Cabinteely 1 Cobh Ramblers 2
DANNY O’CONNELL and Jake Hegarty bagged goals in either half at Stradbrook last night to give Cobh Ramblers a deserved triumph over Cabinteely in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
Following O’Connell’s breakthrough finish during the early exchanges, Hegarty created additional daylight between the teams on 64 minutes before Alex Aspil claimed a late consolation for Cabinteely. Not only did this end a six-game losing streak in the second tier, but it also handed Darren Murphy his first league win as Ramblers manager.
The ninth-placed outfit enjoyed a near-perfect start to this contest. From an enticing pass through the heart of the Cabinteely defence, O’Connell found himself one-on-one with opposition netminder Harry Halwax. A midseason arrival to St Colman’s Park, the lively attacker displayed greater composure in lofting the ball over Halwax for a ninth-minute opener.
Cobh were aiming to build on this early platform and while Jack Watson posed a considerable for Cabinteely down the right-flank, skipper John Kavanagh was marshalling the visitors’ defence to considerable effect.
Nonetheless, Ramblers had reason to be wary of the challenge posed by Pat Devlin’s men. A precise Mitchell Byrne delivery from the left wing was directed towards Eoin McPhillips, but the centre-forward couldn’t establish a connection and it eventually drifted past the target.
Sean Barron had been relatively untested in the opening period but came under pressure from the Cabinteely attack shortly after the resumption. The Ramblers custodian tipped over a McPhillips free-kick in the 47th-minute and denied the same player when he subsequently tried his luck from distance.
Though Cobh initially struggled to make an attacking impact in the second half, they were almost through for a second goal on 58 minutes. O’Connell broke at pace into the box and Halwax had to be on his toes to turn his close-range effort behind for a corner.
Jake Hegarty’s influence on the game was growing and he dragged a shot narrowly wide of the target. A mere 60 seconds later — with Cabinteely trying to reshape following a double substitution — Hegarty rose high to head a Stephen O’Leary cross beyond the reach of Halwax.
Having last tasted a league success at home to Cabinteely on July 17, Cobh were suddenly on the cusp of another victory against them. Despite Aspil firing back deep into stoppage-time, they ultimately did enough to emerge with their sixth win of the campaign.
CABINTEELY: Harry Halwax; Daniel Blackbyrne, Jack Hudson, Kevin Knight, Luke McWilliams; Mitchell Byrne (Jack O’Reilly 64), Eoin Massey (Jamin Nwanze 74); Jack Watson (Alex Aspil 37), Ben Feeney, Dean Casey (Sean McDonald 64); Eoin McPhillips (Conor Knight 74).
COBH RAMBLERS: Sean Barron; James McCarthy (Naythan Coleman 84), John Kavanagh, Ben O’Riordan, Darryl Walsh; David O’Leary, Jason Abbott, Lee Devitt; Stephen O’Leary (Luke Kennedy 76), Jake Hegarty (Conor Drinan 89), Danny O’Connell (Killian Cooper 76).
Referee: Rob Dowling (Dublin).