NAFL Premier Division

Immaculata 0-1 Crumlin Utd

CRUMLIN United scored the only goal of the game at Grosvenor on Saturday afternoon to nab a win against Immaculata in a mid-table clash.

As expected, the tie began rather scrappy, both sides struggled in the opening 15 minutes to gather any momentum. 

The home side turned to their set-piece strengths in the early stages with long throws being launched into the danger zone, but unfortunately, no one was able to capitalise.

As the half drew to a close it looked certain for a bore draw with both sides seeing players booked as the scrappy opening continued. 

The first of the real action came in the 25th minute from a misjudgement from Mac's backline.

Brian McCaul attempted a header back for McGourty to claim. The former St Gall's All-Ireland winner almost had a moment to forget, as he slipped and palmed the ball straight into the path of Fiontan O’Boyle. O’Boyle squared his pass into Andrew Mooney who fired over the bar - a lucky escape for the home side.

Crumlin United's goalkeeper gets the ball away to safety

Crumlin United's goalkeeper gets the ball away to safety

The first real attempt on target for the home side came as James Haughey latched onto a lovely looping pass. He fired his effort straight at the Crumlin 'keeper, no doubt stinging the hands of the shot-stopper. 

Moments later it was the away side who would strike first as Crumlin took the lead just after the half-hour mark.

Fionntan O’Boyle volleyed at the near post after he met the Lenaghan’s fizzed corner to put the away side in front.

McGinley had an effort clip the bar after he struck an effort from distance. An almost instant response to the Crumlin goal, but he was denied by the smallest of margins.

Half-time saw the away side one goal to the good, with work to do for Immaculata in the second period of play.

The second half started almost identically to the first: scrappy.

Neither side seemed to manage to get their foothold in the game, but the Mac looked the more determined to snatch an equaliser.

Five minutes into the second half, a goal looked certain when a Reece McGinley shot was cleared off the goal line and away to safety to keep Crumlin United in the lead.

It was McGinley again who popped up with an effort from 20 yards and forced the goalkeeper to make a very strong save and keep the home side at bay once again.

On the hour mark, frustrations grew for Immaculata as captain Gary McVicker saw himself booked after a cynical challenge in the middle of the park.

The Mac responded with continuous pressure throughout the second 45. Brady attempted a cross which almost caught out McDevitt in the Crumlin goal, and the corner was scrambled to safety after another goal-mouth scare.

The home side saw mainly half chances fall their way with Ben McCaul again almost catching out McDevitt with a looping cross. However, the shot-stopper maintained his clean sheet.

Crumlin had the better chances near the end of the game, with McCafferty almost sealing the tie after a collision with McGourty was not blown up for, however, the striker sliced his effort wide.

The game played out and Crumlin survived a second half of dominance to hold onto a vital three points. 

IMMACULATA: K McGourty, P Adams, M Fisher, B McCaul, B McCaul, G McVicker, B Kennedy, E Fallon, L Brady, R McGinley, J Haughey

Subs: S Begley, S McGovern, J McLenaghan,

CRUMLIN UNITED: M McDevitt, P Lenaghan, R Dougherty, C Caldwell, S Adams, D Hanna, N Watters, D Jackson, F O’Boyle, A Mooney, P McCafferty

Subs: D McPhillips, D Doherty, C Campbell

Goal: F O’Boyle 32