There was nothing particularly memorable about this fourth round clash, nothing fancy or flash from the winners to suggest they’ll trouble Erin’s Own in the next round.
What was noticeable, however, was the tenacious approach of Kidney’s charges.
They tore into every tackle, chased down every Ballymartle player in possession.
To borrow Kidney’s own description, they were dogged, they were rough.
Above all, they were relentless.
Carrigtwohill, having arrived at this juncture via the back road, were led just once.
When Tomas Hogan notched his second point after three minutes, it edged Carrigtwohill into a lead they would hold to the finish. The gap stood at five points at the break and stretched out to nine points entering the final quarter.
Ballymartle raised a gallop towards the final post, but the opposition had long since crossed the finishing line. Indeed, even more striking than Carrigtwohill’s work-rate was Ballymartle’s non-effort.
Ten weeks had passed since their first round win over Glen Rovers.
Carrigtwohill, on the other hand, had a 13-day turnaround from their third round win over Killeagh. A factor?
“No,” asserted Kidney.
“If we had a month to prepare, maybe we could have taken advantage of their long lay-off. But we had only two weeks to prepare after the Killeagh match and we were carrying a lot of injuries. Robert White played with a torn quad muscle and he nearly got knocked out there in the first-half. He scored 1-1, he was unreal. What a soldier.”
Indeed it was White who was central to Carrigtwohill’s opening major, winning a penalty on 11 minutes.
Goalkeeper Shane Devlin was called forward and duly dispatched past his opposite number Declan McCarthy.
The score moved the winners 1-4 to 0-2 in front and it was an advantage they held to the break. Darren McCarthy and Johnny Wallace pared the margin back to three-points in the ensuing passages, but their momentum was quashed with three on the hop from the hugely impressive Darren O’Driscoll (0-2) and Sean Dempsey.
McCarthy struck his third for Ballymartle approaching the break, contributing half of their first-half tally. They trailed1-8 to 0-6 at the change of ends and the climb steepened significantly on 36 minutes when Carrigtwohill struck for goal number two.
Daniel Edmunds committed the foul on Niall McCarthy, Tomas Hogan’s subsequent free came down off the post and was batted to the net by White.
Seamus Corry posted a white flag in response, but Carrigtwohill moved out of reach in registering three of the next four scores — Hogan (0-2) and Jason Barrett on the mark.
Ahead by 2-12 to 0-9 turning the bend for home, the intensity in the Carrigtwohill challenge waned considerably thereafter.
Ballymartle seized on this to bag 1-3 without reply —Johnny Wallace finding the net after Shane Devlin saved Darren McCarthy’s initial effort.
Entering second-half stoppages the scoreline read 2-12 to 1-12, but Carrigtwohill repelled any further attrition of their advantage.
“A very good win,” reflected Kidney. “We are happy with that. It is work-rate, work-rate, work-rate from our lads.
“It wasn’t fancy hurling, but it was tough. I know Johnny Crowley very well and I know he will be very disappointed. Our lads worked very hard the last couple of weeks. They deserve everything.
“Ballymartle got a goal there at the end which we will have a few words with the lads over, but look, Ballymartle have been in the quarter-final and semi-final over the past four or five years non-stop. You had two hot teams there and we were the ones that came out on top.
“Every team strives to start well and it just happened here for us.”
R White (1-1); T Hogan (0-4, 0-3 frees); S Devlin (1-0, pen); D O’Driscoll, J Barrett (0-3 each); L O’Sullivan, S Dempsey (0-1 each).
D McCarthy (0-6, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65); J Wallace (1-2, 0-1 free); J Dwyer, R Dwyer (0-2 each); S Corry (0-1 each).
S Devlin; P Hogan, P O’Sullivan, A Garde; M O’Riordan, N Furlong, L O’Sullivan; C O’Connell, J Horgan; S Dempsey, J Barrett, T Hogan; R White, D O’Driscoll, N McCarthy.
M Fitzgerald for Hogan (57 mins).
D McCarthy; D Dwyer, C Coleman, D Edmunds; L Corry, P Dwyer, R Cahalane; D McCarthy, B Dwyer; B Corry, J Wallace, Jack Dwyer; Jamie Dwyer, K McCarthy, R Dwyer.
S Corry for Jack Dwyer (HT), J Kelly for L Corry (HT), D Kelly for K McCarthy (44), J Ryan for R Dwyer (48).
J Larkin (Douglas).