The sheer courage and class of Coláiste na Carraige shone brightly at a snowy all- weather pitch in Clones today as they beat Virginia College by 1-8 to 2-4.
For the boys from the south recovered after conceding two potentially killer goals in the 14th and 18th minutes to storm back for a memorable victory against a pretty physical Virginia College.
Towering midfielder Ronan Gillespie struck the vital winning free two minutes from time.
But it was full-forward Pauric Love who got the vital score of the match when he brilliantly finished a lightning characteristic Carrick move to the net in the 37th minute to level matters.
It was all Carrick from there to the finish but they missed three very easy chance through Paul O’Hare and Gillespie and would only have themselves to blame had they lost.
It looked grim when Virginia’s best player Sean McEvoy, who is also an Irish U-18 soccer international, equalised from a questionable free-before Gillespie’s late strike.
McEvoy had a last gasp effort to tie matters, but his shot went across the face of the goal and wide to the delight of Carrick and their fans.
The first half was a totally different story with Virginia looking very strong and deservedly leading by 2-3 to 0-5 at the interval.
The first goal came courtesy of McEvoy who ghosted behind the Carrick defence before calmly finishing to the net in the 14th minute.
Four minutes later his half hit 45 fell for Seosamh Sheerin and the latter reacted quickly to grab a second goal. That put the Cavan college into a 2-2 to 0-2 lead and it looked dark for Carrick.
But, inspired by Gillespie, Eric Carr and Ryan McShane, they hit back and turned over on a score of Virginia College 2-3 Carrick 0-5.
They came out like lions in the second half and the rest is history.
Colaiste na Carraige: Colin Doherty; Aiden McGinley, Cormac O’Leime, Thomas Byrne; Eoin Cormac, Dylan O’Gara, Dylan Kelly; Ronan Gillespie (0-5,4f), Oisin Byrne; Ryan McShane, Eric Carr (0-3), Joseph Lyons; Paul O’Hare, Pauric Love (1-0), Seanie Boyle. Subs: Owen Love for Seanie Boyle
Virginia College: Finn Lotscher; Ryan Kellett, Jamie Davidson, Aaron Geraghty; Stephen Kavanagh, Rioghan Smith, Ronan Cullen; Enda Maguire, Cian Donoghue; Niall Carolan, Mantas Ivaskevicus, Thomas McGearty; Ryan Galligan (0-1), Sean McEvoy (1-3), Seosamh Sheerin (1-0). Subs: Aaron McCabe for Mantas Ivaskevicus (h-time), Oisin Carolan for Thomas McGearty (44), Patrick Gordon for Ryan Kellett (44),
Referee: Stephen Hagan (Monaghan).
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