Corkbeg 3 Springfield 4
Corkbeg saw their title challenge receive a significant setback on Tuesday night, when they were beaten 4-3 by table toppers, Springfield, in an exciting thriller in Whitegate.
The first 20 minutes were absolutely hectic, with not an inch being given by either side. There were crunching tackles and blood& thunder for the opening quarter, with the sides sharing a goal a piece in that period.
Corkbeg struck first after only 8 minutes, when Jordan Ryan sent Alan Hogan through on goal and he slipped the ball past Alan Burns for the opener. But the lead didn’t last long, as Shane Geasleys speculative effort from 20 yards found the net and the Cobh side were level.
The sides continued to match each other and chances were limited. Corkbeg goalkeeper, Chris Smith, made a great save from a back post volley, while at the other end, Burns held a stinging shot from Jordan Tynan.
But, the home side edged ahead again on 35 minutes, when Shane Bennett picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and drove a low shot past Burns. Three minutes later and parity again. Smith managed to get a great punch on a long ball, but Springers full back Paudi Kearney smashed a stunning volley to the bottom corner from 25 yards to level the game again.
And a further setback for the home side on 41 minutes, when slack marking from a corner, allowed Dean Keating to score from close range and Springfield led at the break 3-2, after a hectic 45 minutes.
The second half was no less intense, but the pace dropped significantly, as that huge first half effort drained the players.
Springfield widened the gap to two goals on 52 minutes, when Shane Geasley got to the endline and crossed for Ross O Donovan-Wyatt to head home. In fairness to Corkbeg, they took the game to the league leaders at this point, but chances were limited. Cein O Driscoll twice failed to make contact with two decent Corkbeg moves, when well placed in the Springfield area, while Jordan Tynan had a decent free-kick well held by Burns.
And then, with 5 minutes remaining, Corkbeg full back, Dylan Casey, got on the end of a knock-down in the penalty area and smashed home from 6 yards to set up a grandstand finish.
Tariq Tynan was red carded in an effort to retrieve the football, but the ten men still looked for the equaliser, as the away side tired. There were a couple of near misses and half chances, but nothing clear-cut and Springfield deservedly went back to Cobh with three vital points in their back pocket and the new favourites for the league title.
Corkbeg: C. Smith, D.Casey, C. Horgan, S. O Halloran, D. Creedon, A. Berry, S. Bennett, J. Ryan, C. O Driscoll, A. Hogan, J. Tynan. Subs: T. Tynan for Hogan, M. Ahern for C. Horgan, A. Horgan for O Driscoll, D. Hickman, J. Manning