St Mary’s 1 College Corinthians 1
ST MARY’S and College Corinthians had to be content with a share of the spoils following what was a keenly contested MSL Premier Division encounter at St Mary’s Park on Friday night.
The hosts went into the lead in the second half through a quality Colm Healy finish, before Corinthians levelled through Craig Donnellan.
Both sides had decent chances to win it late on, but the teams at the end of the 90 minutes of play could not be separated.
This result doesn’t change an awful lot with both still around the midtable region of the MSL top flight, with Mary’s on 10 points after eight league games played, with Corinthians one point behind them.
The opening half was generally tight and there was little overall to separate the two teams. Neither keeper had too much to do in terms of making crucial saves, but there was no shortage of determination on show from both sets of players.
Mary’s did their best to threaten and Owen Collins dragged a low strike wide, while Jordan Waters also had a half chance which was blocked down well. They also had an early chance when Cian McCarthy headed over from a free-kick.
Corinthians, who are managed by former Cork City first-team assistant boss Joe Gamble, almost scored on the stroke of half time when Evan Browne dragged his low effort just wide of the mark.
St Mary’s took the lead in the early stages of the second period. From a good cross into the box by Trevor Harrington, Healy did well to control and subsequently finished with a fine low, drilled strike.
The hosts showcased a strong hunger and work rate to keep in front, putting the pressure on as soon as possible when Corinthians had the ball.
Destiny Okonkwo was an attacking threat throughout for Corinthians and he was not far away with a well-struck effort after he went on a good skillful run towards the penalty area.
The same man had the ball in the net shortly afterward but it was ruled out for offside.
The visitors were gradually growing in momentum and Corinthians kept on searching for a way through, with Daragh O’Sullivan Connell going close. But Mary’s kept on going as they were doing all they could to remain in front.
Corinthians got on level terms heading into the final ten minutes of play. Donnellan floated in a decent ball into the box from a free-kick, which evaded everyone and ended up in the back of the net.
On the initial viewing, it seemed as though it was a cross, but all that mattered to Donnellan and Corinthians was that the ball did finally hit the back of the net.
The away side could have snatched victory late on, when Paul Deasy got a well-timed effort on goal away, which was to be saved by the home shot-stopper Sean Dennehy.
Mary’s also went very close to getting the three points in the closing stages of the contest.
Cian Murphy, who is back at the Kilcully club after most recently lining out at League Of Ireland level for Cobh Ramblers, saw his well-struck effort hit the crossbar.
As far as supporters of the home side were concerned it would have been some way to win it. But alas it wasn’t to be in the end for either side in terms of securing the crucial victory.
St Mary’s next time out are set to face a Munster Senior Cup encounter away to Avondale United.
Corinthians next weekend will face another league clash, when they play host to UCC at Castletreasure.
ST MARY’S: Sean Dennehy; Colin Hanafin, Trevor Harrington, Cian McCarthy, Anthony O’Callaghan, Cian Murphy, Jordan Waters, Aidan O’Callaghan, Jason Conway, Colm Healy, Owen Collins.
Sub: Ross O’Callaghan for Waters (77).
CORINTHIANS: Shane Sherlock; Scott McCarthy, Darragh O’Sullivan Connell, David O’Connor, Conor Walsh, Craig Donnellan, Karl Caulfield, Cian Murphy, Jerome Glavin, Evan Browne, Destiny Okonkwo.
Subs: Andrew Neville for Caulfield (65), Paul Deasy for Murphy (85).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.