Rangers up the ante to over-run 14-man ’Town

Cork SFC semi-final

Rangers up the ante to over-run 14-man ’Town

The misfortune which befell key Bishopstown defender Jamie O’Sullivan just before half-time, dismissed after receiving yellow and black cards in quick succession, greatly influenced the outcome of this Cork SFC semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.

However, the real reason proud Carbery Rangers are in the final for the first time is because of their admirable response to what the management regarded as “lackadaisical” play in the first-half.

Notably, while Kevin McMahon inspired them with an early goal, the best they achieved over the next half hour was to be on level terms four times. How the second-half would have unfolded had O’Sullivan remained on the field is a matter of speculation, but what’s not in dispute was the rapid improvement achieved by the West Cork side in the opening minutes of the second-half, achieving a dominance which tuned into a rout.

“It came easy in the finish and it’s nice to get over the line eventually and represent the parish in a final,” said selector Michéal O’Sullivan.

“We were very lackadaisical in the first-half. We have taken three beatings in county semi-finals and we said, first 10 [minutes] we have to go flat out. But we were average, we weren’t where we wanted to be. We made three changes at half time and it upped the ante among the rest of them because the comfort zone went. The game was swaying in our favour and obviously the sending off compounded that.”

Bishopstown selector Leo Jones felt O’Sullivan’s dismissal “changed the whole course of the game”, adding: “We had a lot of injuries coming into the game. We lost Michael Power and Brian Coffey, but we are not making any excuses, Carbery Rangers were by far the better team in the second-half. We wish them well in the final.”

Late replacement Patrick Cronin scored the Bishopstown goal after nine minutes and was unlucky to be denied a second by the crossbar. On balance, there was little between the teams, with John Hayes as ever the key figure in the Carbery Rangers attack and both sides enjoying control around midfield at different stages. And the fact centre-back O’Sullivan and Diarmuid Lester alongside him were able to point during a pronounced period of dominance in the second quarter indicated Bishopstown’s potential, Sam Oakes prominent in the corner.

Prior to being sent off on the half-hour mark, O’Sullivan had set up Mark O’Driscoll for a Bishopstown point and while John Hayes cancelled this out, Oakes scored in injury time to see the city side lead 1-6 to 1-5 at the break.

The Rosscarbery side thundered into the game on the resumption and it was significant two of the three points they gained in as many minutes came from Declan Hayes, one a number of players to make a significant contribution to their scoring surge. Another was sub Brian Hodnett and he was to be rewarded with a superb goal 10 minutes from the end.

In general, they achieved a marked improvement all over the field, with Kevin McMahon and James Fitzpatrick excelling, Anthony Roche doing some very good defending and, along with the consistent threat posed by John Hayes, wing-forward John O’Rourke was another star performer.

Bishopstown simply had no answer, being over-run in defence and finding it all the more difficult to penetrate when spurning the handful of scoring chances they created. And the game was as good as over before Fiachra Ó Deasunaigh got their only other score, with Cronin being denied again with a ground shot which came back off the upright into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Scorers for Carbery Rangers: B Hodnett (1-2), J Hayes (0-5, 3fs), J O’Rourke (0-4), D Hayes (0-3), K McMahon (1-0), B Shanahan (f), J Fitzpatrick, S Murray (0-1 each).

Scorers for Bishopstown: P Cronin (1-0), S Oakes (0-3, 1f), D Lester, J O’Sullivan, M O’Driscoll and F Desmond (0-1 each).

CARBERY RANGERS: P Shanahan; M O’Donovan, B Shanahan, A Roche; T O’Rourke, P Hodnett, J O’Riordan; K McMahon, J Fitzpatrick; A Jennings, S Hayes, J O’Rourke; D Hayes, J Hayes (capt), S O’Neill.

Subs: M Kelly for O’Donovan, S Murray for O’Riordan and B Hodnett for O’Neill (ht), K Fitzpatrick for J Fitzpatrick (52), C O’Donovan for S Hayes and C O’Rourke for Roche (55).

BISHOPSTOWN: K O’Halloran; C Davin, E Byrne (capt), N O’Donovan; C Dorman, J O’Sullivan, D Lester; A O’Connor, M O’Driscoll; J McLoughlin, F Ó Deasunaigh, D O’Connor; S Oakes, P Cronin, D Crowley.

Subs: P Honohan for O’Connor (40), J O’Shea for Crowley (48), M Dorgan for O’Donovan (bc, 48), B O’Callaghan for Honohan (55), E Deasy for D O’Connor (58).

Ref: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).

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