/ Soccer

Airtricity Premier Division team of the week

Updated: Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 16:21 | Comments

Brendan Clarke impressed for St Pat's
Brendan Clarke impressed for St Pat's

Goalkeeper
Brendan Clarke (St Patrick’s Ath)

Back on his old stomping ground, the St Pat's goalkeeper denied his former employers Sligo again and again with a string of fantastic saves. With his side on the back foot at the beginning of the second half, Clarke denied Gavin Peers twice in the space of four minutes when he acrobatically deflected away two efforts from the Sligo captain. He also produced good stops to deny David Cawley and Iarfhlaith Davoren during Sunday's game at the Showgrounds.

Defence
Ian Ryan (Shelbourne)

Despite a wobbly enough opening, Ryan settled to give a superb defensive display at the heart of the Shelbourne defence against Cork, comfortably repelling the twin threat of former Hoops Daryl Kavanagh and Ciaran Kilduff. Ryan also played a crucial role in the opener, getting on the end of a Stephen Hurley free-kick to tee-up Lee Murtagh and his composure and experience were crucial attributes as Shels secured only their third league win of their disappointing campaign.

Alan Keane (Sligo Rovers)

Sligo came from behind to claim a point against St Patrick’s Athletic and Keane played a big part in their second half revival, constantly breaking forward from the right-back position and helping to link up the midfield with the attack. His crossing from deep had the Saints defenders struggling to cope.

Ken Oman (Shamrock Rovers)
The big defender helped to frustrate Derry throughout the evening as Rovers reignited their title hopes with a 2-1 victory. Oman was solid at the back, helping to keep the likes of Michael Rafter quiet and he was a constant threat up front for the Hoops, getting forward to trouble the Derry back four any time Rovers had a deadball.

Dane Masey (Dundalk)
The Dundalk full-back was freed from many of his defensive duties against Bohemians, such was the Lillywhites’ dominance in their 3-0 win, but he still managed to turn in an impressive display. Always willing to run with the ball and break forward to give his side an extra option in attack, Masey set up the game’s opening goal with a fine cross. A second-half injury saw him fail to finish a match for the first time in 20 outings and Dundalk will be hoping he’s back soon.

Midfield
Lee Murtagh (Shelbourne)
Murtagh against Cork attitude was exemplary in a first-half where Shelbourne struggled to create any chances of note as he harried continuously for scraps, earning a couple of set-pieces for his side. His reward was a confidently taken goal in the second-half and his qualities were superbly illustrated as he chased a lost cause before dispossessing Gary Buckley to set up Sean Brennan on the hour.

Sean O’Connor (Shamrock Rovers)

O’Connor was the metronome at the heart of the Rovers midfield that kept everything ticking over in his side’s 2-1 victory over Derry City. Not only did he score those two crucial goals, but he helped to dictate the pace of the game, kept possession brilliantly. and had Derry’s midfielders chasing shadows all evening.

Karl Moore (Bohemians)
On a night when Bohs were far from at their best, tricky winger Karl Moore kept trying until the end of their 3-0 loss. He was at the centre of anything inventive the Gypsies did in the final third and was unlucky with a drive from distance and free kick on the edge of the area and his pace and footwork did cause Dundalk problems at times. Aaron Callaghan's men will need the youngster to be at his best if they are to stay in the Premier Division.

Forwards
Declan O'Brien (Drogheda)

The Drogheda skipper was back on song against UCD to end his side’s goal-drought with two typical poacher’s goals. "Fabio" showed his touch and awareness to score a fine opener. He was then rewarded for not giving up on a lost cause to sneak a second.

Patrick Hoban (Dundalk)
The former Mervue United man has made a huge impression on the Airtricity League Premier Division this season, hitting eight league goals in his first campaign in the top flight. His first goal was a real striker’s effort, bravely getting in front of Dean Delany to nod home while his other two strikes were from the top drawer. Getting better by the week, he could play a pivotal role in the destination of the league title.

Anto Flood (St Patrick’s Ath)

The big Saints target man put in a major shift during his side’s 1-1 draw with Sligo. Flood claimed his side’s solitary goal early on with a neat finish after getting on the end of a long ball from Brendan Flood, however it was his all around play that made him stand out. The striker held up the ball brilliantly and was always able to bring others into the play, helping to relieve Sligo pressure in the second half.

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