Mighty Macroom footballers hold off Gabriel Rangers in a PIFC thriller

Mighty Macroom footballers hold off Gabriel Rangers in a PIFC thriller
Macroom's Dylan Twomey wins the ball from Gabriel Rangers' Liam Hodnett during the Bon Secours Cork PIFC at Dunmanway. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Macroom 1-15 Gabriel Rangers 2-10 

MACROOM held off a strong comeback from Gabriel Rangers to secure a vital win in this PIFC round-robin game played in Dunmanway on Friday night.

The Muskerry outfit led by nine points after 42 minutes following a very impressive performance in the opening three quarters. Gabriel Rangers however produced a storming finish as they recorded 1-6 in the closing stages which set up an intriguing finale. 

Macroom however held firm to record a narrow victory and their first championship win of the season. The Mid Cork outfit now face a must-win game against Nemo Rangers in their final game as they strive to make the knockout stages.

Macroom's Sean Kiely shoots from Gabriel Rangers' Richard Moynihan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Macroom's Sean Kiely shoots from Gabriel Rangers' Richard Moynihan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Macroom were indebted to a great attacking display from Dylan Twomey who recorded six points, four from play. The ace young forward was a constant threat to the Gabriels rearguard. His link-up play with former Cork senior Fintan Goold was a joy to behold, especially in the opening half. 

Captain David Horgan also produced a very strong display. His aerial prowess was a big factor in their win. Experienced full-back Rory Buckley was also a commanding figure. 

Their greater experience and cuteness were huge factors.

A second successive championship defeat was tough on this young Gabriel Rangers side who contributed immensely to an absorbing encounter. Gabriels started with four minors and the experience they have garnered this season will stand them in good stead going forward. 

Gabriel Rangers now play Kanturk in their last group game and they will be hoping to avoid a relegation battle.

Gabriels started brightly initially when their talented forward James O’Regan opened their scoring account in the second minute. 

The response from Macroom was emphatic however as they netted in the third minute. Tony Dineen produced a great finish after a typically surging run from the centre-back who received an Ethan O’Gorman pass before finishing with confidence. 

Rangers quickly reduced the deficit when their star midfielder Ger O’Callaghan struck a great point.

Macroom quickly stamped their authority on proceedings. They kicked five successive points which enabled them to hold a six-point lead after 18 minutes. The pace and movement of the Macroom attacking sextet was impressive. 

Their unerring accuracy was also a big factor in their dominant surge. Gabriel Ranger’s comeback hopes received a major fillip when experienced forward Liam Hegarty netted from close range. This reduced the arrears to three points after 20 minutes, 1-5 to 1-2.

Macroom soon reasserted their dominance on the game. They finished the opening half in impressive fashion with David Horgan, Conor O’Sullivan and Dylan Twomey all scoring points: 1-9 to 1-3.

Chris Moynihan who made a big impact after he was introduced for Gabriels got their first score of the second half which appeared to signal a stirring revival. The response from Macroom was impressive as they notched four points per David Horgan, Conor O’Sullivan (2) and Dylan Twomey which moved them nine points clear after 42 minutes.

Gabriels inspired by Ger O’Callaghan produced a stunning late revival. Young sub Killian O’Sullivan netted which gave them hope. 

O’Callaghan added a series of late points to further raise hopes of an improbable comeback.

Gabriel Rangers' James O'Regan fires past Macroom's John Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Gabriel Rangers' James O'Regan fires past Macroom's John Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ethan O’Gorman however sealed victory for Macroom with a late point.

Scorers for Macroom: D Twomey 0-6 (0-2 f), T Dineen 1-1, C O’Sullivan 0-3 (0-2 f), D Horgan 0-2, F Goold, D Creedon, E O’Gorman 0-1 each.

Gabriel Rangers: G O’Callaghan 0-7 (0-3 f, 0-1 45), L Hegarty, K O’Sullivan 1-0 each, C Moynihan 0-2, J O’Regan 0-1.

MACROOM: B O’Connell; G Angland, R Buckley, J Murphy; F O’Leary, T Dineen, M Corrigan; A Quinn, D Horgan; S Kiely, F Goold, D Creedon; C O’Sullivan, D Twomey, E O’Gorman.

Subs: M Cronin for F O’Leary (43), B O’Gorman for G Angland (45), C Dineen for C O’Sullivan (57).

GABRIEL RANGERS: D O’Mahony; K O’Callaghan, L Hodnett, D Roycroft; R Moynihan C O’Brien, D McSweeney; G O’Callaghan, K Roycroft; S Walden, L Hegarty, J O’Brien; K O’Driscoll, M Cronin, J O’Regan.

Subs: C Moynihan for L Hegarty (28), P Nolan for R Moynihan (40), F Hurley for S Walden (44), K O’Sullivan for M Cronin (45), R O’Neill for K O’Driscoll (58).

Referee: Andrew Whelton (Clonakilty).

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