A damp windy morning at Christy Leahy Park and our lads entered the field knowing that a victory against Killarney Celtic should keep them up and playing Premier league football next season. Killarney had the favorites tag after a convincing victory over the Park earlier in the season, but the Park lads were quietly confident after a few good performances themselves of late particulary over the league champions in the quarter final of the cup.
The Park lads got out of the blocks early on and dominated the early exchanges in all sectors of the field,in particular in middle and final thirds with our passing and moving creative style of play.Indeed it was a bistering first 20mins for the Park and within 7 mins the lads were 1-0 up with superb passage of play out from the back starting with rhys on the left, up to conor at left wing who found a great thro pass to Nathan who stroked the ball by the keeper in to the bottom right corner of the net, within 4 mins it was 2-0 when greg found a pinpoint pass from midfield to pick out Mervyn up front who took the ball in his stride and smashed it past the keeper. on the 14th min it could have been another from mervyn who found himself one on one with keeper from a defensive error but his shot just slide by the right han post.. The park back four of Colin, Cian, Darragh and Rhys were playing a blinder in defence dealing with any attacking threat, the centre midfield of Jordan, junior and Greg were dominating during this period and both wingers Nathan and Conor were causing havoc down both lines and with Mervyn up front were pressing well in the final third creating further half chances.
Credit to Killarney they proved what a good side they are and in the final 10 mins of the half started to come back into the game getting a lot more possession in the middle of the park. 2 mins from the break and Killarney were awarded a penalty as Colin was deemed to have handled the ball in the box from an unfortunate bounce. Killarney duly dispatched their peno to go reduce the defeceit trailing 2-1 at the break.
The 2nd half started similar vein to the latter part of the 1st half with killarney getting their lions share of possession but creating little chances.The park brought Liam in for greg in the middle of the field and made a few tactical switches to try and regain a foothold at centre mid, which seemed to give an added boost to their game. Mervyn was tireless upfront trying to make shots on goal but in truth the park didnt create many clear cut chances in the 2nd half and credit to both defences the battled hard to snuff out any goal scoring opportunities. The game developed into a defensive war and fair play to the Park squad they won the battle on this occasion defending with steely determination not to let their advantage slip. The last few mins might have looked frantic but on reflection the boys defended courageously and with a certain amount of composure. Kieran and Cillian came late on for Conor and Darragh respectively. The final score 2-1 to the Park
A massive achievement for the Park lads with another superb overall team performance where each player worked their socks off for the entire game to secure the elusive points which should guarantee Premier League football again for next season, Well deserved!!
Our focus now turns to the cup with our next match the Semi- Final of the Kerry Cup at home to Castleisland.
Players of Note: Junior, Colin, Conor, Jordan, Cian, Rhys, Nathan,Greg
Man of the Match: Mervyn Shalemba, playing as lone striker up front he worked tirelessly in attack with penetrating runs and pressing on the back four at every occasion, link up play with midfield was superb and a fine strike to top it off .
Squad on the Day: Gavin Doody, Cian Purcell, Darragh Moriarty, Rhys Keane, Junior Ankomah, Greg Scanlon, Colin Walsh, Jordan mason, Mervyn Shalemba, Conor o Sullivan, Nathan Gleeson, Liam Tobin. Kieran O Brien, Cillian Ryan
Note: Training will continue Wednesdays 6.30 – 7.30pm and Fridays 5 – 6pm, For the continued improvement & success of the squad, all players need to attend the training sessions.