Killer Goal Ends Carrigaline Championship Year
Writes Ciaran Dineen
A fortuitous goal from Castlemartyr’s Jack McGann proved to be the key moment in their clash with Carrigaline, who have exited the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at the quarter-final stage.
It has been a year of transition for Carrigaline, having lost a number of senior players that had previously been stalwarts of the side for the past decade, with injuries also not helping, and perhaps that bit of lost experience has played a part in their exit at this stage.
Carrigaline squeezed into the knockout stages after a dramatic draw with Watergrasshill in the final round of the group stage games. Their task was a tough one that would follow. Castlemartyr were undoubtedly one of the favourites to claim this year’s championship at the beginning of the campaign, with former Cork-senior players Barry and Brian Lawton joined by current senior star, Ciarán Joyce all lining out for the East Cork side.
For large parts of the quarter-final clash in Cobh on Saturday afternoon Carrigaline looked like they could pull off a shock, however, a fortuitous goal from Jack McGann which saw the ball find the net from all of 65 yards in the 48th minute ended their hopes.
It took Carrigaline 8 minutes to register their first point of the day with a free from Brian Kelleher, who quickly followed this up with another score from a placed ball position. Rhys McCarthy put the South Cork side ahead after some good work from Nathan Coleman.
Carrigaline took a three-point lead with 19 minutes gone, as Kelleher slotted over four successive frees, putting his team 0-7 to 0-4 up. Castlemartyr struck back however, with Joyce and the two Lawton’s making their presence known. David Drake grabbed his first score of the day to put Carrigaline ahead before halftime but their opponents quickly responded leaving the score at the break 0-8 apiece.
Carrigaline started the better in the second half. A Brian Kelleher point was shortly followed by a wonderful solo effort from UCC captain, Éanna Desmond. With 39 minutes gone, Carrigaline remained two-points ahead, as further score came from half-back Rhys McCarthy and former Cork senior hurler, Rob O’Shea.
However, the pivotal moment of the game came in the 48th minute when a long ball from Jack McGann found its way to the back of the net after a bit of misjudgement from Carrigaline goalkeeper, Rob Foster. Castlemartyr quickly followed this up with a couple of points, to go 1-14 to 0-13 ahead.
Brian Kelleher tried to spur a bit of life into his side with just over 5 minutes remaining as his point from play brought Carrigaline within three points. David Drake reduced the gap further and then a magnificent sideline from Éanna Desmond reduced the deficit again. A point from Castlemartyr kept the margin at two points.
Entering into added time, Desmond scored a wonderful point from over his shoulder, leaving the scores at 1-15 to 0-17. However Carrigaline could not find the equalising point and a free from Castlemartyr sealed the win for the East Cork club.
Carrigaline will inevitably be disappointed with the result, but should take credit for the fact that they always remained in the game against a strong side. For now however, it is the end of their championship season, until next year.
Carrigaline: Rob Foster; Darragh King, Steven Williamson, Kieran Kavanagh; Rhys McCarthy, Nathan Coleman, Kevin Kavanagh; Ronan Kelleher, Nathan O’Keeffe; Finn O’Connell, David Drake, Éanna Desmond; Jack McCarthy, Rob O’Shea and Brian Kelleher.
Scorers for Carrigaline: B. Kelleher 0-9 (0-6 frees), E. Desmond 0-3, R. McCarthy and D. Drake 0-2 each, R. O’Shea 0-1.
Subs: C. Barry for R. Kellehe (49min) P. Mellet for O’Connell and D. McCarthy for J. McCarthy (both 55m).