Cork Business League Champions Super Cup โ€“ First Semi-Final:ย  Saturday, April 3rd 2021, Pfizer Park, 3pm

Youghal Carpet Yarns 2 – 3 CIE Athletic

JOHN DEASY sent Pfizer Park nuts as he slammed in an injury-time winner and handed CIE their first CBL Champions Super Cup Final appearance against the winners of the Doolanโ€™s Cow and Postal Workers second semi, writes Finbarr Buckley.

Deasy started in place of the injured Pat Downey after coming on as a sub for his fellow striker in the quarter-final win over MCM. Carpets also were forced to make two changes from the win over Fords with Tommy Searls, still troubled by a niggling ankle sprain, being left out in favour of Sean Hosford and Laurence Murphy getting the nod ahead of Alex Oโ€™Regan.

Was there ever a match of two such different halves?

The first was all green as Jackie Carroll, Joe Harrington and John Donovanโ€™s stylish charges went two ahead and virtually dominated their opponents with football mastery. An early penalty claim for CIE when Davie Oโ€™Mahony appeared to handle, left referee Damien Oโ€™Mahony unmoved, but the green tide was relentless.

CIE took the lead in the 25th minute with a classic goal โ€“ a curling corner from Donal Oโ€™Leary powerfully headed home from close range by Thomas Hawkins. Athletic scored again five minutes later when Youghalโ€™s keeper and captain Dave Barrett, who himself passed a late fitness test, sent a pass too far ahead of Connie Hosford. As Noel Kent nipped in, he was fouled but referee Oโ€™Mahony played an excellent advantage and Henry Oโ€™Connor swiftly swapped passes with Hawkins before steering home a low shot. CIE were rampant at this stage and could so easily have gone further ahead before half-time when Dommie Murphy twice shot over from the edge of the area and Hawkins headed another straight at Barrett.

On the touchline Carpetsโ€™ management duo, Dan Mangier and Dave Golden looked a picture of misery as both belted out instructions to their beleaguered team who couldnโ€™t wait for the half-time whistle to blow and get their tactics right for the crucial forty-five minutes to follow. It had to change after the break, and so it did dramatically in favour of the orange and black. Youghal, incredibly took over and subdued their opponents all over the park, and were soon level thanks to two goals in two minutes.ย  Towering centre-forward Greg Cooney, the subject of much pre-match expectation, but hadnโ€™t got a look in in the opening half when his every move was anticipated by the Athletic centre-back partnership of captain Davie Desmond and Noel Kelleher, netted both.

Denis Crowley was the architect of the first, setting up Cooney to tuck the ball over Peter Gregson in the 51st minute.ย  ย Three minutes later the teams were level as Cooney headed home unchallenged from Dave Oโ€™Mahonyโ€™s deep cross to the far post inside his own half. With the contest on a knife-edge and emotions spilling over on the line between both sets of management, caution was thrown to the wind as the injured Pat Downey for CIE and Tommy Searls for Carpets were brought on in search of a winner.

Youghal went close to snatching it in the final moments. Jimmy Byrne had a header saved by Gregson and Laurence Murphy tried his luck from long-range, only to see his rising shot strike the top of the crossbar. In one final push, Chris McCarthy floated a free-kick towards the penalty spot for Downey to glance a downward header in the direction of the far corner. Barrett, unsighted, somehow flung himself acrobatically across the line to flick the ball around the post.

With the tie deep into injury time, up stepped John Deasy to seal Carpetsโ€™ fate with a blistering shot from Ger Powerโ€™s pinpoint cross which flew past Barrett and nestled between the net and the stanchion. Both teams had given their all but CIE made it through by the slenderest of margins, ย against one of their toughest adversaries, to be ninety minutes away from competing for the honour to become the greatest club side in the chartered seventy-year history of the CBSL.

Youghal Carpet Yarns: Dave โ€˜Badgerโ€™ Barrett (capt.): Davie Oโ€™Mahony, Connie Hosford; Bernard โ€˜Bonesโ€™ Oโ€™Sullivan, Gerry Ryan (Cyril Oโ€™Mahony); Sean Hosford, Denis Crowley (Tommy Searls), Jim Atkins (Pat Saville); Greg Cooney, Laurence Murphy, Jimmy Byrne.

CIE Athletic: Peter Gregson:ย  Chris McCarthy, Jerry Sheehan (Hugh Barriscale), Davie Desmond (capt.), Noel Kelleherย  (John Oโ€™Regan); Noel Kent, Dommie Murphy, Donal Oโ€™Leary (Ger Power); Henry Oโ€™Connor (Tommie Murphy), John Deasy, Thomas Hawkins (Paddy Busteed).

Referee: Damien Oโ€™Mahony. Assistantย Referees: Derry Barrett and Pat Clancy. Fourth Official: Michael Foley.