Futsal - Match Day 4   06/01/2018




Friday 5th January was the last Qualification Night with Group B in the Stacey Cup competition and what a night it was.

This was hyped as the “Group of Death” and it lived up to all that in a marvellous nights’ FUTSAL with the winning of the Group going down to the very last of 21 games and what a finale it was!

With so many good teams doing battle for the last two qualification spots this was always going to be closely contested with a share of surprise results and upsets along the way.

Temple Villa Jets got the evening underway with an opening 2-0 win over the St. Francis Vipers. Lee Fallon scored the first goal of the night with Dylan McCormack adding the second but it was Cian Lawless in the Villa goal who was only magnificent and was more responsible than any other for this opening win.

The close nature of this Group B was demonstrated in the next two games with successive 0-0 draws in the Hodson Bay Celtic v St. Josephs Reds and the St. Francis Cobras v AC Celtic Warriors matches.

The Cobras and the Warriors are among the strong favourites to get out of this Group and their game was excellent but with absolutely nothing between them including on the scoreboard.

After two scoreless games Game 4 was a seven goal thriller.

Joshua Lloyd scored first to put the fancied Ballinasloe Jets one up against the St. Francis Vipers.  Jamie Coyne soon made it 2-0 before Adam Manning pulled one back for 2-1. Charlie Killeen pushed it out to 3-1 but Conor Hughes reduced the margin to the minimum at 3-2. Charlie Killeen scored his second to double that slender lead with Conor Hughes then getting his own second in the last minute for a final score of 4-3 to the Ballinasloe Jets.

We were really up and running now.

Next up Temple Villa Jets and St.Josephs Reds shared the points in a decent 1-1 draw. Dylan McCormack opened the scoring for Villa with Conor Feeney scoring the equaliser for St. Josephs.

St. Francis Cobras signalled their intent with a thumping 9-0 win over Hodson Bay Celtic. Remarkably the Cobras had six different goal scorers which underlines their potency.

Darragh Lough got it going with a good goal. Brandon Wykes, Kevin Jordan and then Darragh Lough again pitched in with goals. Kyle Greene made it 5-0. Jack Curry made it 6-0. Darragh Lough then completed his hat-trick with Tommy Marsh scoring the last two to round out the tally.

Still it might have been even more but for some splendid goalkeeping from Barry Carr in the first period and Paul O’Sullivan in the second period in the Bay goal. Their bravery under heavy fire was distinguished.

Game 7 featured two of the heavyweights in AC Celtic Warriors and the Ballinasloe Jets. AC looked the part. Ruairi Dolan put them in front. Darren Kenny made it 2-0. Charlie Killeen got one back for the Ballinasloe Jets but this 2-1 win seemed very significant at the time with AC really justifying their favourites billing.

Next up a Conor Hughes goal was enough to grab all 3 points for the St. Francis Vipers in a 1-0 win over St. Josephs Reds.

St. Francis Cobras who scored 9 last time out put 5 past Temple Villa without reply. Jack Curry got the first before Brandon Wykes took over with four fabulous goals. Brandon would score an incredible 14 goals over the night. Note the name! Brandon Wykes! One to watch!

In Game 10 Ballinasloe Jets got back on track with a 3-0 win over Hodson Bay. Cameron Keighery scored the first two goals with Charlie Killeen scoring the third and also scoring in his third successive match. Another to watch!

Game 11 produced the first real shock of the night. St. Francis Vipers did themselves and the St. Francis Cobras a big favour with a sensational 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten AC Celtic Warriors. Fola Odekunle scored the priceless goal and only the second goal conceded by the Warriors in three games.

The St. Francis Cobras pounced to take full advantage in the next game with a 5-0 win over the St. Josephs Reds. The Cobras had now scored 19 goals in their last three games! Brandon Wykes scored the first two and the last two for a tally of 4 with Jack Curry scoring in between. Is that what you call a Medium Curry?

Sorry Jack! That is truly terrible! But his team are really flying notching their third successive win after that opening draw scoring 19 and yet to concede!

Temple Villa Jets were 3-0 winners over Hodson Bay Celtic in Game 13. Luke Nolan scored the first, with Dylan McCormack scoring the second and Tadhg Heavin scoring an excellent third to give the Villa a second win together with a draw in their first four games. Really a close fought Group.

Ballinasloe Jets were well in the hunt. Cameron Keighery scored the first in a 2-0 win over the St.Josephs Reds. Charlie Killeen kept up his record of scoring in every game with the second. Ballinasloe are now 3 wins from 4 games.

All coming nicely to the boil!

St. Francis Cobras are on a roll scoring 5 goals in their third consecutive game in a 5-1 win over the St. Francis Vipers. It was close for a time but then Brandon Wykes piled in with a hat-trick for a 3-0 lead. Jeffrey Idahosa got one back for the Vipers but Brandon Wykes scored again for 4-1 and to score 4 goals in three consecutive matches. A remarkable feat from a goal machine! Kevin Jordan made it 5 to wrap up the win.

AC Celtic Warriors did their own version of the “High Five” with their own 5-0 win over the Temple Villa Jets.

Cillian Geary scored the first marked with an impressive goal celebration. You would think he was paid to do it!

Ruairi Dolan made it 2-0. Paul Keegan made it 3-0. Daire Burke scored for 4-0 with Paul Keegan scoring his second of the match for 5-0.  AC really bounced back into contention after their earlier surprise setback with this result and performance.

In Game 17 St. Francis Vipers were 6-1 winners over Hodson Bay. Ben Ward scored first to put the Ballybay Boys in front. Shane Killian equalised for the Vipers. Conor Hughes put them in front. Jeffrey Idahosa then scored two good goals to make it 4-1. Conor Hughes added his second before Jeffrey completed his hat-trick for 6-1.

Game 18 was significant for another costly AC Celtic stumble.

Josh Oyiki scored to put the St. Josephs Reds in front. AC had loads of chances but could not beat the impressive Ronan McClean in the Reds goal. When Ronan was forced to retire with a knee injury David Wilczek took over between the sticks as he and his team dug in. AC finally got a goal back from Cillian Geary but it finished 1-1 and those dropped points are expensive in a tight Group.

Ballinasloe Jets took full advantage with a hard fought 3-0 win over Temple Villa Jets. Charlie Killeen kept up his goal per game record for 1-0. Junior Harte then made a magnificent save to keep it that way with Ballinasloe sweeping right down the pitch for Charlie Killeen to score his and Ballinasloe’s second. That save was as crucial as any goal. Charlie Killeen then wrapped up an impressive hat-trick to secure 3 very valuable points.

That result put AC Celtic in a difficult position. However you would not think it as they put 8 past Hodson Bay without reply.

Stephen O’Connor got the first. Cillian Geary then fired in a hat-trick only for Keelan Connell to do precisely the same with a hat-trick of his own for 7-0. Paul Keegan had the last word to make it 8-0 but it was too late for the Warriors.

So going into the last game St. Francis Cobras and Ballinasloe Jets had won qualification into next Thursday’s Grand Finals. Their meeting in the last game of the night would decide who would win the Group.

What a game this was!

The Cobras needed but a draw to win the Group. Darragh Lough put them on their way with an opening goal. Cormac Harrington equalised for the Jets. Brandon Wykes put St. Francis back in front with a quality strike. Ryan Dowd scored for a second equaliser to make it 2-2. This was some game!

How would it finish?

In a welter of drama and excitement was the answer.

Both sides had chances. Junior Harte saved for the Jets. The Cobras scrambled one away. It would take a bit of magic to decide this.

And we got it!

A quite brilliant passing move from Ballinasloe ended when Ryan Dowd pulled a great ball across goal from the right for Charlie Killeen to score first time with a low shot inside the far post. A sensational goal!

It was fitting that such a class goal should decide this game and also decide who would top the Group. It was also fitting that Charlie Killeen should score the decisive goal. He scored in every single game amassing a total of 9 crucial goals on the night.

Both Ballinasloe Jets and the St.Francis Cobras will really fancy their chances in next Thursday’s Stacey Cup Finals. Any team with Brandon Wykes in it has a chance but their total goal tally of 26 goals in 6 games conceding only 4 marks them out as very dangerous. Yet they were second in the Group behind the Ballinasloe Jets who showed huge character after losing their second game to win their next four.

The great news is that the Ballinasloe Jets and the St. Francis Cobras will meet again at least once next Thursday in the round robin Grand Finals. That is enough reason to go all by itself!

Add in the Group A Cup winners Hodson Bay Bhoys and the powerful St.Josephs Blues and we have some Stacey Cup competition next Thursday. These 4 Teams will meet in a round robin format with the top two meeting again in the Grand Final for the Stacey Cup.

Then in the Rowan Shield we have an equally mouth watering prospect. The Ballinasloe Cheetahs will be favourites for many with 4 girls in their Squad while the St.Josephs Blues are a fantastic football side. Shield Group B winners St. Francis Lions were the only team to qualify with a 100% winning record and have only conceded one goal in reaching the Finals while the AC Celtic Rebels will have a very big say in the destination of the Rowan Shield.

We can hardly wait for Thursday.

Let’s Play FUTSAL!


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