Collins’ in pole position

by Gazette Reporter
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COLLINSTOWN’S AUL Senior Saturday side are on the cusp of the Myles O’Neill Cup final after a first leg draw with Kilbarrack United at Greendale Road last weekend.
The return leg will be played at Collinstown College on Saturday, May 28 and the hosts will go into the game as favourites after last weekend’s performance and home advantage.
Going into last Saturday’s game, Collinstown had a draw and a defeat on their record in league duty against Kilbarrack this term but, based on their display, they have nothing to fear in the second leg.
Collinstown, previous winners of this cup in 2013, were much the better side for large parts of the game against Kilbarrack but could have lost it after some late drama.
However, late goals for either side mean Saturday’s decider is evenly poised and should be a cracking game.
In the first half, the game started at a good pace with Collinstown playing the more attractive football, with the hosts content to play the long ball up to their big man up top.
Collinstown had a few half chances saved by the Kilbarrack net-minder before their best chance of the first period went the wrong side of the post.
Mikey Griffin played a superb ball over the top to Jason Byrne who pulled it back to Carl Grant but his strike was fractionally wide.
In the second half, Collinstown again started brighter and kept the ball on the deck. They continued to threaten the Kilbarrack goal but found that all important goal elusive.
As the game entered the closing stages, Collinstown were pushing on for a winner but disaster struck as they were caught on the break.
A ball over the top was raced onto by Kevin Dunne and the big striker found the top corner with a thunderbolt.
Collinstown though continued to battle and despite being down to 10 men due to an injury and all substitutes used, they got their reward in the 90th minute when Jason Byrne got on the end of a free kick to guide the ball right-footed into the top corner from 15 yards, sealing the draw.
Speaking after the game Collinstown manager Derek Byrne said he is confident going into Satruday’s second leg.
“The whole team was disappointed to only come away with a draw on Saturday after how well we played.
“If we get more of the same from the team this weekend I would expect us to get to the final.
“We have a good young and talented side and I would be confident of progressing” said the young manager.

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