U21 fail to close out victory again

Post date: Mar 13, 2013 12:04:04 PM

Mágh Cuilinn 5-07 Carnmore 3-14

Mágh Cuilinn ended their 2013 with a defeat to probably the physically bigger Carnmore side at a bitterly cold Ballyloughane. While there was a strong wind favouring on side or other throughout the game, it did little to affect the scoring margin in either half. That was not how it looked in the opening minutes as Mágh Cuilinn, facing the elements conceded four points immediately.

Ronan Higgins was deployed in a sweeping role behind the half back line and the flow of scores was stemmed. Mágh Cuilinn ground out three point in reply all from Jack Kelly placed balls although one needed a deft overhead flick by Ian Noone to steer back on course. The effort was undone though when three consecutive frees were conceded cheaply and converted by two competent Carnmore freetakers. Chances for Lairgnean McDermott, Ian Noone and Michael Lalor has indicated vulnerability in the Carnmore full back line and again Luke Bohan found Ian Noone unmarked in front of goal, the goalkeeper advanced bravely to get a great block but Michael Lalor was quickly on the deflected shot to hit the net with a first time ground stroke. Carnmore struck back for two more points either side of a Luke Bohan effort before halftime but Mágh Cuilinn could be satisfied with a 0-09 to 1-04 deficit at the break.

Any thoughts of comfortably overhauling or exploiting defensive frailties Carnmore in the second half were dispelled when Carnmore exposed a few frailties in the Mágh Cuilinn defence and struck for an early goal. Mágh Cuilinn struck back within seconds when Ronan Higgins reacted first to the goalkeepers save from Lairgnean McDermott.

Once again it was Carnmore who found the net next. Their corner forward carved a path through from near midfield and despite a great pursuit and flick away by Cillian Mullarkey, it was the same forward who was first to retrieve the loose ball and fire past the helpless Eanna Kelleghan. The Mágh Cuilinn response was instant, a Jack Kelly long range free came off the post and once again Michael Lalor was first to react, gain possession, evade the defender and fire past the goalkeeper.

Again Carnmore responded. Mágh Cuilinn appeared to have averted the danger when the ball drifted out toward the corner flag but the one of the big, strong Carnmore men found a path along the end line and shot a goal from a narrow angle. This time the Mágh Cuilinn response was not instant and Carnmore added a point to extend their advantage to 6 points. Eventually Seamus Conneely matched the Carnmore effort by soloing from midfield all the way inside the 13m line to finish into the net. Luke Bohan tacked on a point and with eighteen minutes elapsed in the half both sides had scored 3-1.

Lairgnean McDermott had a goal chance with the keeper outside him but his shot while falling lacked power and the defender was just able to intervene on the line. Mágh Cuilinn did take the lead when a long delivery into the square was pulled on overhead by Ian Noone though not necessarily with contact, evaded the goalkeeper and found the net.

Unfortunately, Mágh Cuilinn were unable to add to there advantage and it was Carnmore through more cheap frees who were able to grind out the points to restore their two point advantage. Mágh Cuilinn spurned a number of scoring chances but Jack Kelly with two minutes left took the point from a 20m free. After a long delay for an injury to Kevin O'Donovan, play resumed and Jack Kelly then had an opportunity to equalise from 60m. This he duly did and it looked like Mágh Cuilinn might snatch victory. It was Carnmore who responded however landing a point and launching a second attack which saw them shoot narrowly wide. Mágh Cuilinn's attack from the puckout was repelled and the final whistle sounded. Once again, Magh Cuilinn were without their full complement of players with three starters from the previous game unavailable and two more injured players looking on ruefully from the sideline. Even so, despite having a relatively young team, Mágh Cuilinn were capable of winning, their main weaknesses being the concession of too many "soft" frees and an inability to take points from distance.

Mágh Cuilinn: Eanna Kelleghan, Cillian Mullarkey, Emmett Kerrigan, James Donohue, John Lalor, Eanna Malone, Gerard Molloy, Kevin O'Donovan, Seamus Conneely, Ronan Higgins, Luke Bohan, Jack Kelly, Michael Lalor, Ian Noone, Lairgnean McDermott.

Subs: John Doran for Michael Lalor, Alan Jackson, Paraic Kilduff