Listless Display

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

Earl Celtic 1, Spartak 0

Spartak crashed to defeat on a grassy and bumpy pitch in Brickfields, where the home team show a greater level of desire and urgency.

With Spartak on a good run, and Earl having won just once all season, this looked like an away win on paper. The way the game turned out could hardly have been more different. Earl, with decent finishing, could have been out of sight at the break. Spartak had the chance to regroup and work up a head of steam, but remained lifeless and listless.

A poor start by the Sky Blues proved a harbinger for things to come, and play never really improved.

An injury to an Earl player, who collapsed off the ball, held up proceedings mid match while an ambulance arrived. The player was, thankfully, later discharged from hospital.

Earl scored on the hour, and might have added one or two more, but it was their first half profligacy which cost them a greater margin of victory.

Among the few chances created by the Sky Blues were efforts by Mick Leslie, Ciaran Keane and Conor Callis, none of which carried the necessary conviction.

With the reverse fixture to follow next week, Spartak will need to improve greatly to get anything from the return fixture.

From Report
Bobby Hayes 4 Chris Hogan 4 Mick Greene 5 Daniel Sage 6 Dave O’Kelly 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Canavan 5 Conor Callis 4 Niall Lennon 5 John Hanratty 5 Mick Leslie 4 .
Subs: Niall Hanratty 5 Gavin Curtis 4 Joe McCarthy 4.

Second Half Blitz

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

Spartak 6, Peamount 1

It was with some level of trepidation that Spartak faced this fixture against an in form Peamount side. With five enforced changes from the previous game risking an unwanted level of disruption and might have justified some fall off in performance. However the visitors, apparently , were in the same boat, with players missing, and Spartak saw them off after a solid first half followed by some flamboyant attacking play in the second period.

Mick Greene, with some fine interceptions and passing, played really well in the first half; Niall Lennon, later to make a goal for Jeff Gamble with a sumptuous pass, took responsibility in the centre and tested the keeper early on with a long range effort. Conor Canavan showed good game intelligence with drilled passes to release the speedy Conor Callis on the right, who hit the post and also supplied a series of crosses. Ciaran Keane had the best of the first half chances, but did not take advantage.

Nil all at half time, and a satisfactory show so far. But nothing on what was to come!

Conor Callis, having lost the ball to the full back, won it back , closed in on goal and blasted the ball past the keeper from a narrow angle to give Spartak the lead; after Ciaran Keane had wasted a good chance made by Mick Greene, Peamount broke quickly to equalise.

Their joy was short lived. The Sky Blues then went on a spree, scoring four in a ten minute spell.

Ciaran Keane went on one of his mazy runs, this time opting to take the ball with him, and drilled a great low cross which went across the six yard box; Conor Callis passed the ball back inside to enable Shane McInerney to finish neatly from close range; Shane had only just come on as sub, having taken more time than a debutante to get ready!

Dave O’Kelly’s pass was then deflected into the path of Jeff Gamble, who lashed the ball inside the far post. McInerney and Lennon then combined to allow the latter to produce the pass of the game for Gamble to beat the keeper.

A Chris Hogan cross, which looked goalbound, was deflected to the net by Ciaran Keane’s chest, from all of half a yard out to make it 5-1.

Ross Kelly came on for his seasonal debut but lacked the sharpness to finish some promising opportunities.

As the game moved towards its inevitable conclusion, McInerney released Gamble down the right and he unselfishly laid on the easiest of finishes for Keane.

A highly satisfying second half.

Form Report:
Bobby Hayes 6 Chris Hogan 6 Mick Greene 7 Daniel Sage 7 Dave O’Kelly 6 Ciaran Keane 6 Conor Canavan 7 Jeff Gamble 8 Niall Lennon 8 Lee Malone 6 Conor Callis 8
Subs: Shane McInerney 7 Ross Kelly 5

Spartak Advance in Cup

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

Spartak 2, Beech Hill 0.

A tough cup tie against opponents who had won on their recent league visit to Marlay saw the Sky Blues maintain a clean sheet in a battling performance on a sticky surface with a tricky wind blowing across the pitch.

Some fine early work by Stuart Love set the tone and Spartak were up for the contest; a series of corners produce nothing as Martin Costello and Steve Walsh failed to deliver from the flag kicks.

On the half hour a forward burst by Steve Walsh was halted, but Dave Kernan retrieved the ball, raced forward before passing to Martin Costello, whose neat lay off was fired in by Walsh.

Steve Grier’s free was tipped over before Steve Walsh’s neat finish from Martin Costello’s pass gave Spartak the cushion of a two goal advantage.

The introduction of the substitutes gave Spartak an out ball as they sat deep and Keith Kelly’s cross almost provided fellow sub Thom O’Driscoll with a third goal.

Not the best performance but a safe passage through to the next round.

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

Cruel Cup Exit

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

Dunboyne 3, Spartak 2 (aet)

Spartak went out of the cup with almost the last kick of extra time to a useful Dunboyne outfit.

Although injury hit, both in the warm up and during the game, Spartak took a two goal lead in the second half; a tad more resilience and discipline would have sufficed, but some sloppy play allowed the hosts back into a game that was slipping rapidly away from them.

The first half saw Dunboyne in the ascendancy, and they struck the woodwork and missed a few other chances. Nonetheless as Spartak fought their way into the game, Jeff Gamble had two great opportunities, but was unable to make them count. Yellow cards abounded as the ref, well in control, applied strict adherence to the laws of the game.

To the home team’s chagrin, Spartak took a two goal lead within a couple of minutes. On 65 minutes, Niall Lennon released Jeff Gamble down the right, and when the home defence failed to deal with his cross, Evans Sarpong fired in his first goal for the club.

A dipping finish by Gamble from the edge of the box quickly doubled the lead just two minutes later. The hosts were temporarily stunned, but gradually regained their composure. The lack of hold up play by the Sky Blues forward players did not help, nor did the lack of concentration at the back, with perhaps over confidence a contributing factor.

On 70 minutes Dunboyne reduced arrears with a finish from close range, and with 13 minutes remaining Bobby Hayes failed to gather a cross, with Dunboyne scoring in the following melee.

With the game seemingly headed towards penalties, a snap shot from the edge of the box settled the contest in the home side’s favour.

A very disappointing finish after holding a two goal lead.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 5 Chris Hogan 6 John Hanratty 7 Conor Keegan 7 Dave O’Kelly 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Mick Costello 5 Jeff Gamble 6 Niall Lennon 7 Niall Hanratty 6 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Evans Sarpong 5 Joe McCarthy 6

Spartak Topple Leaders

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

Marks Celtic 1 , Spartak 5

With the Fettercairn pitch surprisingly declared playable, Spartak headed out to play the league leaders on a bitterly cold morning.

The pitch was grassy and very bumpy and did not lend itself to flowing football.

Spartak took the lead on 10 minutes a combination between Dave Kernan and Marcel Bajors saw the latter’s cross cleared for a corner; Steve Walsh’s flag kick saw Karl McCullough make the decisive challenge and Neil McGowan pounced to knock in from close range. All the good work was almost undone as a silly Stuart Love challenge conceded a soft penalty; Jason Northey got down to his right to parry the spot kick away, but minutes later was beaten by a long range effort for the equaliser.

Martin Costello drove in a loose ball on 35 minutes to restore the lead, and then Spartak opened the second period well; a Kernan/Steve Grier combination gave Costello a chance, and his blazed shot was touched over. Steve Grier headed in from the corner kick to make it 3-1.

Spartak then played some of their best stuff and created a succession of chances – Steve Grier had a driven effort just wide; Karl McCullough fired over from close range; Marcel Bajors had a fine header cleared off the line; Steve Walsh fired just over , from play, and then from a free. The local team’s frustration grew and the no. 7 was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Dave Kernan’s run was halted illegally and Martin Costello fired home from the spot, and the win was capped when a Grier/ McGowan move saw Walsh fire home from a narrow angle.

A satisfactory morning’s work.

Form Report
Jason Northey 7 Dave Kernan 5 Aodhan McCahill 5 Paul Kinsella 6 Karl McCullough 8 Stuart Love 7 Neil McGowan 7 Steve Grier 9 Marcel Bajors 7 Martin Costello 8 Steve Walsh 5.
Subs: Mick Leslie 6 Dave Browne 6 Ken Buckley Niall Hanratty.

Dave Mohan – Anniversary Mass

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

To mark the first anniversary of Dave’s untimely passing, a Mass will be held in St Attracta’s Church Ballinteer at 6.30 on Saturday 31st January.

Sleepy Spartak awake late from Slumber

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

Tymon Bawn 1, Spartak 3

It was with a huge sense of relief that Spartak departed Tymon’s pitch.

The goalmouth had to be sanded before the ref gave the go ahead on a heavy pitch. Few games were played on this bitterly cold Saturday, but finally this one got the go ahead.

The local side held the lead for a long time and as the final 15 minutes approached it seemed unlikely that Spartak would take anything from the game. Indeed the Sky Blues were indebted to Mick Greene and Conor Canavan for goal line clearances which prevented Tymon from adding to their 5th minute lead.

The home goal came when the wide man easily brushed aside Ciaran Keane’s challenge and crossed for the striker who got a run on Paul Kinsella to head home from 6 yards.

Spartak were poor in the first half. Distribution from the back was poor, midfielders dwelt on the ball, and the front three showed poor judgment and little in the way of hold up play. In contrast Tymon moved the ball swiftly on the sticky surface and created a few decent chances as well as forcing the play.

The second half saw more of the same; frustration began to set in and decision making suffered as a result.

Ciaran Keane, who in the first half had squandered Spartak’s only decent chance through a combination of drifting unnecessarily offside and then shooting high and wide; then followed by a frustratingly poor effort in the second half shooting wide from 6 yards when clear through on goal; suddenly underwent a remarkable metamorphosis from lumbering villain to cool clean hero in those final 12 minutes.

Firstly he stretched to meet Jeff Gamble’s cross to net from close range for the equaliser; and then , in injury time, with Tymon pressing for a late equaliser, he showed strength and speed in injury time to outpace the cover and add the third goal and clinch the points.

In between Conor Keegan and Mick Leslie combined for the latter to cross low; the goalkeeper fumbled the cross and Jeff Gamble was on hand to poke the loose ball home.

A cheery bunch of Sky Blues headed for a little pre Christmas refreshment.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 7 Barry Maguire 5 Mick Greene 6 Paul Kinsella 7 Dave O’Kelly 7 Ciaran Keane 7 Conor Canavan 5 Jeff Gamble 5 Niall Lennon 5 Conor Keegan 6 Mick Leslie 5
Subs: Adam Doran 6 Chris Hogan 6 Shane McInerney 6

Christmas Raffle Results

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


First Prize: De Luxe Christmas Hamper – James McClafferty – seller S McClafferty

Second Prize: Superior Drinks Hamper – L Fanning – seller N Bolger

Third Prize: €100 Turkey and Ham voucher – Philip Martin – seller Martin Costello

Fourth Prize: Wine and Goodies Hamper – Mick Costello – seller Mick Costello

Fifth Prize: Bumper Christmas Hamper – Peter Kiernan – seller Dave Kernan

Thanks to All who supported the raffle.

Spartak Exit Shield after Shoot Out

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

Dingle Utd 2, Spartak 2,
Dingle win 5-4 on penalties

This was one of those games that got away. Spartak had enough chances to win comfortably, but defensive slip ups allowed the home team into the game. Late on Spartak dominated the second period of extra time, but could not find what would surely have been a winning goal.

Conditions in St Josephs’ Cabra were blustery but the surface was good for the time of year.

A neat move after 4 minutes gave he Sky Blues the lead. Mick Greene’ eff Gamble. Spartak almost doubled their lead when a Conor Keegan corner was fumbled , but eventually cleared.

Dingle came to the fore in search of an equaliser and Bobby Hayes was called upon to make a couple of smart saves, but Spartak responded and a fine through pass by Adam Doran put Jeff Gamble clear; however his attempt drifted wide.

Conor Canavan struck the woodwork with a snap shot just before the interval and the same player saw his effort clear the bar just after half time from another corner by Keegan, whose flag kicks were causing panic in the home defence; Jeff Gamble headed over from close range.

Spartak were having a good spell – a great run by Fidel Benson gave Jeff Gamble the chance, but it was saved; similarly Adam Doran’s run saw a sub par shot saved.

Much against the run of play Dingle broke and scored; this gave them renewed heart and they were able to hold on for the extra time period.

Disaster struck for Spartak in the first period when a terrible defensive mix up gave Dingle goal number 2.

The second period of extra time saw Mick Greene equalise almost from the restart , from the spot, after Jeff Gamble dispossessed the keeper and was taken down.

An error by Bobby Hayes gave Dingle a chance, but an eventual offside halted Dingle.

Adam Doran headed against the post, and Keith Kelly had a couple of great runs through , but could not find the finish in either case.

So to penalties.

All penalties but one were scored; neither keeper got close to any of the efforts. Mick Greene, Adam Doran, Shane McInerney and Jeff Gamble all fired in.

Niall Lennon struck the bar with his effort; he got sympathy from Seamus McCahill and Steve Walsh – no surprise, as their most recent penalty efforts hardly reached the keeper!

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 7 Barry Maguire 5 Mick Greene 6 Conor Keegan 8 Keith Kelly 6 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Canavan 5 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 6 Fidel Benson 7 Adam Doran 7
Subs: Dave Browne 6 Shane McInerney 6 Mick Costello 6


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

Spartak 3 Beech Hill 5

Poor defending proved costly as Spartak let a two goal lead slip in heavy conditions in Marlay.

Shorn of a few regulars through injury, Spartak nonetheless had a decent opening half; a penetrating Dave Kernan pass sent Steve Walsh in for number one, and Steve Walsh added number two direct from a corner.

A minute before half time and Dave Browne conceded a penalty, which was blocked by Jason Northey, only for the rebound to be fired in. This gave the visitors hope, and they quickly built on it at the start of the second period.

The second half saw a turning point when Mick Leslie and Steve Walsh combined to cross fro Jeff Gamble, stretching, to prod against the post; Seamus McCahill was unable to convert the rebound. So Spartak were unable to restore their two goal advantage, and in contrast Beech Hill equalised when a Paul Kinsella pass out of defence was intercepted and the ball squared for the striker to equalise.

Dave O’Kelly conceded a free kick which was converted, with Jason Northey landing awkwardly in his efforts to save.

Defensive organisation went out the window when a free header and an og added to the visitors’ tally. Dave O’Kelly had taken Jason’s place in goal after the fourth but was helpless with the og.

Spartak regrouped, but the robust approach taken by the visitors took its toll; eventually after 6 yellow cards, 2 reds were handed out to Beech Hill who finished with 9, but by then the Sky Blues were carrying knocks.

Spartak then dominated but, while energy was expended, guile was absent. Poor final ball meant clear cut chances were at a premium. Crosses were hoisted on to the defenders heads from good positions and in general Spartak were wasteful in front of goal; Mick Leslie fired wide, Paul Kinsella eschewed a good chance on his left foot, and Spartak’s approach play became frantic , with over carrying and poor crossing.

Steve Walsh completed his hat trick with a late goal which was of little consolation.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave O’Kelly 5 Dave Browne 5 Paul Kinsella 5 Karl McCullough 5 Stuart Love 5 Mick Leslie 5 Jeff Gamble 6 Seamus McCahill 5 Davd Kernan 6 Steve Walsh 8
Subs: Ken Buckley 6