Cabinteely’s defence scrambles to try and block a Shelbourne chance. Picture: Maurice Frazer/Shels Photos

LOI First Division
Cabinteely 1
Shelbourne 0

Cabinteely remain hot on the heels of First Division leaders Longford Town as they scored a second successive league victory of the season over Shelbourne on Friday night at Stradbrook.

In a season of firsts, in which Cabo have led the league outright for the first time in their short history in senior football, the result made it a record-breaking six games unbeaten for the club. Striker Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters scored the only goal of the game after just two minutes and Pat Devlin’s side withstood a barrage of pressure to hold out for three points.

The talismanic Waters lined up on the wing alongside Keith Dalton in behind the league’s top scorer Rob Manley, and all three were involved in the decisive goal.

Dalton fed a pass through for Manley, who saw his shot saved at point-blank range by Colin McCabe, before Waters smashed in the rebound.

The early drama wasn’t to end there, however, as 18-year-old Vilius Labutis hauled down James English in the box and referee David Dunne pointed straight to the spot.

The usually-flawless Lorcan Fitzgerald stepped up to take the spot-kick but his poorly-struck effort was parried clear by Cabo netminder Stephen McGuinness.

McGuinness was on top form once again midway through the half as Ciaran Kilduff rose to meet Fitzgerald’s corner, but the former Bray Wanderers stopper pushed the ball onto the bar.

Ryan Brennan looked to prod home the loose ball but a number of Cabo defenders crowded him out and forced the ball clear.
Brennan played in Karl Moore for another gilt-edged chance shortly after but, having beaten McGuinness, the winger saw Conor Keeley scamper back to clear off the line.

Shels had a goal disallowed for offside early in the first half, and former league winner with Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, Kilduff, shot wastefully at McGuinness.

The visitors continued to press through six minutes of injury time but Cabo held on to remain in second place, a point behind Longford with one game more played.

Cabo’s opponents next week just happen to be the league leaders, away at City Calling Stadium, and manager Pat Devlin is relishing the challenge.

“I’m pleased and now I’m looking forward to next week in Longford,” Devlin told the club’s media team. I can’t wait for it.

“I think it’s a fantastic game for us. I think it’s the type of game we relish, and we have absolutely no fear. We’re looking forward to it and we’re going to give them one hell of a game.

“I know that for a fact. I don’t have to ask those lads to give me everything – they are giving me everything.

“Once they give me everything, I have no fear. I absolutely think we’ll go down there and beat them.”