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Carrigaline Power Past Bandon in Relegation Battle

Carrigaline 1-21

Bandon 2-9

Carrigaline produced a rousing display to retain their status in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship after overcoming a woeful Bandon in Ballinspittle on Sunday afternoon, securing a 9-point victory.

It has undoubtedly been a disappointing campaign for Carrigaline overall this year, with the Senior footballers also in a relegation scrap with Mallow to come next week. However, the club will be hoping that this is a key momentum boost which can transfer over to the footballers in what was a do-or-die battle with Bandon to stay in the Premier Intermediate division.

There were standout performances across the field from a Carrigaline perspective with the spine of the team from Steven Williamson at full-back to David Griffin at centre, Éanna Desmond in midfield and Rhys McCarthy, Kevin O'Reilly and Brian Kelleher in the forwards all having fine displays, rising to the fore when Carrigaline needed it most.

It took just 15 seconds for Carrigaline to give a sample of their intent on the day, breaching the Bandon goal after Éanna Desmond found Finn O'Connell who buried the ball into the net, the latter unfortunately picked up an injury early on and had to be replaced after just 5 minutes.

Carrigaline drove home their advantage in the opening 10 minutes, a couple of Brian Kelleher frees and points from David Griffin and Rhys McCarthy put Carrigaline well ahead with Bandon yet to register a score.

While Bandon's drought continued into the first half, Carrigaline's thirst for scores was evident. Brian Kelleher punished Bandon's ill discipline from placed ball positions knocking over three frees in quick succession. Dan Greene and McCarthy grabbed further scores from play as Carrigaline led 1-10 to 0-0 after 20 minutes.

To the relief of many, Bandon registered their first score in the 21st minute as Charlie Long struck over a free. However, there were little signs of any major fightback, with Carrigaline continuing to be the far superior of the two sides. Brian Kelleher pointed from play after being found by a pin-point diagonal ball from Kevin Kavanagh. Soon after, Kelleher was found by another teammate, this time Kevin O'Reilly who won some magnificent balls all day from full-forward. O'Reilly caught and handpassed to Kelleher who pulled first time with the ball rifling just over the crossbar. 1-13 to 0-1.

It was getting embarrassing now from a Bandon perspective but they were given a shed of light in the 27th minute when Charlie Long found the net from a long-range free. Long grabbed another couple of frees to keep Bandon's momentum going, but Rob Foster in the Carrigaline goal did well to save from Conor Calnan before half-time.

The second half was a much tighter affair as Bandon came out from the changing rooms with a bit more to show. Aidan O'Mahony scored his side's first point from play in the 33rd minute of the game and goalkeeper James McSweeney pointed from inside his own 45. Éanna Desmond from midfield scored a very deserving point from play for Carrigaline given his display throughout the game.

Despite the scoreline, tensions on the field were running high and after Dan Greene appeared to have been struck by a Bandon player, it led to both teams coming together, with Bandon's Darren Crowley escalating the situation by confronting Greene who was lying prone. The referee took his time to deliberate on the outcome, which ended with both Conway and Kieran Kavanagh being given red cards. Kavanagh's role in the scuffle did not appear obvious but referee Pat Lyons nevertheless reduced both teams to 14 men.

Bandon scored the next two points to leave the scores at 1-16 to 1-9 with 50 minutes gone but Carrigaline responded by adding the next four points, Brian Kelleher, David Griffin and David Drake (who replaced Finn O'Connell after 5 minutes) all producing the goods.

Eolan McSweeney struck a goal for Bandon to put some respectability onto the scoreboard but Carrigaline were fully deserving of their 9 point winning margin on the day and will be delighted to secure their status as Premier Intermediate hurlers for 2024.

Carrigaline Scorers: B Kelleher 0-12 (0-6f), R McCarthy 0-4, F O'Connell 1-0, D Griffin 0-2, E Desmond, D Greene and D Drake 0-1 each

Carrigaline: Rob Foster; Darragh King, Steven Williamson, Chris Vaughan; Kieran Kavanagh, David Griffin, Kevin Kavanagh; Jack McCarthy, Éanna Desmond; Rob O'Shea, Rhys McCarthy, Dan Greene; Brian Kelleher, Finn O'Connell and Kevin O'Reilly.

Carrigaline Subs: D Drake for O'Connell (Inj - 5th min), N Coleman for Greene (50), R Kelleher for McCarthy (52), N O'Keeffe for Desmond (63), P Mellet for McCarthy (63).

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