Monaghan Cavan League Premier Division
Over 20 years no Longer counting.
At the last time of writing the I spoke about the prospect of our club winning a first league title in its history, and the game that could stand in the way of it all. Unfortunately, the game never materialized and the wait was over, and there was an immediate sense of lull, or that it was somewhat undeserved, where the final game would only have been a presentation for a season that was the epitome of hard work.
I thought about how to fit details of every game into this article but it’s impossible, and there has been some hard games, Clones Town fought immensely in Tydavnet to come away with a point early in the season for example, but instead I will go with just two games.
Last season we started off with a draw against Donagh Celtic, it seemed to be a theme we had become too familiar with, dropping points on the first day. This season, after what can only be described as a sickening pre-season, we won 4-0 against the team that we perceived to be our biggest rivals in the league, Monaghan Town. We rode our luck at times in that game, but we had a plan, and stood by it, the plan was to work hard, absorb pressure and break as fast as we could. 2-1 would have been a fair representation of the scoreline that day and we knew it, but for the first time in close memory it laid a statement of intent at the start of the season, and we knew that too.
We had some more tough games in the coming weeks against Clones Town and Drumkill Rovers, and then on November 9th we faced Cootehill Harps in Clara Lane. We arrived at the game off the back of 2 draws, to face the current holders who had never been beaten in the league on their new pitch. Not only that but our left back had broken his wrist in the last game and one of centre midfielders had broken his collarbone, our right back was abroad and there were other players missing, we went up with the bare 11 players. After 15 minutes our centre half went off after a heavy collision to his side, we had no subs, against the champions. We led at half time, 1-0, against literally all the odds. We conceded shortly after the restart from what we were certain was an offside goal, instead of going into meltdown we dug as deep as we ever have, they passed through us, around us and behind us, everyone of our players played in 2 positions, and then we scored. We couldn’t hold out and conceded again, but we didn’t lose, it was only 1 point on the board but it was huge in terms of how we looked at ourselves, we’d only taken 3 points from our last 3 games but it might as well have been 30 on the basis on that one game. After it we lost once, and drew once. We had dropped 6 points in 3 games, and only four more for the rest of the season. On Saturday, Killylough got presented the Trophy, for the first time in over 20 years, job well done lads!
History On The Horizon for Killylough
One More Game. Drumkill Rovers. Anything but defeat. The last thing that stands between Killylough and winning the first league title to don green and white ribbons for the first time in the clubs history. In black and white it sounds straight forward. Anyone who knows the minefield that is the MCL knows that this is far from the case. There has been no less than 3 different winners in last 4 years, inconveniently, the team Killylough have to overcome to add to that stat, have won 2 of those.
So what does it take to win a league title? A quick look at the table and it will tell you it takes 16 games, 11 wins, 4 draws and only 1 loss scoring 46 goals in the process and conceding just 9 culminating in 37 points, potentially needing 38. But that’s just the facts. It doesn’t tell us about the trainings that started 3 times per week in early August, about the injuries along the way and about the outstanding performances week in, week out, the highs and the lows. A campaign that began in earnest on September 22nd with a 4-0 win over Monaghan Town, can finish this weekend with anything other than a loss against Drumkill.
Let’s show our support for the lads, History is most definitely on the Horizon.
Killylough FC moved another step closer to securing their first league title in over 20 years by beating an in form Clones Town 2-0 on Thursday last. Second half goals from Kevin Loughran and Ronan Stirrat were enough to overcome a spirited Clones team that were in the midst of an impressive unbeaten run. Killylough had the better of the opening exchanges with Ronan and Darragh Stirrat coming close to opening the scoring midway through the first half. Clones Goalkeeper David Ballantine was in fine form, determined to keep a clean sheet against his former club.
At the other end, Killylough, who boast the best defensive record in the league were disciplined throughout and thwarted anything Clones had to offer.
After a series of guilt edge chances, the Killylough break through finally came 15 minutes into the second half with Ronan Stirrat beating the offside trap and laying the ball on a plate for Kevin Loughran to tap in from close range. Killylough doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Ronan Stirrat cut in from the wing and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner leaving Ballantine with no chance and ensuring Killylough left Gortakeegan with all 3 points
Monaghan Town are now 12 points behind the league leaders but do have three games in hand. An exciting finish to the season surely beckons.
Killylough Take Huge Step
In any level of football one of the most difficult things to do is capitalise on a rival dropping points, so it happens from the Premier League to La Liga. With this in mind it could be said that all the pressure was on Killylough on Sunday evening to take advantage of Clones Town’s 2-1 victory over second placed Monaghan Town. They had to get past a Drumkill Rovers side who had already denied the Tydavnet side 2 points in the league this season.
Both teams were forced into changes due to injuries without a ball being kicked and that could have been a contributing factor to what can only be described as an underwhelming opening 15 minutes. A game very short of chances early on suddenly exploded to life when Gerard Mc Crudden headed home Darren Quigleys corner to march the leaders into a 1-0 lead. The tempo of the game increased almost instantly with Drumkill’s Brian Mc Quaid doing his best to keep full back Kevin Loughran on the backfoot. With their fair share of final third possession through Ronan Cassidy, Drumkill just lacked the cutting edge to get themselves back on an equal footing. A Drumkill throw in near the Killylough end line led to the second major incident of the match when Killylough centre back Pauric Mc Crudden raised his hands towards the face of Stephen Mc Elvaney which resulted in a direct red card. The setback almost sprung the Killylough players into another gear and almost immediately Paul Askin played Darren Quigley through after a perfectly timed run and pass only to be thwarted by the Drumkill net minder. The resulting corner was swung in by Ronan Stirrat and Gavin ‘Toni’ Turley rose highest to thunder the ball in at the back post.
Declan Treanor entered for Killylough at half time to replace Paul Askin and almost immediately made an impact as his tempting through ball caused confusion in the Rovers defence only for Darren Quigley to poach home the third goal of the game. The underwhelming pace returned to the game with the only other real opportunity coming for the Three Mile house men as a misplaced back pass found Stephen Mc Elvaney who was unable to capatalise on his good fortune which left Conor Forde with another clean sheet.
The result leaves Killylough 8 points a top the table having played 1 game more than second placed Monaghan Town. A tough away fixture to Cootehill Harps awaits the Tydavnet next.
Next up for the Threemilehouse side is what is sure to be an action packed league cup Final versus Monaghan Town in Annagap on Saturday.
Hoops off the Mark!!
Killylough picked up their first win in 7 league attempts on Saturday last with a 2-1 victory over Drumkill Rovers at Monaghan Astro Park. After a cluster of cup games it was a welcome return to league action for the villagers even with a number of key players absent for the game, most noticeably the defensive pairing of John McAree and Gavin Turley and top scorer Ronan Stirrat. The game started slowly with a few half chances all falling for Drumkill but it didn’t take very long for the first half to burst into life. A long ball played forward caught the Killylough defenders flat footed and Drumkill striker Kevin Brennan reacted quickest to latch on and coolly slot the ball in the past David Ballantine. The goal seemed to propel a thus far lacklustre Killylough onto the front foot however as the tempo increased. After a number of unsuccessful attacks a well hit cross into the box from an ever present Mark Mulligan was seemingly well cleared by Drumkill full back Patrick Freeman until it found the right foot of William Carroll, who sent his perfectly placed volley in off the upright to level the score at 1-1. Killylough continued to press and after some neat interplay between Mathew McCague and Paul Askin set Declan Treanor off down the left wing, Rovers could consider themselves unlucky as his slightly over hit cross carried over Rovers keeper Gary Mc Bride and into the top corner.
The second half started off with the same tempo as the first and the hoops were unlucky not to increase the lead as a Darragh Stirrat through ball set Declan Treanor on his way only for his effort to hit the inside of the post and travel across the pitch for a throw in. However on 65 minutes Drumkill were given a lease of life after a goal bound effort was cleared illegally off the line, which resulted in a penalty and sending off. The resulting penalty was well struck but not well enough to elude stopper David Ballantine who got down well to save low to his right. With a one man advantage the pressure built for the next twenty minutes but Rovers were unable to find the killer touch to get themselves back into proceedings. In the end a resolute hoops defence led by Pauric McCrudden held firm to ensure a fourth successive victory for Killylough
KILLYLOUGH 1-1 COOTEHILL HARPS
Killylough and Cootehill shared the points in a game where both sides could have grabbed all 3, the game was a battle from the first minute but Cootehill seemed to get on top and didn’t take them long getting the lead with a well hit shot and the striker following in pounced on the rebound and scored. The villagers got back into it and ten minutes before half time Emmet McCrudden picked up the ball and delivered a pin point cross which the advancing Ronan Stirrat lifted the ball over the keeper, 1-1 at the half way point. Second half was a half of missed chances but the most telling ones came at the end when the Cootehill centre-half tried a bicycle kick just going past the post and Killylough’s Stephen McKenna broke clear and shot when the keeper spilled it he shot again and a superb clearance off the line. Final whistle Killylough 1-1 Cootehill Harps
SUVYTRUS 2-2 KILLYLOUGH
The game kicked off and with both teams scrambling for possession as the first 15 minutes seen a few half chances but nothing clear cut, then a pin point cross from Barry McKenna seen R Stirrat finish and Killylough were one up. Then the Villagers took control and with great work from the whole team they seemed to be getting all the chances and on 30 minutes G Turley finished from close range, the rest of the half was tight but no change 2-0 Killylough at half time. Second half kicked off and as tackles were flying in a Suvytrus player picked up his second yellow and went to the showers early,5 minutes later a second Suvytrus player got the line, 2-0 down and 2 players down you think the game was over but somehow Killylough seemed to come under a bit of pressure and it paid off as a shot from the edge of the box ended up in the net 2-1 and 5 minutes Suvytrus got their equalizer with another strike from the edge of the box and it was 2 all.
STIRRAT’S BACK!!! KILLYLOUGH 2-2 DONAGH CELTIC
Killylough started off their league campaign with a home draw against Donagh Celtic and true to form it was to be a tough contest from the start. Both sides tried to get on top but with no real clear cut chances, but then with R Stirrat making a bit of room on the edge of the box he slotted home in the bottom right hand corner, 1-0 Killylough, Donagh came on the attack but with no real luck as the Killylough defense stood firm, Killylough hit Donagh on the break which saw M McCague hitting the post. Donagh made a break and E McCrudden missed time a covering tackle and pick up his second yellow card Killylough down to ten men, Donagh had the best of it for the rest of the half, 1-0 Killylough half time. Second half started much the same and Donagh were rewarded when a ball made it’s way to N Corrigan who finished from six yards, another ball broke in the box and Donagh took the lead 2-1. With Killylough’s back to the wall J McAree and the defense drove the team on to have the best of it with ten min to go, Killylough won a few free kicks with in shooting range but what was to happen next was a bit special… a R Stirrat free kick from 25 yards and the angle not helping him he squeezed it in to the top corner, the game finished up 2-2.
Killylough 2-2 Donagh Celtic
|Bailie Youths 1-8 Killylough10/9/11With Bailieboro’s pitch being deemed unplayable, the Cavan men came to Tydavnet on Saturday afternoon to meet Killylough in the Premier Division’s opening fixture.Skipper Decy Treanor welcomed the visitors by opening the scoring early on but Bailie Youths hit back with an almost immediate response from a swooping counter attack to level the scores. The hosts looked back to their captain and he was on hand from close range thrice to open the gap between the sides at half time.When play resumed, John Hamill bagged a brace after Treanor’s fifth and substitute Gary Hackett completed the scoring in the dying moments.Killylough: Rory McKenna; Emmet McCrudden, Gavin Turley, Aiden McCormack, Andrew Stelmach; David McGettigan, Peter Campbell, Matty McCague, Declan Treanor; John Hamill, Gary Murray; Darren Quigley, Noel McCabe, Gary Hackett, Nessan McCrudden.|
Killylough 4-0 Inniskeen Spartans
Killylough returned to league action on Sunday and welcomed Inniskeen Spartans to Tydavnet for the afternoon kick off.
The home side rallied in the opening 45, and it wasn’t long before they opened the scoring as Stephen McKenna sent Ronan Stirrat into the clear and he found Darragh Stirrat to prod home the opener. Then a mazing run from Gary Murray from midfield was ended with Murray being clipped at the vital moment in the area for a spot kick. John McAree made no mistake from 12 yards and sent the hosts 2 goals clear. There was time for 2-0 to become 3-0 before the interval as Darragh Stirrat’s clinical finish across the keeper from the edge of the box found the bottom corner for his second and the Hoops’ third of the day.
The second half saw little change in the pattern of play as the sun shone on the home side’s march for victory. Although the finishing became a little less clinical, the drive remained among the hosts and the most telling contribution came from John Hamill when he was sent clear by skipper Ronan Stirrat and Hamill coolly finished to the net for his side’s fourth and final goal of the day.
A resounding win for Killylough which keeps the race for the Monaghan Cavan League Premier Division title going right to the wire.
Monaghan Town 1-1 Killylough F.C
Killylough and Monaghan Town clashed for the second time in two weeks in what has to be said were very difficult conditions in the new all-weather in Monaghan United’s grounds. The Town started with the breeze but both teams found it hard to settle when the first chance fell to Killylough as Ronan Stirrat broke clear only to see a last ditch tackle clear the danger. The Townies then had their own chance when Paul Smith was put through only for Mickey Rooney to save and the rebound fell to Smith again who was unable to convert. Killylough defended well and a run from Stirrat again saw him in front of goal which was well saved by the town keeper. Monaghan came back and had a shot from distance which Killylough failed to clear and made its way to Shane Scott who scored from close range. With the breeze most of the game was in in the Killylough half but a short back pass saw Noel McCabe clear with just the keeper to beat and his shot missing the target. The Town went in at the break with a 1-0 lead. The second half kicked off and both teams found it tough going with the conditions but this time most of the game was in the Town half. The Town had a chance to go two up but again the Killylough keeper pulled off a great save after that it was all Killylough. Mark Counihan had a shot heading to the top corner only for the Town keeper to pull it from the air and the game headed into time added on. Killylough had a free kick from a long way out, Gerard McCrudden took it and nobody seemed to get a touch but it made its way into the town goal it finish Monaghan Town 1-1 Killylough F.C.
Killylough 7-2 Inniskeen Spartans
Killylough and Spartans met for the second time this season on Saturday evening in what turned out to be a game full of goals. The Villagers got off to a great start with Noel McCabe getting on the end of a corner and with a well-placed header opened the scoring in the 10th minute. The game opened up and was end to end with Spartans coming close to levelling things only the Killylough keeper turned the shot wide. The first sub came on 25 minutes when Darren Quigley picked up an injury and Kieran Milne replaced him and made an impact straight away when the ball made its way to the back post where he scored his first of the season. Spartans picked up the pace and had a few chances but failed to punish and the half ended 2-0 to the Villagers. The second half kicked off and Spartans got on top straight away but when the attack broke down a long ball was latched onto by Gregory Treanor and he broke clear to score into the bottom corner. Soon after a free kick on the edge of the box saw Gerard McCrudden make it 4-0 with a well-placed shot. Spartans came back and scored from another well taken free then they took control of the game and with a good spell of pressure got a second to make it 4-2. Killylough got back into it and with a shot rebounding of the Spartans keeper John Hamill coolly chipped home to make it 5. The introduction of Darren McKenna and Francy Dolan made their own impression and there was still enough time for Treanor to grab 2 more. The first saw him get on the end of a well-placed pass from Dolan and score from close range, then Milne broke clear and won a penalty. Treanor took it and scored for his hat-trick. Not a bad debut as it finished 7-2.
Killylough: Mickey Rooney, Emmet McCrudden, Patrick Kelly, John McAree, Stephen McKenna, John Hamill, Malachy McMeel, Gerard McCrudden, Darren Quigley, Noel McCabe, Gregory Treanor Francis Dolan, Darren McKenna, Kieran Milne
Killylough 0-0 Clones Town
The game kicked off at a fast pace with Killylough hitting the post and the crossbar in the first five minutes but the Clones defence stood firm. Clones then had a chance of their own but the Town striker couldn’t get enough power into the shot to trouble the Killylough keeper. The next twenty minutes the game went from end to end with no clear cut chances the half finished 0-0. Second half kicked off and ten minutes in Clones had a shot that slipped through the Killylough defence and somehow the post saved the Villagers, after that the game turned and Killylough seemed to spend the rest of the time in the Clones half but Clones were not to be denied, and with Killylough having two or three decent chances the Clones Town keeper pulling off some good saves the game ended 0-0.
Killylough 1-0 Drumkill Rovers
Killylough and Drumkill clashed in the first league fixture of the season in Emyvale and it proved to be a tough contest for both sides. Drumkill started the brighter and with just a few minutes on the clock the Killylough goal keeper was called into action with a superb save as Drumkill’s David McEntee shot low into the corner just to see it pushed round the post. On eight minutes Killylough were forced to make a sub when Kieran Milne came off with an injury heralding the introduction of Noel McCabe in what turned out to be a man of the match performance. Drumkill kept the pressure on and on 15 minutes a wicked shot from James Treanor which was heading for the top corner was saved by Stephen McCarron in the Killylough goal. Then Killylough settled and had their own chances with Ronan Stirrat and Mark Counihan both going close but Drumkill’s keeper Jeremy Treanor dealing with both shots comfortably. In the first half both defences had the best of it with John McAree and Patrick Kelly dealing with everything that was thrown at them and at the other end Emmet McElvaney and Colin Murphy were in the same form. Second half Killylough started well and moved the ball quickly. Gerard McCrudden picked it up in the middle of the park and played it into McCabe who turned and played a perfect ball through for Darren Quigley who poked the ball past the Drumkill keeper on 49min to take the lead. Drumkill got straight back into it and nearly levelled on the hour mark with Martin Kierans winning a free kick on the edge of the box just to see it slipping past the post. Killylough settled down and might have went two up when Darragh Stirrat arrived late at the back post only to see his header go narrowly wide. The rest of the half saw some excellent passing moves from both sides as the game was played in a great spirit and finished up 1-0.