Crowley leads Bandon’s early blitz

Bandon made a real statement of intent on Saturday night in Ballinaspittle, comfortably beating Carrigaline in the last eight of the Premier IHC before a huge attendance.

While the scoreline might not appear too lopsided, it succeeds in masking the gulf in class between the teams and the West Cork side can look forward to a semi-final with Youghal next Saturday night.

The game was over at half-time and central to that was corner-forward Ronan Crowley who bludgeoned the Carrigaline defence with 3-4 in a devastating scoring exhibition.

Indeed, on such form, it was hardly surprising that every ball was channelled in his direction and he showed skill, speed and no little confidence in skinning his marker twice in the opening 10 minutes before drilling home from 20 metres for two carbon copy goals.

He notched his hat-trick on the half hour mark when he took advantage of some poor Carrigaline defending before lashing home his side’s fourth for a half time scoreline that saw them lead 4-7 to 0-5 points.

Though Crowley ended up embellishing his first half tour de force with two more splendid efforts in the closing 30 minutes, he wasn’t the only jewel in the crown of a team managed by Cork legend Teddy McCarthy as centre-back Donough Lucey must be credited for his input.

Lucey, man of the match when Bandon won the lower intermediate grade last year, showed some superb touches, high-fielding and used possession wisely. Crucially, he negated the influence of the Carrigaline talisman David Drake, restricting the Cork U21 star to a solitary point.

Though they did concede two goals in the second-half, thus keeping them honest, there was a ruthlessness about their performance that was easy on the eye. Forwards Michael Cahalane and Mark Sugrue dovetailed to great effect and pinched 1-6 from play between them.

The latter’s goal on 11 minutes came when he grabbed a James O’Donovan clearance over Joe Moran’s head before pinning his ears back and arrowing an unstoppable drive to the net.

Credit must go to Carrigaline however, as though 2-12 is a good tally – enough to win most games, they just left themselves with too much to do.

When they did threaten a comeback it was Tony Murphy and Stephen Corcoran as well as sub Killian MacIntyre at the heart of it. The last two notched a goal each but the closest they came to Bandon was nine points. Rob O’Shea and Simon O’Brien had points too but it was purely academic. They’ll take some heart from the fact their side is backboned by a band of players in their mid 20s but won’t offer them much consolation in a game where they were soundly beaten.

Scorers for Bandon: R Crowley 3-6 (3fs), M Sugrue 1-2, M Cahalane 0-4, D Crowley, N O’Rourke, R Payne 0-1 each.

Scorers for Carrigaline: T Murphy 1-2 (2fs), S Corcoran 1-2, R O’Shea (3fs), S O’Brien (1 45) 0-3 each, K MacIntyre, D Drake 0-1 each.

BANDON: J McSweeney; P Crowley, J O’Donovan, J Burke; E O’Donovan, D Lucey, P Murphy; J Harrington, C Dullea; N O’Rourke, M Sugrue, D Crowley; M Cahalane, J McCarthy, R Crowley.

Subs: M McNamara for J Harrington (23), R Payne for N O’Rourke (48).

CARRIGALINE: R Foster; C McSweeney, G Harrington, G Dillon; C Hurley, J Moran, C Barry; R O’Shea, K Kavanagh; N Coakley, P Murphy, D Drake; S Corcoran, T Murphy, S O’Brien.

Subs: D Bagnall for C McSweeney (20), K O’Connell for J Moran (h/t), K MacIntyre for G Dillon (40).

Referee: Kevin Murphy (Nemo Rangers).

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