Saints denied at the death as Drake rescues Carrig in thriller

Carrigaline 2-8 St Michael’s 1-11

It was a fitting result to a great final which did much to lift the profile of minor football in the county. The replay should not be missed.

There were some outstanding performances. Eoghan Buckley was majestic for Michael’s hitting six points while team mates Ciarán O’Shaughnessy, Steve Mahon and Steve McCarthy also impressed

Simon O’Brien was top man for Carrig and free taker David Drake also caught the eye with six points from placed balls. The weather militated against good football but both sides produced a superb contest. The sides were level at a point apiece after five minutes before Michael’s struck their only goal. McCarthy began the move which ended with a rasper to the bottom corner from Mahon.

Buckley, who captained the county minors last year to a Munster title, was very effective at centre forward for the city side and his two points helped his men to a 1-3 to 0-3 lead after 20 minutes.

Michael’s drifted out of the game as Carrigaline began to get a grip at midfield where David O’Regan was impressive, but they were guilty of poor finishing. Carrig went 12 minutes without a score before Drake landed a point however the half ended with Buckley pointing a free to give his side a 1-4 to 0-4 half time lead.

The second half was a thriller as both sides made light of the difficult underfoot conditions to produce a marvellous affair.

Mahon edged the Blackrock side four points clear seconds after the resumption before Carrigaline enjoyed their best period. James Shepherd had a point before the impressive Simon O’Brien tied the game for a second time with a goal. The sides went point for point and were still level at the three quarter stage.

There was no let up in the pace as play swung from end to end before the greasy conditions contributed hugely to Carrig’s second goal in the 47th minute.

A pass by James McCarthy meant for Simon O’Brien skidded away from him to the St Michaels ‘keeper who fumbled. Taking full advantage of the ‘keeper’s mistake O’Brien slid the football across the face of the unmarked goal where Adrian Lynch coolly first timed it to the net.

Despite the blow the St. Michael’s lads came thundering back and the magnificent Buckley tied the game for the fourth time with three points in a row.

The tension was at fever pitch as Donal Cremin, just on as a sub, gave the city side the lead with a point and it looked as if Carrig would have to wait another year to win their first premier title at this level.

However in a welter of excitement it was fitting that David Drake should have the final say with the equalising point in the 62nd minute to end one of the best county finals at this level in years.

Scorers for Carrigaline: D Drake 0-6 (frees); S O’Brien 1-1; A Lynch 1-0; J Shepherd 0-1.

Scorers for St Michael’s: E Buckley 0-6 (0-2 free); S Mahon 1-1; S McCarthy 0-2 (0-1 free); K O’Regan, D Cremin 0-1 each.

CARRIGALINE: S Mellett; T O’Connor, D Bagnell, S Noonan; S Conlon, C Barry, D Spillane; D O’Regan, J Shepherd; L O’Regan, D Drake, J McCarthy; A Lynch, S O’Brien, D O’Keeffe.

Subs: S O’Halloran for O’Connor (42); C O’Flynn for Shepherd (47); K Malone for Spillane (56).

ST MICHAEL’S: M Burke; D Healy, C O’Shaughnessy, B Lyons; R Dineen, C O’Herlihy, A O’Driscoll; R Creagh, C Kiklcoyne; A Neville, E Buckley, S Mahon; S McCarthy, K O’Regan, P Deasy.

Subs: D O’Leary for O’Herlihy (h/t); K O’Byrne for Neville (38); D Cremin for Creagh (53); T Byrne for Deasy (62).

Referee: M Moynihan (Grenagh).

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