Carrigaline battle back to earn crucial win over Blarney in U18 Premier League

Carrigaline battle back to earn crucial win over Blarney in U18 Premier League

Cathal McCarthy, Blarney United, battles Craig Walsh, Carrigaline, in the U18 Premier League tie at O'Shea Park. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Blarney United 1 Carrigaline United 2

CARRIGALINE United came from behind to secure a huge three points in the Daly Industrial Supplies under 18 Premier League as they defeated Blarney United 2-1 at O’Shea Park.

A powerful header from Dylan Doherty had given Blarney the lead at the half-time break but superb finishes from Adam Costello and Daniel Apantaku in the second period were enough to see Carrigaline earn a significant victory in their pursuit of the league title.

The visitors started the game on the front foot and they threatened to take the lead inside the opening three minutes but the excellent Jamie Moore’s thunderous hit from the edge of the penalty area was turned over this crossbar by goalkeeper Adam O’Regan.

They went even closer to edging in front just past the quarter of an hour mark but the towering centre-back Daniel Apantaku was desperately unlucky to see his looping header from a Moore corner crash against the crossbar.

Midfielder Aidan O’Shea was the next to go close but after latching onto a loose pass from the opposition and racing clear on goal, he could only drive his strike just wide of the far bottom left corner.

And they would pay the ultimate price for not taking any of those great goal-scoring opportunities midway through the first half as Blarney - with their first genuine chance of note - snatched the lead against the run of play with a great goal.

And it was the talented Dylan Doherty who got it as the number nine was picked out by a brilliant free-kick from the right flank by Gavin O’Sullivan before rising highest and directing his thumping header into the roof of the net from a few yards out.

 Conor Nolan, Carrigaline United, flies high against Blarney. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Conor Nolan, Carrigaline United, flies high against Blarney. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Carrigaline, to their credit, responded well to that setback but they couldn’t force an equaliser before the interval as Apantaku spurned two decent openings before Conor Nolan blasted an effort against the near post from a tight angle.

Blarney though may feel they could’ve added to their tally as Doherty headed an attempt wide before Billy O’Sullivan saw a well-executed bicycle kick stopped by keeper Sam Grunzja.

It set up an interesting second 45 which sparked into life moments after the restart when Carrigaline finally grabbed a leveller through Adam Costello.

It was a sensational goal too as Craig Walsh’s precise delivery picked out Costello in the box and from there the number 10 did the rest as he expertly planted his volley home from close range.

The game soon became quite cagey with both sets of players understanding how important it was for their respective hopes of claiming the title.

And with 20 minutes remaining it was Carrigaline who would notch what could prove to be a massive winner as Apantaku nodded Moore’s corner into the back of the net to secure three massive points for his side.

BLARNEY UNITED: Adam O’Regan, Adam Higgins, Eoghan Knapp, Nathan Davis, Cathal McCarthy, Gavin O’Sullivan, Billy O’Sullivan, Sam Cronin, Dylan Doherty, Dan Twomey, Joe Bailey.

Subs: Oscar Aherne for Billy O’Sullivan (49), Alex Lynch for Joe Bailey (68).

CARRIGALINE UNITED: Sam Grunzja, Ciaran Crotty, Conor Farrell, Daniel Apantaku, Rob Leonard, Jamie Moore, Niall Deane, Aidan O’Shea, Conor Nolan, Adam Costello, Craig Walsh.

Subs: Derry Howard for Aidan O’Shea (ht), Conor Varian for Craig Walsh (72).

Referee: Matija Popic.

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