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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
Willows 2, Spartak 5
On a good pitch, heavy with wintry conditions, Spartak made a fine comeback. After a wasteful opening half, the Sky Blues had only one goal to show from superior possession, when Fidel Benson drove in from close range on the half hour mark when the ball dropped to him following Conor Keegan’s corner.
Mick Leslie risked the wrath of the locals by wearing white boots with pink studs, but put in a decent stint as a hard running front man. Conor Callis had a shot just over before departing the fray with an injury, and substitute Thom O’Driscoll made an immediate impression , firing in a shot which the home keeper struggled to parry for a corner.
Ciaran Keane lobbed onto the woodwork after being sent away by Niall Lennon, but in general Spartak’s approach play in the first period was laborious.
The home side came sharply to life after the interval, and after Mick Greene and Dave Browne made last ditch clearances, back up was not forthcoming and the locals fired in from outside the box. Worse was to follow with a Bobby Hayes error gifting the home side the lead.
However Spartak finally woke up and the influence of Niall Lennon and Fidel Benson in midfield began to gradually increase, while Conor Keegan provided excellent cover at the back. The equaliser came after a few opportunities had been missed when Barry Maguire fed Thom O’Driscoll whose long range effort left the keeper helpless. 2-2.
With 17 minutes remaining a great Mick Greene pass sent Fidel Benson away on the left; his cross was too high but Jeff Gamble fired in a the second attempt.
Spartak then finished strongly and added two goals in the closing minutes.
A Conor Keegan corner was headed onto the bar by Ciaran Keane and Jeff Gamble forced home. Then Niall Lennon capped a fine performance by racing on to a Jeff Gamble flick to surge towards goal and finish neatly.
A pleasing comeback.
Bobby Hayes 5 Barry Maguire 6 Mick Greene 6 Conor Keegan 9 Dave Browne 7 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Callis 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 9 Fidel Benson 8 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Thom O’Driscoll 7 Chris Hogan 6 Shane McInerney 6
Spartak 3, Dundrum 0
Spartak won this local derby with a convincing display.
The opening exchanges were even enough and it took a flash of excellence for Spartak to take the lead when, on 31 minutes, Jeff Gamble gave a super pass into the run of Steve Walsh and the ball was dispatched neatly to the net.
Spartak took heart and Steve Walsh rounded the keeper but Martin Costello missed the chance to convert the cross at the back post.
Controversy followed when Steve Walsh had what seemed a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside, while at the other end Dundrum claimed that Jason Northey had carried a cross over the line.
A neat Gamble – Walsh move presented Martin Costello with a chance but he mis hit.
Just past the hour Spartak finished the game as a contest with two quick fire goals. A ove by Dave Kernan and Jeff Gamble gave Steve Walsh the chance and he made no mistake, and then Kernan and Walsh combined to give Costello the chance to drive into the roof of the net from close in.
Dundrum had a spell of superiority but, with Steve Grier dominating midfield , the back four held firm and Spartak finished with a clean sheet.
Jason Northey 7 David Kernan 8 Dave Browne 7 Paul Kinsella 7 Karl McCullough 8 Aodhan McCahill 7 Neil McGowan 7
Jeff Gamble 8 Steve Grier 8 Martin Costello 7 Steve Walsh 8
Subs: Graham Campbell 6 Fergus Burke 6 Ken Buckley 6 Lee Malone Marcel Bajors Mick Leslie
Spartak 8, Knockmitten 1
Spartak continued their recent improvement with a comprehensive defeat of Knockmitten on a wet and blustery day in Marlay.
Knockmitten contributed heavily to their own downfall by incurring two first half red cards; this effectively ended the match as a contest and indeed the referee blew the game up early on 75 minutes as the result was beyond doubt in the second half.
Jeff Gamble demonstrated his familiar array of talents and helped himself to four goals from a myriad of chances; skipper for the day Mick Leslie scored from left back, as did defender Conor Keegan, while Conor Callis helped himself to two goals. In addition to scoring eight times, Spartak struck the frame of the goal five times in a one sided encounter.
Another three points and a considerable goal difference improvement.
Bobby Hayes 6 Mick Greene 6 Mick Leslie 7 Conor Keegan 8 Niall Hanratty 7 Ciaran Keane 6 Conor Canavan 7 Jeff Gamble 8 Graham Campbell 6 Conor Callis 7 Mick Costello 6
Subs: Evans Sarpong 5 Barry Maguire 5 David Kernan 5
Spartak 4, Rush 1
Spartak started well and were gifted a tonic start with a penalty and a keeper error allowing the Sky Blues to go two up almost immediately. When Jeff Gamble tumbled into the box it seemed the foul may have been committed just outside, but a spot kick was awarded and Mick Greene drove in for number one.
A fine through pass by Niall Lennon then saw Ciaran Keane and the keeper contesting the ball but the keeper erred and Ciaran had only to tap to an empty net.
Spartak suffered late cry offs with Adam Doran and Niall Hanratty reporting in with man flu while Shane McInerney was restricted to the subs bench nursing a knee injury.
Niall Lennon continued his excellent form in midfield, displaying a range of passing and also doing his fair share of defensive work while Conor Keegan and Dave O’Kelly combined well at the back with each making timely interceptions and strong challenges. Jeff Gamble was his usual lively self and had a hand in most forward moves.
First half failure to hold the ball up put some pressure on the Spartak defence. Ciaran Keane, Jeff Gamble and Mick Leslie were culpable in this regard. In midfield Conor Canavan was calm on the ball while Fergus Burke showed few ill effects from his season of nocturnal activities and put in an energetic performance. In fact the only ill effect shown was a bout of temporary deafness as a substitute was ready to come on!
Rush got back into the game just on half time; a corner kick struck the near post and rebounded to a Rush player who took advantage of the statuesque Spartak defence to score.
Graham Campbell’ free kick, after Jeff Gamble was taken down on the edge of the box, eluded the keeper for number three and Jeff put the icing on the cake with an injury time effort from 20 yards.
Bobby Hayes 7 Chris Hogan 6 Mick Greene 6 Conor Keegan 8 Dave O Kelly 7 Ciaran Keane 5 Conor Canavan 6 Jeff Gamble 7 Niall Lennon 8 Fergus Burke 7 Mick Leslie 5
Subs: Barry Maguire 5 Graham Campbell 7 Conor Callis 6
Training continues on Marlay Astro at 9 on Tuesdays and 8 on Thursdays.
Players are asked to be warmed up and ready to go on in time to avail of the full hour’s training.
There has been some confusion about times with Dave O Kelly arriving late on Thursday while Mick Leslie, Kevin Loftus, Dave Kernan and Neil McGowan have all been seen very early on Tuesdays!
No Training on Thursday 13th November. That’s set aside for Quiz night, some much needed fund raising, and possibly a few fizzy lemonades. Keith Kelly should beware of taxi doors in the aftermath.
ps – times are the same after the clocks go back!