Boyle Celtic 2 -
Carbury FC 1
Boyle Celtic had to dig deep to see off a resilient Carbury side in last Sunday’s Connacht Cup quarter-final clash at Celtic Park. The Sligo town-based outfit produced a resolute defensive display after the 17th minute dismissal of Colin Jinks left them at a numerical disadvantage for the majority of the contest. But Celtic eventually managed to unpick the Carbury lock in the final minute of extra time.
It meant that the home side were spared the ordeal of having to face into a second penalty shootout in the space of seven days. And with the scars of their FAI Junior Cup semi-final defeat still raw, it would have been a devastating blow for the North Roscommon club if their Connacht Cup ambitions also ran aground on the lottery of spot kicks.
Fortunately, it did not come to that due to a well-worked late winner from Aaron Calpin. The opportunity was created by Dessie Carlos’s incisive right-wing cross, and Calpin stole in at the back post to guide a downward header past the despairing dive of Carbury goalkeeper Mark Rooney.
It sparked wild celebrations amongst the Celtic players who looked mightily relieved to have buried the ghost of the previous Sunday’s heart-breaking loss. They had laboured for much of the contest and had a tough time trying to prise open a well-marshalled Carbury defence.
The visitors, who currently sit on top of the Sligo/Leitrim Super League, played with two deep-lying banks of four after the early sending-off. It meant that their beanpole striker Ibrahim Savage was ploughing a lone furrow up front. Yet he did a decent job of holding up the ball and triggering some promising counter-attacks.
The Jinks red card was brandished for a high tackle on Danny Browne that left the Boyle playmaker sprawled on the turf. In Jinks’ defence, it looked mistimed rather than malicious and the Carbury players were incensed at the decision. It injected a nasty edge to the game for a brief period and a number of reckless challenges ensued.
One of them resulted in a right-wing free-kick for Boyle that led to the opening goal on 25 minutes. It was floated across by Gerard McDermottroe, and Carbury’s John Gaffney saw his glancing header fly past his own goalkeeper.
That put Celtic in firm control of the tie, but they were caught cold three minutes after the restart when Savage’s tame effort from 20 yards out was deflected to the net by Keith Carty. Luka Roddy almost hit back for Boyle in the 56th minute, but his well-struck volley flew just over the bar.
The home side began to run out of ideas as the half progressed, and any crosses they did swing in were comfortably dealt with by Rooney. Indeed it was the Sligo outfit that had the better chances in the closing 20 minutes, and Christopher Kelly came close to finding a winner on a couple of occasions.
Celtic upped the tempo again in extra time but the Carbury defence looked to have done enough to hold out for penalty kicks. But Carlos’ last gasp raid down the right flank teed up Calpin for that late winner which sent Boyle into the last four.
BOYLE CELTIC: K. Suffin, D. Carlos, G. McDermottroe, L. Conboy, S. Purcell, S. Battles, A. Murren, M. Corrigan, N. Brennan, D. Browne, L. Roddy. Subs used: A. Calpin for Murren (59 mins), N. O’Donohoe for Conboy (86 mins), S. McCormack for Battles (97 mins).
CARBURY FC: M. Rooney, N. McKenna, J. Lynch, D. Shannon, J. Gaffney, C. Jinks, K. Carty, K. Kenoy, I. Savage, D. Edwards, C. Kelly. Subs used: G. Finan for Kenoy (66 mins), L. Marshall for Savage (104 mins).
Scorers: Boyle Celtic – John Gaffney (own goal, 25 mins), Aaron Calpin (109 mins); Carbury FC – Keith Carty (48 mins).
Yellow Cards: Boyle Celtic – K. Suffin (17 mins), A. Murren (43 mins), A. Calpin (110 mins); Carbury FC – K. Kenoy (38 mins).
Red Cards: Boyle Celtic – none; Carbury F.C. – C. Jinks (16 mins).
Referee: P. Kilcoyne.
Man of the Match: Seán Purcell (Boyle Celtic). On a day when Celtic enjoyed the bulk of possession, Purcell’s composed display at the heart of defence kept Carbury from inflicting serious damage on the counter-attack. The veteran centre-back used all his defensive nous to cope with beanpole striker Ibrahim Savage.
Dessie Carlos and Gerard McDermottroe were also solid at the back and provided an attacking threat when they pushed down the flanks.
For Carbury, there were impressive displays from Christopher Kelly, Savage, Damian Shannon, Niall McKenna and goalkeeper Mark Rooney.