AUL Soccer: Churchvilla battle back in AUL League 3 clash at Ard na Laoi

Spoils shared at Leemount as visitors take unbeaten run to six games
AUL Soccer: Churchvilla battle back in AUL League 3 clash at Ard na Laoi

Ard na Laoi's Jamie Legitt gets a successful tackle in on Churchvilla's Ivan Merz in the action at Leemount. Picture: Barry Peelo.

Ard na Laoi 2 Churchvilla 2

CHURCHVILLA came from 0-2 down before securing a point after a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Ard Na Laoi in their League 3 clash at Leemount.

This draw now means that Churchvilla have maintained their unbeaten run of six games on the bounce in league activity.

Churchvilla. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Churchvilla. Picture: Barry Peelo.

Churchvilla almost got off to a perfect start when a header from Ivan Merz came back off the post via a defender and when it broke to the right for Darragh O’Mahony, his cracking low effort cannoned off the feet of John Paul Rath for a corner.

Darragh O’Mahony then had a chance soon afterwards, but guided his effort narrowly wide of the upright.

And after Sam McSweeney headed over from a corner, Ken Murphy had a chance at the other end, but dragged his effort disappointingly wide.

A lovely through ball from Dave Conroy played in Cormac Rice, but an alert Jack Ryan came off his line in the nick of the time to save the day.

Ard na Laoi's Dave Conroy gets away from Churchvilla's Jamie O'Gorman. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Ard na Laoi's Dave Conroy gets away from Churchvilla's Jamie O'Gorman. Picture: Barry Peelo.

Rice was accorded another half-chance, but failed to make proper contact and the chance went.

Ard Na Laoi forged in front when from a free kick, Ger Delaney pounced on to a loose ball before steering it into the net on 19 minutes.

Another chance fell for the hosts when Dave O’Leary fired in a cross which was aimed at Cormac Rice, but the striker failed to get a touch and the chance went.

Minutes later, the woodwork came to Churchvilla’s rescue when Dave Conroy sees his rasping low effort come back off the upright before going away to safety.

When play switched to the other end, Ryan Forde looked like he was getting to a ball over the top, but John Paul Rath sprung from his area to make an important intervention.

Churchvilla threatened next and when Rath parried from Sam McSweeney’s free kick, Ryan Forde got a second bite of the cherry, but was denied by a second save from Rath.

Then, Darragh O’Mahony came close with a dipping effort that sailed narrowly over before Ivan Merz makes Rath work to collect from his forceful strike.

The final action in a busy first 45 sees Dave O’Leary collecting from Ken Murphy’s cross before skewing wide while in a good position.

Ard Na Laoi. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Ard Na Laoi. Picture: Barry Peelo.

An important substitute of note before the second half kicked off was Cian Murphy (left full) replacing Jack Ryan between the sticks for Churchvilla while Craig Murray came on for Ryan.

After sustaining early pressure from Churchvilla, Cormac Rice picks out Dave O’Leary with a ball inside, but the striker drills over from 20.

Nice build-up play by the hosts then sees James Cooper finding Darragh Connolly who helps on for Dave O’Leary to set the supporting Cooper up for an opportunity, but he skews wide of the target.

And after John Paul Rath had to get down smartly to block from a low effort by Jamie O’Gorman, Ard Na Laoi doubled their advantage when Dave O’Leary showed a steadying touch before lifting a terrific effort high into the Churchvilla net on the hour.

Ard Na Laoi needed to throw caution to the wind now and had to chase the game with Sam McSweeney heading goal-wards from Alan Warren’s free kick, but not enough to trouble Rath.

A great chance fell for Ger Delaney to put the result to bed though, but he headed wide while unattended.

Churchvilla pressed after that and pulled one back when failure by Ard Na Laoi to clear from a corner allowed Alan Warren to guide home on 77.

Then, what a relief for Churchvilla when Craig Murray broke through to slip it past Rath and secure a point in the dying moments.

Ard Na Laoi captain Jamie Legitt (right) with Chruchvilla's Darragh O'Mahony, accompanied by referee Mick O'Flaherty. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Ard Na Laoi captain Jamie Legitt (right) with Chruchvilla's Darragh O'Mahony, accompanied by referee Mick O'Flaherty. Picture: Barry Peelo.

ARD NA LAOI: John Paul Rath, Darragh Connolly, Dave Conroy, Dave Carroll, Ger Delaney, James Cooper, Ken Murphy, Jamie Legitt, Dave O’Leary, Cormac Rice and Ian Kenneally.

Subs: Gavin Lane for Darragh Connolly (55),

CHURCHVILLA: Jack Ryan, Cian Maguire, Cian Murphy, Alan Warren, Sam McSweeney, Ryan Forde, Ivan Merz, Daniel Gilroy, Darragh O’Mahony, Jamie O’Gorman and Sam Murphy

Subs: Craig Murray for Jack Ryan (half-time), Daire McCarthy for Jamie O’Gorman (65), James McNamara for Daniel Gilroy (68), TJ Dennehy for Ryan Forde (80).

Referee: Mick O’Flaherty.

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