DUNDALK COLLEGES MALAHIDE CS 3-16 1-2: DUNDALK Colleges swept aside the challenge of Malahide CS at Broomfields last Friday with Daniel McKeown helping himself to three first half goals.
Dundalk's 20 point win set thems up for a second round clash with Good Counsel and manager, Leslie Toal, prior to this week's draw was hoping that Leinster Council would be kind to them.
'We have had one home draw in three years and two home games in four years which is very unfair,' he stressed afterwards. 'We are travelling the whole time over to Longford and Mullingar and sometimes the pitches aren't even marked.' As it turned out the former Louth star didn't get his wish with the Good Counsel clash set for a neutral venue - most likely St Conleth's Park in Newbridge - next Wednesday afternoon.
Dundalk opened up a 3-9 to 01 lead at the break and Toal conceded that the game was pretty much a fruitless exercise for both sides 'The game was a bit of a damp squib because we were that far ahead at half time. They weren't good and we exposed them big time in the first half. They were short a few players which is something we can't do anything about. But overall I'm happy with our own display - it was a good start.' Malahide for their part were missing two key players in Kevin O'Flynn and Shane McGrath, the latter from the St Pat's Donabate club.
McGrath is one of the few players from outside the school that isn't with the St Sylvesters club and the Malahide manager conceded this was a problem.
'Our preparation for this match has been very bad what with Sylvesters still involved in the Minor A championship so that limited what we could do. 'And for a game like this it shouldn't be like that. It's tough because they are all Sylvesters now really. We used to have a pick of the different clubs but now that has changed because of the catchment area. Before we used to have players from Pats Donabate, Fingallians and Naomh Mearnóg and all over. So that can be a hindrance in both ways if you are reliant on one club' Of the three goals conceded in the first half, two were relatively soft with McKeown twice on hand to pounce from the edge of the square after the Malahide keeper, Kevin Morris had failed to clear high balls under his crossbar. Nonetheless Aston was fulsome in his praise for his netminder in what were trying circumstances.
'The thing about Kevin he is a smashing keeper but when he saves the ball he stops but in fairness he pulled off a few great saves. 'But it was always going to be tough. The lads gave their best and they gave 100 per cent against a far superior team. But it's not easy with a school of our size. When you miss one or two players you really do feel it.'
Certainly Malahide had their hands full with Louth minor, Josh Arrowsmith, who was particularly prominent at centre forward, while corner back Stephen Bellew won some good turnovers in defence. McKeown struck for his first goal on 10 minutes and with corner forwards Ross Kehoe and Dean Maguire also impressing, the combined Colleges were well out of sight by the time Dylan McEvoy landed a penalty for the home side 12 minutes into the second half. DUNDALK COLLEGES: Gavin Douglas, James Loughran, Conor Lenehan, Stephen Bellew, Peter Thornton, Cillian Kirk, Daniel McKeown 3-3, Ciaran Sheridan (0-1, 0-1 45'), Joseph Hanna, Karl McDonnell 0-2f, Josh Arrowsmith 0-2, Robbie Curran 0-2, Ross Kehoe 0-2, Paddy Byrne, Dean Maguire 0-2. Subs: Tadhg McEneaney 0-1f , Matthew Corcoran for Kehoe (35), Adam Lynch 0-1 for Hanna (45), Ross Murphy for Maguire (52). MALAHIDE CS: Kevin Morris, Cian McCann, Conor Quinn, Eoghan Hamill, Stephen Morgan, Alan Kavanagh, Kevin McLoughney, Cian O'Scolai, Stephen McConny, Jamie Storey, Dara Walsh 0-1, Eoin Kennedy, Sean McMahon , Dylan McEvoy 1-1 (1-0 pen), Liam Watson. Subs: Lee Duffy for McMahon, Dylan Connolly for Morgan (ht), Sean Keating for Kennedy. REFEREE: D Browne (Meath)