CARRIGALINE UNITED 3
Netminder Jack Cullen was the hero of the hour for the Leesiders, saving three spot-kicks to compliment the cool finishes of Adam Costello, Jamie Moore and Aidan O’Shea.
Despite Costello registering a magnificent hat-trick, there was little to separate Carrigaline and Cherry Orchard over the course of a pulsating encounter. Nevertheless, Jack Kent’s side maintained their composure from 12 yards to ultimately come away with the top prize.
In a pulsating opening to the contest, Carrigaline centre-half Shane Dawson headed a corner inches wide of the Orchard goal. This was a let-off for their Dublin counterparts, who subsequently broke the deadlock with four minutes on the clock.
Conor Ryder ghosted into the box from the left-wing and got the better of Cullen with a spectacular bicycle kick. While this was a massive blow for the Leesiders, they immediately wiped out the Orchard lead at the opposite end.
Costello was picked out at a left-hand angle and his deflected effort found its way past the helpless Amos Dezu. Both sides had their fair share of chances with Mitchell Cassin of Cherry Orchard and Carrigaline’s Danny Kelly both going close.
Cassin was proving to be the real danger man for the capital outfit, drifting effortlessly between midfield and attack. It was fitting, therefore, that he edged Orchard back in front just past the half-hour mark.
Following intricate approach play from Onesime Tembe and Shane Brothers, Cassin finished to the bottom corner via the foot of a defender. This threw down the gauntlet once more to Carrigaline, but they did receive a boost when Orchard midfielder Aaron Shortall was dismissed on a second yellow-card just before the interval.
Unfortunately for Carrigaline, they were also reduced to ten players shortly after the resumption. After committing a heavy tackle on Orchard’s Scott Cleary, Dawson was given a straight red card by referee Brendan Twamley.
Considering Orchard were already deploying substitute Brian Johnson as a lone front man, Carrigaline weren’t forced into a major reshuffle. Ryan McCann was introduced midway through the second half, however, as the Ballea Park brigade sought a way back into contention.
Their persistence eventually paid off when Costello rattled the net with an unstoppable left-footed strike on 76 minutes.
This was enough to force extra-time, which began in spectacular fashion for Carrigaline. Winger Derry Howard was upended inside the area by replacement Orchard goalkeeper Peadar O’Keeffe and it was then for Costello to seal his hat-trick with a cooly struck penalty.
This edged Carrigaline into the ascendancy for the first time and they remained in the driving seat at the midway point in extra-time. However, Orchard continued to pose a threat and Ryan Fahey’s towering headed finish brought them back on level terms.
With the sides still inseparable after 100 minutes of the action, a shootout was required to finally determine a winner. Although Calum Power couldn’t find a way past O’Keeffe - and Cullen was beaten by Ryder - Carrigaline were not to be denied a monumental success.
Jack Cullen; Ciaran Crotty, Shane Dawson, Rob Leonard, Shane O’Neill; Conor O’Farrell (Aidan O’Shea 99), Aidan O’Shea (Calum Power 72); Derry Howard, Jamie Moore, Danny Kelly (Ryan McCann 59); Adam Costello.
Amos Dezu (Pear O’Keeffe 79); Darragh Dunne (Onesime Tembe 82), Ryan Fahey, Sean Doyle, Adam Smallhorne; Scott Cleary (Kai Young Byrne 73), Aaron Shortall; Onesime Tembe (Ethan McLoughlin 55), Mitchell Cassin (Oliver Morjoram 65 (Scott Cleary 99)), Conor Ryder (Kyle Murphy 51-91); Shane Brothers (Brian Johnson 43 (Jake O’Reilly 91)).