A resolute CBS Secondary School, Carrick-on-Suir, bowed out of the under 17 Munster Junior A Cup to St. Francis College Rochestown (Cork) 2-1 after extra time earlier today (March 2).
The mouth watering semi-final showdown, played at Carrick United’s Tom Drohan Park, was a very physical battle, with both sides cancelling each other out in normal time.
CBS, with 15 goals in their last three games against Cork opposition this campaign, were looking to raise spirits in the school after the under 15 side were heartbreakingly knocked out of the Munster Minor A Cup at the same stage on penalties to Blarney’s Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál on Tuesday last.
Both sides collided from the get go; a powerful but fair challenge by CBS captain Lee Costello on Rochestown no.4 Conor Russell waging war and commencing battles across what at times felt like a Colosseum. In the words of a home supporter, “we have a real battle on our hands here between two quality sides”.
CBS’s Cian Kinsella and Christy Griffin linked up well in front of the Rochestown defence, but were met by an opposing force in Conor Russell who was at the heart of everything good the Cork highfliers created.
New Waterford FC signing Lee Costello had a free rebuffed by a concrete Rochestown wall, while no. 3 Oran Brophy and no. 7 Dylan Wall joint forces and motored along the touchlines.
Rochestown no. 9 Evan Donlon then penetrated down the left, before cutting into the CBS box only to be given his marching orders by Mark O’Meara.
Counter attacking CBS drove up the park, winning a free which was eventually put over the crossbar by Cian Kinsella. Rochestown responded, pouncing on a loose ball in the centre of the park from the kick out which made its way through to pacey Jaze Kabia only to be ruled offside.
Reassuring CBS keeper Zach Ellis immediately distributed the ball long, finding lionhearted Oran Brophy who generated space and tested Cork keeper Alan Kelleher.
CBS defender Noel Obilor grew into the game, helped by the phenomenal Mark O’Meara who continuously got in the faces of the Rochestown frontline. Battle ready O’Meara later dispossessed playmaker Adam Hennessey, using his vision to precision and setting off forward Ian Holloway who fought hard across every blade grass at Tom Drohan Park.
The tension which fused with excitement as the game stood on a knife edge subsided to good-spirited banter when Rochestown winger Jaze Kabia slipped twice in quick succession, elevating cheers of “who are ya” amongst the home faithful.
Rochestown finished the first half the stronger with a Conor Russell free from the left headed off the crossbar by Adam Hennessy who was adjudged to be climbing by Ballyneale referee Tom Keating. This was followed by a dink from outside the box by Evan Donlon which barely went over the CBS keeper’s crossbar, leaving the game scoreless at half time.
CBS’s Lee Costello started pulling the strings early in the second half. Firstly he set Ian Holloway off on the right wing whose cross was easily handled by the Cork keeper. Costello then carved an opening to set Dylan Wall free, but Rochestown’s Conor Russell read the danger and hammered the ball into the CBS crowd.
Moments later, out of nothing, a mix up at the heart of the CBS defence resulted in keeper Zach Ellis fouling and conceding a penalty to Jaze Kabia, who silenced supporters with a calm finish low into the right-hand corner (goal can be seen on Twitter @DTW1992).
CBS responded immediately, winning a free down the left which was whipped into the danger zone by Dylan Wall. Mark O’Meara rose the highest, nodding in the equaliser as the crowd braced themselves for a rally from the home team.
Such a surge never materialised, and in truth Rochestown never looked fazed as Ross Slevin and Adam Hennessy brought composure before Evan Donlon skinned the Tipperary school’s crossbar with a forceful strike from just inside the box.
Kian Ryan’s introduction brought some much needed energy to the CBS offence as he troubled Patrick Buckley down the left, prior to Cian Kinsella’s purposeful shot from the edge of the box deflecting over the crossbar which left the score 1-1 and extra time bound.
Extra time began with a very contentious decision as the Tipperary Southern & District League referee waved away a Rochestown shout for handball in the CBS penalty area. As CBS’s Noel Obilor tangled with Adam Hennessy, the ball appeared to bounce up off the Tipperary player’s outstretched forearm. Obilor, who was rock solid all day, peered towards the referee amidst the cry of the Rebel County as the game continued.
Rochestown had the home side rattled, winning a free on the left wing (see video) which was teased into the box and scrambled home by Conor Russell.
Cian Kinsella and Lee Costello attempted to rally what looked like a shattered CBS, with Ian Holloway, Dylan Wall, Kian Ryan and Mark O'Meara defiant to the very end.
The referee blew his final whistle to the cheers of the travelling revellers, as a devastated but gracious CBS bowed out of the cup.
CBS: Zach Ellis, David Kelly, Oran Brophy, Mark O’Meara (goal), Noel Obilor, Ciaran Power, Dylan Wall, Lee Costello (c), Ian Holloway, Cian Kinsella, Christy Griffin. Subs used: Kian Ryan (for Christy Griffin), Evan Ryan (for David Kelly). Manager: Shane McCormack.
Rochestown College: Alan Kelleher, Patrick Buckley, Colin O’Mahony, Conor Russell (goal), Josh Holohan, Nathan O’Connell, Ross Slevin, Adam Hennessy, Evan Donlon, Rory Doyle, Jaze Kabia (goal). Sub used: Shane Downey (for Jaze Labia). Coaches: Cathal Lordan and Derick Murray.
The Nationalist/South Tipp Today Man of the Match: Mark O'Meara
Tipperary Southern & District League officials: Tom Keating (referee, Ballyneale), John Lyons (linesman, Clonmel), Billy O'Donoghue (linesman, Clonmel).