Carrick Rovers A.F.C.

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This Week's Aletto

Valley Lodge,  25th March

Letters: A S I L

Winner: Alison Deery Ward, 18 ONeill St, Carrickmacross 

Jackpot: Euro 2,300

Next week: Deery's

Jackpot: Euro 1,000


CMUL 14 Championship - League Summary

CMUL 14 Championship
2013 – Feb’ to April

Rovers secured 15 of their total points haul of 21 for the 2012/2013 league campaign in the 2nd half of the season, a double uptake in points going from a 27% points return before Christmas to a 55% points return post Christmas. Fair to say Rovers enjoyed an impressive 2nd half of the season as they also recorded an unbeaten run of 7 games, putting them in the race for a top three finish in the CMUL league, only for Killylough to thwart their efforts in their final league game leaving Rovers finishing 4th and only 2 points behind third.

Rovers 7 match unbeaten run included 4 wins and 3 draws and included results against all of the teams in the league. February yielded a 2-2 draw against both Cavan Celtic and Killylough and 5:3 victory over Kingscourt. Rovers were the first team to take points off Cavan Celtic and apart from Cavan Celtic, Rovers were the only other team to take points off Killylough in the whole league campaign with Dylan Ward rising to the challenge and netting a brace in each game in reward of the fantastic work his team mates put in to contain and at times outplay their opposition. Results against the big two in the bag it would have been all too easy for the team to rest on their laurels but credit to their desire and determination and will to improve they came from behind to secure victory against an improving Kingscourt side. 1 nil down early on, Jack Gillick and Dylan Ward paved the way up front for Fionnan Cassidy to step up from midfield to power home what was to become a trademark free kick from 20 yards out. Michal Stemplewski found a new gear in his itinerary that day as he ran the midfield ragged from pillar to post and taking a heavy knock from a reckless challenge for his efforts.

The month of March returned 7 points out of a possible 9 for the Rovers, with 2 wins against Cavan Shamrock Tigers either side of a draw with Cootehill Harps. With Rory Gartland and Fintan Swinburne taking the reins of management for the day, they rallied against a 10 man Cavan Shamrock side and showed no mercy as they left the field with a clean sheet and 13 goals to their name with Jack Gillick and Dylan Ward taking credit for most of the damage. Next up would be a more testing affair with Cootehill harps, after a tough 6-1 defeat in their last encounter in mid November in Cootehill this would surely be a test of how far Rovers had come. Another tremendous team performance ensued as Rovers fell just short of all 3 points, the opposition lucky to catch the referee in generous form as he refrained from producing a red card for a foul whereby denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. But again the Rovers Lions train moved forward, Fionnan Cassidy again producing another clinical left footed finish from the resultant free kick. It ended 2-2 and Rovers can perhaps look back at this game as the game that pipped Cootehill to that  elusive 3rd position in the league table. Rovers then set their stall out against a hungry Cavan Shamrocks side, this time in their own park in Cavan town. But Rovers began the brighter, quick passing and hard tackling all over the field. Dylan Ward scored two of his finest goals with 2 piercing runs down the left wing, beating 2…3 defenders and then the goal keeper. 4:1 up and entering the final stages of the game, Rovers found themselves under severe pressure as Shamrocks brought on fresh legs and claimed back 2 goals to bring the deficit to one. Only magnificent defending and a high work rate would prevent them stealing a draw as they pushed and pushed. Breffni Henry in goals made a fantastic last minute save to stop Shamrocks finding a fourth and Conor O’ Rourke showed great presence of mind to follow up and clear off the line, even in the dying seconds aware to the danger and willing to push himself that extra 5 yards. The Rovers have had a number of players playing in the back four this season, Adam Lynagh and Dylan McEneaney marshalling the centre with a combination of Conor O’Rourke, Eoghan Dillan, Euan Matthews and Cormac O’Hanlon picking up the mantle alongside them at left and right back. And credit to their versatility and endeavour as they each enjoyed and played an effective role in wide midfield at some point in the season.

The  final league game of the season pitted Rovers against their old foe in the form of Killylough, Rovers desperate to find a route to victory after being denied on the previous 3 attempts and also in a bid to move up the league table. But Killylough were just as hungry and were well prepared as they showed their intent early doors with long range attempts and pressure on the ball. With the league title in their grasp they were fired up and Rovers found themselves 2 down at half time. Killylough didn’t relent in the second half and the game ended 4-1, Rovers getting a consolation goal toward the end. Although well beat on the scoreline Rovers had their fare share of possession. They pressed and probed the Killylough defence but were hesitant to pull the trigger, getting sucked in and then getting exposed on the counter as Killylough were quick to pounce on any loose ball. A good work out for the boys, some lessons best learned in defeat.

Disappointing to end the league campaign with defeat, but a remarkable transition from the team that began the season, almost unrecognisable. An encouraging campaign and we look forward with excitement to building on this year’s progress, with new additions to the team in the form of Jordan White and Aidan Rahill towards the back end of the season we look forward to improving the team further again next year

Team Squad (2013)

Adam Lynagh, Aidan Rahill, Breffini Henry, Conor O’Rourke, Cormac O’Hanlon, Dylan McEneaney, Dylan Ward (Vice Captain), Eoghan Dillan, Euan Matthews, Fionnan Cassidy (Captain), Jack Gillick, Jordan White, Michal Stemplewski, Steven Carville.

A special thanks to the players involved in the younger Rovers teams this season for stepping up to the 14's Championship squad when needed to provide cover and reinforcement for the team. Your contribution to the club is much appreciated and has greatly assisted in the 14s progress this season.

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