Classy Carbery face wait

Carbery Rangers 2-14 Newmarket 0-07

Playing with the wind in the first half, the West Cork side shot into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after just 10 minutes — the goal coming from James Fitzpatrick after three minutes — and from there on it was a case of damage-limitation for Newmarket.

To their credit, the losers battled gamely and showed enough to suggest they will trouble some teams at senior level, but Carbery Rangers had a hunger and an energy about them to indicate they will be there or thereabouts again this year.

Beaten in the last two semi-finals, the Rosscarbery men now face the prospect of another long wait for their next game, something captain Stephen Murray is unhappy about.

“We’re used to it at this stage, but it’s definitely not ideal,” he said. “The way the championship is structured is an absolute joke, we’d much prefer if it was played off a lot sooner over a couple of months, but there’s nothing we can do. We win here in early May and it could be August or September before we play again. We’re used to it by now, though,” he added.

However, Murray stressed the positives, one being that they have a panel to compete once more and, perhaps more crucially, other forwards to take the scoring burden off John Hayes.

“We’ve a strong panel and the lads who came on did well, Kieran [Fitzpatrick] with the second goal that killed off the game for example. So that’s good. You can’t ask for much more out of your first round.

“The first game of the year is about winning and taking the pressure off. We started very well and that set us up. James’s goal settled us and we played very well then in patches, especially coming up to half time.

“The goal settled us and it allowed us get into our stride, but we’ve still plenty of work to do,” concluded Murray.

Carbery Rangers set their stall out early and despite falling a point behind following Daniel Culloty’s free on two minutes, surged ahead with a goal from midfielder Fitzpatrick and two quick points from Declan and John Hayes.

Indeed, that trio were instrumental to the Rosscarbery side’s effort. Fitzpatrick lorded matters at midfield and looked for John Hayes every time he got possession. With John Hayes always looking dangerous, it was a tactic as simple as it was effective.

His namesake, Declan, beside him provided an ideal foil and as well as clipping over a couple of points, his mandate is to clear space for Hayes — one he fulfilled to good effect.

Fitzpatrick and John Lane swapped points by the 10th minute, as did John O’Rourke and Tony O’Keefe by the quarter-hour mark, by which stage Ross led 1-4 to 0-3 and, by half-time, thanks to some outstanding play from John Hayes and John O’Rourke, they were six clear, 1-8 to 0-5.

The second half was a tame affair, Rangers always doing enough to keep their opponents at arm’s length and they killed the game with 12 minutes to go when sub Kieran Fitzpatrick sent a cracking drive to the Newmarket net.

Newmarket now play Aghada in the losers’ round.

Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J Hayes 0-6 (4f), J Fitzpatrick 1-2 (0-1f) , K Fitzpatrick 1-0, J O’Rourke 0-4, D Hayes, A Jennings 0-1 each.

Scorers for Newmarket: D Culloty 0-3 (3f), J Lane, T O’Keeffe, J Ryan (1f), B Daly (1 45) 0-1 each.

CARBERY RANGERS: P Shanahan; P Hodnett, M O’Donovan; A Jennings, B Shanahan, G O’Brien; K McMahon, J Fitzpatrick; M Mennis, J O’Rourke, M O’Riordan; D Hayes, J Hayes, S O’Neill.

Subs: K Fitzpatrick for M Mennis (40).

NEWMARKET: D Quinlan; P Allen, B O’Riordan, J Ryan; B O’Leary, B Daly, M Fitzpatrick; C O’Sullivan, T Murphy; TJ Brosnan, T O’Keeffe, TJ Bodie; J Lane, D Culloty, N Flanagan.

Referee: D Moynihan (Grenagh).

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