Willow Park enjoyed a great start to the season in front of a large crowd in DPD Park with a 1-0 win over Sacred Heart/Firhouse Clove in the Leinster Senior League.
After a quiet first half, the game kicked into life during the second period. After Willow had claims for a penalty waived away, Aidan Fallon was forced to make a full body save after he had initially slipped.
There was just 10 minutes remaining when Neil Macken did brilliantly on the right wing to cut the ball across the six yard box, and although Callum Lynch’s first effort was blocked, he cleverly back heeled the ball into the net to catch everybody by surprise.
In the final action of the night Fallon dived brilliantly to get a strong right hand down to the butt of the post to keep the lead for the win.
There were superb displays from Ciaran McGuinness, JJ Offorjama, Ian Dempsey and Fallon.
Willow Park: Aidan Fallon, John McCrossan, JJ Offorjama, Conor McCormack, Ciaran McGuinness, Ryan Gaffey, Clive Harris, Ian Dempsey, Cian Fallon McGowan, Callum Lynch and Neil Macken. Subs used: Darren Carberry and Claudio Silva.
Willow will host Greystones on Friday night in DPD Park in their third league game in a week. Kick off at 7.30pm
Seamus ‘Muscles’ O’Brien Memorial Tournament
Well done to the U15s and U14s who performed with distinction in the annual tournament hosted by Mullingar Athletic in memory of the late great Athlone football man, Seamus O’Brien.
The U15s performed excellently to reach the final where they lost out to St Joseph’s 3-0. In the group stage, Willow Park overcame Oranmore 1-0, thanks to Sean Keegan’s goal. Keegan, Sean Whittaker and Sean Gorey were on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win over Parkvilla.
In the semi final, Willow overcame Tullamore by a single goal, courtesy of Sean Mackey. Sean Whittaker was named player of the tournament.
The U14s won the plate competition. They drew 1-1 with Knocknacarra, who went on the win the shield, in the opening group game, with the Willow goal coming from Darragh Deegan.
Sophie Byrne was on the scoresheet for Willow in the second group game, a 4-1 defeat to eventual cup winners Mullingar Athletic.
In the plate semi final, goals from Deegan and Matthew Deehan helped Willow Park to a 2-0 win over St Joseph’s Blacks and in the final, a Darragh Deegan hat-trick, and goals from Deehan, Aaron Claffey and Paul MacEvilly helped Willow to a 6-2 win over Ballinasloe Town. Darragh Deegan was given the man of the match award and joint top goal scorer for the tournament. A brilliant performance by the two Willow Park teams.
Thanks to Tanya Cannon and A1 Cleaning for their support for new dugouts at DPD Park.
Fixtures: Friday: LSL, Willow Park, v Greystones, 7.30pm; Saturday MSL U14 Major, Willow Park FC v Mountmellick United, Willow Park, 11.45am; MSL U15 West, St Francis FC v Willow Park FC, Iona Park 10am; MSL U16 West, Mullingar Ath Falcons v Willow Park Celtic, Gainstown, 11.15am. Sunday: Over 35sLFA Over 35 Cup 4th Round St Columbans SYC v Willow Park; 12 noon; Glin Road Dublin.
Results: U 16 West, Willow Park Celtic 1, Kinnegad Juniors AFC 3.