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‘A Blast from the Past: 2009’
Sport

‘A Blast from the Past: 2009’

CCFL Division 4A
Portlaoise side’s leap to glory
Dynamo Town 6 Arlington AFC ‘B’ 3
The home side knew that victory here would guarantee them a play-off at the very least for the league title.  With a four goals to one lead just after the break the hosts seemed to be cruising to their date with league glory.  Daydreaming in defense however allowed Arlington fire home two goals in quick succession to reduce the margin to the bare minimum.  Dynamo’s admirable resolve and wealth of experience helped them recover in the end and secure a handsome victory that places the league trophy almost within their grasp.

It was the visitors that opened more brightly; indeed the Barrowsiders shaded the opening quarter-hour.Barry Kenny was first to be played through but couldn’t keep his shot on target. Then the home keeper Daire Phelan had to pull-off a smart save from an Arlington corner. Dynamo’s first charge at goal saw Liam Marum’s backheel set up Kevin Fitzpatrick but the Laois GAA star pulled his shot slightly much to the visitors’ relief. Ironically for all their early efforts Arlington found themselves a goal adrift on the quarter-hour mark. A well-weighted Paddy Whelan cross from in on the right flank saw Fearghal Fennell steal a march on his marker then steer a shot past O’ Callahan.

Almost there for charging Dynamo!: Portlaoise side Dynamo Town with match official Patsy Pardy as they secured the CCFL Division 4A title with a pulsating six-three home victory oover mid-table Arlington AFC

Almost there for charging Dynamo!: Portlaoise side Dynamo Town with match official Patsy Pardy as they secured the CCFL Division 4A title with a pulsating six-three home victory over mid-table Arlington AFC

Fennell returned the favour minutes later for Whelan but his header flew inches over O’ Callahan’s crossbar. Arlington responded when Reddin gave away a needless free but Alan Glass couldn’t keep his set-piece on target. Glass was soon called into action at the other end of the pitch when clearing Fitzpatrick’s header off the line. Owen Delaney then gave away yet another needless free but Bernard Bland saved his blushes when bravely blocking out Kenny’s setpiece. Then Paddy Kelly was called upon to clear Arlington’s next effort on goals. Reddin and Tomas Scully then rained shots down on O’ Callahan.

Kenny came so close to opening his goal account moments later but his shot on the turn but Phelan; diving full-length, turned it around his near-post. The visitors edged even closer to an equaliser when Fennell fired his free header inches wide. Dynamo’s relief lasted a mere minute however as Kenny turned provider to devastating effect. His ball forward allowed his fellow striker Luke O’ Brien smash a fierce shot past Phelan. Agonisingly for the Barrowsiders their equaliser’s worth was wiped out within in a minute. A marvellous Whelan cross in from the right wing allowed Thomas Scully fire an unstoppable shot past O’ Callahan. That Dynamo had restored their lead so quickly and just before the break seemed to destabilise the visitors.

Agony for Arlington!: Arlington AFC's 'B' side prior to their six-three loss away to Division 4A leaders Dynamo Town during the sides' midweek league clash

Agony for Arlington!: Arlington AFC’s ‘B’ side prior to their six-three loss away to Division 4A leaders Dynamo Town during the sides’ midweek league clash

The concluding half opened with the hosts pouring forward relentlessly. Fennell fired over a cross from the right flank but Marum; steaming into the box, missed it by mere millimetres. A long Dynamo ball forward was laid off by a deft Thomas Scully touch. Marum made no mistake with his shot; slotting it low to O’ Callahan’s right. Not content with their newly-minted two-goal lead the hosts further extended their lead within a minute. A pin-point cross allowed substitute Liam Phelan head past the overworked Arlington keeper.
With a three-goal lead and a full half-hour remaining the home side seemed set fair for a handsome win that would frank their title hopes. Alas two moments of desperately poor defending in quick succession allowed a game visiting side reduce the deficit to a mere minimum. Thorpe was bodychecked when going through on the Dynamo goals and the Arlington midfielder; having dusted himself off, fired the resulting penalty low to Phelan’s right. Then a speculative Kenny shot somehow wriggled under Phelan’s body to cut back Dynamo’s lead to the bone.
The home side soon righted their ship however and a smart Reddin finish soon pushed out the home side’s lead to two. The curse of chronic defending soon infected the visitig ranks and allowed Dynamo to restore their three-goal lead. Three times Arlington should have cleared a loose ball at the heart of their defence and thrice they failed. The home side availed of such generosity and Fitzpatrick was on hand to head home past a stranded O’ Callahan. With such a handsome lead the Portlaoise side were content to let their engine tick over as the finishing line came into view. O’ Callahan though had to pull off a stunning save late on to deny Marum.
The victors can thank marvellous displays from midfielders Liam Marum, Fearghal Fennell and Kevin Fitzpatrick. For a battling Arlington side Barry Kenny shone upfront throughout while David Thorpe pulled the strings in midfield.
Dynamo Town: Daire Phelan; Owen Delaney, Bernard Bland, Paddy Kelly, Kevin Fitzpatrick; Thomas Scully, Feaghal Fennell, Danny Reddin, Liam Marum; Brian Scully, Thomas Scully Subs Used: Liam Phelan, Eoin Farrell, Jason O’ Dwyer, Allan Daly, Shane Mitchell
Arlington AFC ‘B’: Brendan O’ Callahan; Alan Glass, Ted Lawlor, David Fitzpatrick, Sean McManus; Niall Duffin, David Thorpe, Cormac Murphy, Phil Kane; Barry Kenny, Luke O’ Brien Subs Used: Paul Shiel