Cormac's find cup bid a bridge too far
A STRONG second-half showing from Bridge Rovers proved to be more than St. Cormac's could handle in the Under-11 Cup first round at Bogside, Castlebridge, on Saturday last.
Defence ruled the astro-turf in the opening period but a quartet of goals after the break eased the home side into the hat for the last 32 and sent an unfortunate St. Cormac's back to Boolavogue disappointed.
Bridge Rovers went close early on when Kyle Enstone headed narrowly over the crossbar, but the hosts didn't have to wait long for their breakthrough, with Barry Cloake slotting a sixth-minute free-kick to the net after the winger himself was fouled.
Conceding the goal sprung St. Cormac's into life and they went close several times in the next ten minutes. Cormac Walsh was denied on two separate occasions, first by a stunning Shane Jackman block, and then by an equally superb Brian Whelan save.
It was proving difficult for Rovers to keep a player of the calibre of Walsh quiet, and the St. Cormac's hotshot found that it truly was third time lucky when he volleyed home Patrick Redmond's corner to tie the game at 1-1.
Both sides saw chances come and go before the interval - Sam Tyrrell saved well from Barry Cloake to deny Rovers, while Whelan again saved from Walsh at the other end - as the sides went to the turnaround deadlocked.
Both teams needed time to get re-acquainted at the beginning of the second-half and it wasn't until Cloake's centre was lashed to the net by Darren O'Leary seven minutes after the resumption that the sparring ended.
Like in the first-half, St. Cormac's almost hit back immediately when Walsh again stung Brian Whelan's fingers, however, this time the pressure wasn't sustained and Bridge Rovers soon doubled their lead.
Again Cloake and O'Leary were involved but this time it was Enstone who was on hand to turn in an effort from close range.
Three became four just 60 seconds later as the home side threatened to run riot. Mark Scallan and Barry Cloake were involved in the build-up play but it was Adam Parke that put the finishing touches to a move that also involved Enstone.
St. Cormac's would have considered themselves unlucky to be 4-1 down but they kept fighting for their Cup lives and got back into the game when Patrick Redmond's ball fell to Walsh and the Boolavogue dangerman did the rest.
That fillip was enough to encourage the visitors to pour forward but it was Bridge Rovers who claimed the clincher on the break when O'Leary put the seal on a fine victory with a drive to the net from the edge of the box.