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McBarron Bulldozes Carrigaline Into Semis After Powerful Performance

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Carrigaline 5-18

Youghal 0-20

Carrigaline will go straight into the semi-finals of the Co-Op Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship having secured their third consecutive victory in this year’s championship with a win over Youghal on Friday night.

A hat-trick of goals from Denis McBarron and a brace from David Drake saw Carrigaline eventually win out by 13 points, despite the fact that they trailed 1-7 to 0-13 at half-time. A devastating five minute period in the second half from Carrigaline in which they scored 2-2 to no score, was the turning point in the contest.

Cillian MacSweeney was the only fresh face to come into the team, replacing Peter Ronayne who picked up an injury playing for the Carrigaline senior footballers against St Finbarrs a couple of weeks ago. David Griffin, Éanna Desmond, Brian Kelleher and Denis McBarron came into the game on the back of helping UCC to victory during the week, where they knocked out the defending champions Imokilly.

Despite the final scoreline indicating a comfortable win for Carrigaline, this was not the case, perhaps paying tribute to the never-say-die attitude that has emerged from this group of players. Cork senior hurler, Bill Cooper, drove Youghal ahead in the early minutes of the game, grabbing a couple of scores as the East Cork side went into a 0-2 to 0-8 point lead.

Two Brian Kelleher frees were the only scores that Carrigaline could muster before the first-half water break, and it seemed that the heavy pitch and chilly conditions was somewhat a factor in this slow start.

As the contest resumed Carrigaline found their flow and quickly reduced the deficit to just a couple of points. David Drake had a hand in all of the next three scores as he grabbed two very good individual points and then laid off a brilliant hand pass to send Denis McBarron through on goal, who duly struck the ball into the next to continue his excellent goal-scoring form.

A point from Ronan Kelleher and further scores from Drake and Brian Kelleher added to the tally for the opening period, but Youghal remained firmly in the contest and rallied with their replies, giving them a half-time lead of 1-7 to 0-13.

Carrigaline’s performance in the second half was quite possibly the best 30 minutes of play from this team’s era as they went on to score 5-11 and reduce their opponents to just 0-7. Although it was not all guns blazing from the resumption of the game, Carrigaline continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with three frees from Kelleher, which matched the scoring of Youghal.

However, as the clock struck 40, Carrigaline completely shifted the momentum of the contest and never waivered from there on in. Some great support play from Denis McBarron saw the roles reverse on this occasion as he sent David Drake in on goal, making no mistake from close range. Just seconds later McBarron would see the green flag waved again as he scored an incredible effort. Brian Kelleher sent a ball into the forwards from midfield which McBarron fielded well. He then drove towards the goal, failing to be stopped by his marker and batted the ball into the net to score his second goal of the day.

That score killed the spirit of Youghal and smelling blood Carrigaline rode the momentum they had created. A point each for Ronan and Brian Kelleher and from Éanna Desmond put the South-Cork side into a commanding 3-12 to 0-16 lead.

After the second-period water break Carrigaline scored the next four points on the bounce, with Brian Kelleher and Desmond grabbing two scores apiece. Entering the last couple of minutes of play Youghal placed a lot of bodies forward as they looked for some consolation.

However this worked against them in the end as Carrigaline finished strongly with two further goals. McBarron sealed his hat-trick with a bulldozing run which resulted in an incredible goal. Wesley O’Brien sent a ball in from midfield which the young-forward caught. Despite then falling to the ground, the UCC student managed to pick himself up and drive past his marker and with little space between him and the goalkeeper he opted to bat the ball into the back of the net.

Drake added gloss to the scoreline as he then scored his second three-pointer of the day after Carrigaline had found themselves in a 3-on-1 situation, leading to their fifth and final goal of the game.

Despite a sluggish start Carrigaline proved to be the dominant team. In previous years this team may not have had the ability to overcome the challenge that Youghal posed. The likes of David Stack, Denis McBarron, Éanna Desmond and Ronan Kelleher have all been important additions to the starting fifteen for Carrigaline this year and undoubtedly this is the best team, with performances to back it up, that Carrigaline have had for many years.

They will now face the winners of Blarney v Ballincollig in this year’s semi-final, the furthest any Carrigaline team has gone in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.

Scorers for Carrigaline: D Drake 2-3, D McBarron 3-0, B Kelleher 0-8 (0-6 f), R Kelleher 0-3, E Desmond 0-4.

Carrigaline Team: M O’Mahony; C Vaughan, S Williamson, D Stack; C McSweeney, C Barry, D Griffin; W O’Brien, E Desmond; S O’Brien, D McBarron, D Drake; B Kelleher, R O’Shea, R Kelleher.

Sub: D King for C Barry (59).

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