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Parkvilla strike early to advance

Wednesday, 3rd March, 2010 4:49pm

Story by Conall Collier
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Parkvilla strike early to advance

Action from Friday night's Gilligan Cup clash at Claremont Stadium between Parkvilla and St James' Gate.

The Gilligan Cup might not be up there with the more prestigious silverware which the Leinster Senior League has to offer, but Parkvilla will not be too concerned about that after they advanced to the third round of the competition at Claremont Stadium, Navan on Friday night.

The Meath side disposed of one of the oldest clubs in the country, St James' Gate, who are now keeping their dream alive in the LSL Div 1A where they still have to meet the Navan men in the battle for league points later this season.

For Parkvilla, the Gilligan Cup represents a realistic chance of some success which could prove to a stepping stone on the road to promotion next season.

Parkvilla's history dates back to 1966 and while success has been an infrequent visitor to Claremont Stadium, they enjoyed a great tussle with St James' Gate for a league title in 1985.

On that occasion a play-off was required to separate the teams, the Dublin side won that tussle and Parkvilla had to be content with the runner-up medals.

The Dublin club is steeped in history and won both the inaugural Free State League, as it was known back in 1922, when they finished ahead of Bohemians and Shelbourne. The Gate also won the first FAI Cup final the same when they beat Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in a replay at Dalymount Park.

They were thrown out of the League of Ireland in 1944 after they failed to gain re-election and affiliated to the Leinster Senior League.

They joined the First Division of the League of Ireland in 1990 where they played for six years before reverting to the LSL.

The Dublin club was relegated from the Senior Division of the LSL in 2006 and last season slipped down to the third tier, Div 1A.

Friday night's action unfolded on a pitch that was just about playable and both teams deserve enormous credit for the standard they produced in such difficult conditions.

The home side dictated the opening half and after a couple of good efforts from Kevin Dunphy and Daryl Collins were saved by Gate's big 'keeper Martin Curran, Jason McDonagh claimed the all-important goal in the 28th minute.

McDonagh made the most of a scramble in the six-yrad box which resulted from a corner which had Curran screaming at the referee for a free-out.

Gate upped the tempo and were the better team in the closing minutes of the half with Shane Stritch guilty of poor finishing with his side's best chance of the night.

Parkvilla were fairly comfortable after the resumption as they probed down the flanks with Collins causing a lot of problems.

With 15 minutes remaining Dunphy unleashed a good shot from about 25 yeards which had 'goal' written all over it, but Curran produced an excellent save at the expense of a corner. Soon after he also saved well from David Hosie after Collins made the opening.

Chris Kennedy and James McDonnell formed a solid central defensive partnership for Parkvilla while Paul Colgan was solid between the posts.

Paul Colgan is a brother of Nicky who signed for Chlesea back in 1993 and is now playing for Grimsby Town.

Parkvilla player / manager Alan Murphy pulled the strings in midfield and can be satisfied with his team's overall performance. Apart from Curran, St James' Gate had good displays from Derek Kavanagh, Philip O'Donnell and Robbie Bolger.

Parkvilla - P Colgan; K Ratty, R Dillon, C Kennedy, J McDonnell, A Murphy, A Kerr, D Hosie, J McDonagh, D Collins, K Dunphy. Sub - J Power for Kerr 70 mins.

St James' Gate - M Curran; D Kavanagh, G Kenny, P O'Donnell, R Bolger, T Boyle, R Scollard, G Dowling, E Sheridan, S Stritch, J Neely. Subs - M Cullen for neeley 60 mins; A Rochford for Stritch 80m.

Referee - Reuben McManus, assistant-referees - Brendan Cruise, Alan Sherlock (all Meath Branch ISRS).

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