More Friendlies

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

Spartak 5, Phonewatch 0

The Sky Blues played a friendly against a Phonewatch team who are heading to Spain shortly to play in a tournament.However the first half pace saw Spartak score three without reply, through Ger Byrne, Steve Walsh and Dave Hacynskyj.

The pace dropped somewhat in the second half, but Geoff Gamble laid a goal on for Dave Kernan, while Ger Byrne fired in from Steve Grier’s pass.

A decent workout and an introduction to season 2016/7 for Messrs McCullagh, Grier and Walsh, all of whom looked in need of a run.

Form Report: Steve Grier 6 Cian Donohoe 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Keith Kelly 5 Karl McCullagh 6 Stu Love 5 Geoff Gamble 6 Dave Kernan 6 Niall Lennon 7 Ger Byrne 7 Rob Collins 6 Dave O Kelly 5 Kevin O’Toole 6 Steve Walsh 5 Dave Hacynskyj 5

Aston Village 4, Spartak 1

With a number of debutants and some who were a little ring rusty, Spartak were tentative in the opening stages. Gradually the Sky Blues rallied and were unlucky not to take the lead, albeit against the run of play, when a penetrative pass by Owen McCormack put Ronan Sharkey clear of the cover. However the keeper got enough on the shot to turn the ball onto the inside of the post. The hosts took the lead in the 42nd minute, and added to that lead on the hour, although there was a suspicion of offside.

Spartak tired somewhat and the hosts added two more before Ciaran Keane fired in a consolation score.

Form Report: Conor Robinson 7 Zach Colman 6 Barry Maguire 5 Mick Greene 5 Cian Donohoe 8 Fintan Grace 6 Gary Bridges 6 Gerry McGuinness 6 Mick Leslie 5 Owen McCormack 6 Darren Ritchie 7 Ben Johnson 6 Liam Caffrey 5 Ronan Sharkey 5 Ciaran Keane 6 Conor Callis 4 Bruno Martins 5 Chris Hogan 5 Geoff Gamble 5

Seaford Rock 3, Spartak 2

A poor first half display saw Spartak overwhelmed by a speedier home side. Sporadic attacks saw Conor Callis fire wide, while Ciaran Keane missed the only presentable chance. Meanwhile, desperate defending was the order of the day with late blocks, a fine Kevin Loftus save, and the width of the crossbar keeping Seaford out, until they took the lead from a corner. A second goal early in the second half seemed to put the hosts well in control, but Spartak fought back. Steve Browne slotted in from Darren Ritchie’s flick on, while Conor Callis missed after a fine run. Man of the Match Dave O’Kelly finished off a move he himself had started but the home side secured the winner with minutes remaining, from what might have been an offside position.

Form Report
Kevin Loftus 7 Chris Hogan 5 Mick Greene 5 Fintan Grace 7 Dave O’Kelly 8 Shane McInerney 6 Joe Dowling 5 Mick Leslie 5 Darren Ritchie 6 Gary Bridges 5 Conor Brady 5 Conor Callis 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Barry Maguire 5 Steve Browne 6

Spartak 1, Terenure College 2

Spartak opened well and seemed aout to overwhelm the opposition, but some poor decision making and lack of sharpness saw a number of opportunities go abegging. Karl McCullagh nodded in fro Steve Walsh’s corner after good pressure from Geoff Gamble, and a Ger Byrne lob bounced onto the crossbar. Keith Kelly fired over with the defence in disarray.

Gradually Terenure gained a foothold and equalised following poor marking at a corner. Worse was to follow when Jason Northey’s pass saw Karl McCullagh dispossessed and Terenure went on to make it 2-1.

Few chances of note were created by either side in a lacklustre second period, although Steve Walsh went close from a free kick.

A disappointing performance overall.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave Browne 5 Darragh Logue 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Karl McCullagh 5 Kevin O’Toole 5 Geoff Gamble 6 Keith Kelly 5 Steve Grier 5 Stuart Love 5 Steve Walsh 5 Ger Byrne 6 Cian Donohoe 5 Kevin Caldwell 5 Rob Collins 5 Aodhan McCahill 6

Pre Season Friendlies

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

Peamount 1, Spartak 3

Goals from Mick Leslie, Owen McCormack and an og gave Spartak a win in the opening friendly. There were encouraging performances from debutants Cian Donohoe, Darragh Logue and Ben Johnson. Of particular satisfaction was the fine display by Stuart Love on his recovery from a cruciate knee injury. Aodhan McCahill was also welcomed back after his erasmus year in Germany. Keith Kelly was solid at the back while Mick Greene did a decent job deputising in goal.

Form Report
Mick Greene 7 Cian Donohoe 7 Darragh Logue 7 Keith Kelly 7 Dave Browne 6 Niall Lennon 6 Aodhan McCahill 6 Neil McGowan 5 Ben Johnson 7 Owen McCormack 7 Stuart Love 8 Kevin O’Toole 6 Dave Kernan 6 Mick Leslie 6 Mick Young 6 Dan Crowe 8 Darren Ritchie 5

Castle Celtic 3, Spartak 3,

Mick Leslie continued his goalscoring run with two well taken scores as Spartak came back from 3-1 down; A late Darren Ritchie header secured a draw in a tight match. Spartak conceded some soft scores and did not match the physicality and strength of the Castle players.

Bobby Hayes 5 Cian Donohoe 7 Keith Kelly 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Mick Greene 6 David Kernan 6 Tom O’Driscoll 6 Martin Costello 6 Mick Young 5 Darragh Logue 6 Mick Leslie 7 Darren Ritchie 7

VEC Tournament
Spartak 1, CYM Beechwood 1 – CY won on pens

Spartak dominated their higher ranked opponents everywhere but on the scoreboard. Indeed it took a late, long range screamer from Niall Lennon to equalise after Dave Browne had unluckily conceded an early penalty. Spartak struck the woodwork on three separate occasions and, with greater incisiveness could have won the game handsomely. Overall the performance was the best we have seen in pre season so far.

Spartak had only a 50% success rate on penalties as Owen McCormack and Neil McGowan had their spot kicks saved, while Mick Leslie and Geoff Gamble succeeded with their efforts.

Martin Costello 6 David Kernan 7 Dave Browne 6 Paul Kinsella 7 Aodhan McCahill 7 Mick Young 7 Geoff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 7 Stuart Love 7 Owen McCormack 7 Mick Leslie 6 Cian Donohoe 7 Neil McGowan 6 Lee Malone 6 Dave Hacynskyj 6

Spartak 1, VEC 5

Lack of fitness, and some poor defending, handed this game to VEC. Two early low crosses were not dealt with, and Spartak were 2 down after just 4 minutes. Aodhan McCahill got a consolation score, but Spartak conceded two rash penalties and a further goal from play in the second period to end the day on a weak note after a fine earlier showing.

Martin Costello 6 Cian Donohoe 6 Paul Kinsella 5 Lee Malone 5 Aodhan McCahill 5 Dave Hacynskyj 5 Niall Lennon 6 Mick Young 5 Stuart Love 6 Geoff Gamble 6 Owen McCormack 5 Dave Kernan 5 Dave Browne 5 Mick Leslie 5 Neil McGowan 5

3rd Annual Dave Mohan Trophy – Sat 23rd July 2016

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

The annual trophy matches in the Dave Mohan Tournament take place on Saturday 23 rd July in the Postal Club in Kiltipper.

The format is 6 a side astro; squads of up to 8 players are allowed.

Group format followed by knockout stages for both trophy and shield.

Kick off Saturday is at 2pm.

25 Years ago – 2 Cup Final Wins on successive nights

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

A look back on a notable 24 hours in Spartak’s history.

On 15th May 1991 Spartak’s Saturday side beat Claremont Rangers 2-1 in the Kemp Trophy final. Mario Borza got both goals. The following evening a Dave Mohan goal saw Spartak’s Sunday lads beat St Nicholas, who were the team of prison wardens, 1-0 in the Vere Deane Cup Final.

The line ups were:

V Claremont Rangers
Jimmy Browne, Tim O’Sullivan, John Curtin, Paul Burke, Mick St Leger, Liam Brady, Paddy Brady,Leo Gartlan, Mario Borza, Peter Mahony and Frank Keegan. Subs were Martin McGorian and Bobby Long

v St Nicholas

Sean Lynam, Liam Cullen, Gerry Doran, Derek Keane, Tom Maher Dave Mohan, Ken Byrne, Dave Murphy, Dave Keegan, Barry Crowe, Dave Pender. Subs : Paul Burke and Mario Borza

A notable achievement by the lads and a memorable couple of evenings.

Promotion Hopes Dented by Alpine Oldchurch

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

Spartak 4, Alpine Oldchurch 5

Another remarkable game between these teams. This game was played out in an absolute downpour. Spartak showed seven different starters than in the recent meeting, due to injuries and absentees.

Both teams had promotion hopes, with a victory vital for both to maintain that challenge.

The Sky Blues were shell shocked by a fast starting visiting squad and fell three goals behind in the opening ten minutes.

Gradually a remarkable fightback ensued, and Spartak clawed their way into a 4-3 lead at half time. Dave Kernan was stooped at the expense of a penalty, which Steve Grier converted; then Steve Browne calmly finished form Grier’s cross. Up popped Niall Lennon with two well taken goals, the first a chip over the stranded keeper, the second a close in finish following a flick on.

The second half turned on a soft goal conceded from a free kick; this equaliser gave the visitors the encouragement they needed to go on and score the winner.

Despite Spartak’s frantic efforts to equalise, the game slipped away. In the final play, Karl McCullough should have been awarded a penalty for a bad foul while he attempted to shoot, but the ref did not agree.

Form Report
Jason Northey 5 Dave Browne 4 Tom O’Driscoll 5 Steve Grier 6 Karl McCullagh 5 Kevin O’Toole 5 Neil McGowan 4 David Kernan 7 Niall Lennon 7 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Browne 6
Subs: Keith Kelly 6 Graham Campbell 5 Mick Leslie 5

Midfield On Top

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

Willows 0, Spartak 5

The Sky Blues quickly established midfield dominance in this game, affording the front players plenty of opportunities to score, but, particularly in the first half, the Sky Blues were profligate in their efforts to score.

A particular feature was a reluctance to shoot with weaker foot, and it was ironic that midfielder Thom O’Driscoll scored the opening goal with his weaker right foot, volleying in from the edge of the box after Dave Browne’s long throw was cleared to him.

Before that, Jeff Gamble and Conor Callis had vied with each other for most chances spurned; both hit the woodwork from close in, but they both had several weak efforts.

Willows occasionally threatened, but Jason Northey was rarely troubled, and well protected by his back four.

The second period saw Conor Callis miss a one on one, before once again racing forward to pull the ball back to Jeff Gamble, who laid on for Thom O’Driscoll to fire in number two.

Almost immediately Jeff Gamble finally got on the scoresheet, looking suspiciously offside, from an excellent through ball by Chris Hogan.

Steve Grier had a volley cleared off the line, before Owen McCormack and Gamble added numbers four and five as Willows wilted.

Substitute Ciaran Keane then blazed over when through one on one for the final clear chance of a match which had yielded many scoring opportunities.

Form Report
Jason Northey 6 Chris Hogan 7 Fintan Grace 7 Steve Grier 7 Dave Browne 7 Shane McInerney 7 Conor Callis 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 7 Tom O’Driscoll 8 Mick Leslie 6
Subs: Ciaran Keane 5 Owen McCormack 7 Tom Maher 6

Big Effort not Enough

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

Hyde Park 4 , Spartak 1

The fine spell of weather gave the lie to the attractiveness of summer football, at least as far as some Spartak players were concerned. Unavailable players and late cry offs saw Spartak venture to Balbriggan with just the bare eleven, of whom two were injured.

The home side needed the win to ensure runners up spot and promotion, and displayed a nervous approach.

Mick Greene, playing on one leg, created a number of scoring chances for the Sky Blues. Returning a corner cleared back to him, his cross found the indefatigable Jeff Gamble at the back post, but Jeff fired over. Spartak did take the lead when an excellent Niall Hanratty pass found Gamble, out wide. With plenty to do, Jeff did all required, beating his man and scoring a fantastic goal from a narrow angle.

Fintan Grace was fortunate to escape a red card when pulling back an attacker; he escaped with a yellow, and the resultant penalty, perhaps reflecting the tension in the home side, was fired hopelessly wide.

On the stroke of half time, Chris Hogan misjudged a cross field pass, and was unable to prevent the winger from getting to the backline and crossing. The first effort was cleared off the line by Conor Canavan, but the follow up went in to equalise.

The second half was bound to be a big ask, with Spartak having played just two days earlier, while the home side had not played that Thursday.

But Spartak were not without an attacking threat; Mick Leslie might have pulled the trigger when given a chance, and Fintan Grace headed Mick Greene’s free against the crossbar.

Hyde Park took the lead just before Grace’s effort and eventually added two more near the end, after Hanratty and Leslie had joined the list of walking wounded.

A sterling effort by the Sky Blues was a cause of satisfaction, but there were too few present to make a realistic challenge for the points on offer.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Conor Canavan 7 Chris Hogan 6 Niall Hanratty 8 Fintan Grace 7 Glen Burke 6 Mick Leslie 6 Jeff Gamble 8 Niall Lennon 7 Mick Greene 7 Dave Kernan 7

Spartak pipped by League Champions

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

Spartak 2, Clontarf 3

In a close contest, the visitors edged this game in fine conditions in Marlay. Clontarf arrived with the League Title already wrapped up with games to spare, but Spartak gave a good account of themselves in what was, at times, a feisty affair.

Adam Doran gave Spartak the lead with a fine finish from a tight angle after dispossessing a defender, but two soft goals allowed Clontarf to hold a half time lead.

Ciaran Keane’s cross was fumbled by the keeper, and Mick Leslie looped in the equaliser from the edge of the box.

Just after this, Leslie laid on a great chance fro Mick Young, but his shot, from a good position, was way off target

Two frees conceded gave Clontarf their chances; the first clattered off the crossbar and was cleared, but the second fell nicely for the forward to follow up and score from close range.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Dave Browne 6 Fintan Grace 6 Dave O’Kelly 6 Mick Young 5 Conor Callis 5 Mick Leslie 6 Niall Lennon 6 Adam Doran 7 Ciaran Keane 5
Subs: Brian Burgess 6 Lee Malone 5

Awards Night Saturday 11th June

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

After a hectic round of voting, nominations have now been finalised for the main awards for the season just ended.

Presentations will be made to the winners on Saturday evening in the Eden.

Dave Browne and Steve Grier will receive their awards for 200 appearances. Dave (Daithi) started out with 13 appearances in 2005/6 and finished 2014/15 on the 199 mark. Steve also started in 2005/6, with 14 appearances that season.

Clubman of the year shortlist consists of Shea McClafferty, Barry Crowe, Colm Reid, Chris Hogan, Paul McGowan and Mick Greene.

The Sunday player of the year will be chosen from the following nominations – Steve Walsh, Karl McCullagh, Ger Byrne , Dave Kernan, Neil McGowan, Steve Grier and Paul Kinsella.

The Saturday award saw votes tightly bunched resulting in the following shortlist: Fintan Grace, Greg Byrne, Niall Lennon, Mick Leslie and Geoff Gamble.

For the over 35s the main contestants are Paul McGrath, Terry Fallon and Gerry McGuinness.

Stats will be available on the night, which show most appearances for the season was 34 by Geoff Gamble, followed by Mick Leslie on 31 and Messrs Grier, Browne, Hogan and Kernan on 25 each.

Spartak Continue Good Run

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

Spartak 6, Balbriggan 0

Despite the one sided scoreline, this was a game that Spartak’s defence needed to play well, and they did. The first goal emanated from a series of defensive blocks which finally broke to Chris Hogan. Chris’s long ball was controlled by Conor Callis around half way, and he went on a strong run to finish from close range.

Niall Lennon, impressive throughout, nodded in a Mick Greene corner for number two.

Two early second half goals put the contest out of reach of the visitors, who nevertheless continued to press continuously in a sporting contest.

Spartak’s third saw a move by Conor Canavan and Dave Kernan finished of by Conor Callis, while the fourth was a sweeping break initiated by Dave O’Kelly, carried on by Conor Canavan and Niall Lennon for Dave Kernan to race in and finish.

Conor Callis completed his hattrick by slamming in a Dave Kernan cross, while Dave O’Kelly and Niall Lennon combined again for Dave Kernan to slot number six.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 6 Mick Greene 7 Tony Kavanagh 7 Dave O’Kelly 8 Lee Malone 5 Conor Callis 8 Dave Kernan 8 Niall Lennon 8 Darren Ritchie 7 Conor Canavan 7
Subs: Bruno Martins 5 Barry Maguire 6 Tom Maher 6