*Action from the meeting of Bridge Utd and Kilrush Rangers. 

BRIDGE UTD recorded their third Premier Division win on the bounce to move to fourth place in the table.

Bridge Utd 2
Kilrush Rangers 1
Venue: Gallery Park, Kilrush

Lee Mulready’s brace allowed Bridge Utd to leave West Clare with three more points in the bag after surviving a competitive morning’s football against Kilrush Rangers on Sunday.

Recently retired Clare footballer Podge Collins made his second starting appearance for Bridge Utd with his former county teammate David Tubridy back in the Kilrush colours.

Whether it is home advantage or not, Kilrush appeared to be a far more organised outfit for this clash, quite possibly the lure of not having to travel as far for a game ensured they were able to field a strong team. The presence of Eamonn O’Dea between the posts certainly makes them a more difficult side to overcome.

This is what Bridge Utd were beginning to realise early on with a cross-field breeze adding to their difficulties.

Indeed it was the hosts who broke the deadlock. Dean Neary capitalised on a rare blunder from Bridge Utd custodian John Mulready to open the scoring inside the first twenty minutes.

Exchanges were for the most part contained to the middle of the field with both teams feeling the effects of the wind which scuppered their ability to try daring moves.

With less than minutes of play remaining in the opening half, Kilrush were content to be leading 1-0 and definitely giving their opponents plenty of it.

All that changed in a six minute spell. A foul on Derek Fahy allowed Liam Buckley to deliver a free into the danger area which was met by the head of Lee Mulready on thirty seven minutes.

Having done well to keep possession in play, Kilrush ended up conceding a throw at the opposite end of the pitch and coughing up an attacking move. Straight from Christy Griffin’s throw, Bridge Utd worked the ball to right winger Lee Mulready and the teenager fired a bullet into the bottom left corner to swing the lead towards the visitors on forty three minutes.

O’Dea was called upon to deny Lee Mulready and Derek Fahy in quick succession while Kilrush’s best chance of the restart was spoiled by John Mulready who denied them on the rebound.

Podge Collins was left annoyed when he was pulled for an offside on seventy eight minutes when the Cratloe man was on his way to making it 3-1. Liam Buckley hit his shot wide on their next attack while a further combination between Derek Fahy and David Collins was their best chance to go further clear.

Trying to rescue a draw, Kilrush Rangers began to put some moves together. The glorious chance to equalise fell to goalscorer Dean Neary but he didn’t connect with the ball allowing Mulready to make an easy save on eighty three minutes. A more difficult save followed for Mulready in Kilrush’s last attack when Jamie Griffin got a head onto an incoming free.

Heading into the Christmas break, Kilrush remain rooted to the bottom of the table with no points on the board following six games. This was without doubt one of their better displays so they will take solace in a sense of improvement but will lament failing to get a share of the spoils.

Key to their quest to get out of the relegation zone is bringing their best squad to every game and not just their home outings. David Tubridy brings a quality to the middle of the park while Eamonn O’Dea offers stability between the posts, Jamie Griffin did well over the ninety minutes while David Foran up until a hamstring injury ended his involvement and Cathal Carrig when introduced were prominent.

Mark Culbert’s Bridge Utd are also growing but more importantly climbing up the table as they go. They took a whole to get going in this contest but will return after the festive break in positive spirits and buoyed by the strengthening of their squad with the signings of the Collins brothers plus the return of the experienced Derek Fahy who is leading their attack.

With more players to return, the Sixmilebridge side can continue to move up the table if their focus remains steadfast. Lee Mulready, Liam Flynn and Fahy were best for the winners.

Bridge Utd: John Mulready; Christy Griffin, Eoin Keenan, Liam Flynn, Ciaran Monaghan; Conor Deasy; Liam Buckley, Lee Mulready, Jack O’Halloran; Podge Collins, Derek Fahy.

Subs: Ronan Tuohy for O’Halloran (75), David Collins for Collins (79).

Kilrush Rangers: Eamonn O’Dea; Karl Murphy, Dylan O’Brien, Norbert Knucki, Filip Rzymek; David Tubridy; Richie Gajdecki, Patrick Clair; Jamie Griffin, David Foran, Dean Neary.

Subs: Robbie Burns for Foran (33) (inj), Cathal Carrig for Murphy (HT), Trevor Clancy for Gajdecki (58), Mark Shannon for Burns (75).

Referee: Michael Rock

Weekend Results:

Youths Premier – Key to the Future School of Motoring:

Tulla Utd 2-1 Newmarket Celtic
Bridge Celtic 0-2 Bridge Utd A
Avenue Utd 2-2 Bridge Utd B
Shannon Town Utd 8-0 Mountshannon Celtic

U17s First Division:

Coole FC 0-3 Corofin Harps

Maloney Hardware Premier Division:

Kilrush Rangers 1-2 Bridge Utd A
Avenue Utd A 2-0 Kilkishen Celtic

Banner Fire First Division:

Sporting Ennistymon 2-1 Bunratty Cratloe
Mountshannon Celtic 2-3 Shannon Town B

Brian Pyne Tiles Second Division:

Fair Green Celtic 3-0 Fern Celtic

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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