Killeavy inflict first league defeat on Stars
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
IT'S all wide open again in the Premier Division as Windmill went down in their first defeat this season to their old nemeses Killeavy.
Their last meeting was a cup game and Windmill emerged 5-0 victors. Perhaps that was playing on their minds as they came into this game at Jennings Park, or maybe it was the disappointing loss to Bessbrook in the Bessbrook Cup semi-final that contributed to this defeat, but regardless Killeavy were the deserving winners and after a few losses that saw them slip down the table, they are now back in the hunt to retain their title.
“It was good to get a win there after losing to Newry Celtic and Cleary Celtic. We beat Ballybot last week and because Windmill were the only team left unbeaten it was good to get a win against them. So that's Orchard, Windmill and Bessbrook we've beaten this year - all the big guns," said Man of the Match Ciaran Duffy - so named by Anthony O'Hare who did a good job of rallying the troops from the side-line in Manager Paddy McCann's absence.
O'Hare himself is still injured and will unfortunately most likely be out for rest of the season. While he is undoubtedly a massive loss to the team, they showed on Saturday that they can still put the goals away without him. They are still a dominant force too, as was proven when they went down to 10 men and yet they continued to hold Windmill off when Justin Reel was issued his marching orders following a second yellow early in the second half.
Having said that though, Stars were clearly off their game on the day and that just added to the difficulty of playing Killeavy, who play such a contrasting style of football.
The game was only 11 minutes old when Barry Magee delivered a ball into the area. There was a shambolic collection of bodies in the box either trying to clear the ball or poke it home - the latter won that battle when Justin Reel slotted the ball in the net.
David Reel got in on the action on 23 minutes when he made it 2-0 from a corner. Windmill were poor at the back, they were outmuscled by the bigger, stronger Killeavy forwards and the league champions, who are always a tough draw for Stars, looked far more aggressive in attack. They even out-ran the usually fleet-footed Josh McKeown on numerous occasions.
On 40 minutes Killeavy all but sealed the deal when some more ineffective defending by Windmill gifted Robbie Hempkin Killeavy's third goal.
The closest Stars came to scoring in the half was a Jimmy Russell strike but it went straight into Andrew Woodward's capable hands, and a Josh McKeown free that he blasted over the crossbar.
The second half had barely gotten underway when the referee said John Joe Maguire had his shirt-pulled by a number of Killeavy men in the box and awarded a penalty. Killeavy disputed the decision vehemently as Gareth White stepped up and slid the ball calmly passed Woodward into the bottom right corner to make it 3-1.
The game got even more physical after that as Killeavy felt aggrieved by the decision and it wasn't long before John Joe Maguire - who in fairness was getting a bit battered out there - felt the brunt of their annoyance. He had the legs taken from under him by Justin Reel and when a second yellow was flashed Killeavy went down to 10 men.
Even at that though Windmill still couldn't find a way through, even when they made a couple of changes bringing Paddy Farrell and Conor McKeown on. Maguire missed a chance but it was Barry Magee who came closer down the other end when he pounded a shot off the crossbar.
Duffy also made his way through and looked a cert to make it four but for a brilliant block by Maguire.
Windmill kept trying however and 10 minutes before
The best Windmill opportunity came minutes before the whistle when Paddy Quinn crossed a lovely ball across the goal to an in-rushing Josh McKeown, but it was too far of a stretch and he poked it wide.
Killeavy then are back in contention and no doubt Orchard and the other teams who still fancy their chances will be pleased with this result.
“We've lost three but now Windmill have lost one and Orchard have lost one too so that's opened it up," said Duffy adding, "It might be a lot closer this year than a lot of people think."
WINDMILL STARS: Paddy Hearty, Ciaran O'Neill, Adrian Barry, Sean Brady, Joe McLoughlin, Patrick Quinn, John Joe Maguire, Jimmy Russell, Josh McKeown, Gareth White and Ryan Devlin. Subs: Paddy Farrell, Eamon O'Hare, Conor McKeown, Kieran McParland and John O'Hanlon.
KILLEAVY UNITED: Andrew Woodward, Mark Magennis, Gareth O'Hare, Robbie Hempkin, Karl O'Hare, Liam O'Hare, Darren McConville, David Reel, Ciaran Duffy, Barry Magee and Justin Reel. Subs: Brendan Carnegie, Michael Reel and Mickey Nugent.
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