Rangers F.C.

FAI Summer Soccer School

Pat Treacy, (087) 9543238.

23th to 27th July 2018

4 April 2010
Division 1
Thurles Town
Clodiagh Rangers
Michael Browne
Clodiagh Rangers made the short trip to Thurles Greyhound Stadium on Sunday for the last round of League matches for 2009/10 season.

With the chance of a league title still a remote possibility for the Drombane outfit, a sizeable support travelled to the game knowing that victory in Thurles and a favourable outcome in Holycross would mean promotion as divisional winners.

Though the Clodiagh's squad had been shorn of a few regulars, due to suspensions, injuries, et al, Eamonn Maher had a strong squad to pick from and the away side approached the match with confidence. Indeed Clodiagh dominated the opening exchanges, with Matt Ryan and Declan Carr quickly taking the upper hand in midfield and allowing Shortt and Brown to bomb forward on the wings in support of the front men.

Both Quinlan and Doyle up front had chances to score early on with the best chance falling Doyle's way on the half hour mark. Mark Quinlan, having dribbled into the area from the right hand side, squared the ball to Doyle whose shot shaved the top of the cross bar.

Moments later, Matt Ryan played Eoin Shortt in one-on-one with the keeper, but the Thurles custodian proved equal to the task. Clodiagh Rangers pressure eventually told on the creaky Thurles defence shortly before half time, working the ball from right to left across the area, and Michael Brown who had a sight of goal moments earlier, pounced at the back post to give the visitors a deserved lead at the break.

Into the second half, and it was more of the same from a Clodiagh Rangers side with an appetite for attack. Shortly into the second half however, Clodiagh Rangers' momentum was dented when Quinlan saw red for a late tackle on the Thurles full back, and it seems as if the visitors might rue their first half profligacy.

Thurles seized their opportunity to go on the attack, but while they enjoyed the lion's share of possession, they never really penetrated the Clodiagh Rangers' defence. On occasion that they did, Thurles found Adrian Cooke in fine form in the Clodiagh Rangers goal, getting down well to save at the feet of Pat Lawlor, and again turning a Robert Jordan distance effort around the post.

Thurles did threaten from corner kicks, but the Clodiagh Rangers defence resisted, and into the last quarter hour Clodiagh Rangers began to mount attacking threat again. Eoin Shortt again found himself bearing down on the Thurles keeper, only to screw his shot wide of the near post.

Paul Doyle, operating alone up front for most of the second half, had a number of shots just wide of the target. In the end Clodiagh Rangers were happy to see the game out for victory by the narrowest margin but will certainly feel that it should have been a more convincing result.

Other results did not go Clodiagh Rangers' way in Holycross, and victory for Nenagh AFC B' meant a deserved title for the Nenagh side. Clodiagh Rangers will satisfy themselves with the runner-up spot and promotion to the Premier League for next season, and Eamonn Maher will consider this a successful season for his squad and look forward to a return to the top tier.
Adrian Cooke; Barry O'Loughlin, Matt Mc Cullagh, James Ryan, Paul English; Michael Brown, Matt Ryan, Declan Carr, Eoin Shortt; Paul Doyle, Mark Quinlan.
John Ryan(Casey), Keith Ryan, Andrew Quirke.