New Oak retain the KCLR Shield
New oak win back to back shield titles after beating Crettyard 4 goals to 2 in a cracking game of football on Thursday night with both sides playing brilliant soccer in a thrilling game worthy of any final

Mulhall hat-trick helps New Oak to epic win to become back to back Shield champions

By Harry Shorthose

New Oak Boys 4

Crettyard United 2

KCLR Carlow Shield final

As old rivalries were renewed on Thursday night under lights, a new star was born in Carlow soccer as Cody Mulhall’s second half hat-trick helped New Oak to become just the fourth side to become back to back champions. Mulhall, whilst technically not a new star having had a successful underage career having played for Hibernian and Ireland as well as a short spell at Longford before suffering a bad cruciate ligament injury, has only been at New Oak for a matter of weeks but made his presence known on Thursday night, scoring his first hat-trick for the club, including a wonder free kick. Football was the real winner on the day though in what was a contest for the ages between the two most decorated sides in Carlow Soccer history. Crettyard, despite having had a poor season by their standards raised their game and took the game to New Oak, going ahead twice but New Oak’s quality showed and they fought their way back into the game.

It was a tight affair from the start with neither side really able to get an inroad into the game. Six minutes in, a James McGrath corner from the left was saved whilst two minutes later, Gearoid Cuddihy threatened as he broke down the right and sent a cross into the back post but nobody could get onto the end of it. With 11 minutes gone, Mulhall had a free on the edge of the box but put it over the bar. Cuddihy went close with a free from the left but it was deflected wide. The ensuing corner from Craig Comerford from the right was headed by Bobby Dowling at the back post as he headed it with the back of his head. Chris Chander broke down the right and squared the ball for Ryan Byrne but he couldn’t get onto the end of it. Mulhall went close but headed wide on the left. With 20 minutes gone, a McGrath effort was deflected wide with the resulting corner from the right being headed wide across the box from the back post and the ball was cleared. Four minutes later, a McGrath corner from the left was played short to Jamie Murphy on the edge of the box but his shot was hit high and wide. With ten minutes to go until half-time. A Jordan Harmon corner from the right was headed wide by Mulhall. Chris Chander broke down the left and turned past the defenders and hit the ball past Craig Kearney in the New Oak goal to give them a shock lead. New Oak responded well as Luke Ramsbottom cut in past Bobby Dowling down the left and shot but it was hit over the bar. With five minutes to go, Ryan Byrne hit a corner from the left that was cleared and Harmon tried to break down the left but couldn’t as Crettyard stopped him in his tracks. With three minutes to go, Muhall tried a long range effort from the halfway line but it was caught by Farrell Cuddihy in the Crettyard goal. Cian Dowling tried a cross from the left but nobody was on the end of it. Just before the break, McGrath tried an effort that was deflected and Cuddihy in goal collected it.

The second half exploded into action two minutes in as a Harmon effort was deflected into the ‘keeper. A minute later, former Kildare footballer, Mulhall equalised as he curled an effort from the right of the edge of the box into the bottom right hand corner. Ten minutes later, Roy Byrne headed an effort off the post and wide from the right. On the hour mark, a McGrath free from the left was punched away by Cuddihy in goal. A minute later, Crettyard retook the lead as Mikey Byrne gave them the lead again. The lead would last just a minute though as the ball fell to Mulhall in the box unmarked on the left and he took his time and placed his shot to New Oak drew level. Harmon broke down the right and shot but Cuddihy saved and Dowling cleared the ball before anybody could get to the rebound. Midway through the second half, the champions took the lead for the first time as Dylan Keightley broke down the right and put an effort into the far bottom corner, beating Cuddihy in the goal. The goal seemed to kill Crettyard off, having not been in that position in the game. With 20 minutes to go, New Oak were awarded a free on the edge of the box. With two Kildare natives in Mulhall (Clonmullion) and Harmon (Castledermot) both standing over it, Mulhall took it and bent it round the wall and into the top left corner with Cuddihy having no chance. Harmon went close as he got onto the end of a good team move but hit his effort wide. Lee Gordon went close with six minutes to go, hitting an effort across the face of the box.


New Oak Boys: Craig Kearney, Dylan Keightley, Cian Dowling, David O’Shea, Cathal Gaffney, James McGrath, Jamie Murphy, Jordan Harmon, Cody Mulhall, Roy Byrne, Luke Ramsbottom. Subs: Lee Walker, Lee Gordon, Conor Byrne, Will Hayes, Adam McCarron, Owain Comerford, Adedamole Babawende.

Crettyard United: Farrell Cuddihy, Niall Purcell, Craig Comerford, Bobby Dowling, Mick Walsh, Cristoir Maher, Anthony FitzPatrick, Chris Chander, Ryan Byrne, Jack Brady, Gearoid Cuddihy. Subs: Mikey Byrne, David Kelly, David Murphy, Mark Lyons, Luke Maher, James Rothwell.

Hat-trick hero Mulhall proud to win first New Oak trophy

By Harry Shorthose

Thursday night belonged to Cody Mulhall, the talented Kildare striker had shown glimpses of what he can do to date with five goals in his first four games for the club, including a hat-trick against Ballymurphy on debut but exploded onto the scene as he scored a hat-trick to help New Oak sink old rivals Crettyard and pip them to the KCLR Carlow Shield trophy, with the highlight being a wonder free that many Carlow soccer fans in attendance won’t forget in a hurry. He said it was a brilliant feeling to win his first trophy at the club. “Brilliant, it’s good to get the first trophy under the belt. To get a hat-trick and help the lads was brilliant, a real bonus. I’m delighted to score and get a hat-trick. The boys have worked hard all season. The last few games we’ve started slow and we started slow again today, we went behind twice which was disappointing but we reacted well and the boys showed why they’ve won multiple trophies in the last few years because they don’t give up and they showed that tonight and we deserved the win. It’s been enjoyable [life at New Oak], the lads have been great, been easy to settle in, it always helps when you score goals when you come in so it’s been brilliant so far.”

He joked that for the hat-trick goal, he was simply trying to stop his teammate Jordan Harmon from taking the free. “Jordy Harmon was trying to take it off me so my thought was to not let him hit it anyway.

18/03/2023 20:51