Thursday 22 August 2019

Mood is upbeat as Mals climb to League summit

Senior Div Sunday

PJ Murray at Whitehall

Malahide United are sitting pretty atop the Leinster Senior League Senior Sunday Division after Pierce Walshe's side ground out a narrow win away to Home Farm on Friday evening.

Home Farm 0 Malahide United 1

The only negative to the night was the fact that the Gannon Park side finished with 10 men after their goalscorer Karl Moody was given his marching orders with five minutes remaining.

There is an element of falsity to Mals' position as they have played three more games than Firhouse and two more than Crumlin, both of whom are three points behind the Gannon Park side.

However, with 12 games remaining Malahide have seven home fixtures, two of which will see both Crumlin and Bluebell make the journey to north County Dublin, so they have to be considered as genuine contenders to go all the way.

In the meantime, they welcome top League of Ireland opposition to Gannon Park tonight (Tuesday), with Cork City the opposition in a friendly (kick-off 7.30pm).

Last Friday was considered a real test for Malahide, with Walshe having lost four players to the League of Ireland over the transfer window and continuing to be without first-choice keeper Brian Kane.They were, however, boosted by the return of Cillian Timmons who started on the bench, the teenager having been unable to feature all season due to work commitments.

On a cold night it was the home side who settled quicker, although their early efforts were restricted to long-range shots. Dylan Cashin had the first real shot in anger on 10 minutes, but his effort was well wide.

Home Farm looked dangerous when attacking at pace and Gary Kenna made a great last-ditch block to deny the Drumcondra side as they split the Malahide defence wide open.

With their first real attack Malahide took the lead on 15 minutes. Anto Bolger played a deft pass through for Moody to race onto and initially it looked like the striker had taken too much out of it, but he managed to squeeze the ball past the oncoming keeper to score.

While Kane remains injured, Patrick Dunne is proving a worth deputy in goal and the keeper pulled off a great save on 22 minutes as Home Farm had their first real shot on target.

The home side had their fifth corner of the game on 28 minutes, but as with the previous four Malahide cleared the danger with minimal fuss.

Malahide's passing was very fluid and one-touch and David Fallon and Cashin were running the match from the middle of the pitch.

Ryan Dooney attempted an audacious overhead kick from a Malahide corner on 36 minutes but failed to connect properly with the ball.

A poor Kevin Molloy headed clearance was fired back goal-ward on 39 minutes, but luckily for the visitors the ball was always rising.

Moody almost repaid Bolger's assist on the stroke of half-time as he slipped the pacy striker through, but the pass was just too firm and easily gathered by the keeper.

The visitors were very much on top in the second half and Bolger crossed and Karl Melling blazed a free header wide.

Home Farm introduced former Malahide winger Jacques Morley and he almost levelled matters on 67 minutes, but Dunne got well behind the shot.

Timmons was introduced with 20 minutes remaining and the winger immediately made several runs down the right flank, showing why he is considered such a valuable player.

However, with five minutes to go Moody lunged in for a tackle and was sent off to leave Malahide on the back foot. Home Farm threw everything at the Malahide defence and Timmons made a great goal-saving tackle to preserve the visitors' slender lead.

In the end Malahide held on for what was a deserved win and after tonight's Cork City friendly they welcoming St Pat's CY on Friday night.

Malahide United: Patrick Dunne, Ryan Dooney, Kevin Molloy, Adam Shehabadeen, Gary Kenna, David Fallon, Darren Craven (Cillian Timmons), Anthony Bolger (Joseph Fitzpatrick), Karl Moody, Dylan Cashin, Karl Melling.

Fingal Independent