Sport: Extra Time Not Enough to Separate Stacks And Milltown/Castlemaine

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Stacks Action

Action From The Austin Stacks v Milltown/Castlemaine Championship match in Connolly Park. Photo by Gavin O’Connor.

Austin Stacks  0-11  

Milltown/Castemaine 1-08

By Gavin O’Connor

EXTRA TIME was needed but it still couldn’t decide a winner between Austin Stacks and Milltown/Castemaine in this scrappy and sometimes ill-tempered Championship encounter.

Connolly Park was bathed in sunshine for the 2.30 throw-in, the ground was hard allowing for perfect conditions.

The opening exchanges set the tone for the game with both sides giving up possession to one another at a frantic pace.

The first chance of the game fell to Milltown/Castemaine midfielder Brendan Delaney who found himself inside the Stacks square with just the keeper to beat. The goal was on, but he scuffed his shot and the ball trickled wide.

The first score came in the 10th minute when Daniel Bohan showed terrific leadership to make a surging run down the left and play the ball to David Mannix who without hesitation kicked the ball off his right boot and over the bar.

The game at this point was marked by quite a few blocks from either side. The club championship buzz was in the air, neither team wanted to lose this.

On 15 minutes Stacks had a very promising goal chance, Shane O’Callaghan getting on the end of a pass from a driving run by Greg Horan from midfield, but O’Callaghan’s tame effort was snuffed out and Milltown/Castemaine breathed a sigh of relief.

Horan orchestrated the next score for Stacks, Denis McElligott this time capitalizing on the wing forward’s good play and making it count for The Rock.

Though the game was low scoring it was fiercely competitive, a standout performer for Milltown/Castemaine was Pa Wren who made some fantastic surges up the field from wing back.

It wasn’t long before Stacks got another; Fiachna Mangan this time taking on the Milltown/Castlemaine defence which resulted in him being hauled down 15 meters in front of goal. A free was awarded  which Shane Carroll slotted over.

The score was now 0-3 to no score after 20 minutes, Milltown/Castemaine  still to register.

The first half was highlighted by numerous missed chances and wasted possession by Milltown/Castlemaine, but they finally got themselves on the scoreboard in the 26th minute when Derek Twiss pointed nicely from a free 30 yards out on the right-hand side.

Twiss was the only Milltown/Castlemaine forward who looked like scoring and it was him who pulled the Mid Kerry men to within a point of Stacks when he swept over another score from the same side though this time from play.

Stacks then replied with a point by Shane O’Callaghan, but Twiss was back at them again this time curling over one of the points of the game, a high shot 40 yards out which bounced off the crossbar and over.

That was the last score of the half which finished 0-4 to 0-3 to Stacks.

The second half started with the sides exchanging points both from frees. Shane O’Callaghan striking over first for Stacks and for Milltown/Castlemain Derek Twiss who was still their only scorer.

The game was beginning to boil over, The Rockies were not enjoying being put off their stride by a determined Milltown/Castlemaine.

Niall Colgan for Milltown Castlemaine and Willliam Kirby for Stacks who replaced Wayne Guthrie in midfield both saw yellow for their troubles.

With the scores 0-5 to 0-4 to Stacks with 20 minutes remaining, Milltown/Castlemaine upped the intrigue of this game when they struck for a goal and it was that man again, Derek Twiss, who was Stacks’ tormentor.

Twiss got onto a dropped catch by Stacks goalkeeper Jonathon Conway and made no mistake in prodding the ball to the net.

Milltown/Castlemaine were in front for the first time in the match which heralded a  few nervous glances from the Rockie faithful in Connnolly Park.

Directly after the goal, Kieran Donaghy entered the fray, the Inter County man just fresh from warm weather training with the Kerry team in Portugal.

Stacks responded well, their midfielder and captain Barry Shanahan scored from the next attack to bring them within two points.

The game now at a frantic pace with both teams’ benches failing to keep themselves outside the touchline, Pa Wren got an excellent point for the mid-Kerry side, the defender storming through midfield to restore his sides three point advantage.

But Milltown/Castlemaine were beginning to lose their discipline slightly, in the 48th minute centre-half back Shane Murphy gave away a silly free in front of goal which Shane Carroll duly slotted over. A minute later it was the full-forward Carroll again who knocked over a sweet effort on the left side to pull the Stacks to within a point.

Milltown/Castlemaine responded from the boot of Twiss who put his side in front yet again, the score now 0-8 to 1-6 with 10 minutes remaining.

A big blow then came for Stacks. With nine minutes to go, Donaghy was forced to come off, he left the pitch in some discomfort clutching his right arm. The former player of the year only seeing a mere eight minutes of action.

William Kirby was now beginning to impose himself on the game. He intercepted a Milltown/Castlemaine free that set up the equalizing score which was put over by substitute Mickey Collins with three minutes to go.

Both sides mounted attempts to grasp the winner but at full-time it finished all square. Extra time loomed with both teams feeling the effects of a bruising encounter.

Stacks flew out of the traps right at the start of the first period of extra time,  first Shane Carroll pointing and then a minute later Shane O’Callahan notched his third score of the day to put his side two ahead.

You felt at this point that Stacks bigger squad would give them a great platform to push on, but Milltown/Castemaine were unbowed and fought exceptionally hard to win two frees which Twiss put over to square things up once again.

Right at the end of the half, Stacks were awarded a penalty, if they scored it could have put it beyond Milltown/Castlemaine.

Wing back Pa McCarthy stepped up, but his powerful shot hit the butt of the post and the sides finished the first period level.

A great opportunity to win the game missed.

The second period of extra time began with the scores 0-11 to 1-08  and that’s how it finished, but the half was not without incident.

With three minutes remaining, O’Callaghan kicked in a long dangerous ball into the Milltown/Castemaine square. Under huge pressure, goalkeeper Joe Daly caught the ball impressively just about keeping the ball in front of the line.

The referee blew the final whistle as soon as the allocated time was up.  He could have allowed a couple of minutes of added time at least, but a draw was a fair result.

The game, although low scoring, was tense and tenacious throughout, both sides will be feeling the effects of extra time. After 80 minutes of football they’ll have to do it all again.

Teams: Austin Stacks: Jonathon Conway, Ronan Shanahan, Ferghal McNamara, John Dennis, Pa McCarthy, Daniel Bohan, Conor Jordon, Barry Shanahan, Wayne Guthrie, Greg Horan, Denis McElligott, Fiachna Mangan, David Mannix, Shane Carroll, Shane O’Callaghan.

Scorers: Shane Carroll (0-4) Shane O’Callaghan (0-3) Mickey Collins (0-1) Barry Shanahan (0-1) Denis McElligott (0-1) David Mannix (0-1)

Subs: Barry Galvin, Ciaran O’Connell, Brian Mangan, Darragh O’Brian, Eoin McKivergan, Mikey Collins, Alan Duggen, Joe O’Kelly, Seamus Bastible, William Kirby, Barry Walsh, Alan Crean, David O’Sullivan, Paul Galvin, Tom McLoughlin, Nicholas Gogarty, Darren Tiernan, Dale Counihan, Theo Diggin, Eoin Colgan, Shane Crowley, Padraig Lynch, Ciaran Flanagan, Eamonn McAllen, Paul Barrett, Michael O’Donnell, Darragh Long

Milltown/Castlemaine: Joe Daly, Niall Colgan, Damian Murphy, John Blennerhassett, Pa Wren, Shane Murphy, Mike Quirke, Mike Burke Brendan Delaney, Jonathon O’Sullivan, Marcus Mangan, Cathal Moriarty, Derek Twiss, Donal Kelliher, Paul Carroll

SUBS: Kevin Tangney, Jerimiah Hayes, David Roche, Mark Wrenn, Stephen Roche, Jack McCarthy, Alan Hickey, Donal Dennehy, Jonathon O’Connor, Nigel Wrenn, Colin McKenna

Scorers: Derek Twiss (1-7) Pa Wren (1)

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