Fas­saroe ti­tle dreams re­main on course

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN At Bal­ly­waltrim

BAL­LY­WALTRIM 1 Deevlin 12 FAS­SAROE YC 2 K. Byrne 2, Kelly 45+1 DIVI­SION 1 FAS­SAROE YC’S ti­tle dreams re­main on course af­ter they sur­vived a stern test against a youth­ful Bal­ly­waltrim FC side on Sun­day morn­ing.

The Divi­sion 1 lead­ers must have been lick­ing their lips in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a rout when Keith Byrne blasted them ahead af­ter just a minute and 30 sec­onds of the con­test.

But they were quickly pegged back by a su­perb goal from Dar­ren Devlin when the winger cut in­side his man and smashed an un­stop­pable ef­fort into the bot­tom cor­ner of Daniel Gaynor’s net.

The match ebbed and flowed and both sides had chances to grab the lead but Dan Kelly snatched what proved to be the win­ning goal on the stroke of half-time when he poked home from close range.

Af­ter a minute’s silent was held for Frank O’Toole – part­ner of Fas­saroe YC sec­re­tary Ma­rina Gaskin – the match ex­ploded into life when with a lit­tle un­der 90 sec­onds played, Keith Byrne picked the ball up in space and ri­fled home a 20-yard drive that flew into the net.

It wasn’t an ideal start for the hosts, but they im­me­di­ately be­gan search­ing for a lev­eller and al­most got it in the fifth minute.

Brazil­ian An­to­nio Thi­ago found livewire Paddy O’Brien on the edge of the box and the played a light­ning quick one-two with Barry Hanna but couldn’t beat Gaynor with his 15-yard ef­fort.

Gaynor was beaten – and in spec­tac­u­lar style – seven min­utes later. Hanna fed Dar­ren Devlin and the mid­fielder ap­peared to pose lit­tle threat stand­ing out on the left. But he shipped the ball in­side quickly, bam­boo­zling the Fas­saroe de­fender and un­leashed an unerring drive that whis­tled into the back of the net from 22 yards.

Dan Kelly then spurned a golden chance to re­store his side’s lead on 17 min­utes. Man of the match John Gaughan feigned to shoot be­fore thread­ing the ball through for Keith Byrne. The striker drew out Bal­ly­waltrim goal­keeper Brian O’Toole be­fore slip­ping it in­side to Kelly but the striker fluffed his lines and some­how con­trived to slice harm­lessly off tar­get.

Kelly’s strike part­ner had the next chance of the match. Mark O’Sullivan pumped in a cross from deep that Keith Byrne rose to meet but the num­ber nine’s glanced header fin­ished the wrong side of the far post.

Kelly had an­other half-chance to get him­self on the score­sheet three min­utes be­fore the break when a sliced clear­ance bounced kindly for him but he was un­able to pun­ish the mis­take. And then, just as it looked like his luck in front of goal had run out, the young­ster struck what proved to be the de­ci­sive blow.

Lee Maloney’s in­swing­ing cor­ner from the right caused trou­ble in the Bal­ly­waltrim area and when it fell to Kelly six yards from goal, he didn’t need ask­ing twice as he promptly prod­ded it home much to his own re­lief.

Fas­saroe thought they had stretched their lead in the 56th minute. Wayne Byrne’s launched free-kick was flicked on by brother Keith and then steered home by Ross O’Brien – a half-time re­place­ment for Kelly – but ref­eree Dave Jame­son ruled out the goal for an off­side against O’Brien.

With the home side push­ing for a re­ply, Fas­saroe were pre­sented with chances on the break and it was from one such break that they should have added a third.

Af­ter break­ing into the Bal­ly­waltrim half, Keith Byrne played a give-and-go with O’Brien; burst­ing into the box as he col­lected the re­turn pass. But af­ter a mo­ment’s hes­i­ta­tion from the striker, Stephen Tem­ple was able to get back and ex­e­cute a bril­liant last-ditch tackle just as Byrne looked set to pull the trig­ger.

Fas­saroe cap­tain Mark O’Sullivan was de­nied a mo­ment of glory six min­utes from time when his close-range ef­fort was hacked off the line by a Bal­ly­waltrim de­fender and then Keith Byrne found the side net­ting in the 92nd minute but nei­ther miss proved sig­nif­i­cant in the end, with Fas­saroe edg­ing closer to Divi­sion 1 thanks to their tenth league win of the cam­paign.

Top Form: John Gaughan (Fas­saroe YC): Pulled the strings all day long for his side.

Fas­saroe's Dean troy tries to get past Bal­ly­waltrim de­fender Rory Doyle dur­ing the league match at Bal­ly­waltrim.

Fas­saroe's Dan Kelly skips past Adam Gilligan.

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