TREATY UNITED WERE held to a stalemate by Cobh Ramblers on a bitterly cold night in Cork.
The bare formlines and last season’s final placings would have suggested Treaty would find this clash relatively straightforward but the opening half produced little in the way of clearcut opportunities.
After sticking past five past a wasteful Wexford side on opening night and seeing that same unit score three at this venue last week, it did feel like a gimme for Tommy Barrett and co – but their interplay was disjointed and Cobh weren’t as structurally naïve as Wexford.
Lee Devitt was the standout performer on the pitch in the opening 45 and while you couldn’t be corrected for suggesting Treaty’s touches indicated they were a level above Cobh in the quality stakes, without the former Ramblers midfielder, they could have easily been overrun in midfield a few times.
It was the same midfielder who fired Treaty’s only real effort past the post after Enda Curran’s trademark link-up play afforded him the opportunity to shoot from outside the box. That tandem will be crucial going forward, particularly in games where wide play is lacking like it was here.
The main takeaway from the opener was that Treaty were flattered by their five-goal salvo and the swings and roundabouts of this league usually mean you remain grounded. That transpired here as the visitors were humbled in a game they would have expected to win.
So much so that only a late extension from Jack Brady stopped a powerful John Kavanagh drive from sending a healthy home crowd into raptures.
These sides will be separated by a sizeable amount of points come season’s end, but it’s nights like these that you have to contend with when fielding a squad with sizeable turnover early in the season.
Tommy Barrett will both possess and ask for that level of understanding.
Cobh Ramblers: Andy O’Donoghue; John Kavanagh, Ben O’Riordan, Harlain Mbayo, Issa Kargbo; Conor Drinan, Jason Abbott (Nathan O’Connell, 83), Pierce Phillips (Dale Holland, 80), Jack Larkin (Jake Hegarty, 66); Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh, Danny O’Connell.
Treaty United: Jack Brady; Charlie Fleming, Sean Guerins, Mark Walsh, Marc Ludden; Callum McNamara, Lee Devitt; Joel Coustrain (Willie Armshaw, 82), Stephen Christopher (Matt Keane, 82), Conor Melody; Enda Curran (Dean George, 72).
Referee: Gavin Coffer
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