Crettyard United 0
New Oak Boys 0
By Harry Shorthose
THESE two old rivals played out a scoreless draw in Crettyard on Friday night, meaning that New Oak claimed their third Seniors League title in three years.
The opening exchanges were tight and cagey as one might expect, with both sides knowing one mistake would cost them, neither side willing to take any risks. New Oak had the best of the early chances with Will Kinsella shooting over and Colin Nolan’s free-kick from the right was cleared.
With 15 minutes left in the half, Crettyard went close, but Eddie D’Arcy’s shot was hit straight at the New Oak goalkeeper. They started putting attacks together for the first time in the game with New Oak willing to let them have the ball, their defence well able to handle their efforts.
With 12 minutes to go in the half, David Maher tried an effort, shooting across the face of the box. Five minutes later, Jimmy Dunne went close, but his shot wasn’t strong enough and it trickled towards the line, but the New Oak goalkeeper got back in time to deal with the danger.
As half-time approached, New Oak started to come back into the game. Danger from Alan Smith’s free-kick was well dealt with by John McGrath in the Crettyard goal, while he pulled off another save two minutes later from a scramble in the box.
The second-half saw the game open up more with Crettyard going in search of victory. Two minutes in, a free-kick was played into Greg Sykula, who shot wide from distance. Crettyard replied with an effort from Terence Haughney, who burst down the right and tried to cross, but he was easily dispossessed.
With 10 minutes to go, Maher’s free-kick from the right went over the bar. New Oak replied with an effort of their own. Sykula burst through the middleand tried to set up Smith, but McGrath stopped him in his tracks, clearing it for a corner. The corner from the right was cleared after a header nearly ended up in the bottom corner. Thus followed a period of Crettyard dominance as New Oak sat back.
There was some good link-up play involving Tom Dowling down the left-hand side, which saw a shot go across the face of the goal. That resulted in Patrick Brennan getting onto it at the back post, but he shot wide. However, he was fouled and a free-kick was awarded. Maher took the it from the right and steered it wide.
With three minutes to go, Keith Nolan’s free-kick was played short to Ciaran Hosey in front of goal, who flicked it towards goal but over the bar.
With a minute to go, New Oak could have taken the lead when Kinsella crossed in for Sykula in front of goal, but he handled the ball. In the dying seconds of the game, a Maher free-kick from the right went just over the bar.
It may have been an uninspiring game but New Oak will care little as they held on to the league silverware for another season.
New Oak Boys: David O’Regan, Davy Walker, John Griffin, Alan McDermott, Stephen Dolan, Ross Townsend, Alan Smith, Colin Nolan, Thomas Collins, Seamus Farrell, Will Kinsella. Subs: Simon Rea, Adam Flynn, Greg Sykula, Darren McGill, Dale Lacey.
Crettyard United: John McGrath, Mark Kelly, Tom Dowling, Terence Haughney, Gary Rowan, Ciaran Hosey, Jimmy Dunne, Keith Nolan, Eddie D’Arcy, David Maher, Mark Fox. Subs: Patrick Dowling, Patrick Brennan, Brian Maher, Lee Murtagh, Phillip Drennan.