Carrigaline Lose Thriller After Extra-Time
St Finbarrs 3-18
On Saturday evening under the lights in Pairc Uí Rinn, Carrigaline faced St Finbarrs in the Quarter-Final of the Premier 2 Hurling Championship. The pitch was well worn by the time the ball was thrown in at 5PM and players from both teams found the surface difficult throughout the game. Carrigaline were forced to change their kit from their normal outfit of blue and yellow to black, while St Finbarrs were able to wear their familiar all blue.
Carrigaline played with a deceptively strong wind in the first half and started with many players from their senior team, including Chris Vaughan, who captained the team, Luke Condon, Jack McCarthy and the formidable Brian Kelleher. This would be the last chance for much of the starting fifteen at U21 level. There was one change to the programme for Carrigaline, as Nathan Coleman started ahead of former schoolmate James Maher.
St Finbarrs started the better of the two teams as Carrigaline looked slightly groggy in the opening minutes of play. It took just four seconds for Cork minor Ethan Twomey to get the first score of the game after winning the ball immediately from the throw-in and striking from inside the 65’. Brian Kelleher got Carrigaline’s first score of the game and he featured enormously during the first half. With 15 minutes on the clock the game was tied at 0-4 apiece, with Kelleher grabbing all 4 points from placed balls. The ‘Barrs’ then went into a three point lead after an error from the Carrigaline ‘keeper allowed Brian Hayes to bundle the ball over the line following a long-range free.
Kelleher replied with another free while the impressive Dave McCarthy also scored, securing Carrigaline’s first point from play. St Finbarrs went into a further lead after that with another goal from Hayes after Chris Vaughan lost possession out near the sideline before the centre-forward finished off a quick counter-attack move.
However, Carrigaline stuck in there and replied the next six scores in a row. Denis McBarron and Kelleher scored two and three points respectively, while McCarthy grabbed an incredible solo effort that was without doubt the score of the game. That put Carrigaline into a one point lead but St Finbarrs levelled on the stroke of halftime, with the score even at 2-6 to 0-12.
Carrigaline started very quickly in the second period with Kelleher again coming to the fore. Brian scored three points in a row, including his first from play for the day. St Finbarrs then replied with another goal to level the contest once again with 42 minutes gone. The ‘Barrs’ continued their positive flow and scored three points on the bounce. The imperious Kelleher kept Carrigaline in it scoring another three points putting his side one point ahead with four minutes left. St Finbarrs hit back and looked to have sealed the win after two quick-fire frees but in additional time Kelleher scored a magnificent equaliser after being found brilliantly by Nathan Coleman. The final score before extra-time was Carrigaline 0-21, St Finbarrs 3-12.
St Finbarrs regained the lead in the opening period of extra-time after two points from Bill O’Connell and that was enough to put them two points ahead going into the second-half. The ‘Barrs’ added another score but Carrigaline fought back again through Kelleher who levelled the sides with another three points. The UCC student finished the game with an incredible 20 points from the 24 scored by Carrigaline. Unfortunately he could not carry his team any further and St Finbarrs scored three late points with just a couple of minutes remaining to put themselves too far ahead on this occasion. St Finbarrs march on to the semi-finals but a lot can be said about the fight and spirit that Carrigaline produced on the night.
Carrigaline Scores: Kelleher 0-20 (0-15 frees), McCarthy and McBarron 0-2 each.
Carrigaline Team: Niall Fitzgerald; Jack Kelly, Dylan Cooney, David Stack; Chris Vaughan (C), Tom Deasy, Luke Condon; Jack McCarthy, Dan Greene; Nathan Coleman, Denis McBarron, Kevin O’Reilly; Dave McCarthy, Brian Kelleher and Ronan Kelleher.
Carrigaline Subs: Darragh King for Vaughan (28 mins), James Maher for Condon (HT), Eanna Desmond for Greene (46). Kevin Barry for Kelly (52).
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