The opening half was a tight affair. Chances were few and far between. Peter Kelly played his usual stellar role in the centre of the park, though the ball did not seem to stick in the attacking third.
The score was level at the break, and St Vincent’s had their tails up early in the second period but failed to take the lead, despite creating a number of openings. Against the run of play, Dundrum took the lead when a long throw-in bounced around the box and was poked home from close range. Things got worse soon after, when a Dundrum breakaway was ruthlessly finished. Seemingly, two chances and two goals. St Vincent’s responded well. Eddy Wrynn scampered down the right, crossing for Rory Durand to nod home, only to be whistled offside. Barra Neary’s direct style caused problems, and Fionn Nally jinked his way into some dangerous areas. Coilin Smyth pulled one back late, but a big push in the closing stages was too little too late.
The final score was 1-2, and the team knows they need to start coming out on the other side of these close affairs.
Vincent’s key performer
Coilin Smyth’s appearance off the bench sparked the comeback effort. Dealing with injuries of late, the gifted centre-midfielder has not played as much as we would like. The Beaumont anaesthesiology SpR took control from the moment he walked onto the pitch. Despite the blemish of getting booked before his first touch, Coilin came close with a rasping 25-yard free kick that brushed the crossbar, before scoring directly from a corner. He created countless openings and was assured in possession throughout. A wonderful player to have in the side, we can only hope injuries do not mar his involvement after the Christmas break.
Sean Keane, Gavin Kane, Darren McMahon, Kieran Keane, Dean Huggard, Peter Kelly, Dan Hales, Eddy Wrynn, Brian Kelly, Rory Durand, Fionn Nally, Barra Neary, Coilin Smyth, James Clarke, Martin Hayes, Peter McAnena.
St Vincent’s face Trinity Donaghmede FC in Round 2 of the Tom Carroll Cup on Friday, 7 December at St Benildus College. Cup competition represents the club’s best chance of success this season, and we look forward to the excitement of knockout football. The Leinster Senior League pauses for the winter period. Fixtures resume in late January. This campaign has been played at a brisk pace, and the team has nine games to get the season back on track.
Ireland’s new management team
It came as no surprise to see Mick McCarthy appointed to his second term in charge of the national team. With the side in disarray, McCarthy is seen as the safest choice to ensure Ireland qualifies for Euro 2020. Securing the services of Declan Rice is high on the priority list, though the mercurial defender is torn between family ties to Ireland and his own ambition to represent England.
More interesting than McCarthy’s appointment is the succession plan that will see Stephen Kenny take over after Euro 2020, following a period as the U-21 manager. The former Dundalk manager is tasked with developing the talented youth crop and integrating this new generation into the senior side. Dundalk’s U-19 manager, Mick Neville, the most decorated player in League of Ireland history, is already the Assistant Manager to Tom Mohan with the Irish U-19 team, ensuring a degree of familiarity between Ireland’s new junior management teams.
With regard to players, there are a number to keep an eye out for. Caoimhin Kelleher and Mark Travers, who has made the bench for Bournemouth, are both good prospects in goal. Conor Coventry has made the bench for West Ham in Premier League games, and came on in an 8-0 League Cup win. Lee O’Connor, captain of U-19 team, recently trained with the senior side. Aaron Connolly and Jayson Molumby are progressing well with Brighton’s U-23 side, and Norwich’s Adam Idah is a top prospect up front. It is well known in football circles that Ireland have a number of outstanding underage players coming through, and Stephen Kenny is the man chosen to lead them going forward.
Training will be every Wednesday evening from 20:15 to 21:45 at St Kilian’s German School until late March, and we are always looking for new faces to get involved.
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