Carrickedmond and Cashel collected a point apiece in their quest to qualify for the Intermediate Football Championship semi-finals when the south Longford sides finished all square in a lively Round 3 clash at Allen Park, Newtownforbes on Saturday evening last.
A draw was probably the fairest result in a ding-dong battle that provided plenty of entertainment value (unlike the current Senior Championship structure) after Cashel substitute Thomas Delaney looked to have settled the issue when he shot over the bar in stoppage time.
But Carrickedmond (coached by former Longford Slashers player James Brady) just refused to accept defeat and were awarded a free following a foul on their most industrious player Tommy Cummins in the fourth additional minute. The kick was brought forward for dissent and Mark McDonnell made no mistake to land the equaliser.
Moments later McDonnell had a chance to snatch a last gasp victory but he shot wide, much to the relief of Cashel who also had to settle for a draw against Ballymore in their opening fixture in this extremely competitive championship.
With the advantage of the wind, Carrickedmond led by 0-5 to 0-2 midway through the first half with their scores coming from Mark McDonnell (two frees), John Lenehan (a brace from play) and Paul Maguire (when a goal was there for the taking) while Derek Farrell and Gary Kenny (free) replied for the Dermot Washington (Rooskey) managed Cashel side.
Pacey corner-forward Shane Merrigan (always a threat) had a goal chance for the men in red and black in the 14th minute but shot into the sidenetting but they gradually closed the gap to get back on level terms with three scores in a row through Gary Kenny (free) and a brace from Kieran Mulvihill who weaved his way through to fist over his second point in the 24th minute when a goal was on.
That was really putting it up to Carrickedmond and while they regained the upper hand with a point apiece from Padraig McGrath and John Lenehan, it was Cashel who had the last say in the first half when Peter Foy fired over a terrific effort from near the sideline in stoppage time.
Thus Carrickedmond had to be content with a slender 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the break and looked to be in trouble when wind assisted Cashel took over completely to register four points on the trot between the 38th and 48th minutes.
The scores came from Aidan Rowan (‘45’), Shane Merrigan (who blasted the ball over the bar when well placed to find the back of the net), Derek Farrell (free) and Kieran Mulvihill to lead by 0-10 to 0-7 but Carrickedmond eventually awoke from their slumber to enjoy the better of the exchanges during the remainder of the game.
Jonathan Keegan found himself in the clear for a goal chance in the 49th minute but his shot was parried over the bar by the Cashel keeper Gerard Nealion (a fine save) and a further three points followed from Kevin Moran, Padraig McGrath (a cracking long range strike) and Mark McDonnell to put Carrickedmond back in front, 0-11 to 0-10, by the 57th minute.
Cashel then levelled matters when Derek Farrell converted a free and the sides shared another couple of scores in the tense and exciting finish to remain unbeaten in the current championship campaign.
CARRICKEDMOND: Gareth Higgins; James Murray, Barry O’Farrell, Tommy Martin; Padraig McGrath (0-2), John Gerety, Marty Mulvey; Kevin Moran (0-1), John O’Shea; Jonathan Keegan (0-1), Tommy Cummins, John Lenehan (0-3); Mark McDonnell (0-4, three frees), Barry Stewart, Paul McGuire (0-1).
Sub:- Padraig O’Shea for P McGuire (40 mins).
CASHEL: Gerard Nealion; Ronan Muldoon, Conan Casey, Ronan Farrell; Peter Foy (0-1), Padraig Farrell, Kevin Farrell; Gerard Dennigan, Luke Casey; Gary Kenny (0-2, frees), Aidan Rowan (0-1, ‘45’), Niall Donlon; Shane Merrigan (0-1), Kieran Mulvihill (0-3), Derek Farrell (0-3, two frees).
Subs:- James Rowan for N Donlon (injured, 38 mins); Thomas Delaney (0-1) for L Casey (52 mins); Keith Carberry for P Farrell (injured, 52 mins).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Granard St. Mary’s).