Blarney 15s climbed to first spot in Div 2 today with a well-deserved 4-1 win over Watergrasshill in what were difficult conditions in O’Shea Park.
Blarney deserved their 3-1 lead at the break and had the majority of the possession in the first half with a dominant team performance, John Lehane was a constant treat through the middle and was using his pace and strength to penetrate the Watergrasshill defence, On the right-side Steven Riordan was weaving his way down the right flank with some great runs and crosses into the opposition box. The breakthrough came in the 15th minute when Lehane made a surging run past the Hill defence and he made no mistake when drove his shot low pass the hill keeper for a deserved 1-0 lead. Blarney confidence was high and they continued to keep the opposition inside their own half and deserved their second in the 20th minute when Lehane barged his way through three hill defenders and held his composure to slot the ball low to the right hand corner to make it 2-0. The third goal came in the 30th minute when constant Blarney pressure produced a corner which was taken by Niall Cremin and his inswinging ball flew in at the near post to make it a deserved 3-0 lead . Blarney did not keep their concentration following their third goal and the Hill took advantage within a minute of the re-start when they got inside the impressive Blarney defence and slotted low across the keeper to make it 3-1 at the break.
The second half produced a better performance from the Hill and they created the better chances which were defended well by a well organised Blarney rear-guard with Marcus Heinen giving a man of the match performance at left back making several vital interceptions and tackles to stem the Hill attack. The Blarney defence were under a lot of pressure but stood strong with Issac Butler showing good hands in goal. The Hill nearly made it 3-2 in the 40 the minute with a powerful shot outside the box that came off the upright and spun across the goal line only to go over the end line to the relief of the Blarney supporters Blarney did create some more chances in the half with Riordan coming one to one with the keeper in the 50th minute and his shot was blocked brilliantly by the outstretched hand of the Hill keeper to prevent a fourth for Blarney. Riordan made amends in the 60th minute when he made a clever diagonal run into the 18yrd box to receive a midfield threaded pass and he finished brilliantly across the Hill keeper to put the game beyond reach and it finished a deserved 4-1 victory for the home side.
MOM. Marcus Heinen