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Adrian Noonan

U21 Football vs Charleville   26/03/2017

Buttevant 3 - 16 Charleville 3 - 16 a.e.t.

A thriller in Mallow goes to a replay! Buttevant's U21 footballers must go it again after they drew an epic contest with neighbours Charleville in what will go down as a classic.

Charleville surged to an early lead with a goal coming almost straight from the throw in. Buttevant pegged them back with a goal from Mark Lenahen. It was tit for tat through the first half, with both teams attempting to gauge the swirling wind. At half time, Charleville led by 1-7 to 1-6.

Buttevant attempted a defensive set up in the second half which invited Charleville onto the attack, resulting in a Charleville taking a lead of 2-14 to 1-11 with just two minutes left on the clock.

A surging John O'Neill took the game by the scruff of the neck, weaving his way through several defenders, and forcing a save from the keeper which was rebounded and bundled into the net by Kevin Lenahen. Three points down, seconds on the clock!

Buttevant won the ensuing kick off and loaded the pressure on again, with Charleville hauling us down for a penalty.

Ryan Fowley stepped up to the spot, deep into injury time and made no mistake. The keeper got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out. An unsightly melee ensued, with Charleville receiving a red card and the ref blowing for full time, draw game, extra time to follow! Buttevant 3-11 Charleville 2-14

One of the GAA's most bizarre rules, which allows a team to return to 15 players in extra time, despite red cards meant that the playing field was level for extra time. Thirty exhausted bodies set for a war of attrition.

Buttevant took the lead in the first period of extra time, Kevin Lenahen and Chris O Toole kicking good scores, taking four point lead. Charleville to their credit responded with a blitz of 1-1 inside two minutes, so the sides went into break in extra time level, 3-15 apiece.

The final period was a gladiatorial effort, with cramp and exhaustion striking players down left right and centre, and the sides traded a point, and in all honesty, neither side had the legs to carry the ball any further. It was a tense affair, and full time was blown, 3-16 a piece. It must all be done again, most likely midweek. A memorable contest for the lucky crowd in attendance. 

Hopefully, the replay will see even more support from Buttevant fans to help drive the lads on in what will no doubt be a tough replay.

Buttevant abú!





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