Awards Night

Filed under: General news, Over 35 team, Saturday LSL team, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Player of the Year and Clubman of the Year awards will be presented on Sat night 23rd May in the Eden at 8.30.

In the running for clubman of the year there are a few candidates – Mick Leslie (for sterling water bottle service) Dave Browne, Steve Grier, Colm Reid, Gavin Johnson and the two hardy annuals Mick Greene and Paul McGowan.

Competition for the Sunday Player of the Year is very close. The first seven votes received were all for different players! The main contenders are Karl McCullough, Steve Grier, Steve Walsh, Neil McGowan and David Kernan.

On Saturday the votes are more closely bunched, with Niall “Skip” Lennon, Conor Canavan and Jeff Gamble the main contenders.

The over 35s nominations include Gerry Doran , Padraig Finnerty and Matt Grimes.

See You Saturday.

Spartak Clinch Title in Comeback Win

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Glasnevin 2, Spartak 4

Spartak went into this game knowing that a point would be sufficient to land the title on goal difference from Dundrum. Glasnevin could also reach the same points total as Dundrum, so it was no end of season game for them.

It was a windy day in Albert College with a sticky surface following heavy rain during the week.

The Sky Blues began well, and Steve Walsh laid on a great chance for Dave Kernan, returning from injury, but he scooped his effort over the bar from 8 yards.

On 20 minutes, the ball fell to Neil Mcgowan 30 yards out and under challenge, but, left footed, he let fly. The ball struck the underside of the bar, bounced down and back up to the roof of the net. 1-0

Some really sloppy defensive work allowed Glasnevin to equalise with a shot from inside the area, and then, on 52 minutes, a cross was poorly defended by the Sky Blue defence, and it was a second goal for the home side.

2-1 Down. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And his name was Love. Firstly, Stu won two tough battles to make progress before releasing a neat pass into Steve Walsh’s well timed run; Steve aimed the ball across the six yard box to a lurking Steve Grier, but the ball was turned in by a desperate defender in an attempt to clear. 2-2, but nervy, with just ubder a half hour remaining.

A quick free kick routine gave the home side a chance to restore their lead, but Jason Northey took off a fine save to push the ball on to the bar and away to safety.

Then a long ball by Paul Kinsella to sub Keith Kelly let Spartak break away. Without further ado Keith immediately transferred to Steve Walsh, who cut inside the defender to send a glorious left footer to the corner of the net.

That man Love featured again for the fourth goal, getting to the bye line before setting the fourth up on a plate for sub Jeff Gamble to finish from close range. 4-2, and the title was secured.

Form Report
Jason Northey 7 Dave Browne 6 Aodhan McCahill 7 Paul Kinsella 6 Karl McCullough 6 Stuart Love 8 Neil McGowan 7 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Steve Grier 6 Dave Kernan 5 Steve Walsh 7
Subs: Jeff Gamble 6,Keith Kelly 6

Penalty Award transforms Game

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Portmarnock 3, Spartak 1

A mysterious penalty award gave Portmarnock a half time lead, settling their nerves against an under strength Spartak outfit who put in a good performance, spoiled only by inability to take their chances on a pristine surface at Paddy’s Hill.

Mick Leslie was the main culprit in this regard, with three below par efforts, in particular spurning a big chance after a mazy Jeff Gamble run had squared the ball invitingly. In another attack, Mikey Ryan had put Ciaran Keane through and clear, but Ciaran, instead of heading for goal, made a beeline towards the corner flag before firing wildly over and wide.

Conor Keegan made a welcome return to the defence, and , apart from an unnecessary booking, had a fine game, including a goal line clearance, while Stephen Harris recovered his form and made a few vital saves with the back four in general showing stern resistance to the home attacks.

Spartak resisted well until the turning point came. From a corner, Stephen Harris was fouled in trying to catch; meanwhile the ref had spotted a push in the area and awarded a spot kick, much to the surprise of the home side, who had retreated expecting a free out. So one nil at half time.

A minute into the second period Joe McCarthy fouled just on the edge of the box, and the deflected free kick was scrambled to the net. Towards the end Portmarnock sealed victory with a third goal. A late Jeff Gamble penalty gave Spartak their only score, leaving the Sky Blues to rue those missed opportunities.

Form Report
Stephen Harris 7 Derek Gibney 7 Tony Kavanagh 7 Joe McCarthy 7 Conor Keeegan 8 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Canavan 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Quinn 6 Mikey Ryan 6 Mick Leslie 5
Subs: Dan O’Connell 6 Tom Maher 6 Jason Doyle 6

Nervy Draw

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Woods Utd 0, Spartak 0

Spartak were left to rue their missed opportunities early in the game as Woods set up a very effective defensive screen. Woods were effective in occasional breakouts and Graham Campbell cleared off the Spartak line just before the break.

A Dave Browne pass sent Steve Walsh away after 10 minutes, and when his shot was blocked by the keeper he managed to retrieve the ball and cross , but Graham Campell’s header was not strong enough to foil the keeper, who pushed it away.

Steve Walsh then sent Graham Campbell through and his lofted effort beat the keeper but crashed against the bar. These were the best chances created in the first half, and gradually the Sky Blues became more and more frantic in an effort to break down the resilient Woods rearguard, who played deep and defended in numbers.

Steve Grier did head against the post in the second period, Stuart Love headed wide, while Neil McGowan had an effort cleared off the line, but often the approach play was not crisp enough or the final ball not quite good enough.

A frustrating evening.

Form Report
Jason Northey 6 Dave Browne 6 Aodhan McCahill 6 Seamus McCahill 6 Karl McCullough 6 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 6 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Steve Grier 6 Graham Campbell 5 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Paul Kinsella 6 Joe McCarthy 6 Mick Leslie 6

Spartak Trump Queens

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 4, Queens Park 0

An early Tom O’Driscoll goal, after a fine passing move, together with a brace form Stuart Love and a late goal by sub Graham Campbell saw off a tidy Queens Park outfit on a perfect spring evening in Marlay Park.

Just two minutes had elapsed when Neil McGowan sent Martin Costello away down the right, and his teasing cross was tucked home by the lunging boot of Tom O’Driscoll. Martin himself could have made it two shortly afterwards, but eventually ran the ball out for a goal kick.

Keith Kelly and Dave Browne were living dangerously at the other end, but in each case the ball was cleared. There were other chances at both ends, but just the one goal separated the teams at the break.

Five minutes after half time a neat piece of skill by Steve Walsh set up Stu Love to make it 2-0, and then Stu made it 3-0 with a header.

Both subs had an impact. Tom O’Driscolls slide rule pass sent Graham Cambell in to make it 4-0, and then Seamus McCahill spurned two gilt edged opportunities to add to the scoreline.

Form Report

Jason Northey 5 Dave Browne 6 Aodhan McCahill 7 Keith Kelly 5 Karl McCullough 7 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Tom O’Driscoll 7 Steve Grier 7 Martn Costello 5 Steve Walsh 7
Subs: S.McCahill 5 Graham Campbell 7

Defensive Calamities

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 1, Glasnevin 8

On a day of torrential rain in Marlay, Spartak might wish they had remained indoors.

An early goal by Jeff Gamble, ad a great chance for Steve Browne gave case for optimism, but that was soon dashed as Glasnevin scored four first half goals in reply.

The carnage continued in the second half, with only token resistance from the Sky Blues.

Probably the less said the better, but not a day anyone involved with Spartak can look back on with any degree of affection.

From Report
Stephen Harris 5 Chris Hogan 4 Mick Greene 4 Joe McCarthy 5 Niall Hanratty 4 Conor Canavan 5 Jeff Gamble 5 Steve Browne 5 Niall Lennon 5 Mick Costello 5 Mick Leslie 5
Subs: Evans Sarpong 5 Tom Maher 5

Nearly a Dozen

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 11, Parkvale 0

A hapless Parkvale side, missing some key players, were put to the sword in Marlay on a perfect spring morning.

Leading 5-0 at the break, the game as a contest ended early.

Time after time, slick movement carved open their defence, and it was only when Dave Browne and Aodhan McCahill were pushed forward that the goal romp eased. Aodhan was around the keeper and stumbled, while Dave Browne seemed fearful of venturing too far in the direction of the opposition area.

There was a Paulo Di Canio type sporting moment by Steve Walsh, who, having rounded the keeper, and noticing that the keeper had pulled a muscle, deliberately walked the ball wide. Steve did help himself to 5 goals , with the others from Tom O’Driscoll (2) Steve Grier (2) and Martin Costello.

Referee Tony Clarke duly ended the contest slightly early in a merciful gesture.

Form Report
Jason Northey 6 Dave Browne 6 Aodhan McCahill 7 Keith Kelly 6 Karl McCullough 6 Stuart Love 6 Neil McGowan 7 Tom O’Driscoll 7 Steve Grier 7 Martin Costello 6 Steve Walsh 9
Subs: Ken Buckley 6 Dave Kernan , Paul Kinsella

Long Trip in Vain

Filed under: General news, Saturday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Loughshinny 4, Spartak 1

This game had an early turning point when, just after Jeff Gamble had spurned an opener, a goalkeeper error gave the home side the lead. An additional blow to the Sky Blues was the early departure through injury of Conor Keegan.

Jeff Gamble did equalise for Spartak, but the home side put together a good move to take an interval lead. Spartak, through Conor Callis and Ciaran Keane, spurned some firast half opportunities.

Defensive frailties let Spartak down badly in the second period; not just the back four, but defensive tasks generally. and while plenty of Sky Blue attacks were mounted, the final ball or the ultimate shot were off the mark.

Not a great showing.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 4 Derek Gibney 6 Mick Greene 5 Conor Keegan 6 Joe McCarthy 6 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Canavan 5 Jeff Gamble 6 Niall Lennon 7 Conor Callis 6 Mick Leslie 5
Subs: Niall Hanratty 6 Dave Browne 5 Tom Maher 5

Frustrating Loss

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan

Spartak 2, Marks 3

It is often true in football that if early, gilt-edged chances are not taken, there is a price to be paid later. This was the case on a warm midweek evening in Marlay.

Without playing at optimum level in the first half, Spartak had 5 great opportunities, ranging from one on one efforts to close in chances, none of which were successful, and instead the Sky Blues ended up trailing at the interval to a soft, near post goal. There were other half chances also, and yet the visiting keeper had a relatively quiet time of it, with most efforts either off target or directed straight at him.

When Seamus McCahill equalised before the hour mark, Spartak looked set to go on to win. Marks defended resiliently, and refused to capitulate under pressure.

Spartak had many attacks, but lacked the nous to create chances as clear cut as those in the first half. At the back, Jason Northey had a jittery game, and there were a couple of scary moments in rare visitors’ forays.

Substitutes Jeff Gamble and Graham Campbell added energy, but little in the way of controlled play.

A calamitous lack of defensive organisation at a set piece proved to be Spartak’s undoing, and, very much against the run of play, Marks took the lead with a headed goal in the 86th minute.

When a long range effort sailed in to make it 3-1 moments later, the game was up, and Steve Grier’s late, injury time goal was little consolation.

Form Report
Jason Northey 4 Dave Browne 6 Aodhan McCahill 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Karl McCullough 6 Stuart Love 5 Neil McGowan 6 Seamus McCahill 6 Steve Grier 5 Keith Kelly 5 Steve Walsh 5.
Subs: Jeff Gamble 5 Graham Campbell 5 Tom O’Driscoll 5

Spartak go down in Derby Game at Dundrum

Filed under: General news, Sunday LSL team by: Paul McGowan


Dundrum 1, Spartak 0

A goal in the 84th minute settled this encounter at Meadowbrook in this clash of 2nd and 3rd in the league.

The goal came when, having lost possession, Spartak were caught out defensively by a long pass and a quick break.

Spartak will argue that a draw would have been a fair result, but the Sky Blues failed to put a score on the board, despite early dominance, and more chances.

Spartak forced a series of early corners, generally wasted by poor delivery. The first passing move involved Dave Kernan, Neil McGowan and Keith Kelly, but the latter’s shot was weak.

When Karl MCCullough flicked on a throw in, Tom O’Driscoll was inches from converting, and then a good Kernan and Kelly move saw Steve Grier’s fierce effort well saved by the home keeper.

Spartak’s best chance fell to Tom O’Driscoll, in the second period, but his right footed effort from Steve Walsh’s assist was too gentle. Neil MCGowan fired wide after a Steve Grier header, while Grier and McGowan combined to set up Walsh, whose effort was blocked.

Steve Walsh missed a couple of chances to round the keeper, but hesitation lost him the opportunities.

As Spartak pressed for a late equaliser, everyone was pushed up for a Paul Kinsella free. However the free fell short and Dundrum brokel, eventually being halted by a foul by Karl McCullough. The referee, many yards away, awarded a penalty although the foul took place yards outside the area.

Jason Northey saved the spot kick, maintaining his recent good record.

Spartak will be disappointed to be held scoreless in such a vital game.

Form Report
Jason Northey 7 David Kernan 6 Aodhan McCahill 6 Paul Kinsella 7 Karl McCullough 7 Ken Buckley 5 Neil McGowan 6 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Steve Grier 6 Keith Kelly 5 Steve Walsh 5
Subs: Dave Browne 6 Joe McCarthy 5 Ciaran Keane 5