Paddy Kavanagh Suncroft AFC wins the ball from from Clane's Sean Hartnett in the KDFL Senior Division, Group A. Picture: Michael Anderson
KDFL SENIOR DIVISION
Clane United FC 3 Suncroft AFC 9
After what appears to have been an eternity the first action of the 2021 Season of the KDFL kicked off on Friday evening with Clane United FC taking on 2019 Senior League champs Suncroft AFC. Indeed the Senior League holders have set their stall out with this convincing away victory over Clane.
The message in the warm up for the visitors from Manager Neil Barnby was to play with intensity throughout and that’s exactly what the management team got from start to finish.
The visitors went a goal ahead early on when Ryan Farrell whipped a cross from the left and it was met by the head of Thomas Dunne and his effort looped over the home keeper and into the net to put the visitors 1-0 up.
It was the impressive Dunne again who was involved in Suncroft’s second goal when his pass put Dylan Connolly through and the young Suncroft man made no mistake with his finish beyond the home keeper to double the Croft’s advantage.
The home side were unlucky with two chances of their own with efforts on Kevin McDonnell’s goal with Andy Brogan hitting the post and crossbar among others. These early missed opportunities for Clane were to prove crucial as they tried to gain something from the game.
Thomas Dunne,JP McDonagh and Niall Flynn put the Croft five ahead with fine goals of their own and surely put the game beyond doubt with the half time whistle minutes away.
However Clane had other ideas and a lapse in the Suncroft defence on the stroke of half-time gave the home side a glimmer of hope when Andy Brogan this time was on the mark leaving the score at 5-1 to the Croft going into the break.
Clane Utd rallied after the restart and they pulled another goal back on 47 minutes through Sean Brennan and soon after they put just two between the sides when Eoghan Maguire was on target for Clane who were sensing a resurgence as the trailed 5-3. The home side did add a fourth however it was adjudged to be offside.
The Croft management felt a change was needed to avert Clane’s challenge and made two changes on the hour with Gazza Connolly and Niall Flynn being replaced by Ryan Dick and Trevor Connolly.
With a half hour of the game remaining Suncroft found that all important boost they needed to finish off a stubborn home side and it was JP Mc Donagh who was provider for Dylan Connolly and he finished his effort to put the Croft 6-3 ahead.
Suncroft were unstoppable at this point and added goals 7,8,9 from Dylan Connolly 2 and Thomas Dunne getting his hat rick in a ten minute rout.
Suncroft made two changes late on with Josh Lee and Shane Dillon replacing Dunne and McDonagh but there was still time for the Croft to add two more goals through substitute Josh Lee and the young defender made no mistake with two excellent finishes to take the Suncroft finish impressively.
A super all round team performance with a masterclass from Thomas Dunne and Dylan Connolly with his four goals and probably one of his best ever in a Suncroft shirt. Suncroft look forward to the visit of Kilcullen AFC to the Community Grounds on Sunday 11th July while best for Clane were Maguire and Brogan.
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