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A second half hat trick from David Freeman along with strikes from Mark O’Brien and Keith Dunne helped Shels’ stretch their unbeaten record in the league to nine games. A twenty one point return in those games has seen the Reds’ snatch top place in the eircom First Division.
Shels’ didn’t perform in the first half however still managed to take a comfortable one nil lead into the break. After Greg O’Halloran was released down the right, his low cross ricocheted off both centre backs, leaving O’Brien with the ball at his feet two yards out which he coolly finished under the diving Charlie Treacy on seventeen minutes.
On forty minutes Treacy pulled off two magnificent saves. Firstly a long range effort powered in by David McGill was palmed away, only for the alert Anto Flood to leap on the rebound, but Treacy was a match to that too, as an unadventurous Kildare side had their keeper to thank going into the break.
Unlike the first, the second half the started with a bang. Anto Flood headed an O’Halloran corner goalwards only to see his effort cleared off the line, Kildare broke away and a Ger Robinson effort from twenty yards fizzed towards goal but Delaney read it well and got down to save, all before the third minute of the second half.
Rutherford released Flood in on goal five minutes later only for Treacy to save again. Moments later O’Halloran did the same but Treacy did enough to force Flood into a mistake. Shels’ were killing Kildare now as Rutherford down the left and Chambers, enjoying a far more attacking role in the second half down the right, probed again and again.
O’Halloran was the next to shoot, and seeing his fifteen yard volley loop over, Treacy might have wondered how many saves he’d have to make to keep his team in it. Two minutes later Flood swivelled on the ball in the box only to shoot wide as Shels’ domination became embarrassing. Kildare very nearly equalised as a Fortune corner was headed in by Kilduff only for Keely to stoop below the bar to clear. An equaliser would have been horrendously undeserved here.
Shels’ finally won the game though in the sixty-ninth minute after Paul Donnelly unfortunately handled amongst a group of five players in the box. David Freeman did what he couldn’t do last week. He converted. Three minutes later substitute Keith Dunne found Freeman again, who scored the third with a cool volley as Kildare lost the plot completely.
Freeman should have got his hat trick on seventy nine minutes after he got a powerful head to Mulcahy’s fine cross but Treacy was still pulling out the stops in goal. Max Cream almost chested his first goal for the Reds but Treacy reacted well, and again from Mulcahy moments later. But two injury time goals humiliated the visitors.
First Keith Dunne calmly slid a side footed shot past Treacy and with almost the last kick of the game; Freeman finally got his third after sound play by Greg O’Halloran who could have scored himself. Full time, Shels 5 Kildare an awful 0.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; James Chambers, Alan Keely, Damien Brennan, Robbie Hedderman; Mark O’Brien (Alan Mulcahy 60), David McGill, Greg O’Halloran, Mark Rutherford (Keith Dunne 72); Anto Flood (Max Cream 78), David Freeman.
Subs not used: John McGuinness, Dean Lawrence.
Kildare County: Charlie Treacy; Alan Clarke, John Brophy, Paul Donnelly, Barry Clancy; Cathal Brady, Colin Fortune (Barry Slattery 76), Thomas Morgan (Eoin Kavanagh 46), Ciaran Kilduff; Ger Robinson (John Broderick 72), Philip Gorman.
Subs not used: Austin O’Neill, Wilie Tyrell.
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Man of the match: Charlie Treacy (KIldare County) - Unfortunate to concede five, he had a great game.
Gordon Hunt is one of extratime's Dublin based reporters. Having worked with the site since it's inception, Gordon's name is carved into the foundations of extratime's tower block.
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