That was the moment Carrigtwohill’s apparently unassailable advantage was carefully deconstructed by the Rathcormac/Bartlemy men.
It forced Dwane’s outfit to stay afloat through Bride Rovers’ dominant phase, at times funnelling 12 men inside their own half to stem the tide of scores, while at the other end attempting to re-launch their first round championship bid.
The success of that operation became apparent in the third minute of stoppages as Tomás Hogan brought his tally into double figure to propel the 2011 champions into the bowl for round four.
Carrigtwohill’s win was far less comfortable than it should have been, but, in many ways, that made it all the more satisfactory as it proved their resolve was very much intact.
“We got a fair old fright there at the finish,” said a relieved Carrigtwohill boss.
“We did let them back into it, but anyone who knows anything about Bride Rovers knows they are the one club in Cork that will never ever die. Their commitment is incredible really. It got really hairy there at the end. We steadied up again and showed good composure. We struck some good scores to see it out.”
Ahead by 1-10 to 2-4 at the break, Daniel Dooley and Shane Walsh supplying Rovers’ green flags, Carrigtwohill tightened the noose around their opponents’ neck early in the second period, swatting six unanswered minors. Tomás Hogan (0-2), Robert White, Shane Fives, Michael Fitzgerald and Jay Horgan found the target to prize open a nine-point gap. The flow of scores aside, Carrigtwohill’s movement and creativity was most impressive — two second-half wides testament to their economy.
It was from this platform, however, which the favourites dropped swiftly down through the gears, content a sufficient advantage had been constructed.
And so began the shift in supremacy.
Liam Forde teed up half-forward Daniel Dooley in ending Bride Rovers’ 22-minute barren spell. Thereafter, Barry Hazelwood’s charges forced open the sluice gates and swept all before them. Dooley again split the posts, with Barry Johnson taking from his lead in pilfering four of their next five scores.
Five minutes from home, Carrigtwohill’s lead had been eroded to two-points, 1-16 to 2-11. Waterford’s Shane Fives, released by Déise manager Derek McGrath for the contest, struck the game’s crucial score in the subsequent action, gathering William MacCarthy’s delivery and splitting the sticks from halfway. Had Bride Rovers closed the deficit to the bare minimum, you’d wonder which way this verdict would have swung.
Dooley posted his third of the afternoon on 57 minutes, but Carrigtwohill imminently responded through substitute Pádraig Hogan. Injury-time efforts courtesy of Hogan and Michael Fitzgerald, provider of their sole green flag, ended Rovers’ rescue mission.
“They never got it back to a one-score game and it was very important we never let them get any closer,” noted Dwane.
“Even at two that is a dangerous lead. There was always that threat of a goal. We are delighted with the win. We knew it was going to be a ferocious battle and that is exactly what it was.
“Sometimes in games you lose the momentum and it is hard to get it back.”
Scorers for Carrigtwohill: T Hogan 0-10 (6f, 1 65), S Fives 0-4, R White 1-1, M Fitzgerald 0-3, P Hogan, D O’Mahony, J Horan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Bride Rovers: B Johnson 0-8 (4f), D Dooley 1-3, S Walsh 1-0, E Murphy, M Leddane 0-1.
CARRIGTWOHILL: W MacCarthy; R Power, A Garde, P O’Sullivan; S Forbes, N Furlong, M O’Riordan; C O’Connell, S Fives; L O’Sullivan, D O’Mahony, T Hogan; R White, M Fitzgerald, J Horgan.
Subs: P Hogan for Horgan (53), J Horan for O’Connell (60).
BRIDE ROVERS: D Fitzgerald; D Carr, B Walsh, M Leddane; L Forde, B Murphy, M Kearney; J Pratt, C O’Connor; B Johnson, B Murphy, D Dooley; M Collins, S Walsh, S Glasgow.
Subs: E Murphy for Glasgow (ht), D Lenihan for Murphy (45), S Kearney for Forde (60).
Referee: J Larkin (Douglas).