Carlow College St. Pats Go Down Fighting

Rathmines College of Further Education 3
Carlow College, St. Patrick’s 2

It was a case of so close but yet so far for Carlow College, St. Patrick’s in the Quarter-Finals of Division Four as they came within minutes of taking Rathmines to Extra-Time. Goals from Kevin Sanz, Brian Sofola and Jack Moore put the home side 3-0 up and in control. However, the Carlow team did not give up and fought back through Columb Sheridan and Shane Murphy to make it 3-2 but time was against them as the final whistle blew.

The game started off brightly with both teams having chances. The away team had the best of the early chances as Chris Conway’s free kick was headed over the bar and Craig Henderson had a shot blocked. Daniel Mackey blocked a shot from the Rathmines forward, Brian Sofola. Carlow College, St. Patrick’s came closest to opening the scoring midway through the first half as the Rathmines keeper only just palmed Dan Greville’s shot from the halfway line from a rebounded free kick over the bar. However, it was Rathmines who took the lead as Kevin Sanz got onto the end of a corner just before half-time.

There were a number of half chances from both sides at the start of the half but it was the Carlow side who almost scored first as Kevin Anthony’s shot went narrowly wide. Sanz went close too as he was one on one with Kevin Nolan who came off his line and cleared the danger. Rathmines got their first midway through the half as Brian Sofola got onto the end of a long ball from the midfield. They got their second just two minutes later as Conway slipped and failed to pick up his marker, leaving Jack Moore with a clear shot at goal. With five minutes left in the game, Columb Sheridan got onto the end of a Kevin Anthony ball and put it in the back of the net. This seemed to rally them on as four minutes later, Shane Murphy scored after a scramble for the ball to make it 3-2. However, try as they did, time was against them and the final whistle blew on their chances of reaching the Semi-Final.

Carlow College, St. Patrick’s: Kevin Nolan, Daniel Greville, Daniel Mackey, Chris Conway, Darren Fortune, Shane Murphy, Adam Connor, Columb Sheridan, Kevin Anthony, Craig Henderson, Adam Colton. Subs: Adam Bazziz, David Kilkelly, Philip Flynn.


Coutinho to sign for Barcelona

One of the longest running transfer sagas is set to come to an end tonight as Barcelona have agreed a €145 million deal with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho, who joined the club in 2013 from Inter Milan for a measly €8.5 million, has fast turned into one of the Premier League’s best attacking midfielders. His ability to score from outside the box and set up others earned him a lucrative move away from Anfield and makes him the second most expensive player in the world.

At Liverpool this season, he found himself slightly out of position as part of a front three alongside Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho at different stages of the season and scored twelve goals in nineteen appearances. He came through the youth system at Vasco da Gama in Brazil and found himself called up to the Brazil u-15’s squad. He was then bought by Inter Milan for €4 million but stayed with Vasco as he was only 16 and Italian FA rules state that nobody under the age of 18 can play first team football. He became a regular in the first team at Vasco and was an integral part of their Serie B win in 2009 whilst in 2010 he made 31 appearances, scoring five goals in the process.

He completed his move to Inter in the summer of 2010 and struggled to adapt, scoring just one goal and one assist in all competitions from 34 appearances. The following season was the same and his disappointing form saw him sent to Espanyol on loan where he scored five goals in sixteen appearances. On his return to Inter the following season he made 23 appearances and scored three goals. His form attracted the attention of Liverpool who bought him in January of 2013. He scored three goals and provided six assists in his fourteen appearances before the end of the season. His first goal came on his full debut against Swansea. He received the player of the month award for March of that year as he made his name in the Premier League.

He was injured at the start of the 2013/14 season and was out for two months but that didn’t stop him from making an impact as he scored another five goals and set up seven. The following season saw him improve on that tally by scoring eight goals and assisting five in all competitions. He went on to get the club’s Player of the Season award that season. He was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Season and PFA Young Player of the Season awards that season. In 2015/16, he took his goal tally into double figures and provided seven assists and was starting to prove the €8.5 million they paid for him a bargain. He was an integral part of the club’s League Cup and Europa League runs that season and was again nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Season award. He was constantly improving and improved his stats again as he scored fourteen goals and assisted eight. This saw him become the all-time leading Brazillian scorer in the Premier League and promting Barcelona bid €72 million for him in the summer. When this was rejected, Coutinho handed in a transfer request but Liverpool turned down two new improved bids. They then came back in for him in January to help shore up their forwards line.

Carlow College knocked out of Cup

Cork IT ‘D’ 2
Carlow College St. Pats 1

Carlow College St. Pats were knocked out of the CFAI Eustace Cup last week by a Cork IT ‘D’ side who finished bottom of their group in the League. Discipline was an issue for the Carlow side who found themselves frustrated at the way the game was going. Adam Colton gave them the lead midway through the first half after Craig Henderson played him in on the left hand side and it was all downhill from there with chances that ordinarily would have been converted, missing the back of the net.

The game started brightly with both teams having half chances. The first real opportunity of the game came when Kevin Nolan saved from Dean Sexton of Cork. The Carlow side had their first chance when Shane Murphy shot wide from Colton’s pass. Carlow College continued to press during the first half and went close when Colton tried a shot and it was saved before Murphy hit the rebound and Owen McLoughlin in goal collected it. Nathan O’Mahony also shot at Nolan shortly before the goal. Cork had a hat-trick of chances after the goal with Craig Sukis and Eoin Kelly having opportunities cleared by Chris Conway and the Carlow defence, and Simon O’Shea shooting wide. Colton had an opportunity to double Carlow College’s lead when he shot straight at McLoughlin from Adam Connor’s free kick.

Cork IT equalised just before half time when O’Mahony was fouled by two Carlow defenders in the box and they were awarded a penalty which he then slotted to the right of Nolan. Cork started the second half the best and had an early opportunity to take the lead when Alex O’Brien hit O’Mahony’s shot wide. They then took the lead ten minutes after half time when Sexton shot and the ball bounced off Nolan and into the goal. The rest of the half saw fewer chances as the two teams cancelled each other out. 

The action continued right to the end as Kevin Anthony found himself one on one with McLoughlin but could not find the back of the net whilst Conway had a shot deflected off a defender at the death. There was a scramble at the very end with Carlow College pushing everybody up in search of an equaliser but it was ultimately not enough as the Cork defence dealt with the danger. Sexton almost made it three for Cork when he shot at goal but it was easily cleared by Columb Sheridan.

Carlow College St. Patricks- Kevin Nolan, Columb Sheridan, Daniel Mackey, Chris Conway, Darren Fortune, Adam Connor, Shane Murphy, Craig Henderson, Kevin Anthony, Adam Bazziz, Adam Colton. Subs: Daniel Greville, Sergei Kapik

Henderson Shines as Carlow College St. Pats Reach Quarter-Finals

Carlow IT (Wexford Campus) 1

Carlow College St. Pats 1

‘The hard work only starts now’, said coach PJ Lawler as Craig Henderson struck late on in the game to send Carlow College St. Patricks through to the Quarter Finals of Division Four of the Colleges and Universities Football League at IT Carlow grounds last week. He said that ‘we have a few weeks to prepare for what is bound to be a very tough Quarter-Final’, stressing that ‘the players are well up for it’.

Carlow College were slow to get into the game with the early chances falling to Wexford Campus. However, Danny O’Keeffe and Adam Connor in defence particularly were excellent in closing down the Wexford Campus attack. As the half went on, Carlow College started to put together chances of their own but could not seem to find the target at all. Their best chance came after fifteen minutes when Adam Colton was fouled inside the box and they were awarded a penalty. Columb Sheridan stepped up to take it but Jamie Hawthorn in goal went the right way to deny him.

Wexford Campus had their best chance of the half shortly after when Leigh Wilson got onto the end of a cross from Kevin Li. which had been deflected into his path by O’Keeffe but hit it straight at Kevin Nolan in goal. O’Keeffe was on hand again just minutes later to slide in and stop what would be a certain goal when Barry O’Driscoll found himself one on one with the keeper.

Carlow College came out in the Second Half looking like a different team and they looked closest to scoring as they especially found joy from the boot of Sheridan from the corner flag with attempts either going over the bar or slightly wide. Twenty minutes into the half, Carlow College had a chance to take the lead when Colton’s shot hit off the post and went out. Adam O’Grady went close at the other end when Nolan palmed his effort over the bar.

The first goal of the game came after 75 minutes when Henderson got onto the end of a pass from Kevin Anthony on the left hand side and shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net to put Carlow College into the lead. However, the celebrations were short-lived as Wexford Campus found an equaliser when Sean McNamara headed the ball in at the far post.

Carlow College: Kevin Nolan, Columb Sheridan, Daniel Mackey, Danny O’Keeffe, Darren Fortune, Adam Connor, Kevin Anthony, Adam Bazziz, Shane Murphy, Craig Henderson, Adam Colton. Subs: Kenny Ajike, Daniel Greville

Carlow College Secure Victory

Carlow College 3

Colaíste Íde ‘B’ 0

As the sun beat down on the grounds of Carlow College last Thursday, the pressure was on the home side to perform as they faced a team yet to suffer defeat in Division Four of the college’s league. Goals from captain, Adam Colton, Daniel Mackey and Kevin Anthony were enough to set up a clash against IT Carlow’s Wexford Campus next week for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

It was Íde who started the game the brightest as they had a couple of half chances early on. An early free kick from the halfway line was headed away by Anthony and Ian Brunton’s cross into the box from the left hand side found nobody in yellow. However, it was Carlow who drew first blood when Anthony was taken down in the box and Colton slotted the resulting penalty in the top right hand corner of the net. It was quite an even game with both teams having chances to score in the first half. 

Jamie Dowling came very close to scoring when his shot hit off the post and was cleared by the Carlow defence on the half hour mark. Carlow College St. Pats had a close chance of their own when a Columb Sheridan corner narrowly missed the head of O’Keeffe in the box who had towered over his marker just before half-time. Colaíste Íde were unlucky not to score on the stoke of half time when a Dowling free kick was cleared by Adam Connor in the wall and O’Shea’s corner was narrowly headed over by Brandon Mulvey. 

It took just four minutes after half time for Mill Celtic player, Mackey to make it 2-0 when he got onto the end of a pass from Connor and found his way to the edge of the box on the left hand side to shoot past Adam Davis in goal. The second half saw fewer chances as the two teams tired. With just fifteen minutes left, Kevin Anthony picked up on a pass from Adam Bazziz and made his way down the pitch and just had the keeper to beat to make it 3-0. 

Coach PJ Lawler said afterwards that the players ‘left everything on the pitch’ and that hard work is ‘what won the game today’. He also said that ‘it’s great to be involved with these bunch of players.’

Carlow College: Kevin Nolan, Columb Sheridan, Daniel Mackey, Daniel O’Keeffe, Darren Fortune, Adam Connor, Shane Murphy, Craig Henderson, Kevin Anthony, Adam Bazziz, Adam Colton. Subs: Daniel Greville, David Kilkelly, Kenny Ajike, Phillip Flynn, Sergei Kapik.

Home Nations set to kick off Autumn Internationals Series

November is typically a huge month for Rugby with the Southern Hemisphere teams making the trip up to face the Northern Hemisphere teams in a gruelling four week battle. Due to the difference in their seasons, the games are usually very close. The Northern Hemisphere team’s players are two months into their seasons by this stage usually and their players are starting to hit form whilst the Southern Hemisphere teams are at the end of their seasons and are coming off their back of their Rugby Championship tournament and so are therefore tired, making it an intriguing contest.

Six Nations champions, England kick off their campaign against a rising South American outfit in Argentina on Saturday before an Australian team who were the only team to beat world champions and world number one, New Zealand in the Rugby Championship this year and a big hitting Samoan side make the trip to Twickenham.

Ireland, the only team to beat England in this year’s Six Nations tournament, welcome a South Africa side in transition to the Aviva in their first game before the Pacific Islanders, Fiji and an Argentina side who lost every single match of the Rugby Championship this year following their 2-0 series defeat in the summer by England visit the home of Irish Rugby.

Warren Gatland’s Wales side struggled in this year’s Six Nations and with the new eligibility rule regarding players playing for clubs outside of Wales, they will be most likely missing some key players as they face Michael Cheika’s Australia team at the Prinicpality stadium next week. The big hitting Georgian side, world number one, New Zealand and South Africa are all also due to visit the famous Welsh stadium.

Scotland were the surprise package in this year’s Six Nations tournament, ending it undefeated at home. With a new head coach in the shape of Gregor Townsend and Glasgow Warriors, featuring several Scottish players, having so far yet to lose a game in the Guinness Pro-14 tournament, will be looking to replicate that form when Samoa make the trip to Murrayfield on Saturday before they face off against the All-Blacks in what will really be a test of how far they have come and an Australian side who are starting to find a bit of form.

Carlow College St. Pats cruise through to Second Round of Bob Eustace Cup

Carlow College St. Pats 7

Athlone IT ‘D’ 1

A dominant performance from Carlow College saw them put seven goals past Athlone IT ‘D’ in the first round of the Bob Eustace Cup last Wednesday. There were goals for Kevin Anthony (3), Adam Colton (2), Columb Sheridan and Adam Connor whilst CJ Isayes scored a consolation goal for Athlone IT in what was a high scoring game.

Carlow College started the game the brightest and after just two minutes, Adam Colton curled in Kevin Anthony’s through ball to open the scoring. Carlow College had a few attempts on goal as the half went on. The best chance of the game probably came after ten minutes when Shane Murphy’s cross on the right hand side narrowly missed Craig Henderson at the far post.

Anthony was on hand to score the second goal when he was played in by Adam Colton in the middle midway through the first half. Probably Athlone’s best chance of the game came when Idris Hamzat’s corner found Malachee Mac Gormeir in the box but it was dealt with by the Carlow defence. Colton made it three just before half time when he got onto the end of Kevin Nolan’s goal kick and dribbled down the left wing past the Athlone defence to score at the near post. The teams had barely had a chance to get settled again when Anthony got onto the end of a Sheridan through ball and make it 4-0. Athlone struggled to make inroads, resorting to kicking the ball in the air into Isayes up front but it was easily dealt with by the Carlow defence.

Six minutes into the second half, Sheridan came in off his wing to put Anthony’s cross in the back of the net to make it 5-0. Carlow College took their foot off the gas a little bit in the second half and struggled to put chances together. Henderson looked closest to scoring as he twice had shots saved by Joyce in goal. Athlone went close as Isayes and Cyril Donohue went close with shots but were dealt with by Nolan. They did score fifteen minutes before the end as Isayes’s free kick found its way into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Adam Connor hit Henderson’s pass from 35 yeards out into the top corner and Anthony just needed to tap Sheridan’s cross into the net for his hat-trick late on in the game to round off the scoring.

Captain Fantastic spurs Carlow College St. Pats to Victory

Athlone IT ‘D’ 0

Carlow College St. Pats 2

Carlow College St. Pats manager PJ Lawler said he was ‘very proud of the way the team bounced back from having lost 4-1 to Griffith College on Monday’ as they stormed to a 2-0 victory against Athlone IT ‘D’ last Thursday. Captain, Adam Colton was on hand to score both of the college’s goals. 

Carlow College St. Pats dominated the early possession and it took just six minutes for Adam Colton to volley in Shane Murphy’s through ball past the keeper who had come out to try and clear it. Finishing was a problem for the visitors and as a result were restricted to half chances. Colton dribbled the ball down the wing but let it get away from him into the keeper and a couple of minutes later, he was on hand to cross into the box but there was nobody there to meet it. 

Athlone had a rare opportunity when a Columb Sheridan corner was not picked up by a Carlow College St. Pats player and it was left for Athlone to break. It was dealt with by a combination of Darren Fortune and Daniel Mackey at the back and sent out for a corner. The resulting corner was sent into the box and found Conor Kelly who could only put it wide under pressure from Dan Greville in the Carlow College St. Pats defence. The visitors went close on several occasions in the first half as Craig Henderson and Adam Bazziz both had shots saved by the keeper and Kevin Anthony was dispossessed on the edge of the 18-yard box. Sandwiched in between these chances was a cross into the box from Athlone full back, Ben Gowran, which was collected by Kevin Nolan in goal. 

As the half went on, Carlow College St. Pats continued to dominate and had the better of the chances. Murphy on the right hand side found Colton but the ball was put out by the Athlone defence for a corner, Anthony’s free kick on the left hand side on the halfway line hit off Bazziz and back into Anthony who tried to cross it back into the box but was forced off the ball and Colton was found offside. Brandon Campbell tried a long shot  on the half hour mark but it was not enough to trouble Nolan in goal. 

As half-time approached, it looked as if Carlow College would get the next goal as they continued to apply pressure on the Athlone backline. Henderson crossed into Bazziz but it was collected by Jouni Arlin in goal, Colton tried a long shot from the halfway line on the right hand side which went just over, an Anthony free kick was hit straight at the keeper, Colton tried to chip Arlin when he saw him off his line but he made it back in time, Henderson once again tried a shot but narrowly missed the target and Colton hit the rebound straight at the keeper whilst Bazziz had a shot on the stroke of half time and missed. There was also a chance for Gowran whose shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was straight at Nolan. 

Carlow College St. Pats started the second half the way they ended the first and it was soon 2-0 after the captain struck again to head Anthony’s free kick into the back of the net. However, the second half produced less chances. As the hour mark approached, Athlone had their best chance of the game when the ball was crossed into Sean Moran just inside the box and he had a shot but Nolan dived low to stop it. Mackey blocked a cross from Lewis Gwei minutes later. After that it was all Carlow College St. Pats as they continued to press. The most notable chances of the half fell to Kevin Anthony as his free kick was stopped by the keeper and his cross into Adam Colton was also stopped.

Carlow College suffer Early Loss

Carlow College St. Patricks 1

Griffith College 4

The score does not tell the story of the match as for nearly sixty minutes, it was quite an even game. For long periods, the visitors enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not seem to find their way through a rugged, determined Carlow College St. Patricks back line. The visitors were by far the better team but often found it difficult to put a move together. More often than not, crosses from corners and free kicks went over the heads of everybody in the box and often only found the blue and white of Carlow College St. Patricks. However, the home side were not much better. They struggled to get the ball to Adam Colton and Adam Bazziz up front and were frustrated by a well-organised and disciplined defence.

Griffith College dominated the early possession and it took only a minute for them to have their first chance on goal when Sebastian Endriss got the ball just outside the box only for him to shoot over the bar. They had a couple of half chances as Nasir Shevaiba shot wide twice and Jack Kinsella’s free kick from the right hand side missed everybody and went out for a goal kick. Carlow College enjoyed their first opportunity just moments later as a Kevin Anthony free kick found Kenny Ajike in the box but it was easily cleared by the Griffith defence.

The visitors started to threaten after this and had a goal ruled offside before a free kick from Kinsella hit the wall and was easily cleared. They had a glorious opportunity to score just moments later as goalkeeper Kevin Nolan pulled off a fine save to deny Alex Duff who headed in a free kick from Kinsella on the left hand side. However, they weren’t kept at bay for long as Endriss put Shevaiba’s cross from the left hand side, into the far post.

Both teams were restricted to half chances after the goal but nothing came of them as Kinsella struggled to find the target, shooting wide twice whilst a free kick from the right hand side went over the head of everybody in the box. An Ajike corner for the home side was also easily cleared. Carlow College St. Patricks equalised through Adam Colton on the half hour mark as he calmly slotted a penalty to the right of James Collier after Columb Sheridan was fouled by Alan McLoughlin. Substitute Craig Henderson had a chance to put Carlow College in front a few minutes later when he was found in space on the left of the goal but could only shoot over. The visitors had a number of half chances in the run up to half time but none looked like they would trouble Nolan in goal. On the stroke of half time, substitute Adam Bazziz linked up well with Adam Colton in a promising move that ended which Colton struggled to finish.

It was the home side who started off the second half the brightest with an Anthony cross from Adam Connor’s free kick getting cleared by the Griffith defence. Bazziz was at the heart of everything for the home side. HIs link up movement with Anthony just moments later found Colton but he couldn’t finish before he failed to get onto the end of Colton’s through ball. Griffith College slowly got back into the game as Endriss forced Nolan into a save. Their second goal followed just moments later as Shevaiba scored from just inside the box to put them back into the lead. It wasn’t long before a third followed through Jack Kinsella to put the game to bed. The game was gone at that stage and that was evident in the attitude of the away side who struggled to put a coherent move together until their fourth goal ten minutes later. Robin Oehninger got the ball in front of the goal on the left hand side and had an easy tap in after Nolan had come out to try and clear away a ball on the edge of the box.

Carlow College St. Patricks did not give up though and continued to fight and search for a way back into the game. Henderson had a shot saved whilst Bazziz attempted to cross into the box but there was nobody there to meet it.

The Meteoric Rise of Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has made a name for himself in recent seasons as one of the brightest young players in Europe. However, under Jose Mourinho, he has been deployed as a winger rather than as a striker where he had originally started out. This has frustrated many Manchester United fans and pundits who believe that he would do better playing up front. There have even been calls for him to go out on loan and get some valuable experience at another Premier League club. However, that is unlikely to happen with Rashford having become such a key player on the wing, scoring four goals and getting five assists in all competitions so far this season. However, regardless of where he plays, his rise to being such a crucial member of the United team is an interesting one.

He joined Manchester United’s acdemy at seven years old, having played for Fletcher Moss Rangers for two years previously. At the age of sixteen, he was selected for a Youth Cup tie as the lone striker for the first time, having previously played as a number ten. He went onto nail down that position as he scored four goals in ten starts that season. He impressed all who were present and he became the key man for the u-18’s the following season when Demetri Mitchell got injured and scored 13 goals in 25 games. His set-piece prowess also became evident as he netted a free-kick against Tottenham.

His goals then earned himself a call-up to the u-21’s as well as a substitute appearance for the Reserve team. He scored his first goal for the u-21’s in a 6-1 victory against Leicester. HIs meteoric rise continued when he made his debut against Midtjylland in the Europa League in February of that season. He scored two goals in the game and manager at the time, Louis Van Gaal commented that he had so much energy and he was running too much in the first half of that game. He became the youngest ever player to score for Manchester United in a European competition. When he made his Premier League debut against Arsenal that weekend, he also scored two goals and provided an assist, making him the third youngest player to score for Manchester United in the league. He became a hero a month later when he scored the only goal in the Manchester derby.

His good form led to him being called up for England against Australia in a friendly at the end of the season. He scored after two minutes and earned himself a seat on the plane to France for the European Championships. He was a substitute in games agaisnt Wales and Iceland and his quality was evident. The 2016-2017 season saw him struggle as he was deployed on the wing with the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He only scored eleven goals in 53 appearances in all competitions. He has started the current season in great form, having scored four goals and provided five assists so far in all competitions. He scored on his Champion’s League debut against Basel and got his first competitive goal for England in a 2-1 victory over Slovakia in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

So it is evident that whatever posititon Rashford is playing, he is one of Europe’s brightest young stars and just like his meteoric rise through the ranks at Old Trafford, his future is bright and he will be leading the line for both United and England for many years to come.