St Mary’s 1
UCC won their opening game of the Munster Senior League Premier Division season with a late comeback against a strong St Mary’s side. An own goal from Anthony O’Callaghan after 75 minutes proved to be the difference between the sides, after Evan Browne had equalised for UCC a minute earlier.
In a sunny Farm, the hosts fell behind to a Wayne McBride goal for Mary’s midway through the second half, but the game would be turned on its head before the end.
UCC were full of attacking play for the opening five minutes on Saturday, with Seán O’Callaghan heading wide from an Evan Browne ball. The students had an early goal disallowed after several minutes, when a diagonal ball from O’Callaghan found Evan Browne to head in, but referee Richard Murphy adjudged him to be offside as the game remained level.
The game was now being played at a quick pace with both sides keeping the ball on the floor and trying to run at each other’s defences. This was best shown on 11 minutes when a sliding tackle from Cian Hill stopped Wayne McBride as he was running in on goal, and a quick few passes allowed UCC to work the ball up the length of the pitch, where Pierce O’Riordan’s shot was stopped by a full stretch Stuart Coakley in the Mary’s goal.
Mary’s had the majority of possession, due to their high pressing midfield causing UCC problems, but were unable to trouble Charlie Boureman in the student’s goal. At the other end, Brian Murphy’s free kick from 25 yards on 20 minutes was well saved by Coakley for a corner as UCC went in search of the opening goal.
O’Callaghan and Evan Browne were linking up well for UCC and causing Mary’s many problems with their good link up play. This saw O’Callaghan pass to Browne on the edge of the box where his volley was sliced just wide.
Mary’s had their best chance of a goal in the opening half on 35 minutes when a ball from JP Sullivan hit across the six-yard-box found Jason Conway and he sliced his shot wide from all of four yards.
UCC had one final chance to score in the first half when a ball from Daragh Corcoran found O’Callaghan at the back post, but he was unable to keep his shot on target as both sides went into the break level.
St Mary’s opened the second half full of energy and where unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after 50 minutes when it looked like Sullivan was taken down by Hill, but the referee waved play on.
Yet it was only minutes later that Mary’s were awarded a penalty when a Gary Aherne cross saw Sullivan control the ball before being fouled. Sullivan then stood up to take the penalty and his shot to the right was brilliantly saved by Boureman for a corner.
The breakthrough was coming for Mary’s and it arrived on 64 minutes when a ball into the corner by Barry Triggs was picked up by McBride, who rounded a UCC defender before scoring at the front post.
UCC’s equaliser arrived on 74 minutes when substitute Calvin O’Callaghan’s cross found Browne in the six yard box, who fired past Coakley.
The winner then arrived a minute later when some good attacking play down the left resulted in Browne crossing the ball across the box, where Anthony O’Callaghan directed the ball into his own goal.
Just before the game finished Seán O’Mahony and Sullivan had a clash going for a ball which required them both to seek treatment, but they were able to carry on to meet the final whistle.
UCC: Charlie Boureman; Andy Gannon (Aaron O’Donovan 62), Daragh Corcoran (Ian Mylod 66), Cian Hill, Seán O’Mahony; Jason Abbott, Seán O’Callaghan, Brian Murphy, Evan Browne; Pierce O’Riordan (Calvin O’Callaghan 63), Conor Barry
St. Mary’s: Stuart Coakley; Gary Coughlan (Mickey Buckley 82), Cian McDonald, Anthony O’Callaghan, Aidan O’Callaghan; Andy Mylod, Gary Aherne, Jason Conway, JP Sullivan; Wayne McBride, Barry Triggs (Steven Waters 76).
Images by: Marc Moylan