A stoppage time goal from substitute Patrick Farrell earned Carrickedmond an unlikely draw against Cashel in the Intermediate Football Championship semi-final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday evening last.
Fresh from their success over Cork outfit Ballinora in RTE’s flagship Celebrity Bainisteoir programme, Cashel looked to be coasting to victory over their south Longford rivals.
But Cashel were made to pay for some poor finishing as Patrick Farrell popped up two minutes into stoppage time to blast the ball home and beyond the despairing dive of opposing keeper Ger Nealion.
It was a cruel pill for Cashel to swallow, but one that shouldn’t have materialised had Shane Merrigan successfully rounded Carrick keeper Gareth Higgins just 60 seconds earlier.
Carrickedmond’s Padraig O’Shea got the opening score of the game after five minutes, sending over a free following a foul on Marty Mulvey.
James Rowan cancelled that out three minutes later, taking a neat pass from the impressive Aidan Rowan to slot over from fully 50 yards.
But two quick fire Carrick scores from Jonathan Keegan and then Padraig McGrath established a two point cushion for the 2010 Intermediate champions.
But in a dull game that failed to get out of second gear, Cashel responded in kind with a hat-trick of unanswered scores from Gary Kenny, Derek Farrell and Kieran Mulvihill.
With Cashel now in the driving seat, the double winning Intermediate kingpins of 2008 and 2009 stretched their advantage when wing back Peter Foy ventured forward to register his sides fifth point.
Two points up at the break, 0-5 to 0-3, the half-time turnaround appeared to have little effect on Cashel, evidenced by a brace of scores from Derek Farrell and Niall Donlon continued their early dominance of the second half to open up a five point lead. Looking one paced and devoid of ideas, Carrickedmond got a badly needed score when dangerman Mark McDonnell pointed a free after Kevin Moran had been tugged back.
McDonnell then grabbed a goal two minutes later when the corner-forward sent in a high, looping effort into the Cashel goalmouth, evading everyone including the keeper Ger Nealion.
Suddenly there was just the solitary point between the sides. Cashel defender Peter Foy, who enjoyed a terrific game, then exchanged scores with Padraig O’Shea as the game entered the final 12 minutes.
Kieran Mulvihill, so long the saviour for Cashel, then had a chance to put the contest beyond Carrickedmond, only to see his shot beat Gareth Higgins but the ball ended up wide.
Another Mark McDonnell free then looked to have salvaged a draw for Carrickedmond two minutes from time. But Cashel had other ideas as scores from Kieran Mulvihill, Peter Foy and a sweetly taken Aidan Rowan ‘45’ quickly restored a three point lead for Cashel.
That came after Shane Merrigan was denied by a flying save from Gareth Higgins as the Cashel forward tried to put the seal on what looked a near certain Cashel victory.
As it turned out, that save gave Carrickedmond a glimmer of hope. And two minutes into stoppage time, substitute Patrick Farrell latched on to a John Gerety through ball to earn his side a draw and another shot at Intermediate title glory.
CASHEL: Ger Nealion; Ronan Farrell, Conan Casey, Ronan Muldoon; Peter Foy (0-3), Padraig Farrell, Kevin Farrell; Ger Dennigan, James Rowan (0-1); Gary Kenny (0-1, free), Aidan Rowan (0-1, 45’), Niall Donlon (0-1); Kieran Mulvihill (0-2), Shane Merrigan, Derek Farrell (0-3, one free).
Subs:- Paul Egan for K Farrell (30 mins); Niall Casserly for N Donlon (38 mins).
CARRICKEDMOND: Gareth Higgins; Tommy Martin, Barry O’Farrell, James Murray; Padraig McGrath (0-1), Marty Mulvey, John Gerety; Kevin Moran, John O’Shea (0-1); Jonathan Keegan (0-1), Tommy Cummins, Francis Kelly; Padraig O’Shea (0-1, free), Barry Stewart, Mark McDonnell (1-2, two frees).
Subs:- Paul McGuire for F Kelly (37 mins); Patrick Farrell (1-0) for P McGuire (58 mins); Stephen Teague for J Murray (60 mins).
Referee: Jimmy McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets).