COLLINSTOWN’S Dean Carpenter staked his claim for a place in the Republic of Ireland amateur side for the UEFA Regions Cup team as he lined out in both of their games this week against England.
Along with Bluebell United’s Gerry Bambrick, Carpenter is among the local players currently in the extended panel of 30-players which is set to be reduced to 18 on Saturday, September 27, prior to Ireland’s departure to the qualifying stage of the UEFA Regions Cup in Hungary. That takes place in October with games against Hungary, Lithuania and Israel.
Those England games followed two friendly games against Northern Ireland drawing 0-0 at home and winning 2-0 away as part of their ongoing build-up.
Against England’s UEFA Regions Cup representatives, coach Gerry Smith was given plenty to ponder. On Thursday, Ireland secured a 2-1 win over the English with Crumlin Utd’s James Lee and Greg Moorehouse firing in the goals with England’s Josh Kelly pulling one back in the second half with Carpenter coming off the bench for the tie.
The visitor had a much improved second half and questions were asked of the Irish defence in which Murray and Carrig were outstanding while upfront Thomas Dunne and Moorehouse were always dangerous on the break.
Carpenter played a similar role in the second tie on Saturday when a more workman- like English team that turned up and against a totally changed Irish team and left Whitehall with a 1-0 win when Ciaran McNulty stole in and scored against a flat-footed Irish defence in the 40th minute.
Carpenter’s profile-raising appearances come at a time when his club side is making massive waves in their bid for a first AUL Premier A club title. To that end, Collinstown have won six games out of six to start the new campaign, beating Trinity Donaghmede 3-0 to stay three points clear of St Paul’s Artane and six ahead of Sheriff YC.
Dylan Clarke, Gareth Brogan and Anto McCormack were all on the mark to continue their fine goal-scoring form, sharing top spot in the AUL scoring charts with four a piece for the campaign.
It is just Collinstown’s second season in the top division of the AUL having risen swiftly through the leagues and consolidated last season. They will now hope to make a prolonged push for the league after a heroic run in last year’s FAI Junior Cup, reaching the semi-finals of the biggest cup competition in Europe.
It came hot on the heels of six players from the club who were included in the AUL panel that beat Shamrock Rovers B.