Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook Road
Ten-man Cabinteely secured a late, late win over Shamrock Rovers II as Shane Barnes’ late header was the difference between the sides.
Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters picked up on a Kian Clarke mistake, before crossing into Barnes who made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.
The result was Cabinteely’s third win on the spin for the first time since April 2019, when they saw off Cobh Ramblers, Athlone Town and Wexford in consecutive games.
Aidan Price’s second-string Hoops came into the game after an encouraging start to the season despite only picking up a point from their opening two league games.
Price continued to utilize his 47-man squad against their Southside rivals, with Max Murphy making his senior League of Ireland and Rovers II debut.
As for Cabo, they made two changes from their win over Athlone Town last time out – with former Drogheda United and Athlone defender Lloyd Buckley making his debut.
Cabinteely had the first real chance of the game early on, as IT Carlow student Shane Barnes went close, but his effort was blocked away from a Rovers foot.
The resulting corner caused considerable panic in the Hoops box, with Cabo defender Jonny Carlin heading wide from a Keith Dalton corner-kick.
The hosts remained a threat from set-pieces with Dalton’s dangerous delivery finding the head of Jack Hudson, but he was unable to turn his header home.
While Cabinteely had much of the ball, they generally were unable to find the perfect pass to unlock the Hoops defence – and it was not until the 35th minute until a chance of note occurred after Hudson’s header.
Midfielder Vilius Labutis found Dalton free on the left flank, and the former Dundalk underage star saw his effort blocked by Jordan Tallon.
While Cabo had much of the chances, Price’s young guns remained a threat – with Sinclair Armstrong showing his strength in spades.
The lively Dalton continued to impress as the half wore on, with his curling effort – similar to his headline grabbing strike against Bray Wanderers – going over the bar as both sides went in level at the break.
The second half continued in the same vein of that of the opening period, with neither side able to string any real attacking threat together.
However, the game burst into life on the hour mark as Cabinteely full-back Daniel Blackbyrne was dismissed for a tackle on Dara McGuinness.
Blackbyrne caught the Hoops forward late, and with the substitute bearing down on goal – referee Alan Carey was quick to remove the 23-year-old from the action.
But it was Cabinteely who fashioned the first chance in the aftermath of Blackbyrne’s red, with Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters having two bites of the cherry – as Kian Clarke saved well.
Eoin Massey soon saw his cross met by the head of Luke Clucas, but Clucas could not seriously threaten Clarke in the Hoops goal.
As Cabo went in search of an opener, Darragh Nugent almost put his name up in lights as his long-range effort just crept away from the top corner of Michael Kelly’s goal.
The long throw ins caused considerable panic as the game wore on – with Barnes getting on the end of Hudson’s launch into the box – but he could only volley over the bar.
Armstrong went close late on, but his effort could not creep into the Cabinteely net, and it was Cabo who netted at the death through forward Barnes – earning a huge three points in the context of the game.
Cabinteely: Michael Kelly ; Keith Dalton , Jonny Carlin , Lloyd Buckley (Luke Clucas, 60), Daniel Blackbyrne , Alex Aspil , Eoin Massey ; Jack Hudson , Vilius Labutis (Dylan Thornton, 70) ; Shane Barnes .
Subs not used: Ciaran Grogan, Dean Casey, Eoin McPhillips, Zak O'Neill, Peter Quinlan.
Booked: Alex Aspil (40), Shane Barnes (73).
Sent off: Daniel Blackbyrne (61).
Shamrock Rovers II: Kian Clarke ; Max Murphy , Alex Dunne , Peter Adigun (Dara McGuinness, 58), Adam Wells ; Darragh Nugent , Conan Noonan (Aidomo Emakhu, 78), Dylan Duffy (Andy Spain, 75), Sean Brennan , Jordan Tallon ; Sinclair Armstrong .
Subs not used: Darren Prendergast, Alex Moody, Eureal Adiboye.
Booked: Alex Dunne (19), Jordan Tallon (60), Aidomo Emakhu (87), Max Murphy (90+2)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Alan Carey
Attendance: 250 (Estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Shane Barnes (Cabinteely).