Rovers 14’s Keep Pressure on Leaders after a Hard Fought Victory.
Carrick Rovers under 14’s followed up on last weekend’s comprehensive win over League leaders Monaghan United with a victory over a gritty and determined Cavan Shamrocks team on Saturday morning in Cavan.
The game started with the visitors on the front foot and they created a number of good goal scoring opportunities but a combination of excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing meant that the game was scoreless until midway through the first half. It took a moment of individual magic in the 20th minute from Oisin McNally to break the deadlock. McNally controlled a clearance from the Cavan Shamrocks Keeper some 35 yards from goal before firing a thunderous half-volley high into the roof of the unguarded net. This settled Rovers down and they extended their lead 5 minutes later from a corner kick. Fionan Carolan delivered a precise ball deep into the heart of the Shamrocks penalty area where Kian Duffy rose highest to power home his header. This was probably a fair reflection of the game at that stage but the home side showed real character and heart as they kept playing good possession football which had the Carrick defence on their guard at all times. They got their reward for their endeavour in the 31st minute when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and the Shamrocks player despatched his effort high into the roof of the net beyond the desperate dive of Tomas Gartlan in the Rovers goals.
Half Time: Cavan Shamrocks 1 Carrick Rovers AFC 2.
Rovers came out for the second period knowing that they couldn’t allow a now buoyant Shamrocks team get level on the scoresheet and aware that the next score was going to be vital. It was the visitors who increased their lead in the 42nd minute after some clever interplay between Cuan Reilly and Carolan led to the ball being threaded into Dylan McConnell’s feet just outside the area and he made no mistake as he added to his impressive tally of goals for the season. He doubled his haul with his head 5 minutes later from another inviting corner delivery from Carolan after some terrific attacking approached by Cian Conlon had led to the concession of the corner by the Shamrocks defence. Cavan Shamrocks to their credit kept harrying and pressing their opponents as well as offering a constant threat when in possession. Rovers made several changes of personnel throughout the match to freshen up things and everybody who came in acquitted themselves well. Rovers sealed their victory with a fifth in the 63rd minute. This time it was some clever work between Patrick Farrelly and McNally which released Conlon away on the edge of the Shamrock’s area on the left. He took control before smashing a rising shot towards goal which unfortunately crashed back into play of the underside of the crossbar. The predatory instinct of Kian Duffy was first to the ball with his back to the Cavan goal but he rose and back headed the ball over the advancing Keeper and into the net. Again Shamrocks showed some great spirit and Gartlan had to be alert on a number of occasions to make some smart saves. The final whistle blew with no additional scoring and with Rovers maintaining their chase of the league leaders.
Final Score: Cavan Shamrocks 1 Carrick Rovers AFC 5.
Team: Tomas Gartlan, Darragh Mee, Oisin Byrne, Cian Burns, Patrick Farrelly, Mark McCahey, Cuan Reilly, Kian Duffy, Fionan Carolan, Dylan McConnell and Cian Conlon.
Subs Used: Oisin McNally for McCahey, John Kelly for McConnell, Daire Matthews for Reilly and Cillian McConnon for Carolan.