CASTLEFIN CEL. 0 V 3 KILDRUM TIGERS
BY CHARLIE COLLINS
This game was switched to Castlefin but Premier League leaders Kildrum Tigers made light of the loss of home advantage with a hugely impressive 0-3 victory which sends them eight points clear at the top of the table. A strong wind which blew towards the dressing room end coupled with squally showers made things difficult for both teams, but Kildrum adapted better as the home side tended to over hit their attempts with passes from the back. They did have the best early chance when Matthew O Rourke got the slightest touch to Gary Mc Nulty’s low cross but his effort came back off the inside of the post and was cleared. Neither side were creating clear-cut chances in the difficult conditions, Castlefin keeper Chris O Donnell saved from Daniel Clarke in the 17th minute while at the other end Sean Friel took no chances with a JP Malley curler three minutes later. Friel also had to deal with a Emmet White free-kick and the Kildrum defence had to deal with a series of Castlefin corners, and did so well. In the 35th minute Daniel Clarke set up Kevin Mc Hugh but O Donnell dealt well with his drive from the edge of the box. Kildrum grabbed the lead in the 40th minute when Mc Hugh’s corner found the unmarked Damian Crossan and he volleyed low past several defenders and keeper O Donnell. With the game in first-half injury time Referee Dessie Mc Laughlin produced two red cards for Kevin Mc Hugh and Castlefin ‘s Ronan Tourish following an incident in the Castlefin penalty box. Mc Hugh had gone down after bursting into the box and Tourish appeared to take exception to that, perhaps suggesting the Kildrum man had dived. As players from both teams became involved in what seems a minor enough situation at first the Referee flashed red cards to both players which left the Kildrum management very unhappy as they claimed Mc Hugh had done nothing to merit the punishment he received. The half-time whistle sounded immediately, but the debate on the rights and wrongs of the Referee’s decisions continued through the break and beyond. Kildrum got the perfect start to the second-half when following a foul on Jamie Mc Kinney, William Lynch unleashed a brillant unstoppable drive to the roof of Chris O Donnell’s net to make it 0-2 and put the League leaders in total command. The home side kept trying and Johnny Doherty header Gary Mc Nulty’s corner over the bar and later shot over after sub Ian Ward had won a far post header. Both teams made a series of substitutions and after Kildrum full-back Brian Coll had to make a last ditch clearance from Barry Tourish’s dangerous cross in the 76th minute it was Kildrum sub Oran Higgins who wrapped up the points with a excellent finish after Damian Crossan’s lovely through ball had sent him clear and make it 0-3 to extend Kildrum’s unbeaten league run to ten games and an eight point lead at the top. CASTLEFIN CELTIC ; Chris O Donnell, Gary Mc Nulty Peter Bryson, Emmet White, Damian Mc Elhinney , Johnny Doherty , Shane Gallagher ( Corrie Lee Bogan 52mins ), Ronan Tourish , J P Malley ( Ian Ward 55mins ), Matthew O Rourke ( Brian Dooher 68mins ), Barry Tourish. KILDRUM TIGERS ; Sean Friel, Barry O Donnell ( Gareth Colhoun 70mins ), Brian Coll , Johnny Mc Ginty , Michael Lynch, Gary Crossan ( Ethan Coll 42mins ), Jamie Mc Kinney, Damian Crossan , William Lynch ( Kevin O Donnell 83mins ), Kevin Mc Hugh, Daniel Clarke ( Oran Higgins ). REFEREE; Dessie Mc Laughlin.