Gabriel Rangers 2-8
TOM LYONS REPORTS
JAMES O’Regan kept his nerve to score two decisive penalties in this West Cork derby that opened up Group A of the Bons Secours Intermediate A football championship.
The first was before half time when Gabriel Rangers trailed by seven points. The second was vital, too, in the 60th minute when they were trying to pull back a one-point deficit in Kealkill. It saw Gabriels take a two-point win.
It was rough justice on Adrigole who led for most of the game but credit to Gabriels who never gave up the ghost, even when trailing by seven points in the first half.
‘That was a tough one,’ admitted Gabriel Rangers coach Pat Nolan.
‘Adrigole are a fine side and they really put it up to us. They played some very good football but fair play, our lads never dropped the head.
‘Of course the two penalties were vital, the first closed the big gap before half time and the second won the game. We have a lot of young lads on the team, under 20, and this will be a great learning process for them. Winning the first game was vital, it takes a lot of pressure off us.’
Adrigole played with the strong breeze in the first half and even though Mark Cronin grabbed the opening point for Gabriels, it was all Adrigole on the scoreboard subsequently. Charlie O’Sullivan and Neil O’Sullivan took control at midfield and the forwards kicked some splendid points from distance. Connie O’Shea (2), David Harrington (2), Charlie O’Sullivan and Jason Harrington, three in a row, were all on target as the Beara men kicked seven points without reply from Gabriels. Adrigole played some marvellous attacking football in that first half and Gabriels looked in serious trouble all over the pitch.
Just when it seemed they might be out of contention by half time, Gabriels were thrown a lifeline when James O’Regan was pulled down in the square in the 26th minute. He, somewhat luckily, converted the kick himself.
A four-point deficit at half time, 0-8 to 1-1, looked much more manageable than seven for the Carbery men. With the breeze, they quickly got into their stride in the second half and points from the classy veteran Mark Cronin (3), Eddie Goggin and Killian O’Brien, in answer to a single reply from David Harrington, had the sides level, 0-9 to 1-6, by the 42nd minute.
Adrigole were unlucky when Connie O’Shea struck the post, having rounded the goalkeeper, but they took the lead with a pointed free from Dave Harrington.
It was a real battle for supremacy now as Keith O’Driscoll levelled the scoring before Adrigole centre back, Sean O’Shea, converted a difficult free for the lead again in the 56th minute.
Gallant Gabriels, with a mix of youth and experience on their side, refused to yield and went in search of the equaliser in the dying minutes. The drama was only beginning. In the 60th minute, sub Danny McSweeney broke through and was in the act of finishing the ball to the Adrigole net when he was hauled down. Up stepped James O’Regan and his well-struck second penalty rattled the net. Gabriels in front for the first time since the second minute.
Injury time saw Adrigole throwing the kitchen sink at Gabriels and a Neil O’Sullivan point cut the lead to the minimum. Undaunted, back came Gabriels with some great interceptions and a break-away point from Eddie Goggin sealed a marvellous two-point win, 2-8 to 0-12.
There was great rejoicing in the Gabriels’ camp following the final whistle and total silence among the Adrigole contingent, the Carbery men having snatched the bragging rights in this local derby.
Scorers - Gabriel Rangers: James O’Brien 2-0 (2 pens); Mark Cronin 0-4 (1f); Eddie Goggin 0-2; Killian O’Brien, Keith O’Driscoll 0-1 each. Adrigole: David Harrington 0-4 (1f); Jason Harrington 0-3; Connie O’Shea 0-2; Neil O’Sullivan, Charlie O’Sullivan, Sean O’Shea (1f) 0-1 each.
Gabriel Rangers: Liam Hegarty; Killian O’Sullivan, David O’Regan, David Roycroft; Richard Moynihan, Killian O’Brien, Darragh O’Shea; Cian Bowen, Paddy O’Driscoll; Sean Evans, Gerard O’Callaghan, Keith O’Driscoll; Mark Cronin, James O’Regan, Eddie Goggin. Subs: Luke Nolan for S Evans (40), Danny McSweeney for R Moynihan (45), Pat Nolan for D O’Shea (50), Fionn Hurley for L Nolan (60).
Adrigole: William O’Sullivan; Dan Harrington, Fergal Carey, Darragh O’Sullivan; Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Sean O’Shea, Sean O’Sullivan; Charlie O’Sullivan, Neil O’Sullivan; Cian Shea, Jason Harrington, Gerard Shea; Cormac Carey, David Harrington, Connie Shea. Subs: Cian O’Neill for D Harrington (37), Conor O’Shea for D O’Sullivan (45), Keith Crowley for C Carey (56).
Referee: Michael O’Mahony (Courcey Rovers).