The Kildare and District Underage League kicked off season 2012/2013 under glorious sunshine on Saturday last and Sallins Celtic found that the move from Major Division to Premier Division is a huge jump as they hosted Rathangan ho were runners-up in the Premier Division last year, writes Ger McNally.
Sallins Celtic: 0
Sallins had a home game to kick off the season but found Rathangan in tremendous form.
From the first whistle, the visitors took the game to Sallins and were rewarded with a glut of goals with forwards like Terence Hyland and John O’Toole to the fore but the real star was midfielder Joe Breen.
Breen has a lovely relaxed style to his play and given time and space by the Sallins midfield, he was left to spray the ball about as he pleased. The youngster has a real knack for intelligently switching the directiuon of an attack and was the fulcrum for Rathangan in the centre of the field and even managed to get on the score sheet.
Despite Rathangan being on the front foot from the first whistle, Sallins defended stoutly and kept them at bay early on.
Centre backs Cian Sharkey and Paul Farrelly were under pressure from the get go but they repelled all that Rathangan had in the opening stages.
The clearest opportunities that Rathangan created came when Terence Hyland shot across the face of goal and wide after three minutes and then goalkeeper James O’Connor was alert to push away John O’Toole’s effort.
Although it was the visiting side doing all the attacking, it should have been the home side that opened the scoring. Rory Kane sent Cody Loakman through on goal and his toe poke found the gap between goalkeeper Shane O’Brien’s legs but Austin Bolger-Hinds got back in the nick of time to clear off the line.
That let off seemed to inspire Rathangan to be more clinical and from their next attack they broke the deadlock. Hyland’s right wing cross picked out Tadhg Montgomery at the back post but his header was brilliantly stopped by O’Connor. The Sallins’ stopper’s luck was out though and the rebound fell perfectly for O’Toole to score from close range.
Hyland doubled the Rathangan lead with a well placed shot just after the half hour and that second goal seemed to really demoralise Sallins. Hyland led the way as Rathangan went on to plunder three more goals before the half time break. Twice he was set up by Breen and finished with aplomb to complete his hat trick. On the stroke of half time, O’Toole netted his second when he shot past O’Connor.
Matters were looking decidedly dodgy for Sallins by this stage and the second half didn’t bring much relief. Breen deservedly added his name to the ever lengthening scoresheet when he converted from the penalty spot after Hyland had been bundled over inside the penalty box.
There was more pain to come for newly promoted Sallins when Hyland hit Rathangan’s seventh. It’s a steep learning curve for them but if they take the lessons from this game forward into their next outing they can improve. Rathangan on the other hand were delighted with their winning start to the new campaign.
James O’Connor, Adam Kehoe, Matthew Gallagher, Cian Sharkey, Paul Farrelly, Eoin Daly, Connor Johnson, Connor Buggle, Oisin Carey, Rory Kane, Cody Loakman. Subs: Israel Ogheage, Ryan Donohoe, Connor Dalton.
Shane O’Brien, Michael Fitzsimons, Nathan Cullen, Sean Kavanagh, Austin Bolger Hinds, Joe Breen, Kieran Cullen, Cian O’Neill, Terence Hyland, Tadhg Montgomery, John O’Toole. Subs: Aengus Samuel Maher.