? Finbarr Buckley
Sports Gear Direct First Division
OBS 2 – 2 Co. Council
CO. COUNCIL, who remained in contention for the title right up to the last two weeks of the season, wrapped up their 39th campaign with hard fought 2-2 draw over Linehan Cup Finalists and third-placed OBS at Mayfield Pk., writes Finbarr Buckley.
Council dominated the opening quarter and went in front on the 15th minute mark when top scorer Jason Crowley turned sharply on the edge of the area to fire low past Phil Brennan into the far corner. The home side came more into the contest approaching half-time before getting back on level terms through Colm O’Brien who rose unmarked to head in Shane Hickey’s 55th minute corner. Colin Ross wriggled his way through to put the evergreen Arainn McGrath clear for a second for OBS ten minutes from time, McGrath displaying all the composure of a veteran by rounding Brennan and applying the finish. Council’s competitive edge and hard working ethic was to be rewarded within a minute when Brian Byrd’s cross picked out Fergus O’Connor who struck a sweet volley past Brennan to end an entertaining end of season encounter by two teams worthy of top flight football. Council’s Tony Byrd said : ‘I’m pleased with the way our season went’. ‘We were well there throughout in the league and the only disappointment really was going out of the First Division Cup in the last four.’ Donal Coakley of OBS replied : ‘We really enjoyed our season and for a while looked like we might do real damage to Croostown and Council’s title hopes’.’ The First Division Cup Final at Turner’s Cross was a brilliant experience for the lads and we want to go back there again next season and win this time!’
Cork Eagles PFC 0 – 3 Planet (Cork)
Planet produced their best performance of the season to clip the wings of Cork Eagles at Mayfield Pk. The visitors had only won six of their eighteen league matches to date and had already been beaten 4-2 by their opponents in the corresponding tie back in mid January. Top marksman Robert Egan got the ball rolling inside the opening twenty minutes when his pace took him beyond two defenders and enabled him to shoot into the far corner. The hosts went close to an equalizer within minutes when Robert Susek clipped the top of the crossbar after a rushed clearance from Arek Szklarczyk’s corner fell invitingly for him on the edge of the area. However, another quick break down the left involving Egan and Darragh O’Rourke resulted in the latter squeezing the ball inside the near post to give Planet the comfort of a two-nil half-time lead. Both teams continued to press throughout the second 45 with a couple of near misses on both sides making it an enjoyable fixture for all involved. With eight remaining, Egan got inside the back-four again and finished unerringly into the opposite corner from where he put his first to seal a fine win for the visitors. Along with Egan and O’Rourke, others to impress for the winners included goalkeeper Matthew Cooney, Joe Cullagh, Darren Dineen and Ryan Teele. Szklarczyk, Jacek Worwa, Grzegorz Witowski, Pawel Orlowski and Rafal Andrzejewski played well for the Eagles.
OBS 2 – 3 Planet (Cork)
Planet finished their season with a flourish by winning for the second time in four days to climb four places and finish in a creditable fifth in the table. In-form striker Robert Egan did all the damage, scoring another three on the day to add to his double in mid-week. He set the tone for another inspired performance when he was upended in the area and lashed the resultant penalty past Phil Brennan for a 12th minute lead. But Planet’s early dominance stumbled eight minutes later when a misdirected headed back-pass was picked up by Colin Ross who duly applied a fine finish to make it one-one. Both keepers were tested before the break with, first, Brennan having to rush off his line and dive at the feet of Egan when he burst through the middle. Minutes later, his opposite number Matthew Cooney prevented the lively Arainn McGrath from giving OBS the lead for the first time by diving low to his left hand side before clawing the ball out for a corner. Rory Murphy picked out Ross over the top early in the second-half from which the striker curled the ball in off the far post to put the home side in front for the first time. Egan got his second after being set up by Kelvin Owens, who had earlier hit the crossbar, by chipping the keeper in the 70th minute and went on to grab the winner and his own third four minutes from time following a scramble in the area. OBS Donal Coakley commented afterwards : ‘ It was a disappointing end to the season for us but not a bad return on our maiden voyage.’ His opposite number Eoghan Ryan pointed out : ‘It was a huge performance for the team.’ ‘Our stand out players today had to be Matthew Cooney.’ ‘He’s changed out season since he came in along with Robert (Egan) up front who scored another three goals to come from behind during the week to challenge for the division’s golden boot, top scorer award.’
FOOT-NOTE : The League’s 67th AGM will take place tonight , (7pm sharp) , in the meeting rooms at Turner’s Cross. All clubs are requested to have two delegates in attendance as a number of motions will be up for discussion. One of the main items to be debated will be the updating of the CBSL’s rulebook. The annual JSK Eco Cleaning Solutions end-of-season awards presentations will follow immediately afterwards and it is hoped a large attendance will be present for this much anticipated final act of the 2018/19 season.