Shelbourne Crowned Champions with Treaty Win

Shelbourne FC were crowned Airtricity League First Division champions with a narrow 1-0 victory over Treaty United at Tolka Park on Friday night. A penalty midway through the second half from George Poynton provided Ian Morris side with the win and their second title in three years which secures promotion to the Premier Division.

Treaty manager Tommy Barrett made three changes to the starting line-up with Conor Melody, Marc Ludden and Sean McSweeney replacing Kieran Hanlon, Jack Lynch and Joe Collins. Clyde O’Connell partnered Callum McNamara in midfield while Melody started as a striker. The former Galway man was living off scraps in the first period and his team struggled to gain territory. This resulted in Kieran Hanlon being introduced for the second half.

Club Captain Jack Lynch (left) was missing from the match day squad on Friday

After a a disjointed opening from both sides, Shelbourne created the first chance of not and Tadgh Ryan’s superb form continued as he made a close range save to deny Ryan Brennan and the ball was subsequently cleared. Treaty were frustrating their opponents for large periods of the opening stages and Ian Morris side were reduced to long range shots from Georgie Poynton and Farrell.

However, as the half wore on, Shels began to pile the pressure on and good interplay between Michael O’Connor and Brennan resulted in the latter shooting straight at Ryan. With less than ten minutes to go until half-time, centre-back Ally Gilchrist missed a huge opportunity as he headed off the post from less than 6 yards out. Moments later, Poynton’s cross-shot was deflected out wide by Mark Walsh.

Matt Keane started on the right win for Treaty in Drumcondra

Treaty were a more potent attacking force in the second half as Charlie Fleming was quickest to react to a deflected Steven Christopher shot but his dangerous cut-back was cleared. The visitors best chance of the night fell to Matt Keane who met Marc Ludden’s low cross from the left hand side but Brendan Clarke showed his worth to deny the former Killarney man.

Barrett’s men had done extremely well to limit the home side’s push for a winner in the second period but a lapse in concentration from Fleming whose casual clearance fell to winger En-Neyah, and his subsequent pass to Farrell drew a foul from O’Connell and referee Alan Patchell showed little hesitancy in awarding the home side a crucial penalty. Poynton made no mistake with the spot-kick to send the home support into raptures.

Treaty’s late push for an equaliser which brought back memories of Limerick FC’s 2008 goal to break Shelbourne hearts , included the introduction of Dean George and William Armshaw but it proved to make little difference as the Dublin outfit held on until the final whistle to ensure that they had beaten every side in the division at least once this season.

The defeat coupled with Athlone’s win over Cabinteely means that 7 points separates Treaty from the chasing pack with three games remaining including a clash with the Midlanders at the Markets Field.

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke, John-Ross Wilson, Ally Gilchrist, Luke Byrne, Kameron Lethwidge (Brian McManus 64), Georgie Poynton, Kevin O’Connor, Ryan Brennan, Shane Farrell, Yaz En-Neyah (Dayle Rooney 84), Michael O’Connor

Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan, Charlie Fleming, Mark Walsh, Anto O’Donnell, Marc Ludden, Clyde O’Connell (Dean George 85), Callum McNamara, Sean McSweeney (Kieran Hanlon H/T), Steven Christopher, Matt Keane, Conor Melody (William Armshaw 79)

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