League v St Mary’s A in St Mary’s Park on Wednesday 8th June 2016
St Mary’s A 1 Carrigtwohill United 1
Scorer – Darragh Hoare.
On a balmy summers evening, Carrigtwohill United headed to St. Mary’s Park in Kilcully for their last match of the season. This was effectively an end-of-season play-off for promotion as the victor here would very likely be promoted to Division 2 next season.
Both teams came into the match in good form and with so much at stake it was difficult to gauge how each team would react. Despite the quality of the opposition, Carrigtwohill started the game pretty much as they finished the last by pinning the opposition back for the opening quarter of this game. Much of the threat was coming down the right wing, where Abdul Rahim was causing panic. The opening goal came within this period of pressure, when Darragh Hoare scored a delightful goal when he cleverly placed the ball into the bottom corner. Although St.Mary’s were to up their game in the second quarter, Carrigtwohill continued to dominate much of the first half with Darragh Cullinane unlucky not to score on two occasions.
The second half was very entertaining with chances on both sides. Alex Canty managed to get one on one with their keeper twice and several good opportunities were created by Evan Donnelly and Darragh Hoare who were working well on the left wing. But the second goal never came. As the game entered the final quarter, St. Marys started to push forward more – perhaps conscious of time running out on their promotion push. It was to be a frantic and eventful finish to the game. With the defence under pressure, Scott McCarthy, Carrigtwohill’s defensive lynch-pin was injured and had to be substituted which required the defence to be re-jigged. The players all re-doubled their efforts but St.Mary’s were not backing down, pushing bodies forward and playing the ball forward at every opportunity.
With time now up, it looked as if Carrigtwohill had survived the onslaught, but there was a sting in the tail. St. Marys won a free kick in injury time and it was a case of everyone piling into the penalty box. The ball was floated in superbly and somehow an attacker managed to get a touch to steer the ball into the corner of the net. A cruel blow as the injury-time goal was enough to give St. Marys the draw and the likelihood of promotion. Players, coaches and parents were left gutted and it was a quite dressing room afterwards.
With the season now finished, the squad should feel very satisfied with their efforts during the season. It has been a season of highs and lows, but the team has made continued progress and the near-miss promotion is proof of the progress they have made.
Player of the Match : Darragh Hoare.