Corkbeg welcomed high flying Blarney United, leaders of CSLDiv 1, to Whitegate on Sunday morning, for a 2nd round National Cup game. And what a fantastic game of football it proved to be on a glorious morning for a game of football.
On a very heavy pitch, following Saturdays deluge from the heavens, the visitors started better and looked sharper and hungrier than Corkbeg. Corkbeg seemed to be constantly on the back foot in the opening half and it took some great defending from Josh McCarthy & Adam Lewis to keep the Blarney onslaught at bay. But the pressure told and Blarney took the lead from a penalty after 15 minutes and they comfortably held this lead until the half time interval.
But what a turnaround! Following a few alterations to the team, Corkbeg completely dominated the second half and the Blarney goalkeeper had to make a fine save to deny Cormac Crowley. But, with great support from the large crowd on the line, Corkbeg deservedly drew level early in the 2nd half when Corkbegs outstanding outfield player, Josh McCarthy, made a barnstorming run down the right hand side and played in David Kelly to tuck the ball in the corner for the equaliser.
Despite being the better team for the rest of the game, the game headed to extra time. Corkbeg continued to dominate and the lads kept the pressure on from the start. In the first period of extra time, the Blarney goalkeeper pulled off a stunning save from his own defender, but the ball fell kindly for Cillian Scanlon and he found the net from close range. But this was a good Blarney team and immediately from kick off they equalised from a quick break, a brilliant run and finish into the top corner.
So, level at full time and a penalty shootout; lots of pressure for lads so young. But goals from ice cool Tom Walsh, Adam Lewis with a cracking penalty and two brilliant penalty saves from Sam” The Cat” Mac in goals left it essentially down to sudden death with each team left with one penalty. When Blarneys final spot kick hit the bar and bounced out, it was down to Cillian Scanlon, superb again today, to coolly dispatch the ball to the net and win the game for Corkbeg.
A fantastic effort by all the lads again today ,a special group in whatever sport they play! Top man today goes to Sam Mac for his heroics in the shootout, ably assisted by the outstanding Josh McCarthy, Adam Lewis, Cillian Scanlon, Jamie Walsh and stand in centre half Cormac Crowley. Next round for the lads is Sunday October 27th, as we wait for the draw during the week.