Junior Team sponsored by Four Star Pizza
Murphy’s Irish Stout AUL Premier A
Gurteenard, Saturday 19th December 2009, 2.00 p.m.
Kanturk 2 – 4 Ballincollig
The league leaders triumphed against the relegation strugglers in this Premier AUL A tie played on a chilly Saturday afternoon but they were made to work very hard for the three points on offer.
The home team took the game to the visitors from the off hitting the post on six minutes and with another free header going wide soon after but Ballincollig adapted to the pace of the game and enjoyed some possession without creating many chances. Their first chance came on 25 minutes when the ball was switched to David Rath who found himself in space on the left but his shot was well wide. Ballincollig felt that they were well in this game and Kanturk found it hard to get any time on the ball. Tim Brennan, in particular, was Patrik Viera esque in his tackling on the right wing.
Kanturk took the lead towards the end of the first half. A good run beat the offside trap down the left with the resulting shot well saved by Rob Quinn but the follow up was rammed home by the Kanturk centre-forward who is the league’s top scorer. Any illusions Kanturk had about an onslaught were ended a minute later when a penalty was given for a handball in the box. Last season Ballincollig missed a penalty in the same fixture (yeah, remind us who missed it again Steve?) but this time John-Paul Rath made sure punishment was exacted. His shot low and to the left had enough power in it to beat the net-minder who had managed to get a hand to it and both teams went in at the break with a goal a piece.
The ten minutes around the hour mark saw a flurry of goals with the lead changing hands in the process. Ballincollig took the lead through Tom Ross. A defender all of last season he seems to be enjoying life as a centre forward. He nicked the ball from the centre-half on the half way line and raced clear. With three defenders chasing him and the keeper advancing the cheeky striker fainted his shot to make the keeper take to the ground and then had the presence of mind to dink it over him. It was a goal that showed incredible finesse on his part.
If the Mid-Cork side thought they were going to get one over their opponents they were quickly disabused of the notion. The Kanturk danger man turned and twisted in the box with his back to goal and got his shot away to secure the equaliser. A penalty two minutes later awarded against Ballincollig for a carbon copy of the infraction in the first half was stuck for the hat-trick. There was a real feel of a contest to this game and the next goal was to prove crucial although Ballincollig will have a feeling their luck deserted them with about twenty minutes left.
The linesman was over ruled by the referee who gave the throw to the home side. Cries of, “Foul throw!” from the Ballincollig players were to no avail. The ball was played to the edge of the box where a shot which Rob Quinn had anticipated took a wicked deflection to find its way into the net breaking Ballincollig hearts amid the cheers of the Kanturk players and supporters. Tim Brennan almost replied with a header. He stretched his neck muscles as far as possible but he just couldn’t connect with the ball.
Try as they might Ballincollig couldn’t find any way through after that and the best they could muster was a few half chances. Ballincollig will take heart from this performance and Kanturk will take this game as a warning that nothing comes easy in this league. Best for the ‘Collig on the day were Rob Quinn, Tom Ross and JP Rath.