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Carrigaline Victory Boosts Knockout Chances

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Carrigaline 1-16

Éire Óg 0-12

A strong first-half performance from Carrigaline helped them to victory against Éire Óg on Saturday evening in Ballygarvan during their second-round clash in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.

The seven-point win boosts Carrigaline's chances of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition, in what was a 'do-or-die' contest following their defeat to Courcey Rovers in the opening round of the championship.

Carrig began the game with an extra man in between the half-back line and midfield, and this proved to be a good tactical decision fairly early into the game. Carrigaline made a strong start and needed to given that they had a considerable breeze with them in the opening half.

After 10 minutes they lead by 0-5 to 0-1, with scores coming from Brian and Ronan Kelleher. Éire Óg had some 'star-power' in their full-forward line, which included former All-Ireland Football winners Daniel Goulding and Ciarán Sheehan. However, both players struggled to get any serious momentum in the game, with Chris Vaughan, Steven Williamson and David Stack managing to keep them at bay early on.

Carrigaline continued to dominate the first-half, with both forwards and backs combining well throughout. It was in fact that combination that culminated in the only goal of the game, which was scored by David Drake. David Stack did well to neatly dispossess an Éire Óg attacker, who was all but certain to score a goal of his own. The ball broke away to Ciarán Sheehan who was martialled well by Steven Williamson, eventually leading to the sliotar being cleared all the way down the pitch to David Drake, The forward managed to pull away from his man and sent a low shot past the hapless goalkeeper, who had little chance of saving.

A point from David Griffin, who himself finished with three scores on the day, and a couple from Brian Kelleher, saw Carrigaline go into the break well on top, leading 1-13 to 0-5.

The second half was much cagier, and while Carrigaline were rarely in danger of blowing their sizeable lead, they may be perhaps slightly disappointed that they could not match the ruthlessness they showed in the first period.

David Drake missed a glorious opportunity to grab another goal inside the opening 60 seconds of the restart and Éire Óg slowly but surely kept the scoreboard ticking over. Brian Kelleher scored a fine point from play after good initial work from Ronan Kelleher, and also added a free to put Carrigaline 1-15 to 0-10 ahead with 50 minutes on the clock.

Éire Óg looked to be more direct as they searched for goals, but were very wasteful with the ball. Carrigaline's full and half-back line coped well with all pressure thrown at them and will have been very satisfied to come away without conceding a goal.

A late point from David Griffin saw Carrigaline run out comfortable winners in the end, despite in scoring three points in the second half. They face Youghal in the final round of the group-stage championship and a similar performance will give them a good chance of qualifying for the knockout round.

Scorers for Carrigaline: B Kelleher 0-9 (7f), D Drake 1-0, D Griffin 0-3, R O’Shea 0-2, P McBarron 0-1, R Kelleher 0-1.

CARRIGALINE: M O’Mahony; C Vaughan, S Williamson, D Stack; Kieran Kavanagh, Kevin Kavanagh, D Griffin; R O’Shea, R McCarthy; D McBarron, P McBarron, S O’Brien; B Kelleher, D Drake, R Kelleher.

Subs: W O’Brien for R Kelleher (42), F O'Connell for P McBarron (52), K O’Reilly for D McBarron (58).

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