Robert Emmets have qualified for the County Under 21 B Football Championship Final following a quite sensational second half comeback, where they turned around a half time deficit of nine points, managed to keep their opponents scoreless in the second half and pull off a two point victory, 1-11 to 1-9 against Kilworth at sunny Buttevant on Wednesday evening.
Robert Emmets began sluggishly and also had to content with playing against a fairly stiff breeze. Kilworth opened the scoring with a second minute point. Robert Emmets looked threatening when they managed to push themselves forward, and in the fifth minute struck an equalizer when Luke McCarthy picked up possession and didn’t think twice before swinging over a fine point from a tight angle.
Kilworth began to dominate possession and found their range with three points in succession by the eleventh minute. Gavin Forde pointed for Robert Emmets and at the end of the first quarter, Kilworth led by 0-4 to 0-2.
The North Cork side looked very impressive and put together some fine moves as they gradually built their lead with two well executed points.
At the other end, Daniel Culloty slotted over a fine score to keep the scoreboard ticking over and to keep the leaders to within three points.
Kilworth made what looked to be a significant breakthrough in the twentieth minute, when a high dropping ball was well directed across the square and into the corner of the net. Kilworth were now in full flow and the Robert Emmets defence was made to work to the limit. Kilworth further enhanced their position as three more points put them in what seemed a massive nine point lead as the half came to a conclusion. Indeed were it not for a goalline intervention from Michael O’Leary towards the end of the half, when the full back somehow retrieved the ball from going over the line, Robert Emmets would have been in even more trouble. As it was, Kilworth entered the interval with a lead of 1-9 to 0-3, which they looked full value for.
The second half resumed with Robert Emmets attacking and led to a free which Daniel Culloty converted. Although there was significant improvement in the team performance, it was twelve minutes into the half before a second Daniel Culloty point began to click the comeback into motion. Substitute, Barry O’Connor made an instant impact as within seconds of his introduction, the forward kicked a wonderful long range point between the posts.
The team grew in stature and in full forward Daniel Culloty had an outlet for their attacks and a scoring machine. He added to his tally with two more points, the second an inspiring kick which reduced the deficit to four points 1-9 to 0-8, with the game entering an enthralling final ten minutes.
The crucial goal which was badly needed arrived with seven minutes remaining and what a wondrous and memorable goal it was. Excellent centre half back Paudie Allen went on a dazzling solo run and as he held up possession, he found Daniel Culloty with a sublime pass. As he gained possession, with a quick swivel and turn, Daniel Culloty unleashed a rocket of a shot which flashed into the back of the net from twenty yards for an unforgettable goal.
Within a minute the comeback was complete, as Cathal Noonan kicked over an equalizer and the Robert Emmets supporters greeted each score with great approval. Kilworth tried to recover from the barrage of pressure and did have chances, but found no joy as a defence built on hunger and desire managed to keep a second half shutout.
As the game entered the defining closing minutes, Robert Emmets took the lead for the first time as Daniel Culloty obliged on pointing a free. The outstanding team effort was further rewarded as Michael Cottrell reeled over another point.
The final whistle soon followed and a phenomenal Robert Emmets team received the plaudits of their supporters after a quite amazing comeback.
The Robert Emmets team and scorers…
Daniel Culloty (1-6), Cathal Noonan (0-1), Gavin Forde (0-1), Michael Cottrell (0-1), Luke McCarthy (0-1), Barry O’Connor (0-1)
|Jeremy Murphy||Michael O’Leary||Jamie Hayes|
|Alan Ryan||Paudie Allen||Colm Noonan|
|T. J. Brosnan||Cathal Noonan|
|Jacko Flaherty||Gavin Forde||Michael Cottrell|
|Luke McCarthy||Daniel Culloty||Michael McSweeney|
|Subs: Barry O’Connor, Daniel Richard Guinee.|