O’Leary leads Ard to Presidential victory

O’Leary leads Ard to Presidential victory

The Ard Na laoi side that had a 2-1 win over Kilbrittan in the first round of the President's Cup at Leemount.

Ard Na Laoi 2

Kilbrittan 1

Ard Na Laoi are through to the second round of the President’s Cup after their 2-1 victory over Kilbrittan at Leemount.

And getting the nod for the man of the match accolade was Ard Na Laoi’s Gary O’Leary who worked like a Trojan in midfield all game.

With just minutes in, Kilbrittan came close when failure by the Ard Na Laoi defence to clear their lines allowed Sean McCarthy space enough to drill an effort, inches over from the edge of the box.

But, Ard Na Laoi got themselves in front when Gary O’Leary headed home unattended at the far post from Alan Kenny’s corner on ten minutes.

The hosts were accorded a terrific chance to double their score when Kenneally got in on goal, but he failed to beat Eoin McCarthy.

A decent effort from Kilbrittan’s Josh Coughlan was well held by James Murphy.

Then, as so often happens, Ard Na Laoi’s effort to play it out from the back came back to bite them when Micky Donoghue pressed to claim possession before slotting coolly into the corner on 22 minutes.

Kilbrittan almost took the lead after that when Lance O’Donovan was unlucky to see his crisply struck effort slam against the side-netting.

But, Ard Na Laoi found themselves in the driver’s seat once again when from a free kick, Ian Kenneally slotted home into the corner on the half-hour.

Kilbrittan responded positively when Sean McCarthy won good possession before rifling narrowly wide as Murphy looked beaten.

Paul Pepper (Cork AUL) presents the man of the match award (sponsored by Gary McCarthy Trophies) to Ard Na Laoi's Gary O'Leary.
Paul Pepper (Cork AUL) presents the man of the match award (sponsored by Gary McCarthy Trophies) to Ard Na Laoi's Gary O'Leary.

Then, before the break, a cross from Kenny saw Jamie O’Connor head wide near goal while at the other end, Micky Donoghue made James Murphy work to save from his stinging effort at the near post.

Kilbrittan had a great opportunity to level proceedings when Sean McCarthy guided goalwards from Coughlan’s pass, but Ard Na Laoi’s Shane Bradley produced a frantic effort to scoop it away from going over the line and concede a corner.

At the other end, Ard Na Laoi’s Dave Carroll headed wide from Ciaran Pittorino’s corner.

Ard Na Laoi really took over at this point of the contest now and were on top when Gary O’Leary won his header in midfield which fed Jordan Harris.

The substitute should have done better than fire wide from a good position.

The hosts peppered the opposition’s rear-guard now and we saw close calls from both Jamie O’Connor and Cormac Rice.

In fact, both these players had chances soon afterwards when Rice saw his firm effort saved by Eoin McCarthy while Jamie O’Connor had a glorious opportunity near goal, but somehow failed to deliver with the goal gaping.

Then,, from a long kick-out, an opportunity did fall for Kilbrittan’s Sean McCarthy, but he fired disappointingly wide also.

Kilbrittan's wins possession over Ard Na Laoi's Dave Carroll in the action at Leemount.
Kilbrittan's wins possession over Ard Na Laoi's Dave Carroll in the action at Leemount.

It mattered little in the end as Ard Na Laoi managed the game through to the end.

Ard Na Laoi: James Murphy, Darragh Connolly, David Donovan, Shane Bradley, Jamie O’Connor, Gary O’Leary, Dave Carroll, Ciaran Pittorino, Cormac Rice, Alan Kenny and Ian Kenneally.

Subs: Jordan Harris and Ben O’Rourke for Darragh Connolly and Ian Kenneally (half-time), Ian Kavanagh for Cormac Rice (75), Derek O’Leary for Alan Kenny (85).

Kilbrittan: Eoin McCarthy, John Duggan, Sam Dewey, Luke O’Riordan, Sean McCarthy, Micky Donoghue, Josh O’Donovan, Lance O’Donovan, Ryan McCarthy, Josh Coughlan and Cal McCarthy.

Subs: James Ahern for Cal McCarthy 75), Mitch Fallon for Lance O’Donovan (88).

Referee: Ken O’Driscoll.

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