Expectations will be running high again this season for Carbery Rangers supporters after disposing of a dogged 12-man Clonakilty in a packed Enniskeane last evening, securing a semi-final meeting with either Bishopstown or Clyda Rovers.
Seven days on from dethroning county champions Castlehaven in a replay, it was always going to be a big ask to come back down to earth in such a short time. And while this derby encounter never reached the same heights, the Rosscarbery side showed plenty of will-to-win and lots of self-belief.
Clonakilty set up defensively with Tony Anglin playing a sweeping role. However, this game turned on its head in a crucial five minutes before the break.
Clon’s Jonathan Leahy saw his pile-driver come back off the woodwork and when the ball worked its way up field, Carbery hit them with a goal and two points from dangerman John Hayes. The green flag was as a result of a penalty after the player himself was hauled down and he also slotted a brace of points beforehand. This turnaround yielded a half-time interval lead of double scores, 1-7 to 0-5.
The second half was full of drama as referee Conor Lane sent three Clonakilty players to the line and issued two black cards — one to either side. However, it must also be said this was competitive, but not a dirty match.
It started six minutes into the second half when Clonakilty’s Tony Anglin received a second yellow card. Then county stars Thomas Clancy and John Hayes were black carded for separate fouls around the three-quarter mark. As the game came to its conclusion Clonakilty duo Jonathan Leahy and Sean Nagle both saw red for unrelated incidents that reduced their number to 12.
At the end of an eventful hour, Carbery Rangers manager Michael O’Sullivan was simply relieved.
“Today was always going to be a tough match after the Castlehaven game. We had a lot of fellas bruised over the week. But look, we got a bit of luck on the night. We got a good start, went four points ahead. Clonakilty came back into it, we got lazy. It could have been a different story had their shot hit the net.
“We were always on top in the second half, the fact they had a few players sent off. We won comfortably in the end but we did not put the scores on the board either to make it more comfortable. It could have been easier for us than what it was. There was still only five points in it in the end.
“Bishopstown or Clyda will be tough. They drew last night and whoever wins will have an extra game. We will go to see them now in the replay. But, as it has been all year, it will be one game at a time for us.”
The game started well for Carbery Rangers. Brian Shanahan, John Hayes (2) and Sean O’Neill putting their team 0-4 to nil clear. A David O’Regan free got Clonakilty off the mark in the 15th minute and approaching the interval, helped by the move of Thomas Clancy to midfield, they had drawn level through Colin O’Donovan (0-5 each). Hayes then displayed his composure to shoot that 1-2.
Clonakilty, unnerved by the loss of midfielder Timmy Anglin to injury, were quickly back in contention when David O’Regan’s free from 45m went all the way to the net two minutes after the restart. However, the wheels began to fall off with the first of the sending offs four minutes later. By the three-quarter stage Clonakilty had pegged back the deficit to two points, 1-8 to 1-10, but the numerical disadvantage proved too much as they were outscored four points to nil thereafter.
Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J Hayes (1-7, 1-0 pen, 0-3fs), B Shanahan (0-3, 1 45, 1f), S O’Neill (0-2), J O’Rourke (0-1).
Scorers for Clonakilty: D O’Regan (1-1 frees), J Leahy (0-3, 1f), J O’Mahony (0-2, 1f), D Murphy and C O’Donovan (0-1 each).
CARBERY RANGERS: P Shanahan; M O’Donovan, B Shanahan, A Roche; J O’Riordan, T O’Rourke, P Hodnett; K McMahon, J Fitzpatrick; A Jennings, D Hayes, J O’Rourke; S O’Neill, S Hayes, J Hayes.
Subs: B Hodnett for J Hayes (bc 52), C O’Donovan for D Hayes (57), G Ryan for J O’Riordan (60).
CLONAKILTY: P O’Regan; M Sheehy, F Coughlan, C O’Donovan; D Murphy, T Clancy, S White; S Nagle, Timmy Anglin; Tony Anglin, D O’Regan, J Leahy; G Barry, C O’Donovan, J O’Mahony.
Subs: P O’Sullivan for Timmy Anglin (20 inj), B O’Mahony for C O’Donovan (38), D Lyons for D O’Regan (39), Timmy Anglin for T Clancy (bc 50).
Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer).