their first appearances of the season (welcome back lads!). At the back Tadhg Murphy and Ryan Mahon were formidable, as they won their own individual battles.

As the half wore on, Beechwood made Blessington raise their game to the highest level all season as the game opened up. Paddy Brady in goal needed to be at his best to keep Blessington’s noses in front but couldn’t do anything to prevent Beechwood’s equaliser. An unstoppable rocket into the top left corner, a wonderful strike with three minutes to go!

The final chance of the game fell to Shane Sargent running onto a great through ball by Thomas O’Leary but he narrowly missed the target as the keeper forced him wide. FT 1-1

This was a great performance by our lads, probably the best for quite a while. Understandably the players were upset to concede at the death but we are still unbeaten. As we packed up to make the long trip home the coaches received comments from the referee and other Beechwood coaches who watched the game that our players were tremendous and had shown wonderful technique. Well done lads!

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

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc

U11A Match Report in The Star

Here is the match report from the Target section in The Star about our U11A’s win over Granada A.
Well done lads!!!


U11 Willie Madden League Cup: Blessington A 3-2 Granada A

Blessington FC continued their unbeaten start to the season in the U11 Willie Madden League Cup with a hard fought win against Granada A on Saturday.

A goal from Cian Doyle in the dying minutes and an outstanding triple save moments later from Blessington goalkeeper Paddy Brady ensuring all three points stayed with the home side.

Blessington started brightly and got into the ascendency with some early efforts and almost took the lead with a powerful shot from Sam Gallagher following a neat move involving Ryan Mahon and Edward Carter but the Granada goal keeper made a tremendous save.

Ryan Mahon was the busiest Blessington defender but was confidently dealing with the pacy Granada forward and again it was his interception which lead to Blessington’s opening goal. His pass down the line was collected by Folu Ilori and his cut back found Shane Sargent who hit a cracking volley from all of twenty yards that rattled the crossbar before nestling in the back of the net.

As the half wore on Blessington started to grow into the game and Eni Ilori was inches wide from stretching Blessington’s lead with a trademark left foot strike.

This was the fifth meeting between these teams in their young history and Blessington had never collected all three points and just before half time Granada showed why. A lovely turn by their classy No # 6 caught out the Blessington defence and released their No #9 who outpaced the defence and coolly rounded Brady in goal to equalise. 1-1 at halftime and it was a fair reflection of the efforts by both teams.

After the break, Granada picked up where they left off and caught Blessington cold with another well worked goal. Their industrious No #5 who was now starting to pull the strings clipped a hopeful board forward that should have been dealt with by Blessington. The ball was collected by the Granada No #9 and his turn allowed him to play a lovely pass to his partner upfront who finished the move with a sweet volley.

But Blessington are no strangers to doing things the hard way and poured forward in response with Aidan Murphy and Folu Ilori leading by example, as they encouraged their team forward in search of the equaliser. The game was becoming more stretched and the change in intensity was evident as more chances at both ends were created. Paddy Brady the busiest of the two keepers and only a headed goal line clearance from Edward Carter kept the game within reach for Blessington.

The equaliser was fashioned by some excellent work by Sam Gallagher and Shane Sargent who was now tirelessly working in midfield and his beautifully weighted pass found Eni Ilori who carried the ball around the full back and on towards goal, however the Granada keeper handled the ball outside his area. The Blessington players had some discussion over who should take it and Edward Carter stepped up. The ball was only three yards in from the end-line and just outside the penalty area but Edward scooped the ball over the wall and fully outstretched hand of the honest Granada keeper. It was wonderful piece of skill. 2-2!

There was two more pieces of drama for the lucky supporters. The final goal came from a corner fashioned by substitute Adam Walsh whose introduction earlier in the game had added impetus to Blessington’s forward play in the final third.

Granada pulled everyone back to defend their position and Cian Doyle now free of defensive duties ran forward from outside the box and powered an unstoppable header into the top corner to give Blessington the lead with three minutes remaining.

However Granada weren’t going to make the long trip back home empty handed and made every effort in the dying minutes to get something from the game. Only three outstanding consecutive reflex saves from Paddy Brady denied them the final one the best of the three as he clawed the ball away whilst lying on the ground much to the amazement of both teams and supporters. At the final whistle Blessington players sought out Cian and Paddy whose telling contributions gave their team a first win over Granada A.

The Granada players and coach as always courteous and sporting shook hands and congratulated all the players after a great game.

Blessington FC:

Paddy Brady, Cian Doyle, Ryan Mahon, Aidan Murphy, Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher, Eni Ilori, Shane Sargent, Folu Ilori, Adam Walsh.

Follow us on twitter: @blessofc #blessingtonfc