It was a game where Carrickshock never really got into their rhythm and this was down to the canny tactics and shrewd hurling of outsiders Erins Own who tried hard to upset the pre-match prediction.
But they could not deny Carrickshock, who were intermediate less than a decade ago, from reaching their first senior hurling final since 1951.
After a tense opening half in which defences were on top, the game looked to be dying a predictable death six minutes into the second half when Carrickshock led by seven points and Erins Own had lost their scoring mojo. But the intermediate champions of 2008 responded to the challenge in fine style reeling off point after point, mainly through the dangermen Michael Murphy and Martin Boran.
And they can consider themselves really unlucky as trailing by one point and with their dander up, Erin’s Own thought they had earned a scoreable free when Carrick defender John Murphy appeared to have fouled an Erin’s Own forward. However, the referee surprisingly signalled the free for Carrickshock and t Erins Own’s best chance of a draw had passed.
The game got the start it needed as Erin’s Own had 1-2 on the board before Carrickshock had settled with points from Gordon Byrne and Peadar Boran and then a goal from his brother Martin after a strong run through the middle by Michael Murphy.
This gave Erin’s Own a platform and Carrickshock, generally looking out of sorts got their first score in the tenth minute when Richie Power pointed a free. Obviously Power was always going to be the focus of the Carrickshock attack and his contribution of 12 points was crucial in the final run in. He won a number of those frees himself though Sean Meally put it up to him in an Erins own defence that was neat, tidy and canny.
Richie’s brother though Kilkenny minor John penetrated in a big way after 20 minutes when he raced in from the right and batted the ball tennis-style to the net for amazingly his side’s first score from play.
Things picked up thereafter for Carrickshock as from then to the break they scored four points from Michael Rice, David Franks, and two from Richie Power, including a huge 85 metre free to leave a side leading 1-8 to 1-4 at the break.
Power pointed another monster free, this time from 95 metres out ten seconds into the second-half and further minors from Pat Tennyson and Richie Power pushed Carrickshock into a 1-11 to 1-4 lead with 25 minutes left and it seemed that the Erin’s Own fire was being slowly and methodically quenched.
Leadership was required especially up front and it came from Martin Boran and Michael Murphy, supplemented by strong showings at midfield from captain Ronan Ryan and Gordon Byrne. All four players grabbed points as Erin’s Own upped the intensity and started to rein in the favourites on the scoreboard. Though Power kept recording a free every now and again, Carrickshock couldn’t shake off their eager opponents and Martin Boran from play and a point from a 65 by centre back Damien Fogarty (son of Martin) had the margin down to a point.
Unluckily they lost Martin Murphy for three minutes as he was being patched up following a blood injury. Then came the disputed free, and as the clock was running down on 64 minutes Damien Fogarty had a free 60 metres out. But 27 players from both sides had converged into the Carrickshock half.
The free dropped short, was intercepted and the game was up. Carrickshock now go on to face O’Loughlin Gaels in a novel final pairing.
Scorers for Carrickshock: R Power 0-12 (0-11 frees), John Power 1-0, Jamie Power, M Rice, P Tennyson, D Franks 0-1 each.
Scorers Erins Own: M Boran 1-4, M Murphy 0-3 (0-1 free), G Byrne, R Ryan, D Fogarty (0-1 free, 0-1 65) 0-2 each, P Boran 0-1.
CARRICKSHOCK: P Farrell, J Murphy, J Dalton, L Gaule, D Franks, N Tennyson, P Mulcahy, W Hoyne, J Tennyson, P Tennyson, M Rice, Jamie Power, John Power, R Power, A Power. Subs. M O’Dwyer for A Power (39 mins), J Cahill for W Hoyne (48 mins), M Rohan for P Tennyson (61 mins).
ERINS OWN: T Brophy, J Mullins, S Meally, P O’Donovan, G Callinan, D Fogarty, C Fogarty, R Ryan, G Byrne, J Byrne, M Owens, D Meally, P Boran, M Murphy, M Boran. Subs. D Buggy for Murphy (temp sub 55 mins).
Referee: Sean Cleere (O’Loughlin Gaels).