Ace Corcoran fires Carrigaline home

A GREAT defensive display, allied to a scintillating performance from right-corner forward Stephen Corcoran, eased Carrigaline into the Evening Echo Cork County IHC semi-final at the expense of Éire Óg at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

After an uneasy start, the Carrigaline defence, marshalled by team captain Geoff Dillon, battened down the hatches in exemplary style, while the sweet-striking Corcoran, with eight points to his credit, caused havoc at the other end.

With good support play from midfielders John Malone and Danny Corkery, Éire Óg dominated the opening sequences but failure to convert gilt-edged opportunities cost them dearly.

Their chief marksman John Crowley was wide from a scoreable free after just 40 seconds of play while shortly afterwards left-corner forward Daniel Goulding agonisingly flicked a cross from wing forward Tim O’Leary wide with a goal at his mercy.

These were crucial misses for Éire Óg, who chalked up a total of nine wide’s in the first half and rarely threatened dangerously again once Carrigaline steadied the ship at the back. With Nicholas Murphy emerging as the most dominant midfielder of the four over the hour, there really was only one side in it.

But it was when Corcoran hit full stride that the tide turned decisively in Carrigaline’s favour. He hit over four points, three from frees, as Carrigaline gradually grew in stature and led by 0-7 to 0-4 at half time.

Centre forward Peter Murphy, with his second point, just 40 seconds after the resumption, gave Carrigaline the perfect start to the second half.

A minute later Tim O’Leary got one back for Éire Óg but then the outstanding Corcoran, with three points in rapid succession, propelled Carrigaline into a commanding lead and as events subsequently transpired, put the game beyond Éire Óg’s reach.

In typical, traditional manner Éire Óg did not throw in the towel but they lacked the forward talent to break down a stylish and resolute Carrigaline defence, in which all six backs performed admirably.

And with the excellent high-fielding Murphy coming in as an extra defender, Éire Óg’s path to goal was resolutely barred. They really never got a look in.

Their only consolation were two points from Crowley which brought them within two points of their opponents within five minutes of normal time remaining.

But the mercurial Corcoran hammered home the final nail in their coffin with a deft shot that yielded the last point of the game that never really caught on fire.

Scorers: Carrigaline: S. Corcoran 0-8 (0-4 from frees); P. Murphy 0-2; N. Murphy 0-1, W. O’Brien 0-1. Éire Óg: J. Crowley 0-4 (0-3 from frees); D. Herlihy, D. Corkery, T. O’Leary 0-1 each.

CARRIGALINE: E. O’Sullivan, A. O’Keeffe, G. Harrington, G. Dillon, J. Moran, C. Hurley, V. Cooney, N. Murphy, A. Kelly, E. O’Keeffe, P. Murphy, T. Murphy, S. Corcoran, P. Foster, W. O’Brien.

Subs: R. Keohane for Kelly; S. O’Brien for Foster; B. O’Driscoll for T. Murphy.

ÉIRE ÓG: K. Murphy; E. Long, D. Keane, A. Herlihy, G. O’Flynn, F. Sheehan, A. O’Mahony, J. Malone, D. Corkery, D. Herlihy, J. Crowley, T. O’Leary, C. Sheehan, D. O’Flynn, D. Goulding.

Subs: B. O’Neill for O’Leary; M. Long for D. Herlihy.

Referee: G. O’Connell (Lisgoold).

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