It took a late 1-4 scoring burst to seal the Carrigdhoun side’s progression to the quarter-finals where a tantalising match up with Nemo Rangers awaits.
There was plenty to admire in Carrigaline’s victory, despite losing midfield lynchpin Nicholas Murphy to injury inside the opening 10 minutes.
Particularly impressive was the scoring threat of David Drake and Killian McIntyre, the efforts of Eoin Kavanagh in the centre of the pitch plus Peter Murphy and Kevin O’Connell’s defensive solidity .
Failing to score during a barren 21-minute second-half spell means there is room for improvement, something team manager Michael Meaney was quick to acknowledge.
“We came into this match with all the talk about Macroom being the hot favourites and we weren’t even looked at,” noted Meaney.
“Look, we were underdogs and we are going to be underdogs again against Nemo but that’s part and parcel of the game. No matter what team they [Nemo] put out they are good players and play a decent brand of football so there is plenty hard work ahead of us over the next two weeks.”
Macroom could only manage four points from open play but were still in contention heading into the closing stages thanks to Fintan Goold, Philip Corrigan and Conor O’Sullivan’s refusal to accept defeat.
Niall Coakley’s 55th minute point edged Carrigaline 1-8 to 0-7 in front shortly before the winners orchestrated their match-winning score. Barry O’Keeffe’s inch-perfect delivery allowed David Drake to slip in behind the Macroom defence and the full-forward made no mistake, rifling the ball to the net.
Earlier, Carriglaine led 1-4 to 0-4 at the end of an opening half bookmarked by Barry O’Keeffe’s third minute goal and a pair of excellent points from impressive half forward Killian McIntyre.
Macroom’s Fintan Goold weighed in with 0-3 but the game looked done and dusted once McIntyre, Eoin Kavanagh and David Drake (free) scores stretched Carrigaline’s advantage to six early in the second period.
Admirably, Macroom staged a mini-revival and fought back to within a goal but the Muskerry side were powerless to prevent Carrigaline from galloping to victory with David Drake floating over a free and a 45 either side of a fine Brian Coakley effort to complete the scoring.
Ivan Casey’s red card deep into injury time only served to add salt to Macroom’s wounds on a night securing victory without the influential Nick Murphy pleased Michael Meaney most.
“Any team would miss Nicholas’ influence and things could have gone badly for us, losing our leader so early in the game,” noted Meaney.
“The squad has been working unbelievably hard for the last nine months. I have to say that I have an exceptional group of players. We have talented young footballers who want to play for Carrigaline and win things with Carrigaline.”
A last eight joust with Nemo Rangers will give Carrigaline’s emerging talent the perfect opportunity to build on Saturday night’s impressive display.
Scorers for Carrigaline: D Drake (1-3, 2fs, 1 45), B O’Keeffe (1-0), K McIntyre (0-3), B Coakley, N Coakley (1f) (0-2 each), E Kavanagh (0-1).
Scorers for Macroom: F Goold (0-3, 2fs), P Lucey (0-2, 1f), T Dineen, C O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
CARRIGALINE: S Mellett; C Barry, K O’Connell, P Ronayne; W O’Brien, P Murphy, C McSweeney; N Murphy, E Kavanagh; N Coakley, B O’Keefe, K McIntyre; B Coakley, D Drake, S O’Brien.
Subs: K Kavanagh for N Murphy (9, inj) S Griffin for E Kavanagh (52), S Maguire for K McIntyre (54, inj), K Forbes for B O’Keeffe (58), A Lynch for B Coakley (60).
MACROOM: J O’Connell; M Cahill, R Buckley, M O’Donnell; S Kiely, C Murphy, D Cotter; F O’Leary, P Corrigan; I Casey, F Goold, T Dineen; C O’Sullivan P Lucey, D Horgan.
Subs: G Angland for F O’Leary (ht); M Cronin for D Cotter (56, inj).
Referee: J Larkin (Douglas)