Rovers 16's travelled to Torro on Saturday afternoon to play the local team in the NECSL Premier Shield. On a bobbly, hard pitch with a strong breeze blowing, it was never going to be a day to play nice football. Rovers never got going and the midfield of Patrick Larney and Padraig Marron had their hands full against a strong Torro pair. Torro were playing football to suit the conditions, putting the ball in the air as often as possible and asking questions of Carrick's centre-half pairing of Thomas Finnegan and Ian Martin.
The home team had the better of the 1st half possession but Rovers had the best chance of the half when Larney picked out the run of Aaron Jones on the right wing and put the tricky winger away with only the keeper to beat but the ball wouldn't come down quickly enough and he lobbed the ball over both the Keeper and the crossbar.
Halftime Torro 0-0 Carrick Rovers
The 2nd half follow the same pattern as the 1st but Rovers had more. Possession without being able to put any fluent moves together and always looking vulnerable to the long ball. Marron tried his luck from distance and Cian Matthews broke down the left wing on occasions to cross some dangerous balls into the area but nobody could get a final touch to finish to the net. With 15 minutes to go Torro again launched a long ball forward that wasn't properly dealt with and the striker lashed it passed Ronan McDonald in the Carrick goals. Torro were buoyed by this and nearly increased their lead from a corner but McDonald did well to claw the effort over the bar for another corner. Rovers brought 15's players Kevin Lambe and Connor Duffy on and Lambe got straight into the action by setting Jones clear but he was denied by a great saving tackle when it looked like he was about to score. From a Larney corner the ball bobbled about the Torro area and Finnegan reacted quickest but his effort flashed wide. Rovers again came looking for an equaliser and Matthews found Stephen Cunningham inside the area but his shot was well saved by the home keeper. For all Rovers late pressure Torro held out to gain the win.
Full time Torro 1-0 Carrick Rovers
Team Ronan McDonald, Ryan Carolan, Ian Martin, Thomas Finnegan, Cian Matthews, Aaron Jones, Patrick Larney, Padraig Marron, Andrew Butler, Stephen Cunningham, Gary McElroy, Stephen Lynagh, Connor Duffy and Kevin Lambe.