The eagerly awaited first ever Senior Division local derby between champions Liffey Celtic and newly promoted Newbridge Town turned out to be somewhat of a damp squib as the sides stuttered to a sometimes boring 0-0 draw, in ideal conditions at a well populated Station Road, writes Michael Casey.
Newbridge Town: 0
Liffey Celtic: 0
The occasion seemed to get to both sides and the quality of passing was poor, particularly in the first twenty minutes. Indeed the football was dour, with neither side showing any adventure, during this period with neither side being able to muster a shot on goal.
However the game picked up as the half progressed and Trevor Connolly was just over with a header from a Robbie Cullen cross after twenty-one minutes.
Eight minutes later Paddy Campbell and Martin Stafford combined to set up Connolly who rushed his shot, narrowly missing the target.
Liffey’s Brian Murphy then tried his luck with a well-struck effort from 35 yards but Town ‘keeper Chris Kearney got down well to push the ball onto his right post and away to safety.
Newbridge Town were not without their chances as Liffey keeper Kevin McDonnell had to be at his best to keep out a left-footed drive from Rory Deans on the half hour. Liffey came close again just before the break when Karl Hegarty rose high to meet a Paddy Campbell corner but keeper Kearney just got a hand to the ball.
Defences were very much on top in the second half as both sides were obviously gripped by a fear of losing. Liffey substitute Brian Collins was just off target with a long range drive after 65 minutes.
Town came close to grabbing an opener with ten minutes remaining when Barry O’Shea freed Shane Murphy up the left and he crossed into the box where Jimmy Brennan’s glancing header was well held by Celtic ‘keeper Kevin McDonald.
There were late chances for Town’s Eoin Walsh and Liffey’s Trevor Connolly. Walshe’s attempted lob of the outrushing McDonald just cleared the bar and Connolly was most unfortunate to see his effort from 25 yards crash off the crossbar and away to safety.
In the end a share of the spoils was a fair outcome to a game that never rose to expectations.
Chris Kearney, Noel Curranm Shane Murphy, Dan Harrington, Robbie Donnelly, James Brennan, Brian McDonagh, Eoin Walsh, Rory Deane, JP McDonagh, Derek O’Donoghue. Subs: John O’Neill (for Deane 65), James Philips, Barry O’Shea (for B McDonagh 45)
Kevin McDonald, Tommy Nolan, Seb Nochowitz, Karl hegarty, Graham McCormack, Robbie Cullen, Paddy Campbell, Finatn Donnelly, Martin Stafford, Trevor Connolly, Brian Murphy. Subs: David Hanley, Gavin O’Brien (for Nochowitz 62), Brian Collins (for Nolan 45), Brian Kelly, Neill Corr (for Deane 68), Shane Stafford, Anto Durney.