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It is said ‘defence wins championships’, and Vincent’s certainly have a good one. Boasting the best record across all 21 Leinster Senior League divisions, the team concedes an average of two goals for every three games played, and has allowed six across the 14-game unbeaten run. This scorching defensive form pushes the team to victory even when not at its best, and provides a huge amount of confidence going into every game. Paddy O’Connor, Tommy Fitzgerald, Darren McMahon and Gavin Kane snuffed-out the opposition in this one, and never looked in serious danger of being overwhelmed. Peter Kelly played the role of Claude Makélélé to perfection, adding an extra layer of midfield protection.
On the other end, Aidan McGrath and Fionn Nally were at the heart of Vincent’s most threatening moves. Neither requires much of an invitation to cause trouble, though they were thwarted by a combination of strong defending, good goalkeeping and bad luck. Gavin Kane came close following a neat one-two with Andrew Delaney, but fired into the side netting from an acute angle with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Both teams will admit to being sloppy in possession, and clear-cut chances were few and far between. This is not unexpected, given the congested fixture list.
With six league games remaining, Vincent’s now need four wins to secure the league title. “The situation is in our hands but it won’t be easy; we know this. Football is not a simple game and every game is difficult,” said manager Sean Keane.
Vincent’s key performer
In an all-round fantastic performance, Darren McMahon produced his usual mix of defensive acumen and attacking intent. The Mater intern has been one of the players of the season to date, and consistently delivers displays such as this one. Rarely beaten by opposing wingers, Darren breaks quickly and links intelligently with the midfield and forward players as he ranges along the left flank. The budding anaesthetist will be a key player as the league comes to a close.
In the first of five consecutive away fixtures, St Vincent’s travel to play Clondalkin Celtic on Saturday, 5 May.
Match day squad
Sean Keane, Gavin Kane, Darren McMahon, Tommy Fitzgerald, Paddy O’Connor, Peter Kelly, Rory Durand, Andrew Delaney, Fionn Nally, Barra Neary, Aidan McGrath, Dean Huggard, Nathan Wall, Luke Sheeran Purcell, Ronan Murray, Robert Trueick.
St Vincent’s played Clondalkin Celtic in an away fixture on Saturday, 5 May, winning the game 0-3.
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