herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

cian's solo sees shels sink saints

Shelbourne..............................................1

St Kevin's Boys.........................................0

A GOAL straight from the Heavens decided it. Cian O'Brien's volley was worthy of Beckham and it gave Shels the Sean Murray Under 4 Premier points at the AUL on Saturday.

They deserved them. They played plenty of good football and their defence was as sturdy and as vigilant as a Lighthouse.

At the heart of it was Josh Connell. If they were giving a man-of-the-match award, Josh would have topped the poll.

He has interested the international selectors and it's easy to see why. He plays with the heart of Richard Dunne.

Josh made two crucial tackles in the second half, foiling Dylan Murray and Keith McCracken as the Saints engineered a couple of rare gaps in the traffic.

Alongside Josh was Sean Geoghegan, a son of Stephen, that prince of League of Ireland strikers and forever a favourite in Tolka Park.

Even Stephen would have found it difficult to sniff out a chance here. Both rearguards were solid. So much so that the goalkeepers, Ryan Davis of Shels and Stephern Morris hardly got the gloves muddy.

The golden moment came 18 minutes into the second half. It was started by left full-back, Stephen Brown, a most stylish player.

Everytime Stephen got on the ball he was always looking up to find a shirt. Row Z never came into it. Tight control and neat distribution marked his 70 minutes.

He picked out Kevin Nolan with an accurate delivery. Nolan clipped it on, but as the ball dropped from the sky, O'Brien, inside the box and with a couple of defenders on his shoulder, still had plenty of work to do.

But he did it superbly, showing wonderful technique to meet the ball on the button and plant it firmly in the middle of the garden gate at the motorway end.

The Saints upped it after that. Mark Byrne, six minutes from time, went closest of all. They lie in the top three. They have three matches left, one of them against Shels. The previous week they were involved in a 1-1 classic against the Orchard.

This victory will fill the Reds with confidence. They have a mountain of games left. They are sure to climb the stairs from their mid-table location.

They had the majority of possession in the first half. Nolan hit the base of the Kevin's post in the 25th minute.

In the second period, the left wing play of Shelbourne's Darragh Walsh impressed. From very little room, he can flight a cross like the Duffer.

Aaron Henderson was also on duty for Shels. The only one of the clan not to play in goal. But even the combined efforts of all the Henderson 'keepers wouldn't have stopped O'Brien's jackpot shot.

Shelbourne: Ryan Davis; Reece Weldon, Stephen Brown, Sean Geoghegan, Josh Connell, Kevin Nolan, Barry Davis, Aaron Henderson, Eden Burke, Cian O'Brien, Darragh Walsh. Mark Lynch, Craig Rafferty, Aaron Lowry, Adam McIvor.

St Kevin's Boys: Stephen Morris; Aaron O'Neill, Jake Hyland, Darren Bollard, Mark Byrne, Conor Bruce, Jake Hyland, Gavin Boyne, Dave McGrath, Eric Nkemi, Dylan Murray. Shane Crosbie, Keith McCracken, Sean Manley, Conor McDonald.

Referee: Brendan Hunter

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