A second half brace from Kevin Mohammed helped the NDSL claim a superb win over their Carlow counterparts at the Oscar Traynor complex on Saturday afternoon.
The NDSL striker was coolness personified as he twice beat the keeper in one-on-one situations in the second half and it was no more than the home side deserved on the day. There were many eye-catching displays throughout the course of the afternoon with Harry Fitzgerald in particular excelling in the tackle while also showing an astute reading of the game. Portmarnock's Darragh Keating gave a Stephen Gerrard type display in the middle as he continually spread the play with some inch-perfect passing while Rasaq Alamu was a constant threat out wide. Overall each player contributed valiantly to the cause and the NDSL were almost in for an early goal when Rush man Harry Groome saw an effort parried by Carlow keeper, Mikey Ryan. And with Groome showing good timing in the tackle, the NDSL then began to carve out a number of openings. Alamu and Benny Mithesqu combined well to set up Mohammed earlier on, with the latter shooting just wide from a second chance moments later. However the NDSL deservedly hit the front midway through the first half albeit rather fortuitously when a free from Balbriggan's Aaron Vickers skidded in off a defender's leg and past the keeper at his near post. Carlow had been quiet up until then but came close to scoring an unexpected equaliser when a ball played out wide to James Smithers saw the number seven hit the side netting from a tight angle. That was to be the final action of a very entertaining first half and with Mithescu imposing himself on the game from the centre of midfield, the NDSL continued to set the tempo. However, the visitors were handed an unexpected lifeline ten minutes into the second half when an angular shot from Alan Barrett was parried by the keeper with Smithers on hand to follow up and tap home from close range. However, moments later the NDSL were back in front when a midfield delivery bypassed the Carlow number four to give Mohammed a clear run on goal and as Ryan came off his line, Mohammed neatly chipped the keeper. In the very next attack, Mohammed was again on hand again to stab the ball past the keeper. While holding a solid two-goal lead now, the NDSL refused to sit back with Groome curling an effort just inches wide of the post. With Sean O'Rourke slotting in very nicely at right full on his introduction, the NDSL maintained their grip on the game with an ambitious lob by Chris McFadden almost catching the Carlow keeper out in what was the last action of a terrific affair.
Dean Mc Dermott, Dylan Douglas, Aaron Vickers, Harry Fitzgerald, Evan Brooks, Lorcan O Dell, Harry Groome, Darragh Keating, Kevin Mohammed, Benny Mithescu, Rasaq Alam. Subs: Danny Taaffe, Chris McFadden, Sean O'Rourke, Callum Bucham.