Ballincollig 0 Leeds 3
LEEDS claimed all three points against Ballincollig in a season opener in the U14 Division 3 league in the Regional Park last Saturday morning.
The scoreline does not reflect the closeness of the match, as there was very little to separate both teams throughout the 70 minutes, with two goals in the space of five minutes late in the second half making sure of the win.
The visitors pressed forward from the start, with Cillian O’Keeffe shooting wide after finding himself behind the Ballincollig defence, while moments later Steven Daly was through, only to be well tackled in the area by Ballincollig’s Daniel Zeph.
Ballincollig threatened at the other end, Zeph dispossessed by Robbie McNicholas right in the area while Leeds keeper Zack Healy Lynch made a double save from Zeph and Fionn Johnson right in front of goal.
Play was getting frantic now, going from end to end, with Cathal Dunton’s effort cleared off the Ballincollig goal line, followed by chances for Ballincollig’s Zack McGinn and Zeph, denied by Healy Lynch at the expense of a corner kick.
Ballincollig pressed again, but Leeds managed to make one of their counterattacks count when Cillian O’Callaghan weaved past the keeper 15 yards from goal for the opener, right on the stroke of half time.
Leeds pressed forward following the resumption, forcing their Ballincollig foes to defend in numbers.
The home side did manage to come forward however with chances falling to Daniel Zeph, Child Ebili, and Zack Sheehan, but without success.
Leeds attacked again, Cillian O’Keeffe’s 20-yard effort going inches wide of the far post, while Ballincollig keeper Donnacha Noonan did well to block Adam Mannix’s attempt moments later.
Ballincollig were looking for the equaliser, but found it difficult to break through a stern Leeds defence, with Healy Lynch punching away Zack McGinn’s effort and from the resulting Leeds’ counterattack managed to run upfield and score their second when Cillian O’Keeffe found the top left-hand corner of the net from 18 yards.
Leeds added a third five minutes later when Cillian O’Flynn’s cross from the far corner found an unmarked Jack Finn at the near post, and he made no mistake from just inside the area — much to the delight of his team-mates who poured onto the pitch to celebrate.
Ballincollig’s Chida Ebili had a 25-yard free kick which was well held by the Leeds keeper Healy Lynch two minutes from time, but Leeds who took the points in what turned out to be a very entertaining game, with both teams providing us with an excellent opener to the new season.
BALLINCOLLIG: Donnach Noonan, Liam Nodwell, Josh Ojo, Conor O’Sullivan, Leon Mujak, Zack McGinn, Chida Ebili, Daniel Zeph, Lennan Power, Jack Sheehan, Fionn Johnson, Cian Murphy, Oisin Ryan.
LEEDS: Zack Healy Lynch, Jamie Greaney, Robbie McNicholas, Jay Moloney, Charlie O’Riordan, Liam Waters, Cillian O’Callaghan, Steven Daly, Adam Mannix, Cathal Dunton, Cillian O’Keeffe, Ryan Kirwan, Adam O’Brien, Cillian O’Flynn, Jack Cambridge, Jack Finn.
Referee: Pat Cambridge.