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Russo sees past red to net home side's winner

CCFL Youths 3

Clare Youths 1

A PLAYER from each side saw red as the CCFL qualified for the next stage of the FAI Youths Inter-League tournament on Saturday.

After a quiet first half where the superior home side led through a Jamie Fahey penalty, the match exploded into life after 57 minutes when the Clare League equalised, also from a spot-kick.

CCFL substitute Tom Sheil, on the pitch barely three minutes, got his marching orders from referee Paul Tone in that second penalty incident and the contest suddenly took on a completely different complexion after Cathal Hayes netted the Clare spot-kick.


The CCFL needed only a draw to progress from the group and, but for Clare 'keeper James Tierney, who made super first-half stops from Cathal Callinan and Conor Ryan, they would have been well ahead so dominant was their impressive passing game.

"It took the sending off to get us to wake up. We were just strolling around the park until then and we started to work a bit harder and create more when we were down to 10 men," said CCFL manager Tony O'Sullivan afterwards.

Within 12 minutes of conceding the equaliser and losing a man, the CCFL were 2-1 up when Willow Park player Callinan rose in the box to head in clubmate Fahey's free.

Six minutes after that the CCFL wrapped up the three points when Tullamore striker Gio Russo latched onto a ball over the top and cooly lobbed Tierney for the home side's third.

On a cold afternoon at Leah Victoria Park in Tullamore, Brian Monaghan of Bridge United was by far the most impressive Clare League player on view and it was one of the left-footer's surging runs into the home box which yielded the visitors' penalty.


For the CCFL, who can afford to be confident going into the next phase, Callinan turned in a Man of the Match display in central midfield and Clare had no answer either to Conor Ryan and Shane Tierney.

At the back, Portlaoise's Oisin Fitzpatrick was once again a tower of strength for the CCFL while at the other end Clare defender Darren Nagle was shown a straight red following an off-the-ball incident shortly before the final whistle.

CCFL: Cain Brereton; Eoghan Smyth, Michael Gilligan, Joe Moloney, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Cillian Callaly, Conor Ryan, Cathal Callinan, Gio Russo, Jamie Fahey, Shane Tierney. Subs: Tom Sheil for Michael Gilligan (57 mins), Peter Ryan for Cillian Callally (78 mins), Justin Lawlor for Gio Russo (86 mins).

Clare: James Tierney; Kevin Kelly, Eoin Whelan, Darren Nagle, Eoin Guinan, Ciaran Buckley, Aidan Davidson, Michael Duffy, Keelan Sexton, Brian Monaghan, Cathal Hayes. Subs: Ronan Kerin for Kevin Kelly (71 mins), Darragh King for Michael Duffy (78 mins).

Referee: Paul Tone (Midlands Branch).