The St. Finbarr’s hurlers, though failing narrowly, were first to lead them through the clouded valley. And, on Saturday, in Bandon, theirfootballers showed stomach for a fight to stun Carbery Rangers and pick up their second brace of points in their battle to avoid relegation from the top flight.
It’s still a bit complicated, the Barrs’s still need a result against Douglas next weekend to be absolutely sure, but Robert O’Mahony’s late penalty went a long way to securing their top status.
The goal was certainly heartbreak for Rangers, but, for the way the kept their heads high, with Ronan Curran an inspiration when moved to
full-forward, they got the perfect result for their never-say-die attitude.
A nervous start by both sides,understandably perhaps with so much at stake, and it was the Barr’s who made the livelier start. Unfortunately, Jim O’Donoghue, Fionan Murray and Roy Leahy in turn missed good chances Not that Carbery were faring any better at the other end, where Seamus Hayes and Brian Shanahan were off target.
Eventually, however, the Barr’s, playing with the strong wind at their backs, did find their range through a Murray free and an O’Mahony point from play and with Curran using the ball well out around the 40 they looked lively.
But crafty Carbery, always able to move the ball quickly, responded with a couple of points from the excellent John Hayes to leave the sides level after the opening quarter at 0-2 apiece.
Play improved considerably in the second quarter as Carbery, with Michael Mennis superb at wing back, upped the tempo.Barr’s keeper Kevin McTiernan had to make a fine save to deny James Fitzpatrick a goal but with the three Hayes — Seamus, Declan and John — strutting their stuff up front Carbery were leading 0-5 to 0-3 when the Barrs’s struck for their opening goal in the 27th minute.
And it was a real beauty. Started by a great through ball from Murray , Cathal McCarthy and O’Mahony combined to set up Leahy and he cracked home a peach to earn the Barr’s a rather flattering 1-3 to 0-5 interval lead.
Carbery were superb after the restart, Micheal O’Sullivan a class act at midfield, and began to cut the Barr’s defence to ribbons. Impressive points from the three Hayes, two from John who was keeping Michael Shields plenty busy, pushed them 0-10 to 1-4 clear by the three quarter stage, only a Leahy free giving the city side some respite.
But the Barr’s are no soft touch and the switch of Curran to full-forward was to prove a master stroke for he kicked three sublime points. And how the Barr’s needed them.
Cathal McCarthy also got in on the act but when Kevin McMahon, who had quiet game, kicked a magnificent 56th minute point to give his side a 0-12 to 1-7 lead, it looked like two more valuable points for Carbery in their battle to stay up.
But the Barr’s gave it one more charge and with O’Donoghue now full of running, thee minutes from time O’Mahony was upended after being put through by McCarthy and the full-forward himself gave Maurice Moloney no chance with a low drive to the keeper’s left.
And when Curran followed with his third point it was the Barr’s who were celebrating, Carbery stunned by those two killer goals.
Scorers for St. Finbarr’s: R. O’Mahony (1-0 pen) and R. Leahy (0-1 free) 1-1 each, R. Curran 0-3, F. Murray 0-2 (frees), C. McCarthy 0-1.
Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J. Hayes 0-7 (0-4 frees), D. Hayes 0-3, S. Hayes 0-2, K. McMahon 0-1.
K. McTiernan; R. Dwyer, M. Shields, P. O’Brien; C. Lyons, D. Bracken, S. Fuller; J. O‘ Donoghue, A. O’Shea; K. Kennedy, R. Curran, C. McCarthy; R. Leahy, R. O’Mahony, F. murray.
Subs: R. McCarthy for Kennedy (23m), I. Keeler for O’Brien (ht), E. Maher for O’Mahony (59).
M. Moloney; J. Murphy, A Roche, S. Murray; G. Ryan, P. Whyte, M. Mennis; M. O’Sullivan, K. McMahon; D. Hayes, J. Hayes, B. Shanahan; J. Fitzpatrick, S. Hayes, M. Ronan.
Subs: D. Creedon for Ronan (42m), M. Moore for Fitzpatrick (56).
D. Farrell (Mitchelstown).