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.

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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.

Small but Mighty, Carlow College St. Patricks ready for new soccer season

Pre-Season is well underway at Carlow College St. Patricks as the players return from a summer away from the pitch to write their wrongs from last season. As they dust off the cobwebs from their boots and step out onto the pitch, there is a murmer around the dressing room that maybe just maybe they can do well this year. The players will be quietly confident and why shouldn’t they be?

They were close but yet so far last season. Two points was all that separated them and a place in the quarter finals of Division Four. They looked promising at times, beating IT Carlow’s Wexford Campus team 6-2 and most who were present cannot forget the thumping 4-0 victory against Cork IT”s ‘D’ team in the first round of the Bob Eustace Cup that will live long in the player’s memories.

There were impressive performances from several players. Daniel O’Keeffe in the heart of the defence was ‘Player of the Year’ as he clattered into opposing strikers time and time again. Adam Colton was top scorer and when he got the ball at his feet, there would be few who would bet against him scoring. Craig Henderson was impressive on the wing as he skipped past opposing full-backs. On the other wing, Columb Sheridan was a constant threat, swinging in crosses that sailed over the heads of opposing centre backs and getting himself into a position to get onto the end of crosses from others. At times, Kevin Anthony was the glue that held the midfield together, the vital link between defence and attack.  Daniels Mackey and Greville at full back were constantly bombing up and down the flanks as they sought to stamp their influence on games. Kevin Nolan in goal was often the difference between the two teams, pulling off fine saves to deny opposing strikers.

Under the steady leadership of the Lawler brothers, the team will be quietly confident. Towards the end of last season, they had settled on a lineup which provided both balance and skill. The mixture of these more experienced players in the squad who have the experience of playing college soccer alongside some talented fresh blood fighting for a place in the team will prove key this campaign.

With their first game coming up next Thursday against Athlone IT, coach PJ Lawler is optimistic that they can do well. He says, ‘The team can be very successful. As a small college it is certainly tough competing against colleges who have a lot more students to pick from. I firmly believe that the lads can certainly get out of the group and into a semi final or final and we all know from there anything can happen. Realistically, it will be a success to get out of the group but if we do, the hard work will certainly not stop there.’

He reckons that hard work and an early start will be the key this season. ‘The key to our success this year will be the amount of work that occurs during training. The lads are a very committed bunch, but there certainly needs to be a lot of effort put out on the field. A good start in the group next week will also be important to ensure the confidence remains high and points are on the board from the start.’

With new Jersey sponsorship from Ger Brennan of RelyAbuild and half time refreshments being sponsored by ValuCentre Carlow, Carlow College St. Patricks will be hoping for a successful season.

5 Talking Points From this Weekend’s Premier League Action

  1. Where was Batshuayi?

    Chelsea started the game against Manchester City in a 3-5-2 formation with Eden Hazard starting up front with the in-form Alvaro Morata. This was a decision which baffled many fans as Hazard is a midfield player usually. The decision seemed even stranger considering the form of Michy Batshuayi who seems to just be used as a squad player at the moment. When Morata got injured early in the first half and had to be replaced, it was Willian rather than Batshuayi that came on, leaving Chelsea without a recognised striker. This apparent distrust of Batshuayi will be of concern to Chelsea fans as they try to defend their Premier League crown especially if Morata’s injury proves to be long-term.

  2. Huddersfield will struggle against the bigger teams.

    This was evident on Saturday when Harry Kane and his Tottenham side ripped through their defence to win 4-0. Their defence will not be able to cope when it comes up against world-class forwards. Prior to this game, their defence had yet to come under pressure which is evident in the fact that they had only conceded three goals in their first six games. However, they ought to still do quite well and will still probably end up in the top half of the table, a remarkable achievement.

  3. West Brom are flying under the radar

    West Brom have gone from strength to strength under Tony Pulis in the past couple of seasons. They finished tenth last season, a change to battling against relegation as had been the case since they got promoted from the Championship a few seasons ago. This season they are flying high in the top half of the table again. However, they seem to be doing it quietly with many failing to realise their rise with the likes of Watford and Huddersfield defying many people’s expectations. However, after they earned a 2-2 draw against fellow high-flyers Watford, many will sit up and take notice of the Baggies.

  4. Rashford shows his potential

    The case of Marcus Rashford is a curious one. Many will argue that he has the potential to be the next big English striker and form a deadly partnership with Harry Kane. When he came into the team two years ago due to injuries to all of United’s other strikers, he scored twice on his debut and went on to score nine goals in full that season. Since then however, he has been played out of position on the wing, frustrating many fans of the talented youngster. He showed his potential against Crystal Palace on Saturday where he got two assists and many fans will be optimistic as to his future.

What’s happened to Bournemouth?

Last season, Bournemouth were one of the surprise packages, finishing ninth. This season, they can’t seem to find to find that form that made them so successful last season and are currently battling it out in the relegation zone with only three points from their first seven games. Fans will seem confused by the change in fortunes for the South Coast club. Eddie Howe will want to rectify this quickly to avoid getting sacked.

Bagenalstown Cricket Club reaching new heights

At 175 years old, Bagenalstown Cricket Club is the second oldest Cricket club in the country and has had its highs and lows during this time. From not being able to field enough players to make up two teams just a few years ago, to having all three of their teams promoted from their respective divisions this season, their story is that of a fairy tale.  In recent years, it has gone from strength to strength.

Back in 2015, the first team won Division 8 and got promoted to Division 7 and there would have been high hopes for more success the following season. However, the 2016 season was just not to be with the team in redevelopment stage, trying to bring through some talented youngsters. This season though there were no such problems with the youngsters maturing and starting to turn their potential into match winning performances. Thanks to the hard work put into the team and the enthusiasm brought by new captain, Bernard O’Mara, the club got promoted to Division 6 and are still within a chance of becoming Division 7 champions. Marcel Bruns starred for them with the bat, getting 380 runs with an average of 63.33 and got his maiden century whilst Shane O’Neill (22 wickets at an average of 18.45) and Sunny Charles (21 wickets at an average of 11.67) starred with the ball in their hand.

The story of the second team is a fascinating one. They were also promoted and got to the Minor Cup Final for the second year in a row. Club spokesperson, Mat Baker, remembers a time when things weren’t looking so great for them. ‘In 2013, serious discussions took place about the club withdrawing its second team from the Leinster Cricket Union. We were sometimes struggling to get a second team out, and I remember a long trip out to Slieve Bloom with nine players. It’s a long way to go to get an inevitable beating’. This makes their exploits all the greater. The following season, they were relegated by two divisions. Things started to pick up for them in 2015 with them finally getting promoted to Division 13. 2016 saw them kick on from there and win the Minor Cup, the first ever Leinster trophy for the club. They also finished strongly in the league. That brings us on to this season. They again got to the Minor Cup Final and were promoted again. Shohab Ali Taj was the top scorer with the bat scoring 207 runs with an average of 34.5 whilst Ismail Mohammad starred with the ball in his hand finishing the season with a tally of 18 wickets at an average of 7.83.

The Third Team came into existence back in 2015 and endured a difficult first season. Their aim was to simply get through the season as they struggled to get eleven players out onto the pitch at times and lost all fourteen of their games. However, things started to pick up for them in 2016 as they won their first ever game and finished comfortably mid table, even flirting with a promotion push at one stage. 2017 however, was the making of them. With a mixture of experience in the form of some older players who just want to play Cricket and youth in the shape of players just starting out in the game, they managed to earn themselves promotion as champions. There were strong performances from Mat Baker who shone with the ball, getting 21 wickets at an average of 10.76, including 8/21, the best figures of anybody across the 16 divisions this season, and Rana Riaz who was the top performer with the bat, scoring 148 runs with an average of 74.

From struggling to field two teams each week to having three teams promoted in just four years, it’s safe to say that it has been an eventful few seasons for the small little club from a small little parish in the heart of the countryside of Co. Carlow. The club wishes to thank everybody that made this season so special for them from the players to the Chairman, Diarmuid Power, Secretary, Michael Dick, Groundsman and Treasurer, Sean Farrell, Communications Officer, Mat Baker and the families of the players for all their support and patience. It’s safe to say that this little club has a great future ahead of it and if you would like to be part of that, whether you’re young or old, a man or woman, please contact the club on their Facebook page, Bagenalstown Cricket Club or email baggiescc@gmail.com.

4 Sporting Events to Look Forward To…..

  1. Carabao Cup Third Round

    The League Cup returns with it’s latest sponsor, Carabao, this week. The League Cup offers managers a chance to rest players with crucial Premier League and Champions League fixtures approaching in the coming weeks. It is exciting to see the next generation of players coming through and how they fare against some of the teams from lower divisions. The televised games from the Carabao Cup this week are Liverpool vs Leicester on Tuesday and Manchester United vs Burton Albion. Both games take place from 7.45 on Sky Sports Football and Main Event.

  2. Leinster vs Cheetahs

    Having beaten the Southern Kings last week in the first ever Pro-12 game to take place in South Africa, Leinster face more South African opposition in the shape of the Toyota Cheetahs. Leinster have so far had a comfortable start to the season, winning each of their three games with a bonus point victory and so will be hoping for more of the same. The Cheetahs have so far struggled to make their mark in the Pro 14 tournament, losing their first two games by big margins but pulled off their first victory of the season against Zebre and will therefore have momentum going into their clash with the Irish side. Cheetahs vs Leinster is on from 7.00 on Sky Sports Action.

  3. Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley

    The Baltimore Ravens take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week at Wembley in the International Series. This will be great for any NFL fans this side of the pond to see some of the US heavyweights taking each other on at a reasonable time. The Jaguars have had a mixed start to the season so far, winning one and losing one whereas the Ravens have enjoyed a relatively successful start, winning two from two. Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars is on from 2.00 on Sky Sports Action.

  4. All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final

    Their men’s teams went head to head last week in a tight, close game. Now the Dublin and Mayo women go head to head on Sunday. Dublin will be the favourites to do the men’s and women’s double, having cruised past Kerry in the semi-final but Mayo have been impressive this season, coming through the qualifiers, recording impressive victories along the way which will make this an intriguing contest. Dublin vs Mayo is on from 4.00.