Men’s Leinster League Division One:
Railway Union 3 (P English, R Abbott, M English) Fingal 1 (C Neville)
Railway Union’s superior fitness saw them come from a goal behind to pull clear of Fingal at Park Avenue and start their season with a win. In a scrappy first half, the visitors played a compact style, attempting to catch Railway on the break and they profited when Andy Marshall’s overhead was missed by the defence. Conor Wheeler gathered the ball in a two-on-one situation with Simon Thornton. He passed simply to Chris Neville to score.
Railway were level when Jake Morton won a corner and while the initial flick was saved by Craig Ellis, a second set-piece ensued. This time, Peter English picked out the top left corner. Into the second half, they moved in front when English picked a nice diagonal overhead to right back David McCarthy whose mazy run preceded a ball across which Rob Abbott turned in.
Mark English completed the win. It came from a quick turnover by Kenny Carroll who passed to Karl Chapple who, in turn, picked out the forward. He applied a superb squeeze shot to close out the result.
Three Rock Rovers 4 (M Darling 2, J Bruton, J Hosking) Corinthian 2 (I Stewart, J Eustice)
Late goals from Jonny Bruton and Jody Hosking saw Three Rock Rovers claim the laurels from a lively Rathfarnham derby at Grange Road. The visiting Corinthian shaded proceedings in the first half with a couple of corners that were well defended before Rovers took the lead with half-time nearing. Mitch Darling found himself surrounded but managed to eke out enough space to unleash a reverse into the top of the goal.
Moments after the break, he made it 2-0 from a classy counter-attack move. Huub de With stormed forward and faked a pass to Darling before slipping the ball left to Bruton. It shifted the defence suitably to create an overload and Bruton picked out the unmarked Darling to slide in.
But, in the blink of an eye, Corinthian were back on terms as Jethro Eustice pulled one back before Ian Stewart was left unmarked on the penalty spot and slotted home well. At 2-2, Gavin Bourke was sin-binned but the reds could not punish that indiscretion as Bruton struck during his side’s short-handed spell.
Matt Fairweather’s drag was subsequently saved off the line by Hosking while Gowan Jones made a couple of top saves in an impressive performance. But he was powerless to stop Hosking’s show-stopper, breaking a couple of tackles before firing open-handed into the roof of the net.
Rathgar 0 Glenanne 2 (own goal, S Brownlow)
A goal in each half saw Glenanne start their season with three points, edging out a nervous Rathgar side playing in their first game in Leinster’s division one. Graham O’Neill was the unfortunate defender to turn home a John Stewart cross from the left wing into his own goal.
Glenanne were holding most of the play with the Chiefs showing nerves in their outletting though they did have a couple of chances on the counter-attack. Indeed, they could have been level had Dan Needham kept his slap-shot down from a well-worked corner. He hit it over the backboard from close range to see the goal chalked off.
Skipper Stephen Brownlow, though, completed the win for Glenanne with 20 minutes remaining when he scored from the penalty spot after his corner drag was saved by Dan Gribben onto Niall Noonan’s foot.
YMCA 1 (J Tobin) Pembroke 3 (R Flannery, A Sothern, M Elliott)
Pembroke netted three times in eight minutes to swing this tie their way after some spectacular work from Jamie Tobin and Iain Walker threatened to see YMCA nab an early surprise work. The visitors to Milltown had plenty of the early play but found Walker in top form while Alan Sothern put a penalty stroke wide. They were stung then when Tobin embarked on a brilliant solo run down the sideline to the baseline before racing around the goalkeeper and slotting in.
Pembroke eventually broke through in the 52nd minute with Ronan Flannery lifting a reverse-stick screamer over Walker and it started a quick goal-rush. Great skills from Mark Loughrey unlocked the door for Sothern to start his goal-tally for the season. And Maurice Elliott completed the scoring with ten minutes to go when he deflected in Conor Harte’s drag-flick.