The visitors began strongly, pouncing on a loose defensive pass in the final third to flash a low shot across the face of stand-in goalkeeper Greg Murphy’s six-yard box, before an excellent block from right back Peter McAnena prevented an early opener. However, with pressure building, the home side’s dangerous front four came to life. John Cosgrove found space after a turnover in possession and threaded a neat through ball for Fionn Nally to race onto. Nally did brilliantly to beat his man and find Aidan McGrath at the far post with a low cross, but the striker contrived to miss the target from close range with the goal at his mercy. From then on, it was all Vincent’s in the first half. Dan Hales headed a Cosgrove corner over the bar, while the latter tested the Kilnamanagh goalkeeper from a tight angle with a vicious left-footed strike.
As the tide continued to flow in Vincent’s favour, the deadlock was broken. Another swift break down the left side involving Cosgrove, Nally and Eddy Wrynn resulted in Durand, breaking from central midfield, turning the ball home from close range with aplomb. It was no more than the hosts deserved, and chances continued to flow, though Kilnamanagh had a couple of sights on goal when sloppy passing ceded possession around the Vincent’s box.
Durand got his second of the game on the stroke of half-time in similar circumstances to the first. This time, a cleared corner found its way back to Nally on the left flank. His dangerous cross presented Durand with another chance to steer home for his brace.
Vincent’s were in cruise control at the break and kept their visitors at bay early in the second-half. Skipper Andy Delany anchored the midfield excellently, protecting centre backs Hales and Dean Huggard, who looked in control in defence. However, around 10 minutes after the interval, floodlight issues halted proceedings for around 20 minutes and it was Kilnamanagh who responded best to the delay.
After some good work down the right flank, a dangerous cross deflected off Hales at the front post and crept home, with Murphy unable to keep it out. The away team had their tails up from then on and poured forward in search of an equaliser. Vincent’s shuffled the pack, with Mark Dwyer and Cian Ward introduced to provide fresh legs. Soon after, Gavin Kane and David Kennedy joined them from the bench and the latter was forced into a goal-line clearance with his first touch. McGrath had a chance to extend the hosts advantage at the other end, but couldn’t find the target from a difficult angle with the goalkeeper off his line. Ward then narrowly fired over twice in quick succession, while several promising counter attacks faltered at the final pass in a promising 10-minute spell.
Alas, the leveller was in the post, and it eventually arrived when a powerful strike from the edge of the area found the net via the gloves of Murphy and the left post. Pressure continued to build and after Huggard brought a dangerous counter attack to an abrupt ending with a tactical foul on the edge of the area, Kilnamanagh took the lead with an excellent direct free kick.
Now forced into chasing the game, Vincent’s were up against it, especially when reduced to 10 men, as Huggard received a second booking for a forceful tackle. With that one-man disadvantage, the visitors saw out the game comfortably, extending their advantage in the final minutes, as Murphy failed to hold a high cross under pressure from two forwards to end a disappointing second-half for the home team.
Starting XI (substitutions): Greg Murphy, Peter McAnena (David Kennedy), Dan Hales (Gavin Kane), Dean Huggard, Darren McMahon, Andy Delany, Rory Durand (Mark Dwyer), John Cosgrove, Eddy Wrynn (Cian Ward), Aidan McGrath, and Fionn Nally.
Unused sub: Kieran Keane.
<h3><strong>We go again!</strong></h3>
Training continued at St Kilian’s in Clonskeagh, but moved to UCD for Halloween week due to the College being closed for midterm break. As always, new players are welcome!