Blarney United 2
BLARNEY United may have recently sealed promotion from the Beamish Stout Munster Senior League Senior First Division but they still have a lot of work to do if they are to claim the league title after they were beaten 3-2 by Leeds at O’Shea Park on Friday night.
Blarney had twice fought back from a goal down to draw level but ultimately they couldn’t avoid just their second loss of the campaign as a sensational goal from Jordan O’Sullivan in the second half was enough to earn fourth place Leeds the three points.
United were looking to increase their lead at the top of the table to six points before second-placed Castleview played later in the weekend but the men from Ballyvolane proved that they were keen to spoil the party inside the opening minutes as they took the lead.
The goal itself actually came inside two minutes and it was a stunning free-kick from Leeds’ number four Robert O’Connor, who expertly curled the ball over the wall and beat the goalkeeper with the help of the inside of the post at the top left corner.
Blarney were stunned but they almost snatched an equaliser moments later but after being released by an excellent pass from Conor Stokes, striker Martin O’Sullivan rolled his shot wide of the near post when through on goal.
They almost found themselves 2-0 then by the eighth minute when Darren Murphy played in Jordan O’Sullivan but similar to his opposite number, he clipped his strike wide of the near upright.
The home side soon grabbed a grip on proceedings and shortly after Sean Keane saw a fierce volley saved by keeper Darragh Newman, defender Aaron O’Raw sent a free header over from a good position inside the penalty area.
Leeds’ Darren Murphy took responsibility for their next free on 28 minutes and curled it just wide the far bottom-right corner moments before Blarney made it 1-1 when Allen Weldon headed home from their next corner.
The visitors, to their credit, remained unfazed having conceded that goal and shortly before the half-time break they edged in front again thanks to Dylan Foley.
Not too long after bemoaning the fact that they had conceded from a set-piece they were celebrating scoring from a set-piece after Foley rose highest and directed his header into the corner of the net.
The second half wasn’t quite as end to end as the first so it didn’t quite have as many genuine goal-scoring opportunities to note as a result.
But it did spark into life once again on the hour mark when Blarney tallied their second leveller of the game when - with his first touch of the game - substitute Tomas O’Carroll blasted the loose ball into the roof of the net after David Murray’s initial effort was parried.
But Leeds would take the lead for a third and final time just three minutes later and it was a goal worthy of winning any match.
Cian Coleman did well in the build-up as his clever pullback from the end-line found his striker Jordan O’Sullivan who did the rest, turning skillfully away from his marker in the box before planting the ball into the top left corner to win it for Leeds and inflict a costly defeat on title-chasing Blarney, who missed chances to net a third equaliser late on.