Crystal’s Davy Walsh in action against Bohs’ Bobby Keoghan.

Crystal’s Davy Walsh in action against Bohs’ Bobby Keoghan.

Bohemians 1: Waterford Crystal 0

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It is proving to be a strange season for the league champions Waterford Crystal. They played their 5th league game of the season on Wednesday last against Bohemians determined to bounce back after losing their previous game away to Villa. In between those games they recorded a fine victory away in Oldchurch against Cobh Ramblers in the Munster Senior Cup.

For this game against Bohemians they had to plan without regular players such as Martin Tynan, Robbie Butler and Jimmy Barden but nevertheless they were able to field a strong looking team. They were facing a Bohs side who were perhaps a little low on confidence. The Red and Blacks and lost two and drawn one of their opening three games but on the run of play over the 90 minutes there was only one team in this contest.

Bohemians peppered the Crystal goal during the first half and the only surprise was the fact that the home side only had a one-goal advantage at the interval. To give credit to Waterford Crystal they did try to get back into the game in the second period but too much was left to Davy Walsh in the middle of the park. The experienced player who has given great service not only to Crystal but also to Waterford United and Kilkenny City ran his legs off but unfortunately his colleagues were unable to raise their game. The win will have given Bohemians a massive boost and it will be interesting to see how they will build on their maiden victory in this season’s campaign.

Keane strikes

Crystal midfielder Keith Sheridan had an early half chance when he took a pass from Jason Halloran but he shot into the side netting. Bohemians began to get on top following that little scare and Crystal goalkeeper Derek Hearne had to save well from Gary Keane on 8 minutes following good work by Glen O’Neill.

Alan Quinlan cracked in a wonderful effort from 25 yards on the quarter-hour but Derek Hearne produced a great save, turning the ball over the crossbar. The pressure continued to mount on the visitors as Matthew Billingham got in a superb cross from the left on 18 minutes which took out the entire Crystal defence but Leo Jacques hooked the ball over the crossbar from a good position.

Six minutes later, David Whittle struck a long ball forward, Gary Keane rose with Crystal defender Gavin Roche but his header went over the crossbar. More Bohs’ attacks followed and Alan Quinlan was just over after he had controlled a pass from Gary Keane.

Crystal’s only attack of the first half came courtesy of a long range effort from Joe Watson but Bohs’ goalkeeper Geoff Kelly saved, albeit at the second attempt. Bohs’ Robbie O’Keeffe went close when he met a cross from Gary Keane.

With time almost up in the first half, Bohemians eventually got the goal they deserved. Alan Quinlan drilled a delightful ball through the visitors defence and when Gary Keane raced on to Quinlan’s pass he drew Derek Hearne before placing the ball into the empty net from just inside the penalty area.

Little power

Dave “Squealer” Walsh launched something of a one-man crusade to try and get Crystal back into the game when the second half got underway. He brought a fine save from Geoff Kelly on 48 minutes with a hard strike from 20 yards. Walsh also went close with a low shot from further out.

With 10 minutes remaining Crystal were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal. Sub Diarmuid Delehunty’s delivery was flicked on by Davy Walsh to Joe Watson but Geoff Kelly was equal to the task one again.

Waterford Crystal did force a couple of late corner kicks but they never really looked like getting a point from the game. Bohemians did not create a lot in the second period but on the night they did not have to.

Bohemians: Geoff Kelly, Leo Jacques, Andrew Denn, David Whittle, Stephen Walsh, Matthew Billingham, Bobby Keoghan, Robbie O’Keeffe, Gary Keane, Alan Quinlan, Glen O’Neill. Subs: Adam Hyslop for Jacques (H-T), Liam Meagher for Keoghan (85 mins).

Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Gavin Roche, Dean Rochford, Mitchel Casey, Pat Dobbyn, Dave Walsh, Jason Halloran, Keith Sheridan, Morgan Pender, Joe Watson, Paul Quilty. Subs: Andrew Power for Quilty (H-T), Diarmuid Delehunty for Pender (79 mins).

Referee: Paul O’Keeffe.