BLARNEY fought back from a goal down in the first few minutes to run out 4-1 winners over Crosshaven in the Joma Sportsgear Direct Under 16 Division 1 league match at O’Shea Park last Sunday afternoon.
The visitors showed their intent in the first minute when Blarney keeper had to be sharp to gather ahead of Crosshaven’s Alex O’Connell, and by the fourth minute had taken the lead when Shay Murphy’s cross from the far corner found O’Connell six yards out and tapped into the empty net.
Despite conceding an early goal, Blarney slowly but surely started to come forward with some neat passing team moves, building from the back, with their first real effort on goal coming in the 10th minute when Ben O’Connell’s effort from outside the area was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by the Crosshaven keeper Oisin Murphy at the expense of a corner.
The resulting corner kick saw Sean Linehan’s header from 15 yards go just over as the home side were looking for the equalising score.
Linehan had another header which was deflected over the bar, followed by three attempts on goal from the Blarney forwards which were either blocked by the keeper or the Crosshaven defence as the home side continued to press.
The equalising goal came in the 28th minute when it was third time lucky for Linehan whose header found the back of the net from yet another corner kick.
Crosshaven started to come back into the game with Fionn Mansfield’s effort being cleared in the six yard box and O’Connell’s storming run being blocked by the keeper and a defender as the visitors looked to regain the lead.
However, in the 39th minute Blarney took the lead when Ben O’Connell’s shot on goal was only half blocked by the keeper only for Ronan O’Keeffe to tap in from close range as the half drew to a close.
Crosshaven attempted to get back into the game, and hit the woodwork within the first minute of the restart, but from then on it was all Blarney as they pressed forward, creating numerous chances for themselves with the Crosshaven keeper Murphy saving well from Darragh Lyons and Jonathon Piggott.
Crosshaven keeper Murphy was particularly busy in the second half as the home side looked to build on their lead, saving well from Jack Murray at the far post and held Murray’s long range effort well on the hour.
However, Blarney’s pressure eventually paid off as they added a third in the 64th minute courtesy of Cian Lawless whose shot from inside the area and eight minutes later added a fourth when Ben O’Connell 30 yard effort sailed over Murphy and into the net.
Crosshaven barely broke into the Blarney half, but Oisin Doran Noonan’s 35 yard effort was well held by the Blarney keeper Dylan Kearney, but it was the home side who picked up the points on the day and their ninth win in a row.
Blarney: Dylan Kearney, Robert Dooling, Eoghan Quinlivan, Cian Lawless, Sean Linehan, Jack Murray, Ben O’Connell, Darragh Lyons, Jonathon Piggott, Ronan O’Keeffe, Azeez Aleke, Callum Donohoe, Daniel O’Connor, Conor Earle.
Crosshaven: Oisin Murphy, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Jim White, Oisin Scully, Rory Deane, Oisin Doran Noonan, Sean Couty, Daniel Callaghan, Shay Murphy, Fionn Mansfield, Alex O’Connell, Fernando Nwen, Leo McCarthy, Luke Murphy, Thomas O’Mahony.
Referee: Ray Allen.