FAI Umbro Youths Interleague:
Carlow 1, Kilkenny 3.
By Darragh Bermingham
Kilkenny’s second half surge endured they left a windy IT Carlow with the win as they scored three goals in quick succession to see off the challenge of Carlow. Despite Carlow’s best spell coming at the beginning of the second half, the home side couldn’t capitalise on a number of chances and left themselves open at the back for a telling Kilkenny counter attack.
The away side started the game well, Shane Hanley getting a strike away in the first few minutes which just went wide. With Joe Branville and Rory Monks using the slick surface to their advantage, spraying the ball around, Kilkenny began to dominate possession without posing too much of a threat to the home side. Carlow couldn’t get a foothold in the game but did look dangerous on the break. As the first half wore on, Carlow began to impose themselves as full back Michael Murphy and winger Luke Hand launched attacks down the right hand side.
The best chance of the half fell to Carlow when Hand got the ball out wide and whipped the ball into the corridor of uncertainty between goalkeeper and defence. Carlow’s Kevin Kelly stretched for it but the Kilkenny stopper Michael Walsh managed to push it only into the path of Josh Moore who saw his toe poke come back off the post. As the half time whistle approached, Kilkenny won a number of free kicks and corners, from which they threatened to open the scoring while Carlow continued to look dangerous on the break. However, neither side could break the deadlock and the half time score was 0-0.
Carlow started the second half the better side, with Jamie Farrell and Hand looking dangerous on opposite wings. The home side were now dominating possession while Kilkenny waited for the opportunity to break to cause Carlow some defensive headaches. With the roles reversed, the home side attempted to make their mark. Murphy picked up the ball in his own half, saw the space in front and attacked it, finding Hand ahead of him. Hand whipped in a fantastic ball to find Farrell no more than six yards out. The winger however, failed to find the target.
Shortly after, a hopeful long ball made it’s way through the Carlow defence to find Kilkenny substitute Andy Walsh who made no mistake, slotting home under the outstretched Craig Walker. The Carlow management reacted, introducing Emre Yilmaz on the right hand side. The Parkville man almost scored with his first involvement when he tore past the Kilkenny defence only to have his shot stopped by Michael Walsh. Kilkenny right back Gary Lawlor won the ball in a tussle with Luke Fitzpatrick and he set it to Shane Hanley who doubled the away side’s lead. As Carlow tried to find a way back into the game, they left gaps at the back which were ruthlessly capitalised upon. Colin Whelan gratefully accepted a pull back on the edge of the area and tucked it home to ensure the win. Farrell grabbed a late goal for the home side but it was a mere consolation as Kilkenny travelled home with the win on a 3-1 scoreline.