Spoils are shared
Tombrack and Ross Town deadlocked
A draw wasn't the ideal result for either side, but it was a fair one when hosts Tombrack United faced New Ross Town 'B' on Saturday in Under-12 Division 3 of the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer League.
Tombrack United 1 New Ross Town B 1
Before the latest round of fixtures, just three points separated the top five in the table with United the last of the five challengers. New Ross sat in third spot, just a point back, but they had played a game more than their opponents last weekend.
While not a 'must-win' tie, this match-up certainly felt like it, with the home side, in particular, throwing absolutely everything at their opponents late-on in a bid to snatch what would have been a crucial three points.
The goals came in the first-half. Town had already tested Daire Moynihan with a Liam Young sighter in the first few minutes, but they soon fell behind to Tombrack's first real foray forward.
Niall Mimnagh and Stephen O'Toole were involved down the left wing, causing havoc. Eventually the ball was forced across goal and cleared but only as far as Danny Dreelan, and the powerful midfielder sent a rocket to the top corner of Cian Murphy's goal.
Ben Long narrowly missed the target for the visitors as they looked to recover after losing an early goal. His side owed a debt to Seán Jordan, and then Murphy, both of whom kept shots from Niall Mimnagh out of the net.
Ten minutes before the interval Town equalised. Jack Hendrick was the instigator, driving in on the right wing before bringing a superb save out of Daire Moynihan. However, there was no stopping Liam Maguire as he pounced to fire home the rebound from close range.
Moynihan produced another sensational stop, this time from Ben Long's effort, moments after the equaliser. Still, 1-1 was a fair reflection of the game at the break and the second-half promised much after the entertainment in the first.
Confident from finding their leveller, New Ross Town started the second period on the front foot. Long sent Seán Jordan away but Moynihan was again equal to the challenge. Substitute Mark Devereux almost got in at the other end but Peter Mackey denied him with a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle.
Defences ruled as the half wore on. Gavin Young flashed a strike that Moynihan saved and Robert Mackey blocked a Jack Handrick shot at one end. At the other, William Wilson and Stephen O'Toole combined but Mackey couldn't convert the latter's cross after his heroics minutes earlier.
The draw leaves New Ross three points behind Shelburne, who won the top of the table clash with Cloughbawn. Tombrack are two points further adrift with five games left to play.
Tombrack United: Daire Moynihan; Darragh Breen, Nathan Kelly, Páuric Guinan; Danny Dreelan, Stephen O'Toole, Robert Mackey; Patrick Murphy, Niall Mimnagh. Subs. - Conor Dillon for Murphy (31), Mark Devereux for O'Toole (31), William Wilson for Guinan (31), O'Toole for Dreelan (44).
New Ross Town B: Cian Murphy; Seán Jordan, Peter Mackey, Michael Fleming; Jack Handrick, Liam Young, Liam Maguire; Ben Long, Henry Power. Subs. - Gavin Young for Power (20), Power for G. Young (57).
Referee: Mark Hogan.