League at Ballyadam
Carrigtwohill United – 3
Douglas Hall A – 0
This was the eleventh league match of the season and the second match in January – evidence of a season which has gone well weather-wise – with very few cancellations. Carrigtwohill U17’s were back in Ballyadam this weekend to host the return match against Douglas Hall A. The two teams had played out a 2 all draw in Moneygourney three months ago but it seems all players had other ideas as both teams started at 100 miles an hour.
On the other hand, the wind was a factor and blasted across the pitch, favouring neither side, but making long passes very tricky indeed. The visitors were more effective with their direct play and seemed to adapt to the conditions better initially, but after 25 minutes, Carrigtwohill began to play their football, holding onto the ball better and concentrating on the short passing out of defence which has paid off for them in recent games.
With 15 minutes to go in the first half, Rian Notley received the ball 30 yards out and pushed to get into a good shooting position. His blocked strike came back at him and he shot again from 25 yards out, this time from his left foot to beat the Douglas Hall keeper a bit far off his line.
There was still plenty of time for drama in the first half as Ebe Imoh was very unlucky to see his thunderous free kick come off the crossbar, with Abdul Rahim Mohammed unable to keep the rebound down. In the last minute of the first half, Carrigtwohill were reduced to 10 men following their winger’s clumsy challenge.
One nil up, but down to 10 men required a change of plan and Carrigtwohill switched to a 4 4 1 formation with Rian Notley up top – leaving complete midfield and back lines in place to pursue the game.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were very intense as Douglas Hall took the game by the scruff of the neck. This was when Darren Flynn in goals really delivered for his team, coming off his line twice in quick succession to close down Douglas Hall’s strikers and clear into touch with great skill.
This would turn the match around as 10 man Carrigtwohill, now with Robert Adam up top started getting back into the game.
Fresh legs: Jotham Crab on for James Barry, Ben Kearney for Robert Adam and Adam O’Leary for Abdul Rahim Mohammed, helped turn the game on its head and the home side to got back on top, with Sidas Pilivicious controlling the midfield with superb composure.
Rian Notley received the ball wide on the left and ran around the full back to shoot past the Douglas Hall keeper with 15 minutes to go before James O’Shaugnessy scored a pretty special solo goal from his right back position. This was no accident as Carrigtwohill’s captain has been showing pace and stamina over the last few matches to deliver box to box performances that help the team both in attack and defence.
Winning this one and scoring two goals in the second half whilst a man down was commendable and in truth, owed much to the good organisation of the team and the total commitment of the players. The back four: James O’Shaugnessy, Alex Canty, Ebe Imoh and Sean de Burca had a superb match and amongst them, playing at centre back for only the second time, Ebe Imoh delivered a man of the match performance, sprinting out of defence countless times to intercept ball after ball and equally effective under the high ball.
Man of the Match: Ebe Imoh