Carlow Kilkenny’s under-15 side made their point as they shared the spoils with Cork City in their last away game of their first SSE Airtricity League campaign.
The locals broke new ground in Bishopstown by becoming the first team to take a point from the table toppers on their home patch.
“No other side has taken a point from Cork at home this season,” beamed a happy manager Mark Ross. “For a new club like us that is a great result.”
Cork, who beat Carlow Kilkenny 6-0 earlier in the season, may have been hoping to score another big win against their rivals but the locals were a tough nut to crack.
Both sides pressed for the advantage early on, but good goalkeeping from Carlow Kilkenny’s Ben Goodwin ensured the stalemate prevailed. Chris O’Connor tested the netminder with a long range shot on 28 minutes, while Keelan Crowley’s 30th minute effort sailed over the bar.
City kept pressing, going close again with a goalmouth scramble five minutes before half-time, but the visitors kept their composure and cleared their lines.
Turning defence into attack, Carlow Kilkenny went within a whisker of taking the lead just 60 seconds later. Rory O’Dowd thought he had broken the deadlock when he rose highest to get on the end of an inswinging corner, but his header came back off the bar.
The second half
Inspired by that chance, Carlow Kilkenny took the game to Cork in the second half. The home side were under the cosh in the early stages of the second half and were thankful to Darragh Burke for keeping them on level terms within minutes of the restart. The netminder had to be at his best when Jamie Murphy seized on Cian Byrne’s cross and bore down on goal, but Burke made a fine save to keep the game scoreless.
Stung by that Cork pushed for the opening goal but had to remain on high alert as the visitors remained dangerous on the counter-attack. Both teams had some chances but had to be content with a point apiece at the final whistle.
“The progression this team has made since the start of the season has been exceptional,” said Ross. “They have all done so well – Ben Goodwin was back to his best on Sunday, while Fionn McCaffrey gave a Man of the Match performance – and have learned so much since coming together.
“The results are showing the team’s hard work,” he added. “Seven points from our last four games shows they are believing in themselves.”
Onward to Galway
Carlow Kilkenny will be hoping to keep their good run going when they entertain Galway United in their last league game at home on August 11. They will follow that game by hosting Limerick in the second round of the National Cup.
Cork City: Darragh Burke, Jack Anthony, Sean Cummins, Donnacha O’Doherty, Dylan O’Halloran, Ethan Giltinan, Keelan Crowley, Oran Crowe, Chris O’Connor, Ramon Gaspara, Fintan Cody.
Carlow Kilkenny: Ben Goodwin, Cian Byrne, Jake Haughney, Jack O’Neill, Fionn McCaffrey, Darren Lawler, Jake Ffrench Davis, Jack Byrne, Jamie Murphy, Kyle Foley, Rory O’Dowd. Subs: Joshua Coady, Zach Bay Hammond, Eamon Lalor, Eoghan Byrne, Oscar Brennan, Niall Rowe, Dylan Hunston.