Carrick Rovers 13’s side made the long trip to CMUL 13’s Premier League Leaders, BallyJamesDuff, on Saturday afternoon. The last time this Rovers team made this journey they were on the end of a 8-1 defeat, but recent encounters had been a lot closer affairs. Carrick started sharply playing into a strong breeze and created the 1st real opening when Jared Wenham played a brilliant through ball into Jamie King’s path but the ball got stuck under his feet and his shot lacked real power to test the keeper properly. Again Rovers were passing the ball around and playing some nice, neat football and the next chance again came their way when Oisin O’Hanlon this time gained possession in midfield before finding Dylan McCahey on the left wing. He set off on a mazy dribbling run taking on 3 BJD players before flashing a ball across the 6 yard box, but Bendera, on the back post just failed to connect.
The Rovers defence of Cathal O’Rourke, Cian Maher, Liam Og Murray and Eoghan Duffy were dealing with most things and when the home side did penetrate beyond them Killian McNulty in goals was brave on several occasions, racing out of his box to clear the danger.
The next big chance came Rovers way as Murray dispossessed a BJD player in the Carrick half and strolled forward into midfield. His run took him past 3 BJD players and left him 30 yards from goal. With the sideline shouting 'SHOOT', he picked out O’Hanlon with an exquisite pass, but the midfielder had strayed a yard offside. With 20 minutes played BJD broke the deadlock. A ball into the corner seemed to cause no trouble, but a stray pass put the striker in on goal and as Murray closed him down his shot seemed to strike the Carrick defenders arm and the Referee gave a harsh decision. The BJD player made no mistake from the spot. For the rest of the half BJD bombarded the Rovers goal but the Carrick defended extremely well to keep the score the same at half time.
Half Time BJD 1-0 Carrick Rovers
Carrick came out for the 2nd half with a stiff breeze behind them and started to ask questions of the BJD defense. Eoin Finnegan, Dylan Carolan and Donnacha Swinburne came on for the visitors and got straight into the pace of the game. Rovers pulled level on 52 minutes when Duffy and McCahey combined to put Robert McCloskey inside the BJD area ab=nd his run was hailed by the central defender for another spot kick. Murray placed his kick right into the corner to restore parity. Rovers looked the more likely to score next but the ball was not running their way and luck was not on their side on several occasion’s in good positions. The BJD keeper was having a solid performance as well. Rhys Jones and Jack McGeown came on and added a bit of steel to Rovers defense.
Murray pushed forward into midfield in search of a winner but it came the home sides way from a dead ball on the edge of the box. McNulty did well to get something on the stinging drive but couldn’t hold onto the ball and the BJD striker was the 1st to react to smash the ball home. Still Rovers came forward looking to equalize but ran out of time.
Full Time Ballyjamesduff 2-1 Carrick Rovers
A long way to go for no reward but a great display of how far these lads have come in a short space of time. The future looks good for this side.