Monica's grab the goals to topple Tower's
Leonard leads the way as the Saints march on at Moyle Park
ST MONICA'S 4-9
ROUND TOWER'S CLONDALKIN 1-6
St Monica's produced a clinical display in accounting for an unlucky Round Tower's Clondalkin by 12 points in their entertaining Dublin Under-14 Football League Division 3 encounter at Moyle Park College on Saturday afternoon.
While the winning margin may have flattered the visitors somewhat, there was no denying their deserved victory with their ability to plunder goals at crucial times a critical factor in their win.
The Edenmore lads now have amassed four points from four following an earlier defeat of Whitehall Colmcille and they had a spine of talented footballers to largely thank for their victory.
Midfielder Aaron Leonard kicked 1-6 from placed balls but his contribution was far greater than that, while full-back Jamie O'Brien kept things tight in defence with full-forward Cian O'Reilly a powerful presence throughout the game in addition to kicking 2-1.
The hosts battled gamely throughout and strung together some tremendous passages of play but they'll rue not taking advantage of an impressive start in which they enjoyed a four-point lead inside 10 minutes.
The scoring began through a fine point from the roving Shane Scappaticci in the second minute although Leonard restored parity from a free soon after. Tower's pushed on attacking the school end and after a number of poor wides, they deservedly regained the lead thanks to a glorious left-footed strike by the talented Matthew McLoughlin in the sixth minute. Four minutes later, Graham Proctor unleashed a powerful arrowed shot from 12 yards which had too much power for Lee Bell as it flew into the top corner of the net.
Slowly but surely, Glen Power, Leonard, Joel Melonzo and Carl O'Connor began to get to grips with matters and an opportunistic goal from O'Reilly following a defensive error brought Monica's back into it.
Leonard restored parity through a 14th-minute free and nine minutes later the same player was on hand to slot home a penalty after a foul on Rory Dunne to increase his side's advantage to three points.
O'Reilly bagged his second goal of the game four minutes from the break with another composed finish with McLoughlin's injury-time point reducing his team's arrears to just five points (3-2 to 1-3) by the interval.
Any hopes of a comeback were quickly dispelled within eight minutes of the restart as the visitors kicked four unanswered points through Leonard, Aaron Knowles, O'Reilly and Paul Dillon as Monica's grabbed the contest by the scruff of the neck.
Tower's staged a mini revival with excellent scores from McLoughlin and Proctor but their fate was sealed at the end of the third quarter as Knowles produced a cheeky finish for his side's fourth goal of the by now one-sided contest.
It was fitting that Leonard should have the final word with two late frees putting the gloss on an excellent team display from Mark Lyons' charges, who look to be bouncing back well following relegation from Division 2 last year.