Date : 1st December 2018
Ballinhassig – 3
CUFC – 2
Last Saturday morning, Carrigtwohill United Under-16’s travelled to Gortnalough to play Ballinhassig in the latest league fixture. This encounter would see the two form teams in the league do battle, Carrigtwohill with 4 wins on the bounce and league leaders Ballinhassig having won 6 out of 7 league games only dropping points away to Grenagh.
The away side were well supported and had a squad of 20 players to select from. Conditions were good and despite the heavy rain earlier in the week the pitch looked in great nick.
Proceedings got under way and Ballinhassig were brighter in the early exchanges. Defensively they were well organised and going forward they were quick and decisive. On 11 mins the home side thought they had taken the lead when a free kick from the right found their striker in space to bundle the ball past Ben but the referee correctly ruled it offside.
However, 2 mins later they were ahead following a corner that wasn’t dealt with by the Carrigtwohill defence and when the ball fell to a Ballinhassig player at the back post he had time to take a couple of touches before poking the ball home. Carrigtwohill found it difficult to settle and were undone again on 16 mins, a through ball released the Ballinhassig forward and he finished neatly past Ben in goal. Heads could have dropped in the Carrigtwohill camp after going two down but credit to the boys they pulled themselves back into the game and got their reward on 20 mins when Niall Harte put Calvin Fitzgerald in and Calvin lobbed the Ballinhassig keeper.
A tactical change on 25 mins saw the introduction of David Joseph and his pace and energy put the home side on the back foot. Carrigtwohill were playing much better now and spurned a number of good chances before half time and it was 2-1 at the break.
The second half was fiercely contested and both sides played some lovely passing football. ‘If this is 4th division standard, then premier must be out of this world “, commented one onlooker!
Carrigtwohill were winning every ball in defence now and when Jake o Brien’s clearance found Liam Scriven in midfield he played in Harte who clipped the ball over the on rushing keeper, 2-2 game on!
Neither side looked like they were settling for a draw and Ballinhassig went ahead again on the hour mark. This only spurred the away side on and Carrigtwohill went close numerous times before the final whistle. Firstly Fitzgerald had a well executed free kick tipped over by the Ballinhassig keeper then Adam Rooney saw his long range effort drift narrowly off target. David Joseph headed inches wide late on and Carrigtwohill were wasteful of one or two other chances also.
It finished 3-2 to the home side in what can only be described as an enthralling affair, well done to all evolved.
Man of the Match: David Joseph