Rovers 17’s continued their recent good run by progressing into the semi-finals of the NECSL HSE Cup, when they overcame a spirited Trim Celtic side on Saturday morning. Trim came to Carrick determined to prove that the recent League game between these sides didn’t reflect the true picture and started the game very brightly putting the home side under pressure from the off. It took the Carrick team 15 minutes to really settle into their stride. Trim made the 1st real clear opportunity of the game in the 18th minute when they put a string of passes together to create an opening but the forward dragged his effort wide of Mark Kieran’s goal.
Rovers knew they had to roll up their sleeves now and they began to put some good flowing moves together with Rob Berg, Padraig Marron and Patrick Larney in the Rovers midfield beginning to dominate possession. Marron created Carrick’s 1st real telling moment when he won a great tackle on the halfway line and drove forward to within 10 yards of the Trim area before rifling a shot just over the Trim crossbar. Rovers were looking comfortable in defence with Thomas Finnegan, Ian Martin, David Wilson and Kevin Quinn looking a solid unit. Cian Matthews and Ryan Carolan were giving Rovers good options on the flanks with Daniel McDonald a willing runner up front. Larney was the next Carrick player to cause alarm in the visitors defense after good work by Quinn and Carolan on the right wing, gave Larney a chance to take control and shoot but his effort was off target. With 10 minutes to half-time Rovers made 2 changes, bringing Andy Butler on for Quinn and Stephen Cunningham on for McDonald and almost immediately it paid off. Carolan put Butler away on the right and his cross was put behind for a corner. Larney delivered a swerving, dipping cross into the 6 yards area and Cunningham met it with a well placed header to open the scoring.
Half Time Carrick Rovers 1-0 Trim Celtic
Rovers started the 2nd half as they had the 1st on the attack and both Larney and Cunningham came close with shots. In the 53rd minute Trim were on the attack when Wilson broke up play in the Carrick half and strode forward breezing past 3 Trim players before exchanging passes with Matthews on the left wing. Wilson raced to the byline before flashing a cross into the heart of the Trim area were Cunningham timed his run perfectly but couldn’t keep his effort down for what would have been a tremendous goal. Trim began to believe they could get something out of the game only being a goal down and came at the home team looking for an equalizer. In the 62nd minute after a period of pressure they forced a corner. The ball fizzed about the Rovers area before Kieran smothered the ball before releasing Cunningham up front on his own. The striker held possession before heading towards goal before slipping the ball into Larney’s path after a fantastic supporting run by the midfielder. Larney took one touch before smashing a shot beyond the keeper and into the far corner for a stunning counter-attacking goal. Rovers had their tails up now and should have increased their lead on 69 minutes when some great combination play from Finnegan, Berg and Matthews, saw the latter deliver a vicious cross into the Trim penalty box where the Keeper did well to punch clear but only to Marron some 25 yards from goal. The midfielder met it 1st time with a thunderous volley that looked destined for the roof of the net but the keeper did well to finger-tip over. Trim to their credit still came at Rovers looking to get back into the game and on 76 minutes Kieran was called into action as the Trim striker got 1-v-1 with him, forcing the Keeper to make a brilliant save low down to his left to push the ball around the post for a corner. Rovers wrapped up the result in the 82nd minute again after some neat approach work involving Cunningham and Matthews and when the ball came out to Marron he picked his spot and placed the ball into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance. Jack Corr and Steven Lynagh came on for Matthews and Cunningham. McDonald came on for Butler and nearly increased the lead with a speculative shot from distance.
Full Time Carrick Rovers 3-0 Trim Celtic
Team: Mark Kieran, Kevin Quinn, Ian Martin, David Wilson, Thomas Finnegan, Ryan Carolan, Patrick Larney, Rob Berg, Padraig Marron, Cian Matthews, Daniel McDonald, Stephen Cunningham, Andrew Butler, Jack Corr and Steven Lynagh.
This result gives these Lads a home semi-final and keeps the winning run going with some big games coming up.