Curracloe keep interest in chase for promotion
THE PROMOTION chase is still on for Curracloe United after they delivered three goals and three points into the bargain in an amazing second-half as they steamrolled over Rosslare Rangers in this excellent Division 1 clash played in windy and ice-cold conditions at Rosslare on Sunday last.
While Curracloe United had every reason for celebration, it was despair for the home side whose second-half misses included two fluffed penalties, and this after going a goal up in the first-half. The dropping of all three points puts a huge dent into the Rosslare side's chances of promotion, but it's all so different for their opponents.
The three points have lifted Curracloe United right into a promotion challenge. In the end they were full value for the victory, particularly after a very impressive second-half display following an insipid opening to the game. But even still they will fully realise that the home side gifted them the points with those penalty misses, while they also missed two goals in one-on-one situations with the visitors' 'keeper, Declan Murphy.
There was nothing worthwhile through the opening 30 minutes, with the game becoming bogged down in midfield. Play opened up much more in the 15 minutes leading up to the interval, with the home side taking the lead after 32 minutes when Oscar Pitt stooped low to head home a Mark Donohoe cross at the far post.
With Curracloe making little impression up front despite the assistance of a strong wind, the home side should have increased their lead five minutes later when Oscar Pitt found himself clear on goal following a great ball from Brian Meyler. However, he curled his shot wide when he should have finished, leaving the scoreline 1-0 at the interval.
The first-half may have been unsatisfactory for Curracloe but they showed huge improvement on the resumption. Still, they should have found themselves 2-0 down after 48 minute when defender Darragh Connor was penalised for handball, but from the resulting spot kick Niall Walsh sent his effort high and over the top.
Curracloe United deservedly got back level in the 57th minute when Liam Donnelly forced the ball over the line after 'keeper Stephen Cogley had blocked out his initial effort.
Having lost their lead, the home side found life difficult in front of goal for the remainder of the game, with Oscar Pitt shooting straight at 'keeper Declan Murphy after racing onto a huge clearance from his own number one, Stephen Cogley.
An air of confidence was creeping into the Curracloe play, and substitute Stephen Cash lifted a 30-metre free kick over the wall into the top right-hand corner of the net to give his side a dramatic 2-1 lead.
That's how the score stood approaching additional time. In the 91st minute a Curracloe defender was penalised for a high tackle, but amazingly Emmet Byrne drove the resulting penalty straight at Declan Murphy, who seconds later was yellow carded for time wasting.
Five minutes into additional time, Rosslare's bizarre second-half display continued, as 'keeper Cogley sent his clearance straight to the feet of Liam Donnelly who lifted the ball over him into an unguarded goal, giving his side a dramatic 3-1 win.