Palatine edge out Naomh Eoin with late fightback

Published 10/12/2013 | 05:24

Having started the second half slowly, Palatine plucked themselves out of the fire right at the end of a thrilling contest that saw Naomh Eoin go into a late lead with seven minutes to go.

Dara Fitzpatrick was the man of the hour for Palatine though and with just four minutes left Mark Rennick, who had a terrific game as a roaming full forward, sent in a long ball which Fitzpatrick latched on to soccer style and beat Naomh Eoin keeper Paddy Shanahan, who for a long time looked like he would not be beaten for a third time with some excellent point blank saves.

For a game in December this was as close to free flowing summer football as you could get and at 1-5 a piece in the 20th minute it really was going to be anybody's game with extra time a strong possibility.

Palatine started brilliantly and lead 1-2 to no score after seven minutes with Rickey Nolan proving to be more than a handful with the number 15 on his back.

In fact with just 20 seconds on the clock and with no Naomh Eoin player laying a hand on the ball Nolan had the ball in the back of the net from a strike with his left foot and after Mark Rennick and Nolan again put them further ahead it looked like Pal had learned more from the drawn game.

Points from Alan Hosey and Donal Smithers put the Myshall team back into the fray with Smithers putting on a fine display at centre forward for the whole hour but Pal stayed ahead with a good Shane O'Neill point.

Conor Foley of Naomh Eoin and O'Neill swapped points soon after and with just a goal between the teams the game had really kicked into life.

If there was one negative on display on Sunday it was some of the very poor passing from both sides and at times it seemed a competition had started to see who could keep the ball for the least amount of time.

Michael Eagers and Neil Coogan responded to a Shane O'Neill point for Naomh Eoin before Brian O'Mahoney made it 1-5 to 0-5 to Pal with a great point off his left foot and then with ten minutes to go until the break Neil Coogan forced his way to a chance on goal and despite a good block the ball hit the net to leave it 1-5 each.

Half time could have blown then and there but Palatine were determined to finish strong and three points on the trot from Nolan, O'Neill and Brian Lawlor saw them go in at the break with a three point lead.

In typical Naomh Eoin fashion they came out strongly at the start of the second half and hit two points in the very first minute from Donal Smithers and Eoin Redmond and only a Cormac Duff point responded for Pal before Neil Coogan had a goal chance that he put over the bar instead.

Rickey Nolan kicked another lovely point in the 43rd minute but that would be the inspiration Naomh Eoin needed to kick into gear and they hit three points in a row with Daryl Kelly kicking two and a great point from Donal Smithers making the game very interesting.

Between the 49th and 53rd minute scores were tit for tat until the 56th minute when a ball in from Rennick was converted by substitute Dara Fitzpatrick and Palatine took the Minor B league title.

Carlow People

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