Carrick Rovers AFC Under 15’s entertained Cavan Shamrocks on Sunday afternoon as they tried to continue their good start to the new CMUL season. Shamrock’s had also had a winning start so this was always going to be a good test for both sides and the game turned out to be a great advertisement for underage soccer. Rovers set the early pace with Cian Conlon causing all sorts of problems for the Shamrock’s defence with his direct style of play and it was from his perfect delivery in the 14th minute that Rovers opened the scoring when Stephen O’Rourke rose to plant a firm header beyond the reach of the Cavan Keeper and into the net. Again Conlon was torturing his opponents on the left wing and his cross in the 20th minute should have been converted by Fionan Carolan with the goal at his mercy. Oisin McNally was starting to be an influence in the game down the Rovers right wing and O’Rourke should have added to his tally in the 25th minute when he connected with McNally’s cross. He didn’t have to wait long though as within a minute Conlon again provided a pinpoint ball onto the strikers head to double his and Rovers lead. Shamrock’s to their credit kept playing some fluent attacking football and caused the Rovers defence several nervous moments. Tomas Gartlan in the Rovers goal had to produce a top class save at full stretch in the 28th minute to turn an Emmanuel Sebu free-kick over his crossbar. The pacey Shamrock’s striker however was to be denied as he drifted in behind the Carrick defence in the 31st minute to turn the ball home and he had the teams level within 2 minutes as he strolled into the Rovers area past 2 defenders before smashing the ball past Gartlan.
Half-Time: Carrick Rovers 2 Cavan Shamrocks 2.
Rovers started the 2nd half brightly and regained the lead in the 53rd minute when a Patrick Farrelly cross was handled inside the area by a Shamrock’s defender. Oisin McNally stroked the ball confidently beyond the Keeper’s reach and into the bottom corner. Rovers thought they’d extended their lead in the 58th minute but the Shamrock’s Keeper superbly turned Luke McSharry’s long-range free-kick around his upright. Kian Duffy came in for O’Rourke and had a couple of opportunities to increase Rovers lead but couldn’t convert when well placed. Shamrock’s were a constant threat on the break and Sebu again punished poor Rovers defending in the 66th minute when he picked up possession in midfield before gliding passed several Carrick defenders before placing his shot into the bottom corner of the Rovers net. This seemed to be the final score until Oisin Byrne’s picked up possession in his own half before drilling a tremendous cross-field pass to Conlon who took control before planting his shot under the advancing Shamrock’s keeper.
Final Score: Carrick Rovers AFC 4 Cavan Shamrock’s FC 3.
Team: Tomas Gartlan, Darragh Mee, Dylan McMahon, Oisin Byrne, Cuan O’Reilly, Luke McSharry, Patrick Farrelly, Oisin McNally, Stephen O’Rourke, Fionan Carolan and Cian Conlon.
Substitutes: Kian Duffy, Cian Burns, Ethan Evans, Connor Larney, Mark McCahey and Daire Matthews.