Keenan to the 'four'
Arklow attacker stars as Town sink depleted Rathnew
As if Rathnew's job wasn't hard enough when they arrived to take on Arklow Town in the Youths Shield in Brigdewater Centre Park last Saturday afternoon with just 10 players in tow, it was made all the harder when they were reduced to nine after 23 minutes when referee Jason Redmond sent off Shawn Paul Dunne for a comment made after the awarding of a free against the Village side.
Arklow Town 6 Rathnew 0
Arklow Town had raced into a 2-0 lead at that stage and were well on their way to victory but the sending off finished the game as a contest and left the Arklow midfield and attack with plenty of room to plot the demise of the battling Rathnew.
A sweet lob from Matas Lubosevicous after five minutes got the ball rolling for the home side in bright sunshine at the superb Arklow venue.
It was a very busy afternoon at Bridgewater Centre Park with games on both pitches throughout the day.
Rathnew, despite not having the full complement, were in no way disturbed from their mission of winning this game and they came close a minute after the Arklow opener when Evan Doyle found Paul King who blasted wide off the outside of his left boot.
A silly foul from the impressive Ryan Fowler earned him a yellow card for his efforts and left his management considering a substitution after only seven minutes of action.
They managed to hold on until later in the game bit it was not something they needed so early.
As the minutes ticked by though, you could see that there were goals there for the taking if the Arklow lads could get the ball to the danger men, with Clive Keenan being the standout of the sharks up front.
Keenan got on the end of a Shane Connolly ball after eight minutes but he glanced his header wide of Kristian Kearney's post.
Two foul throws from Rathnew's Charlie O'Brien didn't put him off his defensive duties and the Village defender turned in a massive display for his side under really difficult circumstances.
Keenan was again in threatening form after 13 minutes but his headed effort was gathered by Kearney in the Rathnew goal as the visitor's defence were starting to feel the heat.
They did, however, have the ball in the back of the Arklow net with 16 minutes on the clock but Jason Redmond ruled that Paul King was offside and their efforts went unreqarded.
Arklow Town continued asking questions of the Rathnew defence but they were being answered reasonably well and on the counter, the Village side were posing certain problems themselves; Michael A Doyle doing really well at one stage when he took down a lovely ball but his shot at goal blazed wide with 20 on the clock.
Two minutes later, Ryan Fowler had a pop but Kearney saved well but the Rathnew goalkeeper had absolutely no chance from the next shot which was launched from the boot of Clive Keenan from outside the box and flew into the top corner of the net.
It was after this that Rathnew lost Shawn Paul Dunne and that steep hill they were having to climb became something along the lines of K2.
A moment later, Kristian Kearney was picking the ball out of the back of his net again when Adrian Gracjon Wiochwski got on the end of a Shane Connolly corner to fire home to make it 3-0 after 27 minutes.
Rathnew didn't lie down. They attacked back immediately and were unlucky when the talented Michael A Doyle fired wide of David Thomas' goal.
But the Arklow threat was always there given the numerical advantage.
Ryan Fowler saw his screamer come off the crossbar and go wide but Paul King should have had a goal up the other end a moment later as the Villagers refused to submit against all the odds.
Their bravery was undone however in the space of three minutes when Clive Keenan secured his hat-trick in sublime fashion.
Keenan would make it four for the day for himself shortly after the restart and Arklow Town ran out comfortable winners by six goals to nil despite the gallant efforts of a deleted Rathnew side who will have much better days in the Village jersey.
Arklow Town: 1. David Thomas, 2. Dan Breen, 3. Graham Byrne, 4. Shane Connolly, 5. Ryan Boyle, 6. Rory Adamson, 7. Matas Lubosevicous, 13. Danny Doyle, 9. Ryan Fowler, 10. Clive Keenan, 11. Adrian Gracjon Wiochwski. Subs: 12. Chris Furlong, 1. Simon Beech, 14. Ryan McGowan, 15. Neil Dodd, 16. Chad O'Reilly.
Rathnew: 1. Kristian Kearney, 2. Charlie O'Brien, 4. Jack Healy, 5. Cian Quinn, 6. Antonio Alonso, 7. Shawn Paul Dunne, 8. Kyle Devlin, 9. Evan Doyle, 10 Michael A Doyle, 11. Paul King.
Referee: Jason Redmond