A fine second-half comeback effort from St Finbarr’s - during which last year’s beaten county finalists outscored Carbery Rangers by 0-11 to 0-4 - propelled Ray Keane’s charges back into the decider.
Although far from their best, St Finbarr’s reeled in their West Cork opponents before hitting the front in the closing seven minutes. The winners kicked four of the game’s final five scores. Of their 0-11 second-half tally, Stephen Sherlock accounted for 0-6 of that. He finished with 0-10 to his name. This was the second consecutive year where the Barrs got the better of Carbery Rangers at the semi-final stage.
As was the case in their round three and quarter-final wins over Ballincollig and Clonakilty respectively, Carbery Rangers enjoyed much the better of the opening half exchanged and held a healthy 0-8 to 0-4 interval advantage.
The St Finbarr’s defence came under heavy and sustained pressure throughout the opening half hour, with two members of their rearguard, Alan McCarthy and former underage Cork footballer Dylan Quinn withdrawn after 18 minutes. There was no St Finbarr’s filling the traditional centre-back slot and this allowed Rosscarbery pour through the centre time and again. Midfielder Mark Hodnett and Robbie Kiely both kicked point from play having come through this lightly-manned channel.
It was 0-3 apiece after 12 minutes, with the men from West Cork then reeling off five without reply.
The Barr’s, who were bidding to reach a second consecutive final, had only one player - Stephen Sherlock - on the scoresheet. Three of his efforts were from the placed-ball, with only one arriving from open play. They also went 20 minutes without adding to their tally.
It was a completely different story upon the change of ends.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock (0-10, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ‘45); E McGreevey, E Finn, C Lyons, I Maguire, M Shields (0-1 each).
Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J Hayes (0-2 frees), B Shanahan (0-2, 0-1 free, 0- ‘45), J O’Rourke, M Hodnett (0-2 each); R Kiely, S Hayes (0-1 each).
Carbery Rangers: P Shanahan; B Shanahan, P Hodnett, R Hegarty; K McMahon, R Kiely, J O’Riordan; M Hodnett, J Fitzpatrick; A Jennings, J Hayes, B Hodnett; S Hayes, J O’Rourke, Daragh Hayes.
Subs: Declan Hayes for Daragh Hayes (50); C O’Donovan for B Hodnett (60); P Hurley for S Hayes (62)
St Finbarr’s: J Kerins; C Scully, A McCarthy, D Quinn; C Lyons, S Ryan, A O’Connor; I Maguire, E Comyns; D O’Brien, M Shields, E Dennehy; E McGreevey, C Keane, S Sherlock.
Subs: C Dennehy for McCarthy (12 mins); J Burns for Quinn (18, inj); E Finn for Keane (38); G O’Connor for A O’Connor (56, inj); C Barrett for O’Brien (56); C Myers Murray for McGreevey (66)
Referee: J Ryan.