Match Reports from our Senior Sunday and Major Saturday teams.
Match Preview: St Mochtas FC vs. Bluebell Utd FC 14th May 2017 KO 11am
Bluebell travel to Porterstown Road this coming Sunday in search of the league title but the opposition have similar aspirations in what is going to be an intriguing game of football. A large crowd is expected to attend the event and we are hoping they are not disappointed. The Bell go into the game needing a win to retain their title and Mochtas will be looking for the same outcome in order for them to continue their pursuit of their top-flight success. We look at some of the key stats for the upcoming game and a section on the St Mochtas players most likely to cause The Bell a few headaches.
Key Stats: The Bell have scored 18 league goals on their travels this season and have only had two games were they were unsuccessful in hitting the home sides net. Porterstown Road and its fantastic new setup was the venue for two cup clashes already between these sides, where The Bell came out on top 0-3 & 1-2. Bluebell kept their 13th clean sheet of the season on Wednesday
The previous league game ended 0-0 in The Red Cow in January of this year.
St Mochtas have scored in each one of their home games this year averaging almost 2.5 goals per game, which is an impeccable record to hold, but on the flip side of that they have only two cleans sheets at home all season. Opposition Players to watch: St Mochtas have a large selection of talented footballers but we take a look at a couple of their main players which are most likely to play a major part on Sunday.
Morgan Cranley- the Mochtas goalminder and skipper has been in this position before when at Tolka Rovers and will be looking to keep The Bells strike force out. One of the best performing keepers over the past few year within the LSL and will most likely have a key part to play in this tie. K. Somers- similar to older brother David, he has a keen eye for a forward pass and has been an integral part of Brian McCarthy sides charge this season. Will be heavily involved in most of their forward attacking moves and will need to be kept quiet early on. Denis Moran- another talented midfielder within the Mochtas ranks that missed a large portion of the season due to a serious knee injury has come back and has been like a new signing for Mochtas in recent weeks. Likes to run with the ball at his feet and dangerous in attack. Dean Kelly- there are not many people that will not be aware of the talent of Dean Kelly and Bluebell are well aware of that from his time at Crumlin United. Kelly is a striker that knows where the net is and our defensive unit will need to be at their best on Sunday. We hope you liked our article and of course, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
A good weekend for The Bell 🔔⚽💙
It was Cup weekend for both Bell squads with Eric's side in action at the Iveagh Grounds Saturday night under lights but up first was a Friday night trip to Porterstown Road for Andy Noonan's men to face the in form St Mochtas FC.
Charlie Cahill Cup vs St Mochtas FC: Result St Mochtas 0-3 Bluebell Utd
We travelled to Porterstown Road to face Brian McCarthys men who are in fine form this season and have found themselves sitting at the top of the league alongside ourselves but with a game in hand but this week it was the return of the Charlie Cahill Cup and a chance tofocus on something other than league action for a week or so.
The game one started brightly enough with both side having half chances. The Bell had the first chance of the game after some good work down the right hand side with Stephen Larkin and Karl Russell. Rusty managed to dig a cross out which fell to Sean Byrne who used this as a gauge for what would be the first of many attempts at goal. Mochtas who have the quality to score many goals with the likes of Alan McGreal and David Lacey in their team didn't take long to register their first attempt at goal. It was a cross in from McGreal and Lacey had a header which was comfortably saved by McNulty. The first goal of the game came from a corner which was created after some nice build up play down the left hand side. The ball was delivered into the box by Sean Byrne who picked out Dean Lawrence at the back post and he slotted it home with his head into the roof of the net, a great moment for Dean who was starting his first game since his nasty knee injury in pre season. Great to have him back playing. We continued to created a couple more chances via crosses in from Rusty and Larko on the right hand side and more noteably through Sean Byrne who had two or three more long distance efforts at goal but it was Mochtas who should've scored next. McGreal who somehow managed to wriggle his way into the box cut in onto his right foot and from 12 yards blasted over the bar. A really good chance to equalise for the home team. Not long after that we began to create some good chances. The powerful Shane Stritch made one of his trademark runs with the ball at his feet and struck a powerful effort towards Morgan Cranley in goal who saved well down low with his feet. The Bell used their momentum well and after some brilliant link up play through the middle of the pitch by Keith Quinn and Jordan Keegan, it fell to the "Bluebell Georgie Best" Keegan who struck an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net. A goal that if caught on video would be talked about for quite some time. There were a couple more half chances for both sides in the remainer of the first half but it was to remain 2-0 HT to The Bell. The second half kicked off with a little bit less intensity. Mochtas started well and the hard working Lacey was fed multiple balls into feet and over the top by the creative Karl Somers in the middle of the park for the home side. The pitch which in many areas started to cut up a little caused a few misplaced passes for both sides but it was not to be a decisive factor for what ended up to be a fairly controlled effort in the second half from the Bell. Two precautionary changes at HT meant that the two central defenders of Willo and Deano were replaced by ex Clover duo of Cully and Walshy and they needed to be at their best if they were to control the movement of McGreal and Lacey and that they were, limiting the frontmen to very few chances. We continued to move the ball well and created a couple more chances which we should've possibly done better with. Cranley was replaced at HT by Osbourne who was kept busy and pulled of some wonderful saves to keep us out. The home side brought on some firepower from the bench. The experienced combo of Shane and Phillip Hughes came on to try open the door for Mochtas but again the defensive quartet held their ground. The final goal of the game came with the last touch of the game when Gary Seery got onto the end of a corner and poked it past the goalie. A fantastic performance from the boys and no doubt giving manger Andy Noonan a satisfied feeling after the game.
Noel Ryan Cup vs St James Gate Result: St James Gate 1-6 Bluebell Utd
Eric brought his side to the Iveagh Grounds on Saturday night to face a Gate side who were looking to cause a cup upset after witnessing the FA Cup heroics of Lincoln City earlier on in the day against Premier League Burnley. The game started with The Bell having good possession and chances in the Gates defensive third but some sloppy decision making meant the chances went unpunished in the first 15 minutes. We settled into the game and we began to be more clinical with our passes and finishing. Once the first goal went in we began to increase in confidence and the movement on and off the ball was too good for The Gate to handle. We were 4-0 up with 35 mins on the clock but unfortunately we took our foot off the peddle and gave the Gate the chance to get back in the game right on the stroke of half time. 4-1 HT. We started the second half again in the right manner and we began to dominate possession again. We scored another before two of their players were sent off for dissent shown towards the referee and we went on to get another goal before the end of the game. Eamonn Lynch with a hat trick in the game was our man of the match but an overall tremendous team performance by the lads. We hope we can used this as a platform to get our league campaign back on track.
@stpatsfc vs @BluebellUnited - Friendly at Baldonnel, 24th of January kick off 7.45pm. Adult Entry €5 and kid are free. Get down and see a cracking game.
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Match Report: Bluebell United 1-0 Wayside Celtic (S.Larkin)
Match Report 4th December 2016 Bluebell United FC 1-0 Wayside Celtic FC
The Bell were unimpressive but effective over the weekend defeating newly promoted side Wayside Celtic at The Red Cow. Although being in control for large parts of the game and creating a number of chances in front of goal, The Bell never really troubled the travelling goalkeeper.
The first chance of note in the game came early on and it was a breakaway for the visitors down the right hand side which seen ex Amateur International Ray Whelehan fire past the post. We had large passages of possession without really creating a clear cut opportunity. The first chance for Bluebell fell to Shane Stritch but unfortunately his left foot effort went tamely over the bar. Both teams seem to cancel each other out in the first 30 minutes with nothing major of note happening after those two half chances. Wayside seemed content with letting the home side maintain possession without them ever really penetrating their back line. A couple of counter attack attempts from the visiting side were snuffed out quite quickly from the resolute back five performance of Graham, Rusty, Nango, Walshy and Cully. The Bell began to work their way into the game and the goal came at a time when Wayside were trying to create a few more chances rather than sitting back. We broke away down the right hand side with Dean Ebbe who put placed a ball centrally to Strictch on the edge of the box. Shane with a couple of defenders man handling him managed to create a bit of space, turn and very unselfishly passed to Stephen Larkin who found himself in the middle of the goal from 8 yards to place the ball cooly past the goalkeeper. A goal that was more of a relief for the home than anything. The goal seemed to trigger a positive response for a couple of the home players and Sean Byrne who all of a sudden became a man possessed began to get himself on the ball more and more and make those trademark runs we have become accustomed to over the past year. His energy and perserverance is something that we had missed in the first 30 minutes. A couple more half chances from either side just before the half time whistle but a reasonly tame start to the game for both sides but Wayside would feel that given the missed opportunities from The Bell that they were still in with a chance of getting a result with 45 minutes to play. The second half kicked off and it appeared that manager Andy Noonans kick up the backside for his players in the dressing room worked in the positive way, we dominated the game for the next 20 minutes and looked to go a further goal ahead when the chances from both Larko and Seanie Byrne were placed into the protective net behind the goal. On 60 minutes The Bell were dealt another injury hammer blow when Dean Ebbe was stretchered off with an ankle injury. Hopefully not as bad as first feared. Robert Bayley came on for Deano. We continued to create chances in what was in truth a very sloppy game but were unable to convert and increase the distance for Wayside. This almost came back to bite Bluebell as the second half went on, Wayside became more desperate and increasingly more confident on the ball understanding that all they needed was one goal to nick a point from the game. That nearly happened on the 80 minute mark when some poor defending led to a poor clearance and the ball fell to the Wayside players on the edge of the box and after an important save by Graham Bedford in the Bluebell goal the ball fell to an unmarked Wayside player who managed somehow to place the ball high and wide over the bar from no more than 8 yards. A massive relief for The Bell players but a chance missed for Peter Lennons side. This was the last real chance of note from either side and although their game management could have been a little bit more professional Bluebell managed to see the game through to the end. A win that put The Bell back top of the league, two points ahead of Mochtas. Although Mochtas have two games in hand on the Bell it will come as a positive boost to Andy Noonans charge for three in a row and to keep the pressure on the chasing pack of 4 or 5 teams.
Although The Bell in many peoples eyes have had a bit of a jumpy start, we are only 4 points worse off last seasons tally after the same amount of games and top of the league is not a bad position to be in coming up to the final game before the break considering that at the same point last year we had only played 8 league games before Christmas.
Our next game is this coming Friday 9th Dec which will be away to Tolka Rovers in Frank Cooke Park 7.45pm KO.
Sunday Preview: Bluebell United FC vs Wayside Celtic FC
LSL Senior Sunday Preview: Bluebell United FC vs Wayside Celtic The Red Cow 11.00 Kick Off.
This Sunday we welcome the newly promoted side Wayside Celtic. The green, white and reds have had a positive start to their season return to the top flight picking up 16pts from their first 11 games and will travel to The Red Cow in full confidence. The team from Jackson Park have already picked up some valuable points on the road this year and will look to continue that run of form. Peter Lennon has managed his side to picking up points away versus Mochtas, Drums and Malahide so far to date along with picking up all three points when Crumlin travelled to Jackson Park early in October. Although Wayside spent a season away from the top flight last year, they are filled with experience and Peter Lennon and his coaching staff have added a bit of youth to their squads so they will be a formidable opponent come Sunday morning.
From The Bells point of view we will be coming into the game with the expectation of getting back to winning ways in the league. A jumpy start to the league campaign combined with some key injuries to key players has meant that manager Andy Noonan has not had the ideal start to his defence of the title and a charge for three in a row but training this week up in a frosty and foggy SDFL was positive, energetic and full of players returning from injury which will fill the squad and coaching staff with confidence going into the Christmas break but first we must overcome a difficult opponent in Wayside Celtic. Our last meeting was a 3-0 away victory for The Bell in May 2015.
Once again we would like to welcome Peter and his players to The Red Cow this coming Sunday and best of luck to both sides. #TheBell
A crazy cup weekend for The Bell
Weekend Results/Match Reports:
This was no ordinary cup weekend for The Bell. Both of our sides who have had mixed results of late in their league campaigns used last weeks training sessions as an opportunity to get their players ready for their lower league opponents. Although the Bluebell sides would have been firm favourites going into the games it didn’t quite transpire that way. We received quite a scare from both opposition sides this week and crazy games meant that both of the sides won 4-3 this weekend. A few grey hairs have been added to the management group this week!!
Noel Ryan Cup 2016 SDFL Astro, 26th Nov 2.30pm Bluebell Utd vs. Confey FC
Our Saturday side used the SDFL Astro in favour of The Red Cow (perhaps to preserve the pitch for Sunday) and we welcomed Confey FC in the Noel Ryan. Eric Quinn and Ian Pollworth's side were missing no less than 6 regular starters and as ever with the Noel Ryan we were restricted to only 3 Sunday players to help out. The game begun exactly how we had hoped with a bright start for The Bell and we took the lead after some bright play down the right which was finished smartly by Mayo. We dominated the first 30 minutes with chance after chance and we should have really had more to show for after some great play through the middle by Robert Bayley and Kevin Quinn linking up well in the midfield to create a number of chances for our forwards Wanda, Mayo and Noonan. We went two ahead after 35 mins when Mayo again tapped home from close range and the tie looked firmly in The Bells hands. Confey had different plans and took the counter attack plan which appeared to work for a period creating a couple of half chances. It was right on the stroke of half time when they began to believe they were still in the game. Some tidy play down their left hand side gave their winger a chance at a decent cross which found their opposite winger and allowed him to slot home from 10 yards. Although controlling the entire first half The Bell now had a game on their hands. Confey with their tails up came out in the second half with a different intent now and sensed they could get something from the game. They played some nice stuff and created a few half chances with Bell keeper Andy McNulty needing to play the "sweeper keeper" role all too often. Bluebell came back into the game and used their experience to create further chances with Sunday manager Andy Noonan up top pulling the strings. Some great play from Boccer Bayley in the middle created space for Noonan to expertly play a ball over the top to the onrushing Wanda to slot past the keeper to make it 3-1 Bluebell. Another fantastic move consisting of passing pretty much through the entire Bluebell eleven meant a chance for The Bell to make it 4-1 and they obliged. the game looked to be comfortable from there but Confey had different ideas. They continued to created chances and got the game back on track with a wonderful strike into the top corner. And within just minutes they were back within one goal. A mistake in the defence meant the striker was allowed to take the ball and cut inside and slot the ball past the keeper. The final 10 minutes was a bit hectic and there were further chances for both sides but no further goals were to go in as the evergreen duo of Mark Rooney and Stuart Smyth were on hand to see the game through. The Bell progress into the next round of the Noel Ryan after a shock comeback from Confey. Best of luck to Confey for the remainder of their season.
FAI Intermediate Cup 2016 The Red Cow, 27th Nov 11.00am Bluebell Utd vs. Tullamore Town FC
The Sunday side who came into the game on the back of a disappointing draw with Tolka Rovers in the league looked to overcome a Tullamore side who are currently struggling in 1A. The Bell who are 33 league positions ahead of their opposition did not have it all their own way in this tightly matched Cup affair. Andy Noonan’s men started with plenty of possession with penetration in the first 20 mins. On the 20 mark we opened the scoring with a really well worked goal. Some good play from the midfield ended with Tony Griffiths playing a through ball to Shane Stritch down the channel. He turned and crossed into the box where Jordan Keegan came onto it with a header from around 6 yards to put us 1 up. We created a couple more half chances but didn't test the keeper enough. On 35 mins we gave away a really soft free kick about 20 yards out which was struck into the top corner. After that Tullamore really got into the game with confidence and The Bell struggled to keep ball possession. Tullamore had a couple of half chances from poor defending on our part and probably should've scored before they did. Right on the stroke of half time they went in front and it was deserved. They picked up the ball in the middle after a free kick was cleared and our defenders came rushing out but left the lone Tullamore striker with the simple task of rolling the ball into the net and he slotted home with a great finish. 1-2 at HT. Within 5 minutes of the second half we went down to 10 men when James O’Brien was sent off. We had to go for an equaliser so we pushed forward and around the 60 minute mark they went 2 goals ahead. Their third was a decent counter attack to be fair they broke down the left and cut inside and it was smashed into the near post. We struggled for the next 10 minutes but the management group of Andy Noonan, Keith Foy and James Pluck made 3 quick fire subs and that really changed the game. On 70 minutes a moment of magic from Jordan Keegan got us back into it. A strike from around 25 yards after a little swivel past one of the midfielders he turned and riffled into the top corner. Keeper no chance. 2-3. GAME ON! We made a further 2 subs chasing the game and basically played a bit of a gung-ho style formation for the remainder, we had to chase the game. It worked out because a clever Tony Griffiths ball was played through to Shane Stritch in the 85th minute and he was 1 on 1 but the keeper made a great save but unfortunately for him it dropped right to Glen Walsh from 6 yards out he tapped home. 3-3. In normal circumstances we would’ve settled for the draw and the replay but we sensed we could win it and urged on from the sidelines we went for it so we didn't change the approx and with literally the last kick of the game Sean Byrne played a precise pass from a free kick near the half way line towards Glen Walsh again and he beat the on rushing keeper to it and it went it. UNBELIEVABLE stuff. 4-3 in added time and the scenes of celebrations were crazy. The final whistle was met with all sorts of emotions but ultimately it was jubilation that shone through as we could have very easily been knocked out of the biggest cup we have to play for. One of the most enthralling comebacks in the clubs history. The dream for a visit to the Aviva remains.
To be fair to Tullamore they were probably worth the replay on the overall game but we didn't give up and kept going which was excellent to see. Come on The Bell. Best of luck to Tullamore for the remainder of their season.
Metro Cup Preview: Verona FC v Bluebell United, Coolmine Dublin 15, 2:00pm.
Match Preview: Verona FC v Bluebell United, Coolmine Dublin 15, 2:00pm.
We take on Senior 1 Sunday side Verona FC in the Metropolitan Cup. The Bell travel to Coolmine this Sunday afternoon on the back of their recent disappointing draw with Tolka Rovers in the league. Bluebell, who have had a stuttering start to their league campaign may use this Metro Cup game a welcomed distraction and an opportunity for Andy Noonan to make changes to personnel who may not have performed the way he would have expected last weekend. It will also give those players who have been on the periphery an opportunity to impress. The cup always brings its own challenges with the ever present danger of an underdog story or a shock upset but regardless of whether Bluebell go into this game on Sunday as firm favourites the manager will not take the opposition lightly. Verona currently sit in the relegation zone in Senior 1 Sunday at the moment and will be looking to impress against the LSL Senior Sunday Champions. Bluebell who won this cup in Frank Cooke Park under James Keddy in 2011 will look to have their name on the trophy again this year. John Cleary, Andy McNulty and Mark Rooney are the only current squad survivors from the winning team that day. I have checked the history books and I cannot find any recent competitive action with these Verona and Bluebell but I am certain that both managers will have done their own homework for what to expect come Sunday afternoon. We will expect a tough game but it is one we most certainly look forward to. Best of luck to both sets of players and management. #TheBell
Subs on: Bayley, Byrne, Cleary, Keegan, Griffiths.
Garret Cooney and Shane Stritch goals secured The Bells place in the next round of the Intermediate Cup. A late Mochtas goal gave us a little scare near the end but it wasn't enough to prevent a very good performance on the day.
The Bell travelled to Porterstown Road this morning to face an in form St Mochtas side in the FAI Intermediate Cup 2nd round. The pitch looked in tremendous condition just before kick off and with the rain threatening to lash down, it looked as though the game was not going to be as free flowing as everyone expected but it turned out to be quite the opposite. Both sides filled with talented players looked to get the ball down and put together passages of play that wouldn't look out of place in our national league but it was The Bell that started the better and within the first 10 minutes we had three successive corners to apply some pressure on the home sides defence. We threatened to open the scoring within 10mins with two shots from distance with Morgan Cranley having to be on his toes to push away the efforts but as it so usually happens it was one of Mochtas last seasons players that opened the scoring, it was Garreth Cooney who came back to The Bell after a season with the Porterstown side who struck a left footed half volley past Cranley to give us the lead after 15mins. A much deserved lead for us after a blistering start to the game. We had other chances to score but some poor finishing and some last ditch defending the home side kept it at 1-0. Mochtas grew into the game after approx 35 mins when a Philly Hughes free kick had to be smartly saved by The Bells Graham Bedford. Bedford moved across his goal well to push out the on target free kick. The resulting corner was cleared temporarily and another effort from distance went well wide. After such a fantastic start to the game by us it was always going to be hard to limit the attacking quality of the home team and as the first half went on Mochtas started to get more and more possession but without really creating many clear cut chances. It was just before half time The Bell had another chance to improve on their lead but once again Cranley was there to make a fantastic left handed save to push it out for another corner. Going in at HT manager Andy Noonan would've had mixed feeling with the teams first half performance, happy with the phases of play but disappointed not to be more than one goal to the good.
The second half kicked out with The Bell keeping more of the ball and trying to create chances down the flanks but once again were met with a fully committed and organised defensive quartet. We continued to press high up the pitch which gave us the chance to pick up any misplaced passes out from the back and steal possession high up the pitch. Mochtas were by no means done with creating chances however and it appeared that they were looking to create via the dead ball route. A few sloppy free kicks given away by over eagerness in the tackle by the Bluebell players meant that free kicks in and around The Bells penalty area seemed to be the best form of creating a goal scoring chance for the home side. A couple of free kicks from 25 yards out needed to be dealt with by Bedford in goal. As the second half wore on it was one of those games where we felt if we could put one of our many chances away it would be game over but Mochtas never gave up and continued to come back into the game. Philly Hughes who was playing in a more defensive role today was unlucky not to equalise when a shot from distance struck the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. A chance created really out of nothing and against the run of play but a player of his quality can do that against you. We made numerous subs to freshen things up but with only having been on the pitch less than 15 mins Robert Bayley was shown his marching orders after receiving two quick fire yellows for late challenges. With no more than 5 minutes left on the clock it was looking like The Bell were going to hold onto a comfortable 1-0 away win and move into the next round but Jordan Keegan had different ideas, normally this late in the game you would encourage the player to hold the ball in the corner to see out the clock but rather than killing the clock he decided to go on a mazey and step around the defender with ease to slide the ball across the box into the path of Sean Byrne who passed the ball towards goal but once again Cranley had different ideas and produced another wonderful save but for it to only land at the feet of the tireless and full of running Shane Stritch. No more than the striker deserved after leading the line all morning and giving the defenders an uneasy game. A late Mochtas header provided only a small consolation for the home side and straight from the tip off the referee ended the game sending The Bell through to the next round. Mochtas winger Lee Dixon was shown a red card after the final whistle.
Goals: Garreth Cooney, Shane Stritch.
Season Preview: 2016/17
An interview with Andy Noonan:
Andy Noonan Season Preview:
We met up with manager Andy Noonan ahead of this seasons opener against Malahide on Friday 19th to ask him a couple of questions about his teams ambitions for the 2016/17 LSL season.
1. How did you feel your preseason went with the team? Well I missed the first week of pre-season but having the management team of Keith Foy, Eric Quinn, James Pluck & Ian Poland the lads started great. We had Adrian Harper of Pro-Fitness (Churchtown) come in and do strength & conditioning tests which was something different that everyone enjoyed. The bar is being raised and pushed up every year and its the players at the club that are doing it, we have a new cardio area and strength & conditioning room in the club that was put in by players, special mention to Peter Darcy & Andy McNulty on that one. All in all we are looking good and apart from one or two external issues over friendlies I couldn't have asked for a better effort from all at the club.
2. How glad are you to have held onto the majority of your squad that helped you retain the league from the previous year? Its made my life a lot easier when you have the quality of players that we have in the club that want to stay and push on again for more awards. Getting back in Robert Bayly & Sean Byrne who went to Waterford for a short while in the off season is a massive boost and resigning Garreth Cooney again will add to the depth and quality to the club. New signings such as Dean Ebbe, Ciaran Nangle, Glenn Walsh & Brian Cullen have upped the game now in relation to competition for places. Its a welcome headache and one i look forward to managing.
3. Are you satisfied that you have added depth to your squad for the upcoming season? Absolutely, it finally means i can take myself of the Sunday player roster ;-)
4. After winning back to back titles obviously you will be looking to retain the league and go for three in a row, do you believe that this will be your toughest test yet? The league last year had an almost surreal feel about it with the like of Wayside, Cherry Orchard and Bangor not around. These 3 massive senior clubs have no rejoined the top league and with that brings the league to what i believe is the most competitive season so far. There is no easy game at this level and although everyone looks for the big top of the table clashes it is against teams that during the season who are mid to lower half of the league that take the points off you and these are the games that win and lose you leagues. To answer the question I suppose the answer is yes! We have set ourselves out there as the team to beat and everyone will give it a go.
5. What are your thoughts on the other teams in the league and who do you think will be your biggest challengers for the title? I don't really have any thoughts on any of the other teams, the league will be very competitive this year and i'd imagine that over the course of the season the best teams are usually up there.
6. Finally, your Predictions for 2016/17 season. Champions: Every year we aim for the number 1 so it has to be Bluebell Closest contenders: Cherry Orchard Surprise package: Cherry Orchard
Leinster Senior Sunday Preview: St Patrick's CY KO 8pm Ringsend
Team photo above is from the last meeting from the 2-1 win for The Bell
One thing is for certain, history has shown us that this game has been filled with moments of magic,madness, excitement, goals, controversy and much much more. The previous 5 league meetings between these sides over the years has produced a staggering 26 goals. Bluebell are also unbeaten in those previous 5 so we are hoping that is a good omen for tonight. We go into the game on the back of a 5-2 defeat in the FAI Cup but whilst we did rest some key players we were able to take a number of positives from the game, most notably that the players did not give up at any stage and we will need that mentality again this evening if we are to retain our title as LSL Champions.
BLUEBELL TEAM NEWS:
Andy Noonans squad trained together on Tuesday and from what we could see there were no major faces missing. A welcomed headache for the manger will mean that we will travel to Ringsend with a strong squad of players and he and the coaching staff will have a difficult decision to make on who will be the eleven players chosen to try take the three points on offer tonight. Speaking to the manager after Crumlins 2-2 draw with Drums he said "It changes nothing, we still need to focus on winning the game". A message that Andy will be passing onto his players to avoid any complacancy on the night.
ST PATS CY:
We welcomed a strong St Pats side here to The Red Cow earlier this season in what turned out to be a fairly tight affair. After taking the lead in the first half via a Shane Strich goal we were pegged back through Pats CY influential skipper Andy Doolin from the penalty spot. The lead lasted all of three minutes however as Tony Griffith popped up with a valuable goal for The Bell 20 minutes from time. Both teams had chances to score further goals but both keepers made saves to keep the score as it was. CY pose a dangerous attacking force and after scoring 11 goals in their previous two games will mean that we will need to be on top of our game to keep them out. "The Cage" is the venue for this evenings game and if the weather holds up it will mean that a usually good crowd will be attending. CY will have one eye on a fifth place finish and will be in no mood to let us have an easy victory tonight.
18/10/15 Bluebell 2-1 Pats CY 12/11/14 Pats CY 4-5 Bluebell 14/09/14 Bluebell 3-1 Pats CY 25/05/14 Pats CY 3-5 Bluebell 20/10/13 Bluebell 1-1 Pats CY
Best of luck to both teams. COME ON THE BELL!
Bluebell United 1-0 Crumlin United: Scorer Shane Stritch
Back Row: L-R J. Cleary, G.Cooney (C) A.Cleary,A.McNulty, S.Stritch, P.Sherlock Front Row: L-R I. Akinade, S.Gleeson K.Russell, A.Sule, P.Darcy
Picture from Tolka Rovers game. FT Tolka 0-3 Bluebell Utd pic courtesy of The Herald
A round up of the Weekend's action:
The Sunday side were dumped out of the Leinster Senior Cup by Newtown United FC. This defeat has compounded The Bell's misfortune in cup competitions this year as it is the second time lower league opposition have knocked them out following their exit in the Intermediate Cup by St James Gate. We were knocked out on penalties by the Wicklow side. Meanwhile the positive of the weekend is that the Saturday side produced another fine performance down in Belfield to defeat a young and energetic UCD side 2-0 in the Major Saturday league. This extends The Bell's Saturday side points tally to 30pts from 12 games which is undeniably title contender form.
Match Report: Bluebell United 3:2 Bangor Celtic FC Goals: G.Bambrick, P.Rogers (2)
The Sunday side left it late in the game to snatch all three points this weekend at home to Bangor Celtic FC. The Bell took the lead through Gerry Bambrick with a tidy finish from just inside the box. Both keepers were kept busy with chances at both end and the equaliser for Bangor came through Danny McGuinness after a mix up from the Bluebell net minder and the captain Tony Keeler. With just a few minutes to go in the first half a short corner routine worked out well with the ball eventually ending up at the feet of Peter Rogers who drilled the ball past the keeper at the front post. HT 2-1. Both teams came out for the second half with purpose and chances again were created either end but it was Bangor who were to capitalise from some miscommunication from The Bell defenders which allowed Bangor forward “Foxy” to slip through and slot the ball into the net 2-2. It was a last gasp effort that got the three points, a long ball into the Bangor penalty area was bravely headed with purpose and trickled into the corner of the net much to the despair of the Bangor management. A small bit of revenge against Bangor after the defeat in the Iveagh Grounds earlier in the season. The Bell go top of the league with the victory and go into the Leinster Senior Cup this weekend against Newtown United FC.
Back Row: L-R J.Flood, J.Cleary,T.Keeler (C), A.McNulty, G.Bambrick,, T.Keeler (C), G.Cooney Front Row: L-R S.Stritch, P.Rogers K.Russell, T.Mercer, Missing from pic A.Sule,
Weekend Round Up:
Major Saturday: Sacred Heart 1:2 Bluebell United (A.Noonan 2)
Senior Sunday: Bluebell United 6:1 Drogheda Town FC (A.Sule 2, S.Stritch, G.Bambrick, J.Cleary 2)
Our Saturday Major side travelled to Sacred Heart knowing that a win would extend their gap at the top of the league and thankfully that was the exact outcome. Two second half goals by Sunday manager Andy Noonan helped turnaround a 1-0 deficit at half time. That leaves Keith Foy's men 11 clear of their chasing rivals but with the likes of Crumlin,Wayside and Tolka still only having played 5 games less, nonetheless it is points on the table for the Saturday team and speaking to Keith after the game he was delighted with the lads effort and attitude to come from behind. Sunday posed a different set of challenges for Andy Noonan with a number of changes from the team that fought through a 5-4 victory over Pats CY 11 days previous in the league. The last time the Sunday side faces a lower league opposition in a cup competition was when we were knocked out of the Intermediate Cup by St James Gate. There was no replay of that today with the boys coming out comfortable 6-1 winners to progress through to the next round.
Back Row: L-R J.Cleary, G.Bambrick, A.McNulty, S.Stritch, P.Sherlock (C), M.Rooney Front Row: L-R J.Flood, B.Mandiangu, A.Sule, T.Mercer, P.Rogers
Mixed Emotions for The Bell this week
It was a strange week for Bluebell this week. Both teams went into the weekend games knowing that nothing less than a win was needed. The weekend began with a trip to our close rivals Firhouse Clover FC on Saturday and Keith Foy's team were looking to improve on their impressive start to the season. What could have proved to be a banana skin for the Saturday side turned out to be very comfortable win. A 0-7 win meant that the side remained on top of the league and put another three points on the board in the league. Sunday came and we welcomed St James Gate FC in the Intermediate Cup. Unfortunately we were unable to break down a very resolute defensive effort from The Gate and we went down 1-2. What turned out to be one of the upsets of the round, St James Gate progress through to the next round and our road to the Aviva Stadium is halted for this season.
Sunday side maintain their 100% start Bluebell Utd 3-1 St Pats CY
Goals from Brandon Miele, Peter Sherlock and Gareth Cooney helped Bluebell Utd to a win over St Pats CY. Brandon with his first goal for the club opened the scoring after some good work down the left side which results in a shot come cross which he helped into the net from six yards. Peter Sherlock then doubled the lead with a strike from 30 yards which left the opposition goalkeeper standing and admiring it going into the net. With 20 minutes left on the clock the goal scoring midfielder Gareth Cooney took his goal excellently and made it three from three in the league and a identical start to his season like last season where he also scored in his first three league games. A late free kick for CY was one of few negatives for Andy Noonan's men who have started the campaign well but the team are to be reminded that a good start is not to be taken for granted and there is no room for complacency is this league,
Mixed Emotions at the club last week. Tolka Rvs 1-0 Bluebell Utd (Saturday) Bluebell Utd 4-1 Celbridge (Sunday)
Both sides went into the weekend with a 100% record so far this season but unfortunately it was not to continue. The Saturday side went down by 1 goal to nil against Tolka Rovers and our Sunday side beat Celbridge Town FC 4-1 in the Metro Cup first round.
Sunday side leave Belfield with all three points. UCD 0-3 Bluebell Utd
Some changes were forced upon manager Andy Noonan this week as the Sunday side travelled to UCD in search of their second victory of the season. The suspended McNulty was replaced Patrick (Ginty) Farrelly in goal while Ajibola Sule and Mark Rooney also returned to the starting XI for the trip to UCD. Both sides started brightly and both goalkeepers were forced into making some early saves. The first attempt for Bluebell, coming from a miscommunication between the UCD defenders which allowed Aji to control the ball and strike towards the goal with only 5mins on the clock which was smartly saved by ex Bluebell goalkeeper Sean Coffey. UCD were next with an immediate response with a long distance effort which was held comfortably by Ginty. Bluebell had the ball in the net after 25mins when the ball was sent high into the UCD penalty area, it was pushed back across the goal where the feeble attempt of Peter Sherlock hit the crossbar and the resulting effort came off Gerry Bambricks hand and into the goal. The linesman on the near side helped his colleague in the middle and UCD were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Minutes later Bluebell has another chance to get themselves ahead but a Gareth Cooney attempt was put wide. Disaster almost struck for The Bell when a deflected cross into the Bluebell box caused Tony Keeler to swing his leg at it but only to divert it towards his own goal but luckily for him his goalkeeper was ready to pounce to push it for a corner. UCD created one more chance before the half time interval in which they will feel very aggrieved over, the ball broke to their midfielder in the box and what looked like a stone wall penalty decision was waived away by the referee. An early injury to Aji meant that club captain Glen Madden returned to the side after a pre season injury. HT.
The second half started frantically with both sides bombing forward looking for the breakthrough luckily for us the goal for us and it came through an unlikely source, the ball was retrieved from the middle of the park from Gareth Cooney who in turn played it in to the channel for Bambrick, a bit of pace down the line and a cross into the box right on to the head of the incoming Ciaran Quinn. Unlike last week against Glebe we were not made wait too long for our second, A sloppy interchange of play between the UCD defenders meant that Ciaran Quinn picked the ball up out on the right flank, with a quick attempt at a cross and a slight deflection to take it away from the defenders our midfield goal scoring Gareth Cooney found himself with a chance to double our lead, he duly obliged and with his second goal in two games he wheeled away in celebration. On the hour mark, the gaffer made the decision to take the tireless Curry off and replace him with Jeff Flood for his second appearance from the bench this year. He slotted into the midfield with the intention of consolidating the lead. New signing Brandon Miele stamped his passing ability and energy in the middle of the park, this was evident in the second half when he made a number of forward runs looking to improve the scoreline. The hunger to get more goals was a massive positive for the Bluebell management and the team continued to prove their intentions with a number of second half attempts on the UCD goal. With 7 minutes remaining on the clock the final nail into the students coffin was hammered in by a truly fortunate goal on our part, a long ball by Mark Rooney was travelling harmlessly into the arms of the oncoming keeper when the UCD central defender had other ideas and decided to put his head on it which lead to the ball looping up and over the oncoming keeper.
Despite UCD hitting the bar in the 90th minute and the penalty claim being waived away, The Bluebell side came away with their first clean sheet of the season. Speaking to the manager Andy Noonan after the game he was delighted with the application of the players.
Noonan commented on the attitude of the players after the game stating “ I am happy with the overall application of the players at the minute, it is very early in the season but we are building on some strong performances and getting the points on the board is the evidence that we are being awarded for our hard work.”
Hat Trick hero breaks Hearts of old team mates Bluebell Utd 3-1 Sacred Heart
The Saturday side kicked off for the second week in a row at home but this time it was Sacred Heart who were the visitors. A flamboyant start to the season has seen the Saturday side register a whopping 14 goals scored and 2 conceded in just three games and has pushed them to the top of the league. Keith Foy fielded a very strong starting XI against Hearts which saw Bluebell new signing Peter Rogers who signed from Tolka Rovers last week starting in the midfield. The strength of the squad was evident this week with 2/3 changes in the team and each position being filled with an equally capable replacement. As you would probably expect our lads came into the game with their confidence sky high after the two previous results, this would prove to be a sterner test to Keith and his side. Sacred Heart made a good start and did not allow the free flowing football that our Saturday lads have come to be accustomed in the previous two games. The game was fairly open in the first 20 minutes with both sides looking to get on top and creating efforts on goal. The breakthrough came when the man of the moment Sodiq Oguntola burst through a couple of tackles and fired a left footed strike into the bottom corner. With the 5 first half minutes remaining Sodiq again proved that confidence is everything for a striker and slotted another past the onrushing Sacred Heart keeper after some fine passing in the middle of the park. Keith went into the dressing room at half time knowing that although being 2 nil up it was not going to be an easy second half. Experienced Rogers lost the ball with only a couple of minutes into the second which gifted Hearts with an opportunity to get back into the game but fortunately for Peter, the strikers attempt was comfortably saved by Sean French in goal for The Bell.
We continued to go forward in numbers and Toyeeh Mustapha who was his usual busy self was making forward runs and creating chances for our forward line. Without ever really creating a clear cut chance Hearts were not going to roll over and give this game up to easily and they continued to chip away at the defence which was lead by the experienced Ian Cherry. With chancing being created for Bluebell, surely it was only a matter of time before the Ex Sacred Heart player Sodiq was given the opportunity to seal his second hat trick in a row. The ball came down the right side through Karl Russell and with some neat interchange of passes the ball fell to “Drogba” on the edge of the area who expertly showed that not only can he score from inside the box but can also score with exquisite finesse. He struck the ball which was sent curling into the far top corner with the keeper left with nothing to do but admire the finish. Although Hearts did steal a consolation goal near the end true some poor defending Keith Foy’s team took all three points and the lead at the top of the table. The Managers reactions after the game was extremely positive and he had these words “I am thrilled with the attitude of the players and their desire to win the football match, this was the most pleasing part for me as we were not at our best today as we had been in previous weeks but the lads have shown me that they can also win in the ugly side of the game and are willing to enter into a battle.”
Match Report: Glebe North 1-2 Bluebell Utd
10 man Bluebell claim open day victory
The team travelled to Balbriggan today to play against a Glebe North side that had already tasted defeat in their first league game last Friday night away to Killester. The boys started well with Alan Curry having the best of the chances when he cut through to find himself 1 on 1 with the Glebe keeper, unfortunately the effort was pushed past the post. On 17mins a rush of blood by the Bluebell keeper Andy McNulty on the edge of his area, handled marginally outside resulted in a red card issued by the ref and an early shower for The Bells net minder. Gerry Bambrick was forced from one end of the pitch to the other to replace Andy between the sticks. With very little between the teams in the first half, the away side just shaded it by virtue of chances on goal alone. The second half kicked off with a slightly different Bluebell shape wise, with Curry being deployed as a lone striker forced to work tirelessly to regain the ball. As the game went on The Bell grew into it creating chances on goal. First up was new signing Brandon Miele who was slipped through by Curry not once but twice but the Glebe keeper stood tall for both efforts and produced a couple of good saves. A couple of long range efforts was the retaliation by the Glebe forwards but did not trouble the stand in keeper. Later, a slick move by the The Bells forwards ended with a cross into the box which was put wide by Cooney. A few mins later another chance was created by the most unlikely source, left back Tony Keeler danced his way up the pitch but only for his shot to be excellently saved by the keeper. The breakthrough came with about 20 mins to go when a hopeful cross was punched away by Bambrick only to land to the feet of the Glebe midfielder who struck a fairly fortunate strike into the back of the net. 1-0 Glebe North. This could have spelled the end for the deflated 10 men of Bluebell but in fact had quite the opposite outcome, with nothing to lose the team drove forward with numbers and created a number of clear cut chances with some intricate play in and around the home penalty box. The comeback started when a corner from Miele was placed directly into the 6 yard box and Curry was in place to power the header home from close range. Instead of settling for the draw, the lads continued to knock at the door and create chances. Time and time again the Glebe keeper kept the lads efforts at bay. With the seconds counting down and the ref with one eye firmly on the watch, The Bell launched one last attack and how important it proved to be. It was played from back to front quickly and after a bit of messing around the ball found itself at the feet of Gareth Cooney just inside the box and just like last years exploits the midfielder scored with instinct of a predatory veteran striker. The screams of joy and relief from the bench could be heard throughout the park.
A great start to the season and 3pts against a side we were unable to beat in the 2013/14 season.
Match Report: Bluebell Utd 5-1 Crumlin
The Saturday side went into this game full of confidence after their 6 goal thrashing of Bangor Celtic last weekend. There was a couple of changes from last weeks side but the replacements were of equal ability so it was not a major concern for Keith Foy and the management team. The game started as you would expect any Bluebell vs Crumlin game, with an edgy approach by both teams looking to gain the momentum by taking a grip of the possession. This however would prove to be difficult due to the surprising heat that unexpectedly covered the Saturday afternoon kick off. The first clear chance fell to Robert Douglas when he found himself through on goal with nothing to do but pass it into the net.... goal kick was the result. A number of neat exchanges gave The Bell a nice start but no major chances on goal made it a very frustrating start for the home side. Crumlin began to ease themselves into the game and began putting some nice moves together without really troubling Patrick Farrelly in the Bluebell goal. With little or no incidents in the first 20mins it was going to take either a mistake or a moment of magic to wake up both sides, thankfully it was the latter! Douglas picked the ball up just inside his own half and was allowed to wander forward, as he continued it appeared that nobody wanted to challenge him so he decided to have an effort on goal from about 35 yards out that was struck with power and accuracy which rippled the Crumlin net. This seems to get the players going and resulted in a few chances for the two teams where both keepers had to make routine saves. With 5 mins to go in the first half the equalizer came for Crumlin. A hopeful ball down the Crumlin right side resulted in a sloppy challenge and free kick to the opposition. The resulting free kick was launched into the box where the striker produced a looping header up and over The Bells keeper. Half time. The second half kicked off in similar fashion to the first with both teams creating minor chances whilst never really carving the opponent open. The game remained liked this up until the turning point in the game when the introduction of the substitutes by the manager proved to be a master stroke and after a build up of multiple passes the ball was pushed through the Crumlin defense by Robbie Williams into the feet of the big man Sodiq Oguntola who battled his way into the box but was dragged down just before he was about to fire towards goal. The referee Declan Troy was in a good position to view the foul and point to the spot. Sodiq, who dusted himself off decided to take the penalty. His tame effort was initially saved by the keeper only for him to have a second go at it which he did not make the same mistake again. After that the game opened up and both teams seemed to get the ball moving a lot quicker than before. With 75mins on the clock the game turned from a tight and cagey affair to pretty much game over with a number of quick fire goals. First it was Aji who neatly kept the ball inside the box with quick feet and perseverance to fire past the Crumlin keeper to make it 3-1. Moments later another goal was registered. A set piece into the area left Jeff Flood free at the back post but his header was cleared off the line but fell straight to the feet of Sodiq to slotted it in from 6 yards. Before we could even take a breath there was another. Sodiq who was excellent throughout broke down the left and his attempt at a cross looped over the stranded keeper and completed his first hat trick for the club. An excellent way to end his weekend after his pivotal involvement in the first team game the night before. So two wins from two for Keith Foys team and a solid start to the season. Although pleased with the start his team have had Keith was quick to mention that there is still quite a way to go in the league and all it means is that there is 6 points on the board nothing else.
"The Perfect Start" Match Report: Bangor 0-6 Bluebell Utd
Our Saturday side kicked off their campaign with a 0-6 away win vs. Bangor Celtic. Keith Foy took his new look squad to Bangor where our lads were on the receiving end of 5-2 defeat in this fixture last year. Thankfully there was no repeat of last years result and our lads came out emphatic winners in the end. Speaking with Keith after the game he was delighted with the players approach and attitude to the game. Well done to the lads for a great start to the season.
Mustapha (3) Glen Madden (2) Sadiq Oguntola (1)