Carrick Rovers 17’s made the trip to Torro on Monday evening still with a chance of finishing in 2nd place to Champions Newtown in the League. The game was played in dry but windy conditions, with Rovers playing into a stiff breeze in the 1st half. The blustery wind suited the home sides style of going direct and this put the Carrick back line of Ryan Carolan, Ian Martin, Micheal Monahan and Thomas Finnegan, under pressure from the start.
Mark Kieran in goals had to be on his toes at all times as the ball was travelling long distances from the oppositions goalkeeper’s kick-outs. Torro were causing the more threat and had several opportunities from balls in behind the Rovers defence, but Kieran had no real saves to make. The Carrick midfield of Aaron Jones, Patrick Larney, Rob Berg, Ronan O’Callaghan and Cian Matthews were struggling to put any real flowing moves together and lone striker Daniel McDonald was having a frustrating evening, trying to hold the ball up and bring others into play. The half was 38 minutes old, with the home team having a lot of the possession, before Rovers put their 1st really telling move together. Kevin Quinn, on for Carolan, gained control of the ball inside his own half before finding Larney. The midfielder took a couple of touches before striding forward towards the Torro goal. He picked out Jones cleverly timed run to the edge of the area. Jones run drew 2 defenders towards him and as they went to close him down he slipped the ball past them both before getting his head up to spot O’Callaghan just inside the penalty area in front of goal. As the ball came to O’Callaghan he did everything that a player should do when striking a ball, head and body over the ball and laces through it and the ball flashed into the back of the net, though the keeper did get a hand on it. The one real piece of controlled football had brought the only goal of the half.
Half–Time Torro 0-1 Carrick Rovers
Rovers now had the breeze at their backs and within 3 minutes doubled their lead when good work by Berg in midfield released Jones wide on the right of the box and his 1st time shot slipped under the keepers body with substitute Padraig Marron following up to smash the ball home just in case. Rovers brought on Steven Lynagh for McDonald and he was involved in the next real attack after 53 minutes when O’Callaghan fed Larney who sprayed the ball wide to Lynagh and his cross was met acrobatically by Jones but his effort flew over the crossbar. Rovers took their foot of the throttle now and Torro to their credit kept plugging away with both Martin and Monahan having to make last ditch tackles to prevent chances and Kieran called into action on 68 minutes to dive full length to push a ball around his post to great effect. Rovers sealed victory in the 75th minute when they broke from a Torro corner with Monahan breaking up the play to find Jones with a perfect pass into space. Jones controlled before lofting a ball over the advancing Keeper and Larney was there to add the final touch with a volley to the unguarded net. Marron stung the keepers hands from distance in the 84th minute but Torro had the last say after a plucky display. They broke up a Rovers attack and quickly turned it into a counter-attack which say the Carrick back line miss a few tackles before the Torro striker coolly slotted the ball home past Kieran.
Full-Time Torro 1-3 Carrick Rovers
Team: Mark Kieran, Ryan Carolan, Ian Martin, Micheal Monahan, Thomas Finnegan, Aaron Jones , Patrick Larney, Rob Berg, Ronan O’Callaghan, Cian Matthews, Daniel McDonald, Padraig Marron and Steven Lynagh.