Kilworth marched on to the semi-finals of the Cork PIHC with a well-deserved win over Carrigaline in Watergrasshill on Saturday afternoon.
They led by 1-23 to 2-11 as the clock ticked past 60 minutes before a late 2-1 burst from Rob O’Shea put Carrigaline back in the game and tested the mettle of the large Kilworth support’s nerves. However, they managed two injury-time points of their own through Noel McNamara to ensure that O’Shea’s late heroics were in vain.
Kilworth’s ability to respond to Carrigaline’s goals was a key feature throughout the game and the goal threat of the Carrigdhoun men was something that Kilworth manager Shane Tobin had discussed with his players beforehand.
“We’d seen Carrigaline the last two weeks and we knew they were good at getting goals and that they’d some fine players and we’d the lads well drilled on it. The work rate had to be right we told them not to drop the heads if they conceded a goal and to just focus on getting the next score and it worked for us today, thank God.”
Carrigaline did start the better and after David Drake had traded points with Liam Whelan, Peter Ronayne struck for their first goal in the fifth minute. Further Carrig points from O’Shea and Brian Kelleher were then matched by Noel McNamara to leave Ronayne’s goal between the teams at the end of the first-quarter, 1-3 to 0-3.
Kilworth took control after that with Dave Twomey sweeping brilliantly across the half-back line while Eoin Carey and Liam Whelan caused Carrig endless problems with their strong running from deep.
The Avondhu side reeled off four points in a row through Whelan, Will Condon, Brian Tobin and McNamara to take the lead for the first time. Kelleher then levelled matters with a good score from play before Eoin Carey and McNamara put Kilworth back in front.
Kelleher made it a one-point game with a free but then came Kilworth’s only goal of the game when Jamie Sheehan finished well after being set up by Carey. There was then time for Carey to land his second point and give his side a 1-10 to 1-5 half-time advantage.
Carrigaline’s troubles weren’t helped when they lost David Griffin to injury just before the break, as he’d been limiting McNamara’s impact from open play.
The teams went tit-for-tat after the break as McNamara added three more points to his tally and Sheehan had a point to go with his earlier goal while points from Kelleher (2), Wesley O’Brien and Eanna Desmond still left Carrigaline trailing by five.
Killian McIntyre then smashed home a cracking goal to leave just two in it and all the pieces seemed to be in place for a grand finale. Kilworth’s response to the challenge was as ruthless as it was impressive, however, as they outscored Carrigaline by 0-9 to 0-2 in the final quarter. Will Condon helped himself to three points, Sheehan added two while Eoin McGrath, Tobin, Carey and McNamara had the others.
Brian Kelleher was on target twice for Carrigaline before Rob O’Shea launched his late, late show but Kilworth were not to be denied and Tobin was already looking forward to the semi-final clash with Inniscarra in two weeks.
“Inniscarra have come through a tough draw. They’ve beaten Ballinhassig, they’ve beaten Mallow and they’ve beaten Castlelyons today. They’ll be tough, but we’re there, that’s the main thing, and we’ve two weeks to work on it.”
Scorers for Kilworth: N McNamara (0-10, 7 frees, 1 ’65); J Sheehan (1-3); W Condon (0-4); E Carey (0-3); L Whelan and B Tobin (0-2 each); E McGrath (0-1).
Scorers for Carrigaline: R O’Shea (2-2, 1-1 frees); B Kelleher (0-7, 5 frees), K McIntyre and P Ronayne (1-0 each); W O’Brien, D Drake and E Desmond (0-1 each).
KILWORTH: K Walsh, M McNamara, K Lane, M O’Connor, N Byrne, D Twomey, A O’Hara, B Tobin, E McGrath, T Twomey, L Whelan, E Carey, J Sheehan, N McNamara, W Condon. Subs: S Keane for T Twomey (inj, 20 mins), P Moakley for Sheehan (58 mins), N O’Brien for Condon (60 mins) and M O’Callaghan for Tobin (63 mins).
CARRIGALINE: R Foster, L Condon, D Griffin, C Vaughan, K O’Connell, S Williamson, Kevin Kavanagh, W O’Brien, J McCarthy, K Dwane, R O’Shea, D Drake, B Kelleher, P Ronayne, K McIntyre. Subs: Kieran Kavanagh for Griffin (inj, 31 mins), E Desmond for Dwane (h/t), C Barry for McCarthy (h/t), K O’Reilly for Ronayne (51 mins) and D McBarron for Desmond (57mins).
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada).