Carrigaline United 3 Blarney United 1
CARRIGALINE United were dominant in an emphatic victory over Blarney United in the Gussie Walsh U17 Local Cup at a Turner's Cross which hosted close to 200 socially distanced spectators last Friday.
Both sides were littered with high-calibre talent but first-half goals from Adam Costello, Jamie Moore and Niall Deane dug a humongous trench for Blarney United.
A penalty scored by Gavin O’Sullivan minutes after kickoff in the second half offered a glimmer of hope for the losing side. However, the staunch Carrigaline back-line held their ground, earning their side a well-deserved Gussie Walsh U17 Local Cup Final victory.
Blarney were undoubtedly the aggressors early, stringing passes together along the right flank particularly.
Neat pieces of build-up play in the opening ten minutes through Craig Walsh and Dylan Doherty forced a pair of reckless challenges from Carrig captain Robert Leonard and Niall Deane earning themselves yellow cards in the process.
Blarney failed to make anything of the resulting set-pieces but persisted in keeping Carrigaline on their heels.
Carrigaline turned the tide on the game when Niall Deane found himself in acres of space from 30 yards out. The midfield man struck the ball with venom from a long way out which caught the Blarney keeper unaware. A mishandle gifted the ball into the path of Adam Costello who simply couldn’t miss, slamming the ball into the roof of the net to give Carrigaline an early advantage.
Costello came close to doubling his tally not long after when one of the many Carrigaline long balls forward was knocked down to Derry Howard. The wideman used his pace to wriggle free from the scrambling full-back before whipping a ball towards Costello. A leaning header floated dangerously towards Adam O’Regan in goal who was commanding in claiming the ball from trailing attackers.
Blarney looked to have made amends for their early concession with a neatly worked set-piece. Gavin O’Sullivan punched a low ball toward the front post where Dylan Doherty was lurking behind the defence. A glancing header towards the far post sped across the face of goal. A grateful Jack Cullen was rooted to the spot and was fortunate to watch it drift wide over the byline.
Despite their best efforts, it was Carrigaline who snatched the next goal of the contest with ten minutes to go in the first half. An impressive counter-attack found the feet of Costello once again. The goal scorer unselfishly scooped the ball into the arriving Jamie Moore who caught the ball sweetly on the volley, directing his effort beyond the ‘keeper clipping the woodwork on its way in.
Niall Deane compounded Blarney’s problems not long after when an Evan Keating-Greene block gifted Carrigaline a corner on the stroke of half-time. A ball whipped in towards Deane led to a cheeky toe-poke goal at the near post which extended the margin to three on the stroke of halftime.
Blarney got their reward for their improved second-half efforts when a lazy challenge caught Craig Walsh just inside the box on the right wing. The spot-kick was awarded to the trailing side and captain Gavin O’Sullivan stood over it. The midfield man was unphased by his surroundings, confidently smashing the ball into the top-left corner.
Blarney created several chances towards the final whistle but lacked the stamina and ruthlessness to claw their way back into the game.
Niall Deane was instrumental to the Carrigaline victory, displaying relentless effort and quality which earned himself the Man of the Match award.