Carrick Rovers 16’s met Park Celtic Summerhill for our second league encounter. The last meeting was a closely fought match with Park Celtic Summerhill coming away as 2-1 winners. These two teams are similar in style and ability so a tough battle loomed.
Carrick have improved over the season and opened well with strong passing moves up to the forwards, a long through ball found Kevin Lambe free and he bore down on the Park Celtic Summerhill goals on a one on one with the goalie – surely a goal but conditions under foot were not kind to Kevin and it was saved, but this was a good opening rally and got the Carrick lads spirits up.
Mark Grimes was on fire up front and was getting in to receive crosses into the square and was unlucky on many occasions not to score but it was coming.
Park Celtic Summerhill have a pacy winger and he was getting in close to test Aaron McMahon who was in top form and served us well. Liam McGeough was moving up the right wing and got a long pass to Kevin Lambe who ran into the corner, turned his man and sent a low cross where Stephen Finnegan sent it just over, this was a good period for Carrick. The game then became a stalemate where both sides defended and attacked in equal measure, both teams were playing with high intensity and it could be a case of which one ran out of steam first and then leaked goals.
Mike Monaghan was marshalling midfield well and on the 19th minute got a cross pass to Kevin Lambe who jinxed his marker and got a low cross into Mark Grimes who parried it in for Carrick’s first goal.
Conor Duffy stopped a racing forward who was bearing down on the Carrick goals. Park Celtic Summerhill were getting back into the game and Matthew Connolly and Peter Boylan were under pressure.
Sean Russell was playing in a new position of left mid and was getting some nice balls into Aaron Sharkey who was a constant threat to the Park Celtic goalie. Mark Grimes was unlucky not to score on the 21st minute when he just couldn’t connect right with a perfect cross into the square.
Carrick got a corner on the 23rd minute and this is of our favourite scoring set pieces, Mike Monaghan sent in a high ball aiming for the head of Conor Duffy but Park Celtic Summerhill have tall defenders and they got to it first.
Mark Grimes just missed another cross near the end of the first half but he now was being marked tightly as he was a constant threat. The last ¼ of the first half was a good period of play for Carrick.
Second half opened with Park Celtic Summerhill getting a quick goal and Carrick needed to get back into the game, Mark Grimes came to the rescue, scoring with a lovely 20 yd rocket of a shot for Carrick’s second goal.
Few minutes later, Mark Grimes sent a ball through to Aaron Sharkey who had a good shot saved. Sean Russell and Mike Monaghan were playing some nice combination play in midfield and getting the ball into the forwards, this work paid off with a delivery to Kevin Lambe who again found Mark Grimes in the square and Mark slammed it home for his and Carrick’s third goal. Gavin McEnaney came on for Aaron Sharkey and had a good goal scoring opportunity stopped.
Park Celtic Summerhill were now throwing everything at us and the back four were tackling furiously to repel them. Carrick had a corner and Conor Duffy just sent it over. Park Celtic Summerhill got a corner shortly after and they got their second goal.
10 minutes to go and it was getting to be a frantic game, Sean Russell broke through in the last five minutes and his shot hit the post, it would have been nice insurance. Park Celtic Summerhill got a free 20 yds out in the last two minutes and this was dangerous, it was taken, hit the wall and then a tackling frenzy ensued with a resulting corner for Park Celtic Summerhill, this was taken but Carrick defended well and got it cleared out, this was the last move of the game.
Team: Aaron Mc Mahon, Liam McGeough, Conor Duffy, Matthew Connolly, Peter Boylan, Kevin Lambe, Mike Monaghan, Stephen Finnegan, Sean Russell, Aaron Sharkey, Mark Grimes,
Subs: Conor McKenna, Ben Kelly, Richard Sheridan, Gavin McEnaney, Cormac Boylan.