Prior to this campaign, only once had they managed to take the next step, losing the 2008 final to St Finbarr’s after a replay, but on the basis of Saturday’s dismantling of Carrigaline, they have every chance of a return to the top tier.
After a poor start, they quickly kicked into gear, with all but the last of their points coming from their starting six forwards. It was not just the attacking sextet which shone, though, as midfielder Stephen Ray, wing-back Tomás O’Connell and corner-back Wayne Murphy all impressed. Goalkeeper and selector Paddy O’Shea did well when called upon too, and he was delighted with the display. He admitted: “That’s probably our best performance of the year.”
The game began with Tony Murphy and David Drake putting Carrigaline in front but Anthony Buckley – after missing two before that – and his brother Jonathan quickly Vincent’s level.
While Niall Coakley put Carrig ahead again in the 16th minute, they would score just twice more over the remainder of the contest, as Ray came to the fore at midfield to provide Vincent’s with a platform.
Derek O’Connor and Anthony Buckley put Vincent’s in front for the first time and then Kyle Lynch, one of his side’s best performers, found Buckley, who set up Anthony Harte for a great goal.
A four-point lead had extended to six by half-time, 1-7 to 0-4, and the outcome was more or less decided by the fifth minute of the second half as Jonathan Buckley, Cian Barry and O’Connor all pointed.
Tight defending was ensuring that any Carrigaline attempts to eat into the deficit came to nothing and Jonathan Buckley continued to convert frees while Lynch knitted the attacking play together with some wonderful passes, Barry adding two more to his tally.With three minutes of normal time remaining and the score 1-17 to 0-4, Carrigaline were awarded a penalty as Peter Murphy was adjudged to have been fouled, but Barry O’Keeffe’s spot kick came back off the crossbar, though Drake fisted the loose ball over.
It mattered little, Vincent’s sub Frank Murphy finishing the scoring late on.
Scorers for St Vincent’s: A Buckley 0-5 (0-4f, 0-1 45), A Harte 1-2, C Barry, J Buckley (0-1f) 0-3 each, D O’Connor 0-2, K Lynch, F Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carrigaline: D Drake 0-3 (0-1f), N Coakley, T Murphy 0-1 each.
ST VINCENT’S: P O’Shea; D O’Regan, P Aherne, W Murphy; C Kenneally, K Goulding, T O’Connell; S Ray, S Buckley; J Buckley, K Lynch, A Harte; C Barry, A Buckley, D O’Connor.
Subs: D Collins for Kenneally (18), JP Murphy for J Buckley, A O’Callaghan for Aherne (both 48), D Duggan for Lynch (52), F Murphy for S Buckley (54).
CARRIGALINE: S Mellett; C McSweeney, G Harrington, K Forbes; S Griffin, K Kavanagh, C Barry; N Murphy, E Kavanagh; B O’Keeffe, N Coakley, D Drake; T Murphy, P Murphy, S O’Brien.
Subs: K McIntyre for Griffin (30), C Allen for McSweeney (36), E O’Keeffe for E Kavanagh (41).
Referee: E Sheehy (Newcestown).