NAFL Premier League
Kilmore Rec 4 Malachians 1
(Report by Jim Masson)
KILMORE Rec have once again shown the class of their pedigree and they trounced the Malachians soundly in a game that was lively and entertaining for the spectators.
From the whistle Kilmore showed they were going to command the game with a pace that shook the visitors. The early attacks came from Karl Lewis who forged his way down the right wing finding the chinks in the Malachian defence. There were a number of excellent controlled close passing moves involving Peter Telford that teased the ball to striking range. Telford unleashed a shot at the Malachian goal from 30 yards but the volley was blocked by keeper Stitt for a corner.
Immediately the Malachians fought back and forward John Donaldson fired off a shot but it was well handled by Kilmore keeper McKenna. Philip Traynor was making a number of great moves and spot perfect passes from centre forward position causing the Malachian defence a number of problems.
Kilmore were definitely hungry for the opening goal and an excellent through ball from Traynor to Andy Telford was
tentatively blocked from a shot 20 yards out by the Malachian keeper. But the pressure from Kilmore finally paid off when in the 22nd minute captain Mark Holland went up for a header from a corner and nodded the ball down over the line into the Malachian goal.
The Crossgar outfit now had their tail well up and Malachians looked vulnerable as the attacks continued. Donaldson who was working hard for the Malachians led an attach desperately trying to claw back the equaliser and he made one strong volley but it just shaved the Kilmore post.
And within minutes Donaldson in his own half gave away a penalty by felling Peter telford who had made a penetrating run. Defender Stephen Douglas stepped up to ball and blasted it safely into the net to put Kilmore two goals up in the 28th minute.
Malachians once again fought back immediately and it took a brilliant diving save from Kilmore keeper McKenna to keep the ball on the right side of the line. But Kilmore continued to keep up the cracking pace and their attacks from the right wind. Then Andrew Telford received a ball in from a free kick and almost sank in another goal but the split second timing from Stitt saved the Malachians from further woes.
But into extra time, it was the lucky boot of Mark Holland who placed the ball from a corner to the even luckier head of Peter Telford who made no mistake as he soared into the air nailing the third goal in the 47th minute.
The second half certainly showed that soccer was a game of two halves. Malachians came out like bats out of hell determined to redeem themselves. It took them 11 minutes into the second period to net the ball and suddenly it was a real new game. The visitors had a lease of life and with 15 minutes into the half Kilmore looked rather muted compared to their first half onslaught.
But there was still life in the ould dog yet and Sean Bell made a great run through past a few defenders to pass to Philip Traynor who took his shot but it was saved by Stitt. This could have put Kilmore into the safety zone but the home side had lost their fluidity and were vulnerable to Malachian attacks. Certainly in the first 15 minutes Kilmore had given away too many free kicks within striking distance of their own goal area.
Lewis was having a quiet spell and it was Andy Telford who showed his spirit and forged into the Malachian back line almost scoring and wearing a corner, taking the pressure off the Kilmore defenders. This was shortly followed by a great run in by Traynor who slipped the ball to Peter Telford whose volley ricocheted off the left post.
Then as the game was reaching its inevitable conclusion as Kilmore pulled back their dominance on the game, a ball crossed in by Andrew Telford was knocked into the centre of the net by Matthew Hardy – the final coffin nail for the Malachians in the 83rd minute.
Andy Telford followed this with a great volley at the Malachian goal and was millimetres wide of the post. Kilmore has come to life in the tail end of the second half again, but the Malachians made one final bid to save face but it was too late to pull back the deficit.
Kilmore Rec: Michael McKenna, Stephen Douglas, Sean Bell, Mark Hollond (C), Mark Miskellly, Andrew Baggley, Karl Lewis, Peter Telford, Andrew Telford, Philip Traynor, Owen Curran. Subs: Matthew Hardy, Jack Lappin, Garry Kennedy.
Malachians: Ciaran Stitt, Gerard Adams, Aaron Sharpe, Damien Highes, Gary Reilly, Barry Begley, Conor Alsop, Gary Kelly, Mark McCourt, John Donaldson, Jerome McAtee. Subs: Daniel Bell, Kevin Feighan, Ciaran Devlin.