Writes Ciaran Dineen from Pairc Uí Rinn
Carrigaline were the victors in a dramatic contest with Bishopstown in the Senior Football Championship on Sunday evening thanks to a late goal from corner forward, Brian Kelleher.
Carrigaline’s last game in the Senior Football Championship came way back in early April, where they lost to O’Donovan Rossa by a score of 1-8 to 2-12. While Bishopstown came up just short against Douglas on the same weekend in April, losing out by just the one point.
There were no changes to the Carrigaline team from the match day programme, however as is often the case with football matches these days, players did not exactly sit in their natural positions and many featured across the pitch throughout the first half. Carrigaline started with a strong intent from the very first whistle as Kevin Kavanagh leaped highest at the throw-in to get his side on the front foot.
The opening 10 minutes was played with a great intensity from both sides and while Carrigaline had the lion’s share of possession in the early moments of the game they could not make this count on the scoreboard. Killian McIntyre and Mark Brosnan were very lively for Carrigaline in this period and both had scoring opportunities, however they each had shots drop wide, against what turned out to be a significant breeze.
Bishopstown took the lead with a point from Paul O’Flynn in the 10th minute but this was immediately cancelled out by Brian Kelleher. Kelleher received the ball on the far side of the goal just inside the 21 metre line and he swivelled without looking and placed the ball beautifully over the bar. Bishopstown took the lead again but Kieran Kavanagh levelled with 16 minutes on the clock. Kieran had an opportunity to go for goal but when running through he slipped slightly and was subsequently satisfied to take a point from play. Carrigaline then went into the lead for the first time and it was All-Ireland U20 winner, Jack McCarthy who came to the fore. McCarthy grabbed two points in just two minutes and both were from almost identical positions. Carrigaline’s interchanging play was exceptional for these two scores, with McCarthy finding space all on his own from just outside the 21 metre line before finishing well on both occasions.
In the 25th minute of the game it was McCarthy once again who added to his tally, this time finishing off an incredibly worked team goal. With virtually all of the Carrigaline players near their own goal as they defended a free, the ball was cleared through the lines of defence up the field and when Mark Brosnan flicked the ball backwards toward McCarthy he made no mistake and finished to the back of the net, the score now 1-4 to 0-2. Bishoptown did not give up and were within three points of their opponents come half-time, scoring on three occasions, while Kieran Kavanagh pointed a free for Carrigaline.
Carrigaline started quickly in the second half as Killian McIntyre grabbed his first point of the day just seconds after the restart. Points from Brian Kelleher, Billy Pope and Mark Brosnan for Carrigaline added to the overall scoreboard but Bishopstown also kept ticking over and with 44 minutes on the clock the score was 1-9 to 0-8. The game swung in a completely different direction from then however. Seán Mellet made a great save in the Carrigaline goal to deny Bishopstown a goal and he faced a penalty just minutes later after Kieran Kavanagh was deemed to have tripped Brian Clifford of Bishopstown. While Mellet made a superb save from the spot-kick, Clifford volleyed home the rebound to separate the teams by just one point. Bishopstown found themselves level in the 58th minute when Michael Power struck a fine point from out the field, much to the delight of the Town supporters.
However, Carrigaline showed true spirit and did not let their heads drop for one second. Killian McIntyre jinked his way through the Bishopstown defence and fisted a ball towards the waiting Brian Kelleher, who palmed the ball into the back of the next with 60 minutes played. Carrigaline had to fight off a couple of attacks from their opponents but remained resolute throughout and held on to seal a fantastic victory!
Carrigaline Scorers: McCarthy and Kelleher 1-2 each, Kieran Kavanagh 0-2 (1f), Pope, McIntyre and Brosnan 0-1 each, Brosnan (1f)
Carrigaline Team: Seán Mellet; Cathal Murphy, Niall Quirke, Tom Deasy; Luke Boyle, Steven Dwane, Jack McCarthy; Keven Kavanagh, Dan Greene; Billy Pope, Killian McIntrye, Barry Ryan; Brian Kelleher, Kieran Kavanagh, Mark Brosnan.
Carrigaline Subs: E Kavanagh for Greene (37 mins), Cian Barry for Boyle (39), Kieran Dwane for Brosnan (62).