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Pearse Celtic v Macroom 01.11.03

Pearse Celtic v  Macroom 01.11.03
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Pearse Celtic 1 Macroom 1

Macroom dropped their first points of the season but they were the happier team after their top of the table clash in Murphy’s Stout AUL 1 with Pearse Celtic ended 1-1. It was agame that leaders Celtic needed to win as the Clashduv Road visitors have three games in hand and are just three points behind.

Macroom may have been smiling at the end but that wasn't the case in the 11th minute. Then regular marksman Kevin McCoy drew a foul on the right hand side of the box. And it was McCoy who emerged from the pack around the penalty area to sweep the ball into Shane O'Leary’s net from Damien Walsh’s well driven low free.

Walsh was again involved about two minutes before the break. Pearse, who had survived under severe first half pressure, broke away and Walsh collected a Cian Holbrook pass and let fly from 18 yards or so. But keeper O'Leary sprang to his right and turned the ball away for a corner.

The visitors came close to a first minute lead. They repelled the Pearse raid and excellent defender Peter Healy sent a long one over the top and into the path of Redmond Kirby. He made ground  into the box but his shot from a difficult angle, having beaten keeper John Murphy, flew well wide of the far post.

Macroom had the better of the chances in the opening half and their best came in the 19th minute. Then Redmond Kirby rose well to meet a free from the right by William O’Riordan. It looked a goal but the ball came back off the butt of the far post and rebounded straight into the arms of a relieved keeper.

Keeper Murphy needed two attempts to finally kill off the danger from an O'Riordan free in 8th minute of the second half but the busiest man during the third quarter was referee Denis O’Driscoll. The weather was bad but the onfield temperatures were rising, though just one yellow card was dished out at that time.

Back to football for the closing quarter though there was still some debate when Macroom sub Brian Bradley seemed to be deliberately impeded as he went for a knock-on by Kirby in the 67th minute.

No joy then for the visitors but all that changed some two minutes later when Pearse full back Lennie O’Halloran failed to cut out a low cross. It was the opportunity Chris Murphy had been waiting for. He raced into the box and whipped a vicious drive past keeper Murphy and high into the far corner.

The evergreen Norman Kelly had been prominent throughout the first half as he helped Macroom in their then fruitless quest for an equaliser.

But it was as defender that he took the spotlight in the 71st minute. The visitors may have dropped their guard in the minutes following that equaliser but Kelly was on full alert and made the perfect penalty box tackle as that man McCoy threatened to score from a neat pass by sub Dave Forde.

Macroom had two decent chances to wrap it up in the final quarter. The first followed the sending off of a Pearse defender for what was adjudged a last man tackle on Chris Murphy. O’Riordan's free came back off the wall and Alan O’Connor's rushed follow-up ended well away from the goals.

Kirby didn't have the easiest of outings against game defender Mick Delea but left the Pearse man in his wake in the 76th minute. Kirby’s sprint took him into a good position to deliver a cross from he left but his ball was a few tempting feet ahead of the incoming Chris Murphy.

Pearse Celtic: John Murphy, Mick Delea, Lennie O’Halloran, Brendan Sheehan, Mark O'Mahony, Terry Dalton, Dave Walsh, Cian Holbrook, Colm Goulding, Kevin McCoy and Damien Walsh. Subs used: Dave Forde for Goulding (34th minute, injured) and John Nagle for Walsh (72nd)
Macroom: Shane O'Leary, Peter Healy, Michael Murphy, Alan O’Connor, Pat Kelleher, John McCarthy, William O'Riordan, Kevin Sheehan, Norman Kelly, Red Kirby and Chris Murphy. Subs used: Barry O’Donnell for M. Murphy (62nd minute), Brian Bradley for Sheehan (65th)  and John Angland for Kelleher (88th).
Referee: Denis O’Driscoll.