By Paul Connolly,
St Mary’s 1 (Murphy 2) Midleton 1 (Stapleton 37)
Both teams got their first point on the board at Kilcully last night as Declan Daly and John Ryan’s charges played out a draw.
An early Eoin Murphy goal got the home side off to the perfect start but they couldn’t add to that tally and Ian Stapleton drew the sides level.
The opening goal came via a long ball over the top resulting in a huge mix up between the Midleton centre half and goalkeeper and with the ball running through to Eoin Murphy, he didn’t need a second invitation to roll the ball into the empty net after two minutes.
And shortly afterwards, again, a long straight ball caught out the Midleton defence and Murphy raced through one on one and beat the keeper but his effort came back the post.
Long ball again caused more trouble with Murphy having another effort saved as the striker was threatening to finish the game as a contest.
However, the game was all square on 37 minutes when an Alan Fitzgerald header fell short for goalkeeper, Oisin Barry and Ian Stapleton’s first time volley flew into the back of the net to send the teams in level at the break.
Alex Smith blazed over in the first piece of action in the second half as St Mary’s tried to restore their lead.
Good work from Kelvin Kruschel forced a corner which broke to Emmett Cotter and his shot was blocked with the visitors appealing for a penalty which the referee waved away.
On 68 minutes, Tijoni Aiber’s influnence on the game grew and he set Stapleton away down the left and his cross for Tynan was headed goalwards but Barry gathered easily.
Both teams were cancelling each other out at this stage and the draw was looking inevitable.
With 10 minutes remaining a surging Jason Conway run saw him cross to a dangerous position only to be cleared to the edge where Ciaran Hanafin volleyed over.
And right at the death, Murphy dribbled through the Midleton defence and to be fair he could have went down but opted to stay on his feet but his shot was saved by Andrew O’Donoghue.
St Mary’s: Oisin Barry, Colin Hanafin (Paul Fitzgerald 25), Kyle Keeley, Ciarn Horgan, Adam Crowley, Ciaran Hanafin, Jason Conway, Greg Magner, Gavin Duggan (Graham Hosford 83), Eoin Murphy, Alex Smith (Jack Singleton 72). Subs: Marco Crowley, Kenneth Crinnion, Jamie Lewis.
Midleton: Andrew O’Donoghue, Kyle McCarthy, Sean Morrissey, John Keane, Gary Collins, Graham McCarthy (Jordan Tynan 70), Kelvin Kruschel (Loic Nquefong 82), Tijoni Aiber, Ian Stapleton, James Leahy, Emmett Cotter. Subs: Conor O’Leary, David Connelly, Shane Hallahan, Adam Meade, Alan Healy.
Referee: Edwin McNally.