McNamara delivers for Blarney

BLARNEY are back and meaner than ever.

The message was stark in Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday as they added another chapter to a thrilling journey through the Evening Echo Cork Co Premier IHC.

After leading for the majority of this cracking contest, Tracton brilliantly came back to even the scores in the dying moments. Most would have accepted the result. But, the whistle was yet to blow and Blarney weren’t finished.

Peter Ahern grabbed what appeared to be the winner with a majestically cut line ball. But, captain Ross McNamara — who had already bagged two excellent goals — tipped home their fourth green flag as they dramatically secured a semi-final spot against Ballyhea, Ballincollig or Watergrasshill.

Tracton can consider themselves terribly unlucky to be out of the championship. They showed great heart after falling seven points behind in the first-half. A pair of goals after the break, within a two- minute spell, touched home by full-forward Sean Sullivan, helped them draw level 10 minutes after the restart and they actually went ahead twice towards the end, but Blarney just wouldn’t give in.

Blarney had begun this match poorly but goals from Brian Deasy and McNamara settled the mid Cork outfit. Nodwell, Brian Hurley, Gerard O’Donovan and John Hurley then increased the margin to 2-7 to 1-5 after 30 minutes.

When McNamara was set up by Brian Hurley, his goal stretched the advantage even further. But, the alarm bells rang for Tracton. They turned the game around admirably. Ray Dwyer, Robert Cronin and Kieran Lynch were in the thick of the action and twice Sean Sullivan was on hand to steer home deliveries from Frank Walsh and Chris Lordan.

Out of the blue, the sides were level on 40 minutes as Tracton played with the wind. Blarney then pulled a trump card from their pack as promising minor Mark Cremin came into the battle at corner forward.

John Hurley and Ronan Walsh traded points before Cremin struck two unbelievable points to give Blarney a slight gain, but Tracton sub Kieran Corrigan equalised with a fine effort. Normal time had elapsed, but referee Ger O’Connell added on a few minutes. It was during this time that Blarney brought the game to another level notching 1-1.

Scorers Blarney: R McNamara 3-0, J Hurley 0-6 (0-5 frees), B Deasy 1-0, B Hurley and M Cremin 0-2 each, G O’Donovan, P Nodwell and P Ahern (lineball) 0-1 each.

Tracton: S Sullivan 2-2, R Walsh 0-6 (frees), M Sullivan 1-1, F Walsh, K Corrigan, and C Lordan (free) 0-1 each.

BLARNEY: R Byrne; D Cronin, P O’Leary, D O’Donovan; J Jordan, J Hughes, S O’Donoghue; M McCarthy, P Ahern; P Nodwell, J Hurley, B Hurley; B Deasy, R McNamara (capt), G O’Donovan.

Subs: C Sheehan for P Nodwell (ht), M Cremin for M McCarthy (40 mins).

TRACTON: M Quinn (Capt); B Lynch, D Kelleher, R Dwyer; K Lynch, M Desmond, C Lordan; R Cronin, F Lynch; J Kingston, F Walsh, G Kingston; R Walsh, S Sullivan, M Sullivan.

Subs: D Walsh for G Kingston (39), K Corrigan for F Lynch (53).

Referee: G O’Connell (Lisgoold).

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