St Finbarr's saved the best wine ‘till last to comprehensively outplay Carrigtwohill in this one-sided Cork Premier SHC final round clash in Carrigaline on Saturday.
In doing so, they avoided a dreaded relegation battle after suffering heavy defeats in their opening two clashes against Glen Rovers and Na Piarsaigh.
For Carrigtwohill, just one point for their draw with Na Piarsaigh was enough to preserve their premier status but after two good performances this defeat will leave them with a lot to ponder.
“Relief, relief”, was how Barr’s selector and former stalwart John Cremin summed it up afterwards.
“No-one wants to be in a relegation battle where anything can happen. The one big factor tonight was the fact we had two weeks to prepare for this game.
"Ger Cunningham, Donal O’Grady and Ger Regan came on board and with no football to worry about we knuckled down and you can see what the players did tonight.
“In fairness before the previous selectors stepped down it was very difficult for them to get the balance right with hurling and football overlapping.
“We have some very good hurlers in the club, and very good young hurlers, you saw that tonight, they were fantastic and I am so proud of each and every one of them. Their blocking, their tackling their movement, everything was right and although this is our last game it will give us great impetus for next season.
“The hurling skills are there, make no mistake about that, but we must make sure now we are never in this position again.”
The Barr’s were simply awesome from the off, taking a commanding 0-7 to 0-0 lead after the opening quarter with red-hot Eoghan Finn notching four of those, Jack Cahalane, young Ethan Twomey and even full-back John Neville getting in on the act.
Indeed Finn was to finish with a super 10 point total, seven in the opening half which really hurt Carrig.
Carrig, with Niall McCarthy in the starting side for the injured Seamus Roche, simply had no answer to a swashbuckling Barr’s side.
With Damien Cahalane keeping a good eye on the former Cork star around midfield, Carrig failed to sparkle with Finn adding on another two points before Carrig finally got on the scoresheet in the 20th minute with a James Mulcahy point.
Liam Gosnell added three more to get last year’s semi finalists back in the hunt but the Barr’s were in no mood for complacency. Olan Murphy, Billy Hennessy, Eoin Keane and Glenn O’Connor were simply impassable in the Barr’s defence and Twomey’s opening goal just before the halftime whistle, after Finn’s first effort was saved by Carrig goalkeeper Shane Devlin, had the Barr’s comfortably ahead at the break 1-14 to 0-4.
The Barr’s were relentless in the second half their sharp incisive play continuously shutting open the Carrig defence with Conor Cahalane and Twomey, both still just minors, stretching their lead and Carrig were already a beaten side.
On top all over the park, no Barr’s player was below par and entering the final quarter it was a handsome 1-21 to 0-7 lead.
Twomey got his second goal in the 50th minute and the excellent Hennessy a third in the 53rd, this after scoring the best point of the night from the right touch line, with Carrig only able to notch five points from play overall in a chastening defeat.
E. Finn (0-10, 0-7 frees, 0-1 a 65), E. Twomey (2-4), B. Hennessy (1-2), J. Cahalane (0-5), B. Hayes (0-2), J. Neville, C. Cahalane, S. Sherlock (0-1 each).
S. Walsh (0-5, 0-4 frees), L. Gosnell (0-3, 0-1 free), J. McCarthy and L. O Kelly Regan (0-1 each).
S. Hurley; J. Burns, J. Neville, A. Murphy: B. Hennessy, E. Keane, G. O’Connor; C. Walsh, D. Cahalane; C. Keane, C. Cahalane, E. Finn; E. Twomey, B. Hayes, J. Cahalane.
S. Sherlock for J. Cahalane (51m), J. O’Kelly for Twomey (54m).
S. Devlin; B. Twomey, P. O’Sullivan, J. Horgan; D. Rooney, R. Power, A. Walsh Barry; P. Hogan, T. Hogan; N. McCarthy, L. O’Sullivan, J. McCarthy; J. Mulcahy, L. Gosnell, S. Walsh.
C. O’Connell for T. Hogan (39m), S. De Burca for Rooney (41m), L. Kelly O’Regan for J. McCarthy (51m), S. Ronan for Gosnell (52m).
A. O’Connor (Ballygarvan).