Writes Ciaran Dineen
Carrigaline couldn’t kick-start their season in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship after suffering a defeat to Castlelyons in a wet contest at Lisgoold GAA.
The starting fifteen and the wider squad this year for Carrigaline is somewhat different compared to that of years gone by. A number of players have left the panel, with new players drafted in for the season ahead. A shake-up in management sees Seán O’Shea take over as manager, meaning that both on and off the pitch it is quite a different dressing room for the Intermediate hurlers in 2022.
Carrigaline were without the experience of Kevin Kavanagh and Cian Barry on the day, who were both injured, while David Griffin is still recovering from an injury sustained last year and wont return until 2023.
Playing against the wind in the first half, Carrigaline would have been very happy with how they started the game. Éanna Desmond carried his form from last year, when he was one of the standout performers in the side, and opened Carrigaline’s scoring for the Championship season with a fine solo point from play. Brian Kelleher, who has been the other star player over the past number of seasons, opened up his tally with a placed ball, while veteran of the side, David Drake, showed real class in the forward line, fielding a puc out from Rob Foster before making some space, and firing the ball over the bar.
Carrigaline were by far the dominant team in this opening 15 minute spell and two further fine points from play by Brian Kelleher put Carrig 0-5 to 0-1 ahead. However, they could not keep their momentum going for the remainder of the game and only managed to score four points for the remaining 45 minutes of the game, failing to score from play during that period. David Drake was forced off after 28 minutes with what looked to be a knee injury and his lost presence in the forward line was a critical factor.
Castlelyons, who were rocked in the opening quarter, grew into the game more and more, with their experienced players coming to the fore. Current Cork Senior player, Niall O’Leary, managed to marshal Carrigaline’s Rob O’Shea well for the whole game, while former intercounty player, Colm Spillane and his brother Anthony Spillane showed why they have previously been picked to don the red jersey.
It was Alan Fenton in midfield however who stole the show with his consistent free-taking, and at one stage between either side of half-time, scored six points in a row from placed ball positions, as Castlelyons went 0-8 to 0-5 ahead.
Brian Kelleher slotted over three important frees in close succession to put Carrigaline level, but his side struggled to play with the breeze in the second half and the full forward line found it difficult to win clean ball. As the game was in the melting pot it was Castlelyons who powered through and kept the scoreboard ticking as they went into a five-point lead. Kelleher added another free, but Carrigaline were a long way off getting back into the contest as the game entered the closing stages and Castlelyons were good value for their five-point winning margin.
Carrigaline Scorers: Brian Kelleher 0-7 (0-5f), David Drake and Éanna Desmond (0-1 each)
Carrigaline Team: Rob Foster; Darragh King, Steven Williamson, Kieran Kavanagh, Chris Vaughan, Rhys McCarthy, David Stack, Naythan Coleman; Ronan Kelleher, Dave McCarthy; Éanna Desmond, David Drake, Rob O’Shea; Patrick Mellet and Brian Kelleher.