As expected, it was a tight affair on Randall’s between these two old foes. There was little to separate the teams at half time and the second half continued in a similar vein until Matt Costelloe popped up in the box to fire CPR in the lead. It looked like one would be enough, but with ten minutes remaining Shamrocks’ caught CPR on the break, their attacker hit a fine strike that hit off one post and seemed to go across the line and hit of the other post before coming back out. The CPR players protested but the goal stood.
The goal “defied science,” according to defender Paul Clarke speaking afterwards, but regardless of the veracity of the goal, CPR had enough chances to win the game. In the first have some excellent one-touch play by Bo, Duffy and Palacios in the middle worked the ball to Cornwall on the right. He beat his man for pace, got to the by-line and whipped in a great cross. A stretching Vitali could only get enough contact to see the ball go over the bar.
At the other end the toughest defense in the league had their hands full with the skillful and big attackers of Shamrocks. However the slightly rejigged formation of Clarke and Bruce at the center, and a combination of Allen, Valdes, and Hatcher at full back coped well.
Costelloe came on in the second half, and in his first game back since the start of the season, the Limerick man changed the game, getting in behind the Shamrocks defense. With his first bit of action he nearly got through on goal, only a last ditch tackle stopped his great run.
The goal came after a bout of pinball in the box. On a number of occasions it seemed like the opportunity had gone, a deflected Bo shot hit the crossbar and everyone seemed to stop, before it fell kindly for Costelloe to make no mistake.
It was a hard match for the Old Boys, one in which they conceded their first goal of the season, but they will focus on the many positives from the game. In the end a draw might be a fair reflection.
Yellow cards: J. Allen & S. Palacios
Red cards: None