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SFAI U14 National Cup 6th Round (last 16)

Tulla United 0 - 3 Middleton AFC                 Sunday 19th February 2017

Tulla United's adventure in the 2016/17 SFAI U14 National Cup came to an end on Sunday last in Cragg in a last 16 tie played before a big attendance against an excellent Midleton side. Boasting three players on the Irish Under 14 Development squad and having contested last years Under 13 National Cup final, Midleton came to Tulla with a big reputation and they lived up to their favourites tag in a match played in very good underfoot conditions.

Midleton carved out a great chance on 5 minutes when Chris O'Connor took the ball down on the edge of the six yard box and Tulla keeper Arron Curtis did brilliantly to smother his close range shot. The Cork Side, who have recorded 12 wins in 12 games in the Cork league, hit the front in the 14th minute when a cut back from the left was deflected into the path of midfielder Oran Crowe and he guided the ball into the bottom corner from twelve yards.

It looked ominous for the Clare side as Midleton forced two more top class saves from Arron Curtis and it took some excellent defending from Clare ETP squad members Darragh Keogh and Dara Ryan to keep the away side at bay. Slowly Tulla got a grip on the game with Jack McSweeney prominent in midfield. Following a foul on Ronan Dooley, Diarmuid Molloy whipped in a great free-kick that was clawed from under the cross bar by the Cork keeper and as Fiachra Hale pounced on the rebound to force the ball home, neither the referee or assistant could confirm that the ball had crossed the line. The home side piled on the pressure as Darragh Keogh and Ian MacNamara couldn't reach well delivered balls in the box by Diarmuid Molloy and Sean Withycombe and Midleton were glad to hear the half-time whistle.

Midleton regained their composure and their grip on the game after the break and after 10 minutes it took a tremendous save from Curtis to keep out a curling effort from the edge of the box and Dara Ryan took another effort off the line as the Cork side attacked in waves. Midway through the second half, the away side got the vital second goal as Chris O'Connor pounced on a deflected shot to slide the ball under Curtis from close range. Midleton completed the scoring on 25 minutes with another close range finish after a great block by Donal Sheedy had kept out the initial effort.

In what was a very brave performance by the home side, Arron Curtis, who is part of the Emerging Talent Regional squad, was outstanding between the posts and he was well supported by T.J. Dillon, Neil Callaghan, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Sean Withycombe, Emmet Lynch, and Adam O'Neill.

Tulla will host Clodiagh Rangers from Tipperary in the SFAI Under 14 regional semi-final at 2pm in Cragg on this Sunday with a place in the final against Nenagh AFC as the prize for the winners.

The Tulla United squad were: Arron Curtis, T.J. Dillon, Donal Sheedy, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, Jack McSweeney, Adam O'Neill, Ian McNamara, Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hale, Ruairi O'Sullivan, Neil Callaghan, Ronan Dooley, Liam O'Mahony, Eric Berqvist, Niall Boormann, John Moloney, Luke Woodrow, Emmet Lynch




SFAI U14 National Cup 5th Round (last 32)

Rockmount AFC 0 - 2 Tulla United                 Sunday 29th January 2017

Tulla United travelled to Cork on Sunday last to take on Rockmount AFC and after a tremendous contest in difficult underfoot conditions, booked their place in the last 16 of the U14 National Cup. Rockmount, the schoolboy club of current Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager and former International Roy Keane, started brightly and forced a succession of corners in the opening 10 minutes that were capably dealt with by Tulla keeper Aaron Curtis.

Tulla were always dangerous on the break and on 12 minutes Diarmuid Molloys angled pass put Ian MacNamara through and the Rockmount keeper did well to smother his close range effort. After 18 minutes, Neil Callaghan and Ronan Dooley set up Sean Withycombe and his goal-bound shot cannoned off a defender. The home side continued to exert a lot of pressure and Aaron Curtis made a great save low to his left, after a shot from the edge of the box.

Tulla took the lead in the 29th minute when a quick counter attack from a Rockmount corner, saw Jack McSweeney pick out Fiachra Hale who played a slide-rule pass to the feet of centre forward Ian MacNamara and he turned his defender before slipping a low shot under the advancing keeper. The away side could have doubled their advantage when Diarmuid Molloy's free kick from the left cannoned off the knees of the Rockmount keeper.

The second-half followed the pattern of the first with Rockmount dominating possession and Tulla having to soak up a lot of pressure. The home side forced a number of corners and free kicks but struggled to get a clear sight of goal as Darragh Keogh and Dara Ryan were rock solid at the heart of the Tulla defence. On 15 minutes, Aaron Curtis did well to flick an in-swinging corner over his crossbar in a crowded penalty box. From the resultant corner, Eoin McCarthy made a great last ditch tackle in the six yard box to block another goal bound effort.

As the half wore on Rockmount pushed more players forward in search of an equaliser and in the 25th minute a swift counter-attack by the Clare side brought the decisive second goal. Emmet Lynch and Adam O'Neill combined to release Ronan Dooley down the right wing and he skipped past two defenders before deftly lifting the ball over the Rockmount keeper and in off the underside of the cross bar for a goal worthy of winning any match. Tulla might have had a third in the 29th minute but Emmet Lynch couldn't get on the end of the tireless Sean Withycombe's cross from the left.

The home side continued to press in the last 5 minutes and it took a diving header by Dara Ryan to prevent a cross from reaching the Rockmount centre forward and a smart save by Aaron Curtis from a shot from the edge of the box, to keep a clean sheet and seal a famous win.

In what was a very hard working team performance, Aaron Curtis, Dara Ryan, Darragh Keogh, Ronan Dooley, Fiachra Hale, Ian McNamara and Eoin McCarthy were very prominent for the East Clare side who will meet Midleton at home in the last 16.

The Tulla United squad were: Aaron Curtis, T.J. Dillon, Donal Sheedy, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, Jack McSweeney, Adam O'Neill, Ian McNamara, Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hale, Ruairi O'Sullivan, Eoin McCarthy, Neil Callaghan, Ronan Dooley, Liam O'Mahony, Eric Berqvist, Niall Boormann, John Moloney, Luke Woodrow, Emmet Lynch.




SFAI U14 National Cup 4th Round

Ashling-Annacotty FC 1 - 1 Tulla United                 Saturday 26th November 2016
(A.E.T. Time Tulla won 2 - 1 on penalties)

Tulla United Under 14's qualified for the last 32 of the SFAI National Cup and the regional semi-final after a nail-biting 4th round tie with Limerick League leaders Ashling-Annacotty, that went all the way to a penalty shoot-out in Limerick on Saturday last. Played in cold and dry conditions, the home side started confidently and Tulla found themselves hemmed in for the much of the first-half. Only some excellent defending by T.J. Dillon, Dara Ryan and Darragh Keogh kept the Limerick side at bay as they bossed possession in the early stages. Goalkeeper Aaron Curtis did well to save low to his right from Darragh Murray after 10 minutes and on 18 minutes he was quick off his line to deny Adam Cummins.

Just as it looked like Tulla had weathered the storm, with Jack McSweeney and Ronan Dooley starting to get some possession in mid-field, Ashling-Annacotty hit the front on 29 minutes. Christopher Nwanko picked up the ball in mid-field and drove to the edge of the box where he played a one-two with Adam Cummins before lifting the ball over the advancing Aaron Curtis to give the Limerick side a deserved lead.

Tulla responded immediately from the kick-off with Diarmuid Molloy lifting the ball over the top for Sean Withycombe to test the home keeper from the close range. On 32 minutes, Neil Callaghan found Ronan Dooley in the box but his effort was blocked by a covering defender. On the stroke of half-time the away side drew level. Diarmuid Molloy found Fiachra Hale and he slipped a lovely ball into the inside left channel for Sean Withycombe to guide the ball across the advancing keeper with his left foot to send the teams in level at half-time.

The second-half saw both sides chased a winner and although the home side had more possession, Tulla were always dangerous on the break with the pace of Ian McNamara and Fiachra Hale proving to be a real teat for Ashling-Annacotty's back four. The best chance of the half feel to the home side on 55 minutes when Leon Kirranes cross from the right was met by a powerful Adam Cummins header that Arron Curtis saved brilliantly onto the his left-hand post. On sixty minutes substitute Eoin McCarthy denied Cummins again with a last gasp challenge that saw the Tulla United defender go off injured.

In extra-time, Ashling-Annacotty midfielder Kirrane was played through and lifted the ball over the advancing Tulla keeper only for Dara Ryan to clear from the six yard box. Tulla had two great chances in the last five minutes to grab the winner. Firstly, Sean Withycombe's left wing cross was inches away from the inrushing Ronan Dooley and after Fiachra Hale was fouled, Diarmuid Molloy crashed a wonderful free-kick off the cross bar from 25 yards with the Ashling-Annacotty keeper well beaten. This was to be the last chance of the game and two exhausted teams prepared for penalties.

In the shootout, Tulla keeper Aaron Curtis proved to be the hero as he saved 3 of the 5 Ashling-Annacotty penalties. After 2 penalties each, the home side were 1-0 up with Curtis saving the first spot-kick low to his right and the Limerick side scoring their second effort. Tulla's first two penalties were saved by the home keeper, with Darragh Keogh and Ronan Dooley calmly slotting home the Clare sides third and fourth penalties to give Tulla a 2-1 lead. Ashling-Annacottys third penalty came off the foot of the post and Curtis saved the 4th and 5th penalties to send Tulla into the last 32 in Ireland and also secure a home draw in the regional semi-final against either Clodiagh Rangers from Tipperary or Fairview Rangers from Limerick City.

This was a real team performance by the East Clare side with Aaron Curtis, Darragh Keogh and Dara Ryan outstanding in defence, Diarmuid Molloy and Sean Withycombe tireless on the wings, Fiachra Hale and Ian McNamara a constant threat up front and Adam O'Neill and Emmet Lynch contributing strongly when introduced late in the game.

The Tulla United squad were: Aaron Curtis, T.J. Dillon, Donal Sheedy, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, Jack McSweeney, Adam O'Neill, Ian McNamara, Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hale, Ruairi O'Sullivan, Eoin McCarthy, Neil Callaghan, Ronan Dooley, Liam O'Mahony, Eric Berqvist, Niall Borrmann, John Moloney, Luke Woodrow, Emmet Lynch.




SFAI U14 National Cup 3rd Round

Tulla United 6 - 0 Kilbeheny Celtic         Saturday 15th October 2016

Tulla United Under 14's welcomed Kilbeheny Celtic from the Limerick County and District League to Cragg on Saturday last and gave a convincing performance to secure their place in the 4th round of the SFAI Under 14 National Cup. In sunny and dry conditions, the home side started tentatively and were under a lot of pressure in the early stages as the visitors forced a series of corners and good blocks by Dara Ryan and Donal Sheedy were required to prevent the south east Limerick side taking the lead. After 10 minutes, Kilbeheny's pacey centre forward, Zach McCarthy found space behind the Tulla defence and forced Aaron Curtis into a good left handed save.

Tulla created their first chance on 12 minutes when Darragh Keogh's long pass put Ian McNamara through and his well struck effort was well saved at the expense of a corner. Another corner by Diarmuid Molloy on 14 minutes wasn't properly cleared and Sean Withycombe found space in a crowded penalty area to hammer home a powerful shot from 15 yards, to give Tulla the lead. With Jack McSweeney and Adam O'Neill on top in mid field, the home side dominated the remainder of the half and two shots by Fiachra Hale and further efforts by Molloy, O'Neill and McNamara tested the away keeper. Just when it looked like Tulla would only have a single goal advantage to show for their dominance, they constructed the best move of the match a minute before half-time to take a firm grip on the game. Neil Callaghan found Fiachra Hale in space and he slipped the ball to Diarmuid Molloy on the right wing and his first time cross was brilliantly volleyed home at the near post by Ian McNamara.

As with the first half, Kilbeheny also started the second half brightly and Aaron Curtis was quickly off his line in the 3rd minute as Jake O'Brien threatened. Eight minutes into the second-half and Tulla struck for the decisive third goal as Fiachra Hale set up substitute Ronan Dooley for a right-footed finish from the edge of the box. The 4th goal followed on 15 minutes as Sean Withycombe took the ball around the keeper and slipped the ball home with his left foot from a narrow angle.

Despite making a number of substitutions Tulla continued to dominate and Liam O'Mahony and Ruairi O'Sullivan combined to create another chance for Dooley, who finished smartly from 10 yards. Tulla wrapped up the scoring in the 25th minute with another good move. T.J. Dillon found John Moloney on the left and his first time pass was picked up by Ruairi O'Sullivan, who put Emmet Lynch through to beat the advancing keeper from the edge of the box.

In what was a very good team display, Tulla had their best performers in Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, and substitutes T.J. Dillon and Ronan Dooley.

Tulla United's reward for this convincing victory is an away tie against Limerick City side Ashling-Annacotty in the 4th round of National Cup.

The Tulla United squad were: Aaron Curtis, T.J. Dillon, Donal Sheedy, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, Jack McSweeney, Adam O'Neill, Ian McNamara, Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hale, Ruairi O'Sullivan, Eoin McCarthy, Neil Callaghan, Ronan Dooley, Liam O'Mahony, Liam Keating, Eric Berqvist, Niall Borrmann, John Moloney, Luke Woodrow, Emmet Lynch.




SFAI U14 National Cup 2nd Round

Tulla United 3 - 1 Lough Derg FC         Saturday 17th August 2016

Tulla United Under 14's advanced to the 3rd round of the SFAI Under 14 National Cup with a convincing win over Lough Derg FC on Saturday last in Cragg. Played in almost perfect conditions, Tulla dominated the early exchanges and had the ball in the net after just 3 minutes when Adam O'Neill scrambled the ball home from close range, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul on the keeper.

Undeterred, the home side continued to dominate possession and following a corner on the left after 6 minutes from Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hales shot rebounded to Adam O'Neill who finished smartly from 10 yards. Tulla doubled their lead on 15 minutes when Diarmuid Molloy's free kick was headed home by Darragh Keogh. Ruairi O'Sullivan, Sean Withycombe and Hale all had further efforts saved by the Derg keeper. The Ballina-Killaloe side were limited to chances on the break but with Neil Callaghan and Dara Ryan dominating at the back, they couldn't trouble Aaron Curtis in the Tulla goal.

The away side had their best period early in the second-half and it took a wonderful one handed save by Aaron Curtis to prevent Lough Derg getting back into the game.

With 20 minutes remaining Tulla secured the crucial 3rd goal after Donal Sheedy was fouled, the resultant free kick was whipped in by Diarmuid Molloy for Darragh Keogh to repeat his first half effort with another close range header.

Lough Derg didn't lie down and they got a deserved consolation goal 15 minutes from time after Tulla failed to clear a cross from the left. The home side dominated the last 10 minutes with further efforts from Emmet Lynch and Ronan Dooley saved by the Derg keeper.

The home side had their best performers in Darragh Keogh, Ian McNamara, Fiachra Hale, T.J. Dillon and Emmet Lynch.

Tulla United will play Kilbehenny Celtic in the 3rd round early in October.

The Tulla United squad were: Aaron Curtis, T.J. Dillon, Donal Sheedy, Darragh Keogh, Dara Ryan, Diarmuid Molloy, Ian McNamara, Adam O'Neill, Sean Withycombe, Fiachra Hale, Ruairi O'Sullivan, Neil Callaghan, Ronan Dooley, Liam O'Mahony, Liam Keating, Eric Berqvist, Niall Borrmann, John Moloney, Emmet Lynch.






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