Carrick United 2; Ballinroad 1
Carrick United were crowned Under-13C League champions in Ozier Park on Thursday night last, and their victory meant that the incredible run of success for Ballinroad had come to an end.
Having already won the Under 12B League, and the U13B and U14B Cups, Ballinroad were many people’s favourites here but they came up against a side who created an amazing record by scoring the opening goal after only 8 seconds – something that was never seen in Ozier Park before.
During the course of the long campaign, Carrick had defeated Ballinroad twice on a one-nil scoreline but in the cup it was Ballinroad who’d come out on top so there was never going to anything other than a kick of a ball between the two sides, and that is how things panned out.
Carrick led two-nil at half-time and at that stage it looked as if they would win the match with some ease but Ballinroad came right back into the contest in the second half and it took some fine defending, especially by Eoghan McGuigan who was magnificent during the course of the 60 minutes.
Overall this was yet another excellent game at headquarters, and thankfully it was decided during the course of normal time, and not on penalties.
Carrick took the lead in amazing style. It was the most extraordinary start to a game of football I have ever seen. Straight from the kick-off Sean Moroney kicked the ball upfield to Kashan Ali who let fly first time from the right side of the penalty area and the ball arrowed into the far corner of the net.
The Ballinroad players were understandably rocked but they fought back manfully and Joe Allen just failed to make contact with a right-wing cross from Eoin Kiely on 10 minutes. Three minutes before that, Kiely, who scored the goal which won the U12B League the previous week, was denied by Carrick ’keeper Kevin Faulkner.
Eoin Kiely is a very talented player and he had the misfortune to rattle the crossbar on 16 minutes. It is worth noting that he also struck the same crossbar seven days earlier. Carrick United increased their advantage on 21 minutes and this time Kashan Ali turned provider by getting in a fine cross from the right and Paul Murphy found the net with a good header at the back post.
The last action of the first half saw Ballinroad go close when Mikey Coleman forced a save from Kevin Faulkner. The Carrick goalie could only parry the ball but when it came back to Eoin Kiely he was unable to keep his effort on target.
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