Kilbarrack Utd – 2
Bluebell Utd – 1
Kilbarrack Utd registered a morale boosting pre-season victory over LSL Senior Division giants Bluebell Utd at Greendale Road on Thursday night.
Brian Mooney’s side went into the game as big underdogs against a side packed with talent that would walk into any top level team in the country, but in a game where the visitors threatened with more frequency, it was Kilbarrack who took the chances that were offered up and emerged victorious.
The LSL top tier side had the better of the opening exchanges with some fast passing and movement on the ball and the Kilbarrack rearguard of Ben Mulligan, Ryan Fitzsimons, Adam Fox and Gavin Gaugran had to be on top of their game to keep the visitors at bay.
As the half wore on Kilbarrack settled and came into the game more with Owen Evans sitting in front of the back four impressive, while Mikey Murphy and Dylan Travers and Eamon Mulligan further forward being Kilbarrack’s creative force on the ball.
Despite a couple of half chances for either side however, the sides went into the break level.
After the turn Kilbarrack got a dream start to the half with 49 on the clock when Mulligan raced up the left wing before cutting inside and firing past the advancing Dave Doyle in the ‘Bell goal from an acute angle into the net.
The visitors came back at Kilbarrack with a vengeance and had couple of chances to level it up but couldn’t covert.
Kilbarrack doubled their advantage with 63 on the clock when substitute Kevin Griffin chased down a ball that ‘Bell keeper Doyle had come to retrieve. Griffin outmuscled the net-minder well outside the right edge of the area and fired home from the angle into an empty net.
The visitors hit back within a minute when Jordan Payne fired past Conor Ennis and the stage was set for an enthralling finish.
As the Andy Noonan managed side pushed for an equaliser and the intensity of the game rose, there was plenty of handbags on show from both sides in the final quarter.
Bluebell piled on the pressure in the closing stages and only for two top drawer saves from Conor Ennis between the Kilbarrack sticks would have levelled it.
Kilbarrack through emerged with the victory in their penultimate game of a pre-season which has seen victories over two LSL top division sides.
Next up for Kilbarrack is a home tie against old rivals Sheriff YC on Sunday. Not to be missed!
Kilbarrack Utd: 1) Conor Ennis 2) Ben Quinlan 3) Gavin Gaughran 4) Adam Fox 5) Ryan Fitzsimons 6) Owen Evans 7) Sean Doyle 8) Dylan Travers 9) Aaron Brennan 10) Mikey Murphy 11) Eamon Mulligan
Subs: 12) Alan Murphy 13) Karl O’Reilly 14) Keith Murray 15) Kevin Griffin 16) Kevin Malloy 17) Adam McGinn
Bluebell Utd: 1) Dave Doyle 2) Anthony Dolan 3) Luke McWilliams 4) John Sullivan 5) Glen Walsh 6) Aaron Robinson 7) Niall Barnet 8) Brandon Payne 9) Jordan Payne 10) Ryan Coombes 11) Malik Benrouguibi
Subs: 12) Gilmar Mandangou 13) Brian Cullen 14) Luke Rossiter 15) John Doyle 16) Graham Zambra 16) Sean Quinn