Carrigaline United 2 Cobh Wanderers 1
CARRIGALINE United edged further away from the relegation places in the Beamish Stout Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division as they defeated rivals Cobh Wanderers 2-1 in an extraordinary contest on the Ballea Park astro turf on Friday evening.
After 85 minutes of both sides struggling to adapt to the strong wind and the heavy rain on the night, the game suddenly sparked into life and finished in spectacular fashion.
The score was 0-0 when Carrigaline were awarded a penalty as Darragh Corcoran went down right on the edge of the penalty area.
United’s Darragh Buckley took responsibility for the spot-kick and his effort was saved by keeper Shane Hallahan but just as he looked set to fire home the rebound, he was bundled over inside the box and the referee again signalled for a penalty.
Buckley stepped up again and on this occasion, he slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.
Cobh, to their credit, responded brilliantly to that setback and they looked to have snatched a point in the 90th minute when David Stack’s in-swinging cross deceived shot-stopper Andrew Kingston and just made its way across the line.
The home side also reacted well to conceding a goal and incredibly they would grab what proved to be the winner with 94 minutes on the clock as Dylan O’Flaherty expertly tucked the ball home from close range just a few moments after he struck the upright.
Wanderers nearly made it 2-2 but it wasn’t to be their day as the officials signalled for full time after 97 minutes of play to draw an end to an entertaining affair.
This was the club’s second attempt at playing this fixture as the original match up back at the end of November had to be abandoned with a little over 20 minutes remaining due to a severe injury suffered by Carrigaline’s Michael Fahy.
Cobh had been leading 1-0 thanks to a neat finish from Cal Sheehy but because of standard protocol, the clash was stopped and refixed for last Friday with the sides beginning from scratch.
The visitors created the first goal-scoring opportunity of note here but after latching on to a long ball over the top, forward George Keating powered his half volley straight at Kingston.
It took Carrigaline until midway through the first half to have a meaningful strike at goal but Darragh Corcoran’s long free was tipped wide of his bottom right corner by Hallahan.
Keating missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock shortly before the half time break but after an exquisite first touch sent him through on goal, he could only fire wide of the far post.
They needed the excellent Brian Fitzgerald to hack the ball off his own line moments later after his keeper understandably spilled Corcoran’s delivery due to the difficult conditions.
The weather barely eased after the interval and it seemed to hurt Cobh on the hour mark as Ciaran Griffin clipped the ball over the outrushing net-minder but Glen Sexton was able to stop it from going into the back of his net.
Carrigaline were frustrated as the second 45 progressed as Cobh’s Shane Hallahan made a couple of sensational saves to thwart both Dylan O’Flaherty and David Sexton’s shots.
And then with five minutes remaining came the drama. Darragh Buckley was fortunate to have two penalties in order to give his side the lead although that was soon cancelled out in fortuitous circumstances by David Stack.
But after hitting the near upright, O’Flaherty would coolly loft the ball past the keeper from close range to cue wild celebrations as Carrigaline move six points clear of their opponents having played a game more.
CARRIGALINE UNITED: Andrew Kingston, David Crotty, Darragh Corcoran, Darragh Buckley, James McSweeney, Glen Sexton, Killian Murphy, Jason Ring, Dylan O’Flaherty, Stephen D’arcy, David Sexton.
Subs: Alan O’Sullivan for Jason Ring (94).
COBH WANDERERS: Shane Hallahan, Kyle Downing, David Stack, Brian Fitzgerald, Brendan Frahill, Jason Abbott, Nathan O’Connell, David Curran, George Keating, Ciaran Griffin, Alan O’Flynn.
Subs: Conor Walsh for David Curran (56), Brendan Jalill for George Keating (90).
Referee: Dan Deady.