Garda turn the screw on ten-man Newlands

By Fergus Balfe

GARDA capitalised on their numerical advantage to comfortably see off ten-man Newlands/Castle Park with three second-half goals, including a brace from striker Lee Keenan, in their feisty LSL Major One early season encounter in Moyle Park College on Sunday.

A dull, goalless first half ended in controversial fashion as Newlands central midfielder David Byrne was given his marching orders, and the visitors turned the screw after the interval to take the three points.

Newlands Castle Park V Garda 05

The first opening of the game arrived after ten minutes, as an incisive pass from Garda left-back Wanda Timata put striker Noel Doyle through on goal, but NCP ‘keeper Wayne Joyce got down well to his left to save.

There was action at the other end moments later, as Newlands striker Stephen Power won an aerial battle to knock the ball down for winger Karl Marshall, but his shot on the stretch did not trouble Garda goalkeeper Sean Holmes.

Midway through the first period the homeside had another half-chance, as forward Matthew Nolan’s free kick was only partially cleared, allowing Marshall to strike, but his effort flew just over the bar.

The remainder of the half was devoid of any clear-cut chances, but eventually sparked into life just before the break as Nolan appeared to be fouled in the box by Timata, only for the referee to wave away the hosts’ protestations, and Byrne was crucially shown red for dissent.

Despite this, Newlands/Castle Park had an opportunity to hit the front early in the second half, as industrious winger Liam O’Rourke dispossessed Garda wideman Conor Doherty in an advanced position, before playing in Nolan, but his attempt on goal was weak and Holmes saved comfortably.

The Clondalkin side were left rueing that missed chance, as Garda winger Kevin Quinn and Doyle combined well down the right before finding Keenan at the edge of the box just a minute later, and the striker took a touch before coolly stroking into the corner.

Five minutes later, Keenan doubled his tally, as his downward header from right-back Richard McGrath’s excellent cross had just enough power to beat Joyce.

They almost repeated the trick soon after, as McGrath delivered for Keenan once more, but Joyce saved well to deny him his hat-trick, and Doherty’s converted rebound was ruled out for offside.

However, Doherty did get on the scoresheet for the Lucan side midway through the second period, as Doyle won the ball and played him in to calmly finish.

As the game petered out, the ten men were unable to notch the consolation goal their efforts deserved, as Holmes saved from substitute Jack McNeill before Power fired over, concluding a frustrating day for NCP.

NEWLANDS: 0

GARDA: 3

NEWLANDS/CASTLE PARK: W. Joyce, J. Toner, D. Bennett, D. Byrne, K. Kelly, D. Byrne, K. Marshall, N. Killeen, S. Power, M. Nolan, L. O’Rourke. SUBS: N. Hynes, S. Nolan, S. Bayless, J. McNeill, R. Garvey.

GARDA: S. Holmes, R. McGrath, W. Timata, J. Walsh, C. Nangle, G. Curran, K. Quinn, M. Care, N. Doyle, L. Keenan, C. Doherty. SUBS: J. Morgan, M. Akinola.

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