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O'Donoghue hits hat-trick as Town crush Clonbonny

Story by Tom Kelly

Friday, 28th October, 2011 5:30pm

Tullamore Town continued their fine run of form in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday with this comprehensive win over Athlone side, Clonbonny United in Division 1 of the Combined Counties Football League.

They were quickly into their stride and hit the front on ten minutes when Jonathan O'Donoghue got on the end of a Stephen Keogh corner to power his header into the back of the net. With 25 minutes on the clock, they increased their lead when they won a free kick out wide on the right and Keogh sent his effort curling into the top left hand corner of the net. As they continued to press Daithi Gorman played a great ball through to O'Donoghue but David Jinks was quickly off his line to save while at the other end Francis Earl fired in a dangerous left wing cross that just eluded the in-rushing Shane Monaghan. On the stroke of half-time, Monaghan again went close when he picked the ball up in the inside right channel but his shot flew narrowly wide as the interval arrived with Tullamore two goals to the good.

The home side should have increased their lead straight from the restart when Daithi Gorman sent Jonathan O'Donoghue through on goal but, in attempting to round the keeper, he dragged the ball too far wide and the chance was lost. Five minutes later Tullamore were awarded a penalty when Shane Colsh and O'Donoghue combined to set up Stephen Keogh but he was taken down in the area by the keeper.

Anthony Coyne took the spot kick but his well struck effort was superbly kept out by David Jinks in the Clonbonny goal.

They again threatened when Keogh pulled a great ball back to Alan Martin but he fired wide while at the other end Willie Duffy did well to scramble a dangerous right wing cross from David Earl out for a corner. A fine move created an opening for Trevor Francis but Jinks brought off an excellent save to deny him, but the visitors went perilously close on 65 minutes when Eric Farrell sent David Earl clear and his lob just drifted outside the left post with Ciaran Carragher stranded. As the home side hit back Keogh played a lovely ball through to O'Donoghue but Jinks got down to save.

He was not to be denied on 70 minutes when Jinks did brilliantly to keep out Carroll's close range effort but, as the ball broke back, O'Donoghue rifled it into the bottom left hand corner to put his side three up.

They nearly went further ahead when Keogh's left wing cross came down on the crossbar but minutes later O'Donoghue got on the end of a great through ball from Martin and the big centre forward crashed his shot into the roof of the net to complete his hat-trick.

With five minutes remaining Tullamore set the seal on a fine display when Trevor Francis swept the ball out to Stephen Keogh on the left and he cleverly slipped his marker before picking out Alan Martin who fired it into the bottom right corner to leave the final score 5-0 in the home side's favour.

This was a very impressive performance by the home side with excellent contributions from Anthony Coyne, Shane Colsh, Enda Carroll and Stephen Keogh with David Jinks, Gearoid O'Neill, Dane Gilligan and Alan Monaghan the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore's three goal centre-forward, Jonathan O'Donoghue.

Tullamore: Ciaran Carragher, Anthony Heffernan, Shane Colsh, Willie Duffy, Anthony Coyne, Alan Martin, Daithi Gorman, Aidan Nicholson, Stephen Keogh, Enda Carroll and Jonathan O'Donoghue. Subs: Trevor Francis, Daragh Gorman, Niall Lynch and Mark Hayes.