Carrick Rovers 14’s Keep Pressure on Leaders.
Carrick Rovers under 14’s kept the pressure on the leaders of the CMUL Premier Division by overcoming an understrength but resilient Cootehill Harps side on Saturday morning last. With weather conditions leading up to the fixture not favourable, the match was switched to Kingscourt Harps all-weather facility.
Cootehill decided to play with the strong breeze at their backs in the first period which meant that Rovers had to be very deliberate when in possession. They weathered an early barrage from the visitors with the Rovers back four of Darragh Mee, Cian Burns, Cuan Reilly and Daire Matthews having to make some vital tackles and blocks to prevent any clean chances on Tomas Gartlan’s goal. With this solid base behind them, the other members of the side were allowed to play their usual style of attacking football. They began to get to grips with their opponents and broke the deadlock in the 15th minute. Reilly broke up a Cootehill attack just outside his own penalty area before finding Patrick Farrelly in midfield. Farrelly broke forward before threading a pass out to Cian Conlon just outside the visitor’s area with 2 defenders to beat. Conlon dropped his shoulder and pushed the ball ahead of himself and his opponents before rifling an unstoppable left-footed shot high into the roof of the net. Cootehill responded by rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into trying to regain parity and they had Rovers pinned back into their own half for long spells. Carrick managed to weather the storm and eventually began to ask some questions of their own. Firstly Oisin McNally was just off target after some good approach work between himself and Mee. Then Reilly had 2 opportunities with his head from terrific deliveries by Fionan Carolan from corner kicks but his first effort was straight at the Keeper with the other glancing just past the upright. With the half entering its final stages Rovers got their second goal. This time Carolan linked up with Mark McCahey in midfield with McCahey picking out Dylan McConnell’s run on the edge of the area. The in-form striker controlled the ball wide of the goal before racing along the end line and placing his shot beyond the Keeper’s reach.
Half Time: Carrick Rovers 2 Cootehill Harps 0.
With the aid of the stiff wind at their backs, Rovers dominate the second period. John Kelly had replaced McCahey just before the break and was involved in Rovers 3rd goal. It was his pass into McNally that created the space for Carolan to find himself free 30 yards from goal and he smashed a looping half volley to the back of the Cootehill net. Not to be outdone, Conlon took charge of the situation when Rovers were awarded a free-kick wide on their right wing some 40 yards from goal and his well struck left footed strike sailed high over the outstretched Keepers reach and nestled into the net. Kian Duffy replaced McConnell and almost scored from another perfect delivery from Carolan but his effort was cleared of the line by a Cootehill defender. Cootehill kept battling and almost caught Rovers out in the 58th minute when they broke forward in numbers but Burns made a perfectly timed tackle to relieve the danger. Kelly was again involved in Rovers next goal when his pass put Duffy away on the right wing and Duffy spotted Mee raiding forward on the edge of the area. Mee made no mistake from Duffy’s perfectly weighted pass. Farrelly completed the scoring in the 65th minute when Carolan and Matthews caused panic to the Cootehill defence with some flowing passing and when the ball fell to Farrelly he made no mistake with his well-placed finish from just inside the area.
Final Score: Carrick Rovers 6 Cootehill 0.