MACROOM and Buttevant had to be content with a share of the spoils in this Munster Senior League Third Division opening-day contest on Saturday afternoon
Buttevant started brightly, but Macroom ended the half strongly and easily could have gone into the lead at the break.
Both sides set their stalls out with intent. Buttevant went close in the opening quarter of an hour, as Adam Finnegan blazed over from a good position inside the box, with the visitors also seeing a free come off the post.
Buttevant continued to show they meant business and they were to go close again, when Kyle Trimm headed just over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.
Macroom responded in kind and Lloyd Asling went on a menacing run forward, but his well-struck effort was impressively blocked by the Buttevant defence.
Not long afterwards, Shane Meaney came within inches of heading in from a good ball into the box from a Macroom free-kick.
As the half progressed, there continued to be chances at either end. From a well-struck free-kick, Ray Lynch blasted an effort off the crossbar.
Macroom had two fine opportunities to go into the lead right before the break. First, Mikey Dineen hit the post with a well-timed low attempt.
Just moments later, James O’Connor was to come within inches of putting the hosts ahead, connecting well with a rocket of a strike from outside the box.
Michael Fitton controlled the ball well in the box and, although he got his shot away, Buttevant goalkeeper, Diarmuid Doody, saved confidently.
The away side came agonisingly close to going in front around the hour mark, as a Dylan Finnegan shot came back off the post.
Neither team’s hunger for a vital breakthrough eased. They both continued in search of that vital goal. This was reflected in the attacking outlook and approach of both teams, who clearly were looking to start their season on a winning note.
Dylan Twomey did well for Macroom in the 70th minute, racing forward, but he fired just wide of the mark. At the other end, Buttevant threatened through a Finnegan effort.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, Macroom went within inches of scoring, when Craig Ronan flashed his piledriver of a strike just to the left of the post.
Dylan Twomey had another chance for Macroom in second-half stoppage time. Neither side, in the end, could forge the opening.
Although Macroom ended both halves well and had a number of good openings, a draw was a fair outcome.
Even though the mid-Cork side went close to securing the win, Buttevant, on another day, could have come away with the three points. There was little between the sides.
Macroom and Buttevant will seek to build on this point over the coming weeks.
This division will be competitive and open. From the perspective of Macroom, but also from a Buttevant point of view, any sort of consistent run of good form will most likely keep them strongly in the promotion picture.