Taghmon-Camross 2-5 Castletown 0-8
Ian Carty shone at a dreary Tomnahely on Saturday when his personal haul of 1-3 guided Taghmon-Camross to a 2-5 to 0-8 victory over home side Castletown in the opening round of the Greenstar Under-21 Premier football championship.
While Carty had number 13 on his back, he effectively operated as a deep-lying playmaker, and dictated the tempo for the visitors throughout, but he also popped up in his designated right corner-forward berth to play a part in his side's all-important goals.
The hosts had developed a 0-5 to 0-2 lead in the mudbath, despite being hampered by poor shot selection, when recent St. Peter's star David O'Keeffe sauntered forward to confidently register his second point of the half three minutes before the break.
Carty had relocated closer to goal by then and, when the ball was kicked into his vicinity in the very next attack, he cleverly worked his way out of the corner before teeing up Luke Sinnott for a low finish as the tables turned by 1-3 to 0-5 at the interval.
Tempers became somewhat frayed in first-half injury time, and threatened to boil over in one particular incident on the resumption, although it must be acknowledged that referee Pádraig Byrne officiated without any of his own umpires or neutral linesmen which is unacceptable for this level of competition.
The incessant rain and boggy conditions didn't help matters either, but Ross Bealin did catch the eye by shimmying onto his preferred right foot before restoring balance on 35 minutes.
But the hosts couldn't build on that score, and despite Robbie Brooks (free) levelling once more six minutes later (0-7 to 1-4), they were stung for a quickfire 1-1 that ultimately sealed the verdict for the New Ross District lads.
Given the form Carty was in, it was extremely naive on Castletown's part to leave him isolated inside, and he capitalised on that freedom to stylishly tuck to the net for a 2-5 to 0-7 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Castletown pushed bodies forward in vain, with Brooks' converted free edging them to within one score down the home straight.
And the clock was ticking towards the fifth minute of injury time when Bealin's free pinballed along the ground and was diverted goalward by a despairing team-mate's foot, only for it to be cleared off the line as Taghmon-Camross survived by the skin of their teeth.
This was the third preliminary round tie played, with four of the five left fixed for next weekend.
Taghmon-Camross: Jack Dunne; Declan Carroll, Stephen O'Keeffe, Tom Banville; Stephen Stafford, David O'Keeffe (0-2), Darragh Winters; Stephen O'Gorman, Shane Doyle; Peter Murphy, Adam Winters, Shane Leacy; Ian Carty (capt., 1-3), Darren Hayden, Luke Sinnott (1-0). Subs. - Anthony Roche for Murphy (55), Anthony Doyle for A.Winters (60).
Castletown: Alex Reid; Eoin Cullen, Frank Roche, Ross Cody; Killian Pierce, Cathal Meenagh, Oisín Condren; Joe Gardiner (capt.), Liam Coleman; Frankie Kavanagh, Yusuf Frih (0-1), Liam Condren; Ross Bealin (0-1), Robbie Brooks (0-5, 4 frees), Darragh Brooks (0-1). Subs. - Rory Heffernan for Kavanagh (47), Chris Callanan for L. Condren (60).
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).