THREE-TIME masters of the Leinster Junior Cup, Freebooters easily cruised into the fourth round of this season’s competition after a comprehensive dismantling of Kildare outfit Eleson United.
’Booters dominated possession - and the game - from an early stage at the Fair Green on Sunday. Over the 90 minutes they had 18 shots on goal, and could have helped themselves to more than the six goals they bagged.
That said the Kildare contingent had their fair share of chances. Wayne Bower, operating as a lone striker, constantly troubled the ’Booters defence. It was due to the excellence of ’keeper Graham Doyle that the hosts kept a clean sheet.
The deadlock was broken after just four minutes when Damien Raggett’s throw-in on the right wing near the corner flag found Greg Morton. He safely negotiated his way past his marker and finished with consummate ease.
The advantage was doubled in the 15th minute when Paul O’Brien sent a low ball towards the penalty area. The advancing Ger Hayes pounced, but failed to get off a clean shot. Paddy Kiely was lurking with intent, however, and although his initial shot was blocked by Eleson goalkeeper Mark Curran Kiely was there to get another vital touch and ease Freebooters on their way.
The lead was extended even further two minutes into first-half injury-time, when more good work down the left wing again by O’Brien and Hayes ended with defender Joe Bower heading past his own goalkeeper.
Eleson United introduced Shane Buckley as a half-time substitute in an effort to get back into the game. They also made a host of switches, operating with just three at the back, but matters worsened as ’Booters continued to waltz through the opposition.
Greg Morton bagged his second goal in the 49th minute with a spectacular overhead kick, following good work from Paddy Kiely. Morton was then denied his hat-trick two minutes later when his penalty was saved by Mark Curran.
Both teams rang the changes with Booters introducing Derek Brennan along with youths Conor Keane and Eoin Kavanagh who featured in the Shield final victory on Saturday evening.
The changes didn’t alter the pattern of the game. Paddy Kiely grabbed his second in the 69th minute after being set up by Neil Murtagh, before the provider turned goalscorer in the 76th minute, Murtagh volleying home after an excellent cross by Keane.
Freebooters: Graham Doyle, Jack Deegan (Derek Brennan, 65 mins), Michael Falsey, Anthony Hanney, Ger Hayes (Conor Keane, 66 mins), Michael Comerford, Neil Murtagh, Damien Raggett, Paul O’Brien, Paddy Kiely (Eoin Kavanagh, 70 mins), Greg Morton.
Eleson United: Mark Curran, Donal Brady, Joe Kenny (Kevin Harris, 62 mins), James Langton, Joe Bower (Shane Buckley, 46 mins), Sean Swords, Paul Mullin, Sean Leeson, Frank Maguire, Vincent Byrne (Brian Smith, 62 mins), Wayne Bower.
Referee: Nicky Marnell.
’Green, Highview go through
TWO more Kilkenny teams joined Freebooters in the fourth round of the Leinster Junior Cup at the weekend.
Evergreen booked their place in the next stage, but had to endure a topsy-turvy afternoon against Raheny United. Joe Mulcahy struck twice for the Premier Division champions, but was then red-carded. Jamie Owens also got his marching orders, but Evergreen’s nine men held firm until the end of normal time. Raheny were reduced to ten in extra-time, but neither side could find a winning goal.
Netminder Pierce Dargan proved to be the difference when the game went to penalties, saving two of Raheny’s kicks. With Robbie Quan, Tommy Earls and Declan McQuillan all scoring, Evergreen prevailed 3-0.
Elsewhere Shane Kavanagh was among the goals as Highview Athletic beat Hyde Park 3-2. There was no such luck for Fort Rangers however, as they bowed out when going under 5-0 away to East Wall Bessborough on Saturday evening.