The NAFL League Division 1.
Immaculata 2 Killyleagh YC 1
Unlucky Killyleagh were hit by the home side’s smash and grab raid to claim all three points in injury time on Saturday writes Chris Hagan.
The west Belfast side equalised in the 89th minute and then, two minutes later, bagged a dramatic winner in injury time.
It was cruel on Paul Sharvin’s YC who had looked as if they would hold on for a win after an impressive performance which included a first senior goal from 18 year-old Sam Carson.
Killyleagh made a quite unbelievable start, spraying the ball about and dominating the midfield sector as if they, and not the Mac, were the unbeaten team this season.
In the opening minutes they totally dominated possession and in this spell went close when first Keegan Rice and Gary Murray combined to pick out Jack Sharvin with a headed chance, and then the home keeper Daire McAuley did well to save with his feet from Jack Sharvin.
As the half progressed, with Barry Walsh and Darren McConnell impressing in the middle, Jack Sharvin was just over with a 30 yard free kick and then Carson exchanged passes with him, forcing a save from McAuley.
At the opposite end it was the 18th minute before the YC’s Aaron Carberry was called into action with a good save from David Jackson.
The Mac started to find their feet and Niall Walsh, Jamie Sharvin and Gary Murray had their work cut out dealing with Kevin McGovern as he led the line. Killyleagh were fortunate when Jonny Murray cleared off the line from McGovern’s long throw, and then just as quickly at the opposite end Killyleagh’s Rice had an effort cleared off the line.
Great work from Jonny Murray created an opening for Jon Joe Sharvin in the 33rd minute and he was involved again in playing in brother Jack for a half chance after McConnell had intercepted in midfield.
In between Killyleagh survived a strong appeal for a penalty when McGovern went over in the box. Then right on half time Carberry produced a stunning save to deny sub Martin Bradley.
The start to the second half was more evenly balanced, with the Mac starting to increase the pressure with some neat play from Brian McCaul, and determined work from Bradley. However, Killyleagh were still carving out chances with Carson teeing up Rice, and then Carson linked with Jack Sharvin to create a good opening for Barry Walsh whose shot was blocked.
The goal finally arrived in the 59th minute. A quick free from Rice caused chaos and when the keeper pushed out Sharvin’s shot, Carson was on hand to stab it in for his first goal in his first season with his home team. Week by week he gets stronger, and this was surely his best game yet.
Darren Bellew was introduced by the home side and started to stretch the YC backline. Killyleagh, though, looked as if they had weathered the storm. Then came that dramatic finish, starting in the 89th minute. Killyleagh were still readjusting after a substitution and Bellew beat his marker before delivering a peach of a ball for Bradley to head in.
Killyleagh refused to settle for a point and ultimately they were punished for it. With the game in injury time they mounted a four man attack with Rice picking out Conor McCarron but his header lacked power and was safely gathered.
The Mac made them pay on the counter attack with Bradley using all his strength to outmuscle the last man, race through and slip it past Carberry for a 91st minute winner.