Naas AFC 1
Caragh Celtic 1
Caragh made the short trip to Naas today to face a strong Naas side that we had lost convincingly to in both previous games this season.
With the pitch in immaculate condition and weather perfect – the scene was set for both teams to produce a smashing game of soccer that everyone involved with could be proud of.
The first quarter produced lots of competitive football in the midfield area as both teams were measuring up their opponents but no real chances were being created. Both defences were really in top form. The Caragh lads were really up for this challenge today and ran themselves into the ground for the team. Caolan sweeping at the back kept everything nice and simple and with Daire and Cian on either side of him – Caragh looked like a real solid proposition today. The first quarter ended goalless.
Noah came in to give Evan a rest for the second quarter. The game continued though in a similar fashion to the first quarter with chances few and far between. The quality of football though and energy from both teams was excellent with both sides trying to keep the ball on the ground and play a passing game – however any time that it looked like a chance was about to present itself a last ditch tackle or interception kept the game scoreless. Conor McCall in particular made a fantastic interception on the edge of his area when the Naas striker looked favourite to open the scoring. Half time and still scoreless.
Ross and Conor Cassidy joined the game for the second half and provided some much needed fresh legs to the Caragh team. The game began to open up a bit more now with both goalkeepers starting to see some action. Cian in the Caragh goals was the busier of the two but seemed well capable of handling everything that came his way however Naas eventually managed to breakthrough and open the scoring when they worked an opening down the left that was intitally blocked out by us but when the rebound fell to Ryan he smashed a shot to the back of the Caragh net leaving Cian with no chance.
The Caragh boys reacted brilliantly though to this setback and pressed straight back looking for an equaliser and when it came it was a cracker. Ross chased back to win a ball on the right of midfield, he turned and placed a superb pass to Daniel who in turn controlled, turned and fed the ball on to Mikey who took one touch and fired a shot to the bottom corner of the Naas net to leave the score at 1-1 as the 3rd quarter ended.
The final quarter was a real ding-dong affair with both teams looking for the elusive winner. Naas had a spell where they had about five corners in a row that the Caragh boys defended really well. Caragh at the other end had their chance with Noah going really close with a free kick from distance that just missed the top corner. Travis in the Naas goal made a couple good saves and on a couple of occassions the Naas defenders went close to putting through their own goal as they cleared Caragh crosses from in front of their goals. But the moment of the match must go to Daniel Hamill in goals for Caragh in this final quarter when he produced a top class save, flying high to his right and tipping a rasping goal bound Naas shot over the bar.
The final whistle sounded with the score at 1-1 and it was probably a fair result on the day – it would have been a shame for either team to lose this thoroughly entertaining game.
Caragh: Conor McCall, Daire Gilmartin, Caolan O’Toole, Evan Gilmartin, Daniel Hamill(Capt), Noah Byrne, Ross Ward, Cian O’Reilly, Conor Cassidy, Michael Coffey