A brace from Kieran Marty Waters gave Cabinteely a two-goal lead against UCD at Belfield on Friday night, but goals from Cian Kavanagh and Georgie Kelly rescued a point for Collie O’Neill’s men.
UCD bossed the opening fifteen minutes of the game and looked the better team with Daire O’Connor patrolling dangerously on the right flank and Georgie Kelly causing numerous problems for a Cabinteely defence that included young Andrew McGovern who was making his first league league appearance of the season.
The Student’s hit the bar after just eight minuted when Gary O’Neill’s free was headed into the centre by Kelly and O’Connor jabbed his header over Michale Kelly in the visitors’ goal but off the underside of the bar.
With a quarter of an hour played Cabinteely hadn’t really got going but that was the cue for Kieran Marty Waters to spin some magic on the right, darting into a the box and tucking a low shot past Niall Corbet. It was, it has to be said, against the run of play but it gave Pat Devlin’s men the confidence they needed to begin playing with more ambition.
Jack Watson picked up a loose clearance on 25 minutes and brought a superb save out of Corbet with his 25 yard effort. And three minutes later a challenge on Watson by Liam Scales gave Waters the opportunity to double Cabinteely’s lead from the penalty spot. He did so with aplomb, sending Corbet the wrong way and finding the bottom left hand corner of the net with a sweetly struck shot.
Suddenly Cabinteely were playing like demons and for ten minutes they laid siege to the UCD goal. So it was entirely appropriate, given the theme of scoring against the run of play, that this was when UCD would strike back.
Jason McClelland played Cian Kavanagh through and the midfielder elegantly skipped around Michael Kelly and rolled the ball into the empty Cabinteely net.
The second half started at such a hectic pace that a similar level of quality was unlikely and so it proved. However, the level of commitment was impressive and there wasn’t a player on the pitch that didn’t put in the proverbial ‘decent shift’.
Kavanagh and Waters exchanged early shots on goal but the majority of play in this period took place in the middle third of the pitch and as the chances petered out, so tempers flared, and the game became somewhat tetchy.
Evan Osam impressed at left back for the home side but generally speaking, individual performances were consumed by the whirlwind of midfield activity
With fifteen minutes left to play the final significant act took place. A long punt from UCD keeper Corbet wasn’t dealt with by the Cabinteely defence and Georgie Kelly wrestled the ball past his marker and his finish on the half-volley was impressively executed.
With the teams deservedly tied, the pace remained on turbo and play continued to hurtle from one end to the other. But it was Cabinteely who came closest to a winner. A weak punch by Corbet fell to McGovern whose first time shot was a whisker wide of the right hand post, and at the death substitute Jason Byrne shot narrowly wide with Corbet beaten.
In the end a draw was a fair result but Cabinteely will wonder what might have been having conceded a two-goal lead. UCD, on the other hand will see this rescued point in a more favourable light.
UCD: Niall Corbet; Daniel Tobin, Max Kouogun, Liam Scales, Evan Osam; Daire O’Connor, Greg Gary O’Neill, Sloggett, Jason McClelland (Ben Harahan 72); Cian Kavanagh (Rob Manley 90); Georgie Kelly.
Subs Not Used: Conor Kearns (gk), Josh Collins, Sean Coyne, Conor Crowley, Gareth Coughlan.
Booked: Tobin (38).
Cabinteely: Michael Kelly; Karl Byrne, Conor Keeley, Andrew McGovern, Kevin Knight; Jack Watson, Daire Doyle, Christian Lotefa, Evan Galvin (Cian Lynch 79); Kieran Marty Waters; Joe Doyle (Jason Byrne 79).
Subs Not Used: Jack Menton (gk), Adam Harney, Steven Ball, Anthony Dolan, Paul Fox.
Booked: Lotefa (12), K Byrne (60), D Doyle (65).
Referee: David Keeler.
Extratime Man of the Match: Kieran Marty Waters (Cabinteely).