Clinical Carrigaline Set Up Quarter-Final Clash With Kilworth
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Carrigaline secured their second win in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship of 2019, as they knocked Aghada out of the competition with a winning margin of 14 points. Two goals from the very impressive Brian Kelleher and one from the industrious Killian McIntyre drove Carrigaline to victory.
This is the first time in a number of years that Carrigaline have won two championship games at senior level, and it is certainly the best achievement from this current group of players, with the starting 15 averaging out at about 24 years old. The confidence from wins over both Youghal and Aghada should offer a huge boost as they now tackle Kilworth, this coming Saturday.
While the scoreline would suggest that Carrigaline were the dominant team from start to finish this was certainly not the case. In the opening 10 minutes of the game Aghada were well on top as they bombarded their opponents’ full backline in the early stages. Former Cork Senior hurler, Will Leahy, was a constant thorn in the side of David Griffin at the commencement of the game, scoring two points during this time.
Robbie Foster in the Carrigaline goal produced a magnificent save from Leahy, preventing a certain goal, as the defence struggled to withhold the pressure. Upon going 0-4 to 0-0 down, the Carrigaline management decided to drop former All-Ireland Intermediate winner Kevin Kavanagh back into corner back, with Luke Condon moving into wing-back and this proved to be a wise decision as Kavanagh’s calming presence seemed to compose the backline, who performed magnificently for the remainder of the contest.
Against the flow of the game, Brian Kelleher showed why he is arguably the most talked about GAA player in Carrigaline these days, when the ball popped into his direction near the Aghada penalty area, he unleashed a rasping shot that was too powerful for ‘keeper to deal with. With 13 minutes on the clock Carrigaline had incredibly taken the lead thanks to a wonderful goal from Killian McIntyre. Rob O’Shea sent a long range free towards the Aghada goal and McIntyre showed brilliant skill to perfectly time a strong connection on the volley with the hurley, leaving O’Shea in the Aghada goal with no chance.
Carrigaline grew from there on and never really looked back for the remainder of the clash, which will be very satisfying for the management team. Some very good interchanging play throughout the field offered the lively forwards with great opportunities and at half time they led by 2-7 to 0-6, with points coming from Kelleher (3), David Drake (2), Jack McCarthy, and Steven Williamson.
Carrigaline did not rest on their laurels from the first half however, and they went on to drive home a fantastic team performance. Brian Kelleher scored a sensational point over his left shoulder facing away from goal, after being found well by Williamson from the centre-back position. Kelleher was imperious in the second period and was by far the best player on the pitch, adding three more points with 39 minutes on the clock, while McIntyre also increased his personal tally.
There was no stopping Carrigaline at this point, who were simply a joy to watch. A point from the venturing corner back, Chris Vaughan and a sideline cut from Drake extended the lead with 43 minutes gone. Rob O’Shea and Wes O’Brien also got on the scoresheet, before Kelleher added another goal for Carrigaline, putting them into a 3-16 to 0-9 lead.
The tally with biblical meaning amassed at that point had Carrigaline well ahead and Aghada started to lose their discipline as they became increasingly frustrated. On 53 minutes Mark McCarthy was shown a deserved red card following a wild, reckless and dangerous pull across Carrigaline substitute Cian Barry. McCarthy became angry when Olin Barry, a Maor Uisce for his team seemed to prevent the Aghada centre-back from taking a quick sideline. Cian, brother of Olin, defended his clubmate and subsequently felt the wrath of McCarthy who was thus sent off, as was Olin for his part in the scuffle.
While Aghada went on to score two late goals, it was too little too late. Carrigaline finished the stronger, as substitute Eanna Desmond grabbed himself two points from play, while Kelleher and Vaughan also increased the final deficit between the teams.
Next up is a trip to Watergrasshill where Carrigaline face Kilworth on Saturday at 4PM. Best of luck lads!
Carrigaline Scorers: Kelleher 2-9 (5f), McIntyre 1-1, Drake 0-3 Desmond and Vaughan 0-2 each, Williamson, McCarthy, O’Shea and O’Brien 0-1 each.
Carrigaline Team: Rob Foster; Luke Condon, David Griffin, Chris Vaughan; Kevin O’Connell, Steven Williamson, Kevin Kavanagh; Wes O’Brien, Jack McCarthy; Kieran Dwane, Rob O’Shea (C), David Drake; Brian Kelleher, Peter Ronayne and Killian McIntyre.
Carrigaline Subs: Eanna Desmond for Dwane (44 mins), Denis McBarron for McIntyre (49), Cian Barry for Ronayne (49), Kieran Kavanagh for Condon (56) and James Maher for Drake (58).
Referee: Joe Larkin (Baile Nora).
Carrigdhoun MOTM: Brian Kelleher.
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