Our eleven-a-side team were unlucky to lose their FAIS Dublin Division 5 final in the AUL Clonshaugh today with a 3-1 defeat to St Luke’s, Mulhuddart. A first half goal from Anthony had put the Tallaght side one up at half time, but two contenious goals gave St Luke’s the advantage before an injury time goal sealed it. However, St Dominic’s capped an excellent soccer season with runners-up medals to add to winners trophies in both the boys and girls Dublin 5-a-side championships.
St Dominic’s came to the final with a 100% league record but came up against a St Luke’s side brimming in quality. St Dominic’s fielded the same eleven which took the field against Scoil Chaitríona in the semi-final, and were cheered on by a great contingent of sixth class supporters in a crowd of over 200.
Dominic’s made an impression from the start with Abby providing a cross on two minutes to James, who was just denied by the solid Mulhuddart defence. St Luke’s showed their quality with their loping number 9 going close on 3 minutes, and hitting the post a minute later. But the game swung back towards Dominic’s with Ciarán having an excellent chance after 5 minutes after a through ball from Jake; the keeper did well to save.
Lennon impressed with a difficult man-marking job in midfield and won several key tackles. Adetola, too, was impressive and made a key tackle on 9 minutes to deny a certain goal in the box. Ross was similarly involved with a number of important clearances from the back. Ciarán again went close on 14 with some lovely close control but his shot trailed narrowly wide.
St Dominic’s took the lead on 16 minutes with a long range free kick from Anthony. Spotting the keeper off his line, the Dominic’s captain showed great vision to ignore the more obvious cross to go straight for goal from 35 yards. The keeper couldn’t deal with the shot and Dominic’s silenced the otherwise vocal Luke’s support.
Cian was revelling in an old fashioned full back position and made a key challenge on the Luke’s number 9 to keep Dominic’s in front. Dominic’s nearly went two up after 18 minutes after another excellent through ball from Jake put James through down the channel. His cross for Abby was just behind her and Luke’s cleared the danger. Abby used her strength to carve out a corner for Dominic’s on 23 but James was unable to convert the chance afterwards. St Luke’s won a free in the dying minutes of the half which was put wide by their attacker, but they were to reorganise going into the second half.
Abby was hugely impressive throughout the second half and showed her typical strength and determination to win the ball on numerous occasions. She was picked out afterwards as a special talent by the FAIS Officials. Down the other end, Cian put his body on the line by blocking a near-certain goal. Luke’s were piling on the pressure now and were only being held by some last-ditch Dominic’s defence, ironically led by another Luke – our fantastic centre-half!
The turning point of the game was on 31 minutes. St Luke’s broke forward in a two-on-two with Adetola and Cian close by. Their forward tried to take the ball around Andre and passed to his team-mate. To everyone’s surprise the referee blew for a penalty, later explaining that contact had been made by the Dominic’s keeper. St Luke’s converted the penalty to tie the game.
It was sweeping, end-to-end stuff with the physically smaller Tallaght side competing hard for every ball. But St Luke’s were beginning to emerge into the ascendancy with a superb display by their roving number 8 in midfield. Anthony cleared successfully from the line on 40 minutes and was then involved in a great chance for Dominic’s, heading over from a James free kick, only to be blown offside by the referee.
Anthony was then involved in the game’s other key moment with 3 minutes of normal time left. St Luke’s had won yet another corner and the ball was steered towards the Dominic’s back post. Anthony did superbly to apparently clear the ball off the line but the assistant referee signalled for a goal. It was unlucky for a Dominic’s team who had defended well throughout.
Dominic’s pushed forward in the hope of an equaliser but despite a couple of frees in advanced positions, it was too little, too late. Dominic’s couldn’t defend a corner two minutes into injury time and Luke’s capitalised with a third to ensure victory. Osemu, Shaun and Conor all came on with Shaun making a key tackle in midfield but it was to finish 3-1.
Thanks as always to the parents and grandparents who have been such a great support throughout the season. With most of our team going to secondary school in September it will be difficult for Dominic’s next year, but four of our team (Conor, Shaun, Jake and Cian) will be involved next season.
St Dominic’s NS: Andre; Adetola, Ross, Luke, Cian; Lennon, Anthony (c), James; Ciarán, Jake; Abby. Subs: Shaun, Conor, Osemu
Laoch na hImeartha: Abby