Big win for Dingle in title race

Senior soccer: Denny Premier A - Castleisland 1 Dingle Bay Rovers 3

Mike Rice

This was a big game in the title race at Georgie O'Callaghan Park on Sunday with both sides eager to capture the three points to enhance their title aspirations.

Consequently it was a keenly contested game played at a lively pace with both sides well focused on the job in hand and showing a lot of creativity. The game kept referee Derek O'Shea very busy as he had to produce nine yellow cards and a Dingle player was sent off in the second half.

The game brought together two managers who a year ago were on the same side of the fence as Dingle manager Dan Maunsell was the Castleisland manager last season and was replaced by Edmond Hartnett this season.

This added an extra competitive edge to the game but as always referee Derek O'Shea handled the game very well and was always in control of affairs. Castleisland had a couple of early chances, but poor decisions when in good positions cost them.

Dingle were putting some very constructive passages of football together but were unable to make the breakthrough they sought up front. Colin McCarthy went close to scoring for Castleisland before half-time, but his rocket of a shot was taken off the line by Con Barrett and the game was scoreless at half-time.

Dingle manager Dan Maunsell made a few positional changes at midfield for the second half and it had the desired effect. The West Kerry side went ahead in the 70th minute when Con Barrett latched on to a Seán Fitzgerald free kick at the back post and his powerful header found the net.

Their lead only lasted a minute with a long range effort from Colin McCarthy going all the way to the net. Castleisland then had two great chances to take the lead with Colin McCarthy in one on one with the Dingle goalie but his shot thundered off the crossbar while Mike McCarthy headed at the keeper from four yards when he should have found the net.

The home side looked the more likely side to win when Dingle's Rian O'Sullivan was sent off after a vocal dispute with the referee. However, Dingle finished very strongly and a defensive error cost Castleisland dearly with Jr Tshikato playing in Joe Sheehy and he nipped in for a tap in goal in the 76th minute.

Sean Fitzgerald wrapped up the three points for the West Kerry side in the concluding stages of the game with a superb finish from close range after being set up by Adam O'Rourke.

This win edges Dingle a bit further up the table but they still have a lot to do to make it to the final. Meanwhile, Castleisland are still well in the hunt, but they can't afford any more slip ups in the run in.

There are now only seven teams in Premier A as Mitchels Avenue pulled out of the league during the week, while Tralee Celtic pulled out at the beginning of the season. Both sides were promoted last season.

Castleisland: Stephen Bartlett, Paul Carmody, Kevin O'Mahony, Mike McCarthy, Aidan O'Callaghan, Ray Huggard, Luke Lyons, Pierce Brosnan, Colm McCarthy, Pauric O'Connor, Tommy Feehan

Dingle Bay Rovers: Barry Galvin, Michael Begley, Paddy O'Rourke, Brian Rayel, Con Barrett, Joe Sheehy, Rian O'Sullivan, Luke Burgess, Sean Fitzgerald, Adam O'Rourke, Jr Tshikato

Referee: Derek O'Shea