The latest edition of the Cork derby saw both sides earn a share of the spoils on a cold afternoon at Bishopstown. After a scoreless first half, Ramblers had Danny Barry sent off early in the second half and Cork made their advantage count, taking the lead through centre back Aaron O’Raw. Their lead didn’t last long though as Shane Daly-Butz grabbed the equaliser to earn the ten men of Cobh a point.
There was a large attendance at the Cork ground ahead of the highly anticipated clash. The hosts were without the injured James Nagle but had a full squad to choose from otherwise. As for the Rams, George Gill was forced to watch from the stand having been ruled out through injury. On a positive note, there was a first appearance on the Cobh team-sheet for substitute Jacob Burie. Jacob had broken his leg in a pre-season game with Midleton back in August and his return was widely welcomed.
The first real chance fell to Cork when talisman Connor Ellis dragged his effort wide of the post following a quick break. Ex-College Corinthians man Stephen Christopher should have given Cobh the lead soon after but he blazed his close-range effort over the bar. Shane Daly-Butz showed a sign of things to come when he forced an impressive save out of Michael Sadys minutes later as Cobh began to gain the upper hand. Brendan Kenny also went close, heading over from a corner. Both sides pushed for the opener as the half drew to a close but they headed in scoreless at the break.
Each side had their senior manager in attendance with John Caulfield and Martin Cambridge watching their young charges intently throughout the game. It was the Rebels who started the better in the second half. Mark Buckley and Stuart Murphy looked impressive for the home side and began to test the Cobh defence with Buckley’s effort inches wide from giving Cork the lead. One of the game’s main talking points came on 63 minutes when Ramblers’ Danny Barry was sent off for an off-the-ball incident. It came as a huge surprise to all in attendance and it appeared to have been something said by the midfielder that earned him a straight red card. Stephen Bermingham was forced to reshuffle his pack and introduced Adam O’Sullivan to sure up his defence. Cork began to make their advantage count with Ellis and Buckley in particular causing the Rams defence trouble. The deadlock was eventually broken on 77 minutes through Cork City’s Aaron O’Raw. Stuart Murphy’s corner found the unmarked centre back and he headed home from three yards to the delight of the home supporters. The ten men of Cobh didn’t let their heads drop though and pushed forward through Ryan Goldsmith and Dion Hennessy. The coveted equaliser came on 86 minutes. Adam O’Sullivan’s high cross was not convincingly punched away by Sadys in the Cork goal. It fell to Shane Daly-Butz and the Ballincollig winger made no mistake from 15 yards with a superb low drive into the corner of the net. Wild celebrations duly followed but Cork pressed for a winner immediately. Central midfielders Craig Donnelan and Cian Coleman controlled the last five minutes and Coleman drew a fantastic save from Cobh ‘keeper Eoghan Daly from long range. In a frantic period the Ramblers defence managed to keep City at bay and held on for the point.
A draw was a fair result for both sides after a typical Cork-Cobh derby. An exciting second half made up for a relatively lacklustre opening period. The result means that Cork remain in second place, five points behind Waterford United but with a game in hand. Cobh move up to sixth position, two points off the play-offs but have played more games than all the sides around them.
Next week sees the Enda McGuill Cup take centre stage. Cork City are at home to Wexford Youths, with the Rebels in search of a third cup in four seasons. It is a week off for the hosts Cobh though following their 2nd round exit to St Pat’s.
Cork City: Michael Sadys, Kevin Taylor, Aaron O’Raw, Conor McCarthy, Timmy Murphy, Cian Coleman, Craig Donnelan, Stuart Murphy, Alex Marshall (Liam Cronin 75), Mark Buckley, Connor Ellis
Substitutes: Cathal O’Hanlon, Sean McLoughlin, Tristian Foley, Ben McAuliffe, Garan Manley, Adam Hegarty
Cobh Ramblers: Eoghan Daly, Dylan Walsh, Kevin McNally, David O’Connor, David King, Chris McCarthy, Danny Barry, Dion Hennessy, Shane Daly-Butz, Stephen Christopher (Adam O’Sullivan 64), Brendan Kenny (Ryan Goldsmith 57)
Substitutes: Patrick Cronin, Charlie Fleming, Jacob Burie, Alex O’Brien, Ruairí Cotter
By Thomas Stafford