February 23rd 2020 – Munster Youth Cup Semi Final – Carrigaline United 3 Ballingarry 3 aet (Storin; OG; Quill) Ballingarry win 4-2 on penalties.

Ballingarry will revisit a stage that has eluded them for almost twenty years when they face Bridge United of Clare in the Munster Youth Cup semi- final. An epic game in Cork against Carrigaline United, the holders, offered everything including a penalty shootout that saw Ballingarry prevail.

Not since 2002 have Ballingarry experienced such dizzy Munster heights when they faced and lost to another Cork opponent Douglas Hall at Turners Cross in the penultimate stage however, Ballingarry will be hoping that they can go one step further when they host Clare side Bridge United at the end of March.
Following a shaky opening fifteen minutes during which the home side dominated indeed scoring from the first corner of the game after just five minutes when their 6 foot 4 inch centre half headed in at the back post, Ballingarry settled and the game developed into an exciting even affair.

In fairness but for two magnificent saves from Mike Molloy in goal for Ballingarry the game could have been lost by the break. The first after seventeen minutes when his point blank block denied a certain goal and again on 31 minutes when he finger tipped a 30 yard blockbuster onto the crossbar. In between Gearys free delivered into the box saw the homesides keeper deny Casey with an excellent save. Another delivery from Geary from a corner evaded everyone to drift out at the far side for a throw, any touch would have yielded a goal. Ballingarry were threatening and will be wondering how they didn’t go in at the break level when Madigans free from the left was met by Casey but his header was brilliantly saved by the keeper only for the ball to fall to Kieran Storin but with the goal at his mercy he somehow blazed wide. He would make up for this miss in spades in the second half.

The second half started with the visitors on top and another glorious chance went a begging when a beautiful layoff from Geary put Mike Southgate clean through but the keeper did superbly in coming off his line to save, still Southegate will be disappointed. United went two up just 4 minutes into the half . A long ball was delivered from left to right where their forward half turned and shot in the one move to provide the two goal cushion.

Ballingarry responded in truly wonderful fashion scoring the all important next goal just eight minutes into a hectic second half. Geary delivered the corner, a game of pin ball ensued with the keeper saving bravely before Storin drove to the net. A massive goal at a crucial time. In the space of two minutes in the 60th and 62nd Ballingarry scored twice to go ahead. Quills driven corner from the left was too hot for the keeper to hold when it struck his chest and rebounded onto the post and into the net, an own goal for sure, the second put Ballingarry ahead and it was Josh Quill who drove home to the delight of his team mates from the edge of the box. As Carrig pushed forward looking for an equaliser they left massive gaps at the back. Ballingarry had chances to seal the game but they found a fine keeper in their way . Casey and Madigan were denied while Geary was off target. United were now all out in search of a passage to extra time. The post was struck on 80 minutes while a superb effort screamed past the far post. Then with just four minutes of normal time remaining the homeside forced extra time. Another corner undone Ballingarry as the ball was driven in at the near post.

Extra time flew by with no real chances leaving penalties to decide. Once Jack Molloy saved the first effort you knew Ballingarry would not miss and progress. M Molloy; Geary; Quill and Tagney were flawless form the spot while Carrigs second pen flew over the bar.

It would be easy to say penalties are a lottery but are they really? No one from the winners had to volunteer, no one hid at the back to avoid the responsibility, they ran to the spot without fear, this comes from preparation and Ballingarry were prepared, they will be prepared for the semi final as well.

Team: J Molloy; Tierney; Storin; Tagney; Kelly; Casey; Quill; Southgate; Madigan; M Molloy; Geary.
Used Subs: McGoey; Ruddle;

Youths shoot into Munster Youth Cup semi-final