Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Oisin Keniry/INPHO Conor Kane in action against Keith Dalton.
# All Square
Hyland's superb strike from 25 yards sees play-off end all square between Cabo and Drogheda
Kieran Marty Waters and Jake Hyland were on target as Friday’s play-off first-leg ended all square.

Cabinteely 1

Drogheda 1

Brendan Graham reports from Stradbrook

GOALS FROM KIERAN Marty Waters and Jake Hyland saw Cabinteely and Drogheda United finish 1-1 and ensure their First Division play-off tie remains anybody’s game ahead of the second leg, which will take place at United Park next week.

Cabinteely couldn’t have asked for a better start with Marty Waters putting the home side in front with just five minutes on the clock. An early ball into the box from Keith Dalton skimmed off the head of Rob Manley and straight into the path of strike partner Waters.

A composed Waters took a quick touch before finishing to the back of the net past Gratzer with an unstoppable drive from outside the box. Drogheda almost responded with a chance of their own for Chris Lyons but Daniel Blackbyrne did brilliantly well to nick it off his boot at the last second.

Pat Devlin will have been delighted with the start his side made to the game with his side enjoying plenty of the ball and dealing with anything Drogheda threw at them in the opening stages with composure.

With twenty minutes on the clock, Drogheda began to settle into the game with Mark Doyle having two great chances in a matter of minutes. The first he should have done better with when he blazed over the bar close to goal having got himself on the end of a James Brown cross.

kieran-marty-waters-celebrates-scoring-a-goal-with-zak-oneil-and-paul-fox Oisin Keniry / INPHO Kieran Marty Waters celebrates scoring a goal with Zak O'Neil and Paul Fox. Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

The second he did much better with running onto a through ball from Adam Wixted only to be denied by a fantastic save low down from Cabinteely goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness.

Drogheda had a great chance to test McGuinness when Conor Keeley’s leg brought down Sean Brennan right on the edge of the box. Drogheda fans appealed strongly for a penalty but the referee straight away awarded the free kick just on the line and showed Keeley a yellow card.

Sean Brennan blazed the free kick over the bar and should have done better when so close to goal. Cabinteely had a fantastic chance to double their lead just before half time with Dalton and Rob Manley linking up well but Manley first time blazed over the bar from close range. A huge let off for Drogheda.

Drogheda began the second half in confident fashion with a sequence of corners in the space of just a few minutes putting major pressure on the Cabinteely back four. McGuinness had to be on his toes to deal with the aerial bombardment into the box and was just that as he dealt with the pressure well to keep Drogheda at bay.

Drogheda came so close to equalizing when Mark Doyle rounded the goalkeeper but he couldn’t find the back of the net with Doyle claiming a handball with his shot on the way towards the goal. The referee wasn’t interested and Drogheda were denied again.

Good build up play from Drogheda as the second half progressed saw the trio of Hyland, Doyle and Lyons all come so close to an equalizer for the away side.

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Hyland picked the ball up from Lyons in midfield and attempted a snapshot towards goal but the ball was always rising and didn’t trouble McGuinness. Drogheda were growing in confidence as the second half progressed and Doyle should have leveled the game with twenty minutes to go.

A drilled cross into the box from Adam Wixted was met by a diving header from Mark Doyle. Doyle did brilliantly to direct his powerful header towards goal but Stephen McGuinness pulled off an amazing save acrobatically at full stretch to deny Doyle again and send the ball out for a corner.

Drogheda’s build up play was causing problems for Cabinteely in the second half and just minutes later Chris Lyons was the third Drogheda player to come agonizingly close in as many minutes when his left footed rifle of a shot clattered back off the post and out for another corner for the away side.

Their persistent pressure paid off when captain Jake Hyland unleashed a shot from twenty five yards past everybody and straight into the bottom corner igniting plenty of flares onto the pitch and also wild celebrations from the away support.

It was no less than what Drogheda deserved having come so close with chances in the build up to the goal. Both sides introduced substitutes off the bench in the second half as they looked to take any advantage into the second leg next Friday evening.

It was Cabinteely substitute Alex Aspil who the chance fell to as the game entered additional time with fellow substitute Yuka Sasaki playing Aspil through on goal with the Drogheda rear guard scrambling.

Aspil advanced with the ball towards goal and attempted to nick the ball over the head of Gratzer in goal but the goalkeeper stayed on his feet and kept Aspil’s effort out pushing the ball up and over the bar.

That was to be the last of the goalmouth action with two fantastic finishes from Waters in the first half and Hyland in the second ensuring the tie remains all to play for with the second leg taking place next Friday in United Park.

CABINTEELY: Stephen McGuinness; Jack Hudson, Conor Keeley, Jack Tuite, Eoin Massey; Daniel Blackbyrne, Keith Dalton, Zak O’Neill (Alex Aspil 59) Paul Fox ( Yuta Sasaki 90) Robert Manley, Kieran Marty Waters (Vilius Labutis 79)

DROGHEDA UNITED: Luca Gratzer; James Brown, Kevin Farragher (Luke Heeney 69) Conor Kane, Luke McNally; Mark Hughes, Adam Wixted, Sean Brennan( Sean Brennan 83), Jake Hyland; Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons

Referee: Adriano Reale

Well, it’s finally here. Andy Dunne, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey make a call on Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final with New Zealand.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud


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