Carlow CBS 2-15
CBS Enniscorthy 4-8
After Extra Time
South Leinster P.P Schools SF “B” Quarter Final
At Netwatch Cullen Park
By John Whelan
This match went the distance and there was no real certainty as to who would actually win the game until referee Brendan Hickey (Kildare) blew the full time whistle after over 80 minutes of football. As the clock ticked over 80 minutes , CBS Enniscorthy trailed by just one point . A ball was sent in towards the CBS Carlow goal in front of the scoreboard and looked to be about to bring CBS Enniscorthy level once more . The ball instead came off the post and if it wasn’t for the heavy legs of the CBS Enniscorthy forwards they might have reacted quickest and added a fifth goal, instead the CBS Carlow goalkeeper Ciaran Byrne calmly reacted and scooped the ball off the ground and disposed of the danger as he sent the ball forward.
The ending to this game was as dramatic as the start. Within a minute of the referee throwing in the ball Seamus Casey for CBS Enniscorthy broke away from his man and took a shot on goal that caused a comedy of errors from CBS Carlow in their own box and the ball eventually ended up in the back of the CBS Carlow net.
Four minutes later Casey was in again. Head down, he sprinted away from his man and this time there was no doubt as to who got the goal. CBS Carlow were left reeling but Shane O’Neill and Colm Hulton would convert three frees to bring the deficit back to 3 points and help bring calm to the CBS Carlow team. The sense of calm didn’t last long. Seamus Casey sprinted away from his man again. Same result. Goal. There was 15 minutes gone in the first half and CBS Enniscorthy had opened a six point lead. Then Casey added another two well worked points from play in quick succession. 18 minutes gone and Carlow CBS now trailed by 8 points and it looked like it was game over.
CBS Carlow didn’t panic. When CBS Carlow’s captain Niall Lowry won a ball from an Enniscorthy kickout, he expertly passed it to a teammate in the right place then made the run to retrieve the ball from him and slotted it over the bar and CBS Carlow had their first score from play after 19 minutes. It was more than a score and it showed that CBS Carlow were not ready to give up, it also quelled the momentum that CBS Enniscorthy had as they only managed one point in the closing ten minutes of the first half. Shane O’Neill converted two more frees to bring CBS Carlow within six points at the break.
As the teams broke for half time there were no heads down on the CBS Carlow team, and the team mentors Maurice Browne and Conor Kinsella called the team over to the sideline to the left of the stand instead of making the trip down the tunnel to the dressing room which CBS Enniscorthy chose to do. Both teams did look tired and the going was more soft than good after a good bit of rain over the last few days.
The second half began at a very slow pace. CBS Enniscorthy added two points in the first ten minutes and the game look destined to peter out. CBS Carlow introduced two young substitutes, Jordan Morrissey and Ross Dunphy. The added agility allowed CBS Carlow back into the game and when both were introduced CBS Carlow trailed 3-5 to 0-6.
CBS Carlow had pushed their midfield up in the second half and were beginning to get a lot of possession. Then in the 44th minute Jordan Morrisey won the ball and headed towards the goal, then from 25 metres out he unleashed a shot with mighty power that didn’t even give the goalkeeper time to react properly, over his head , in off the cross bar, back of the net.
CBS Enniscorthy didn’t have much time to deal with their 8 point lead dropping to a 5 point lead as they saw little of the ball. Within 90 seconds of Morrisey’s goal Colm Hulton broke away from his man and with a fine placed shot he found the top right corner of the CBS Enniscorthy goal. A roar went up from the stand in Netwatch Cullen Park matched with the cheer from Maurice Browne on the sideline. CBS Carlow had been down but never out and now they trailed by only 2. It took Colm Hulton just four minutes to find the two needed points to bring the sides level. CBS Carlow were allowed exact their dominance of possession with the likes of Ross Dunphy leaving his half forward berth to win the ball back from his man.
Finally Seamus Casey responded, almost 40 minutes since his last score, he converted a free to put CBS Enniscorthy one point up with 5 minutes remaining. Colm Hulton added a point to bring the sides level again only for a CBS Enniscorthy man to put them one point up as the clock ticked over 60 minutes. CBS Carlow faced elimination from the championship in the cruellest way possible, to come from 8 points down to draw level and then lose it in stoppage time would have been gut wrenching. Yet they didn’t flinch, as the CBS Carlow lads won the ball they didn’t panic as they worked the ball down to the Dublin Road end of Netwatch Cullen Park. It was the captain Niall Lowry who sent the ball over the bar to send the game to extra time.
Twenty minutes of extra time would decide the winners. CBS Carlow buoyant from a remarkable comeback took the lead for the first time when Colm Hulton added a point after just 2 minutes of extra time. Shane O’Neill had tried the long range high shot a couple of times throughout normal time but none of them found the intended target until the 4th minute of extra time when his shot sailed over the bar to give CBS Carlow a two point cushion. Ross Dunphy showed great speed and evaded many tackles to find space to slot over another point and put a bit of daylight between the sides.
CBS Enniscorthy’s Seamus Casey then completed his hat-trick in calm fashion deep into the 10th minute of the first half of extra time. He sent the ball to the back of the net to level the sides once more. Ciaran Byrne the CBS Carlow goalkeeper picked the ball out of the net, took his kick out and the referee blew the whistle for half time in extra time.
CBS Enniscorthy got a great start to the second half in extra time and they took the lead within 30 seconds. That would be their last score. Some great defensive efforts from Carlow CBS helped stop any CBS Enniscorthy drives. CBS Carlow half forward Brian Byrne was just one of the CBS Carlow players to win a ball deep into their own half and then come away with it.
Colm Hulton converted a free after 14th minutes and then scored one from play to bring his personal tally to 1-8 and most importantly put CBS Carlow one point up a gap that CBS Enniscorty would not close. With two minutes remaining the referee showed a CBS Enniscorthy man a black card and when CBS Enniscorty tried to introduce his replacement immediately the referee told them they had to wait until the next break in play, this confusion allowed for two minutes to be added on. In those two minutes the ball hit off the post but bounced in CBS Carlow’s favour. The referee blew the full time whistle and as one side celebrated the others slumped to floor. CBS Carlow are into a South Leinster B Semi Final.