In contrast, a Newcestown squad facing a Premier IHC semi-final next weekend, never performed to the same standard.
In simple terms, it boiled down to Carbery Rangers gaining the better return from an attack in which John Hayes again made a major contribution. And that reflected the team dynamic, with selector John Murphy stressing its importance against the wind in the second-half. “We battled hard and retained possession, it was a huge team effort,’’ he said.
“We probably felt (after the draw) there was more in us, but Newcestown are a tough team. I won’t say we were complacent but it’s very hard when the game is on to get back to where you should be. We knew more about Newcestown and we probably nullified some of their key players.’’
Whatever about the difference in form, both sides deserve credit for adopting a disciplined approach and referee Conor Lane – setting the tone with the first two of a dozen yellow cards as early as the third minute – played his part in ensuring a manly contest, free of rancour. And, with Carbery Rangers backed by the wind, their seven-point interval lead was significant in determining the outcome.
Tadhg Twomey kicked the opening point for Newcestown in the second minute and, indicative of the way they struggled in attack, it was their only score until he put over a free at the same stage of the second half. However, they might have snatched a goal in the 14th minute when Hugh Curran crossed low from the right corner and Mike Bradfield back-heeled it, only to be foiled by goalkeeper Maurice Moloney’s quick reaction.
Carbery Rangers had opened up a four-point lead by the 13th minute – helped by two excellent kicks from Brian Shanahan and the accuracy of John Hayes. While unable to maintain that scoring rate, they did excellent work in defence, limiting the threat from Twomey and Curran. Critical, too, was the control of Michael O’Sullivan and James Fitzpatrick at midfield against the Keane brothers.
With Declan Hayes getting in a lot of hard work at wing-forward and John O’Rourke and Alan Jennings also prominent, Rangers stayed in control. But, poor shooting at times and a tendency to overplay the ball prevented them from going further in front.
Leading 0-8 to 0-1 at the break, they came under pressure after Twomey and Fitzpatrick swopped scores. Barry Horgan (who got 0-5 in the draw) got his only score from a free and was followed by Daniel Twomey with a fine kick and then Tadhg Twomey. With the deficit reduced to four points, Newcestown were unlucky when two shots came back off the upright and in remaining time were limited to a 50th minute score from wing-back Eoin Kelly.
That came in between two vital scores from John Hayes which restored Carbery Rangers’ confidence and guaranteed them victory.
Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J. Hayes 0-6 (0-1 free); J. Fitzpatrick (0-1 free) and B. Shanahan 0-2 each; J. O’Rourke 0-1.
Scorers for Newcestown: T. Twomey 0-3 (0-1 free); B. Horgan (free), D. Twomey and E. Kelly 0-1 each.
CARBERY RANGERS: M. Moloney; M. Kelly, K. McMahon, S. Hayes; S. Murray, M. O’Donovan, J. Murphy; M. O’Sullivan, J. Fitzpatrick; D. Hayes, J. O’Rourke, A. Jennings; B. Shanahan, S. Hayes, J. Hayes. Subs: E. Favier for O’Donovan (48); P. Hodnett for Murphy (51); M. Mennis for Murray (53); N. Hayes for O’Rourke (58).
NEWCESTOWN: P. White; G. O’Rourke, J. Crowley, K. Long; E. Kelly, N. O’Sullivan, O. Keane; C. Keane, F. Keane; D. Twomey, T. Twomey, M. Bradfield; B. Horgan, H. Curran, S. Ryan. Subs: B. O’Mahony for O. Keane (50); C. Ryan for O’Rourke (38); J. Curran for Bradfield (60).
Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer).