Great Start

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

Spartak 6, Aylesbury 3

Spartak overcame the setback of playing with ten men for the last half hour to overcome Aylesbury.

The Sky Blues asserted themselves early on, racing into a two goal lead. Ger Byrne opened the scoring with a rare header from a pinpoint Sean Doyle free kick. Dave O’Kelly sent Ciaran Keane away to lob the keeper and make it two nil. As Spartak relaxed, tempo fell and slackness allowed the visitors to get back in the game with a deflected goal just before half time.

In the second period the goals continued to flow. David Kernan scored after racing on to Darren Ritchie’s flick .

A harsh sending off for Spartak gave the visitors a new impetus, and they reduced the deficit quickly, beating the offside trap. A fine volleyed goal brought Aylesbury level at 3-3, and then, luckily for the Sky Blues, a rasping shot from the edge of the box was marginally off target.

Substitutions gave Spartak new energy and Jsson Kelly sent Jeff Gamble away to restore the lead. Sean Doyle’s long range free made it 5-3, and Jeff Gamble set up Dave Kernan to administer the coup de gras for a 6-3 victory.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 6 Billy O’Neill 6 Sean Doyle 8 Dave O’Kelly 6 Mick Leslie 7 Conor Callis 6 Dave Kernan 8 Ger Byrne 7 Darren Ritchie 6 Ciaran Keane 6
Subs: Stephen Barr 6 Jason Kelly 7 Jeff Gamble 7 Conor Canavan 6

Appearances and Goals updated on Site

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

All time appearances and goals have been updated on the website, as at end of 2016/17 season.

Notable milestones are in reach for some players. Chris Hogan finished the season on 197 games, while Niall Hanratty’s single game during the season brought him to 195. Fintan Grace reached the 600 games milestone, while Neil McGowan passed the 500 mark and Ger Byrne is approaching 300 games. Mick Leslie is making fast progress on 126 matches, while Ross Kelly is taking the scenic route, on 62 games so far.

On the goals front, the race to 100 goals sees Jeff Gamble on 89, closing fast on Steve Walsh who has 92 goals, just behind Ger Byrne on 96.

To date 11 players have scored 100 or more goals for the club – here’s the list:

375 Tony Little
250 Barry Crowe
183 Leo Gartlan
177 David Keegan
173 Neil McGowan
150 Kevin O’Connell
147 Martin McGorian
127 Dave Pender
125 Gerry Doran
116 Jimmy Galloway
101 Martin Morrison

Year End Awards

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

Saturday 13th May will see the presentation of the year end awards in the Eden.

Fintan Grace will receive an award for completing 600 competitive appearances.

Nominations have now closed, and the following are the players who are in contention:

Sunday POTY

A wide range of votes saw a record number of nominees:
Dave Kernan, Niall Lennon, Jeff Gamble, Ger Byrne, Steve Grier, Neil McGowan and Stuart Love

For Saturday, the voting was more concentrated and the following are the contenders:
Greg Byrne, Darren Ritchie, Cian Stenson and Mick Leslie.

For Clubman of the Year the nominations are
Mick Leslie, Mick Greene, Paul McGowan, Paul Mohan, Ger Byrne and Jason Doyle.

Frustrating Defeat

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

Newlands/Castle Park 3, Spartak 1

Both sides suffered at the hands of the worst referee in the League. Newlands had a player booked for heading the ball; Spartak had a bad foul and an offside ignored in the move for the home sides second goal.

Newlands took the lead on 8 minutes when a corner was cleared back to the taker, who was given too much time to measure his cross to the back post, where poor marking proved costly. Spartak soon equalised, with Gary Bridges finding Mick Leslie on the right; Shane McInerney’s guided header fond the corner of the net.

Before the disputed second goal, Spartak had a golden opportunity to take the lead, when, after a fine move , Owen McCormack cut inside to find himself twelve yards out, but, opting for power, he blasted the ball against a post.

The Sky Blues renewed their efforts in the second period, with a great chance falling to Geoff Abraham following Sean Molloy’s cross; Geoff’s effort, from five yards, was too close to the keeper.

Owen McCormack wormed his way through and looked certain to score, but the keeper saved with his leg; consistent with other decisions, the ref awarded a goal kick rather than a corner. Then, Owen McCormack just failed to connect with Cian Stenson’s corner.

Newlands broke well for a third goal, with a header from a cross, and Conor Canavan made a good save from a one on one as Spartak threw men forward.

Form Report
Conor Canavan 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 7 Gary Bridges 6 Dave O’Kelly 6 Shane McInerney 7 Sean Molloy 6 Geoff Abraham 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Mick Leslie 6 Owen McCormack 6
Subs: Leo Bradley 5 Conor Callis 5 Conor Brady 5 Rob Collins 5

Wasted Opportunity

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

Spartak 1, Corduff 4

In atrocious conditions in Marlay, Spartak missed many scoring chances to have this game sealed in the first half.

A first half header from Mick Young gave the Sky Blues the lead, but the visitors equalised when the ball was pulled back from an out-of-play position just before half time. The referee, unfortunately, was on the half way line, and allowed the score to stand.

Even allowing for this setback, Spartak should have been out of sight by then, after taking the lead, with good chances missed by Ciaran Keane, Owen McCormack and Dave Haczynskyj. Mick Greene, deputising in goal for the injured Greg Byrne, made a couple of decent stops.

Corduff, emboldened by the equaliser, took the lead early in the second period with a breakaway goal.

The Sky Blues then laid siege to the visitors goal, Dave HAczynskyj firing wide of an unguarded goal, Owen MCCormack too slow to pass to an unmarked Conor Callis, Conor Brady firing over from a rebound, and OWen McCormack fireing a few efforts too close to the keeper.

As conditions deteriorated, Corduff scored a third as Spartak pushed on; Mick Greene made a fine save from another attack. Corduff added a fourth in injury time.

Failure to take straightforward chances at key stages of the game proved to be Spartak’s undoing.

Form Report
Mick Greene 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 8 Mick Young 6 Darren Ritchie 6 Shane McInerney 7 Sean Molloy 6 Conor Canavan 5 Ciaran Keane 5 Dave Haczynskyj 5 Owen McCormack 5
Subs: Conor Callis 5 Geoff Abraham 5 Conor Brady 5 Leo Bradley 5

Maurice Timmins – an appreciation

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

Maurice Timmins, who passed away suddenly on 22nd February, was closely associated with Spartak in the ’80s and ’90s.

While he played for Spartak occasionally, Maurice’s main role was as physical trainer. He led his charges on lengthy runs around the Churchtown and Rathfarnham areas on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The toughness of those runs were recalled recently by some former players, who winced at the memory!

It was also noticeable how many players developed sudden hamstring strains and had to sit out the runs, only to miraculously recover to full fitness for the football at the end…they got little sympathy from Maurice!

Maurice gradually drifted away from Spartak as he concentrated on his real love, marathon running, and completed over 200 marathons, some in far off places.

Maurice is fondly remembered as a cheerful and dedicated individual, and his contribution to Spartak was a valuable one.

May he Rest in Peace.

Welcome Win

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

Corduff 3, Spartak 6

A very heavy and bumpy pitch did not make for the greatest spectacle, but both sides attempted to play a passing game; errors aplenty at the back on both sides resulted in a pre Christmas goal fest.

Sean Molloy opened the scoring with a neat effort after his pressing saw Spartak gain possession; Gary Bridges provided the pass and Sean did the rest. Chris Hogan was having a ropy start, uncertain in positioning, and while rescued initially by Greg Byrne’s save, his offside appeal fell on deaf ears as he allowed a forward a free run in to equalise.

Spartak now became sloppy after conceding and Liam Caffrey made a good saving tackle when Gary Bridges was caught in possession, while the home side also fired a decent chance wide. The Sky Blues took a half time lead when an alert Mick Leslie charged down the keeper’s kick. The ball ran to Sean Molloy on the edge of the box, and he coolly took a touch before firing home.

A rip roaring start to the second period saw Spartak race into a 4-1 lead. Owen Marron won a corner, and Mick Leslie’s flag kick was turned in by Darren Ritchie. A minute later, good work by Mick Leslie gave Owen Marron a chance, which he fired in from outside the box.

Corduff did not lie down, and soon reduced arrears, but Sean Molloy’s flick on put Mick Leslie in. 5-2.
Again the home side came back, but Darren Ritchie clinched the deal after approach work by Owen Marron and sub Dave Kernan.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 7 Chris Hogan 5 Cian Stenson 6 Liam Caffrey 6 Darragh Logue 6 Gary Bridges 6 Owen Marron 7 Sean Molloy 8 Leo Bradley 5 Darren Ritchie 7 Mick Leslie 8
Subs: Conor Callis 6 Dave Kernan 6

Spartak go down in Junior Shield

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

Spartak 1, East Wall Rovers 2

East Wall edged this that contest in Marlay, although Spartak will be left rueing a number of opportunities missed.
A free kick by Leo Bradley was deflected by a defender against the bar, only to drop to Geoff Abraham – but his tame effort did not trouble the keeper. Owen McCormack, straight through on goal, was called back for a dubious offside.

A defensive mix up gave East Wall the lead, which they doubled on the hour mark with a decent header.

The introduction of the three substitutes gave Spartak the impetus for a fightback, and Bulelani Dunjana turned in Ciaran Keane’s cross to half the deficit.

Sean Molloy had an effort saved, Geoff Abraham fired over, Leo Bradley headed wide at the back post, and Dave O’Kelly headed over from a corner.

Not quite enough to force extra time.

Form Report
Greg Byrne 8 Mick Greene 5 Cian Stenson 7 Gary Bridges 7 Dave O’Kelly 6 Shane McInerney 6 Geoff Abraham 5 Leo Bradley 5 Mick Leslie 7 Owen McCormack 6 Sean Molloy 6
Subs: Conor Brady 5 Ciaran Keane 6 Bulelani Dunjana 6

Defences Take Day Off

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

Spartak 5 Earl Celtic 7

No, it wasn’t a rugby match despite the strange scoreline!

Its certainly one of the oddest matches seen in Marlay for many years. It looked as if each back 4 had never met their teammates previously, as every attack by both sides looked like producing a score.

Spartak, apart from scoring five goals, missed a number of chances; crosses by Mick Leslie were headed off target by Leo Bradley and Shane Cunningham; Conor Callis fired wide when clean through; Ciaran Keane fired wide from a good position.

Leo Bradley fired a decent hat trick, and Mick Leslie scored a neat goal. Gary Bridges’ long range effort was the pick of the bunch for the Sky Blues. Spartak found themselves 4-3 down at half time, and Earl made it five very early in the second period; Spartak struck back and scored twice to equalise; indeed at this point it seemed there could only be one winner, but a break by Earl saw a very soft goal conceded, even by the standards of the day, and Earl added one more as they surged past a bewildered Sky Blues defence.

It is probably better to draw a veil over the concession of so many scores; in Spartak’s case the defending was deplorable from front to back.

A bad day at the office.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 Chris Hogan 5 Dave O’Kelly 4 Liam Caffey 4 Cian Stenson 4 Eric Barber 5 Shane Cunningham 5 Gary Bridges 6 Ciaran Keane 4 Leo Bradley 7 Mick Leslie 7
Subs: Conor Callis 5 Shane McInerney 5 Sean Molloy 5

Sky Blues Slip up

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

Spartak 1, Rush 2

A Steve Grier throw in was deflected onto the rush crossbar and off the lien as Spartak strove for the opening score.
Rush showed plenty of intent also, forcing Bobby Hayes into a good save before hitting the woodwork themselves.

Conor Brady’s weak effort was not enough to effect a breakthrough, and Shane Cunningham fired wide from decent position, before putting Conor Brady in to finish neatly.

But a low cross was converted by Rush on 37 mnutes to denythe Sky Blues an interval lead, and in the first minute of the second period Mick Leslie failed to clear and Rush made it two.

Both sides had half chances, Spartak pushed on for an equaliser and left the back door somewhat open. Sean Molloy and Geoff Abraham had the best opportunities, but did not trouble the visiting keeper.

A disappointing performance.

Form Report
Bobby Hayes 6 Cian Stenson 6 Mick Leslie 4 Steve Grier 6 Liam Caffrey 6 Gary Bridges 5 Owen Marron 5 Conor Brady 5 Shane Cunningham 5 Darren Ritchie 5 Owen McCormack 7
Subs: Sean Molloy 5 Bulelani Dunjana 5 Geoff Abraham 5