Versatile Carbery ready to take next step

Sunday’s county SFC semi-final with Nemo Rangers in Páirc Uí Rinn (2pm) represents Carbery Rangers fifth appearance in six years in the last four.

Versatile Carbery ready to take next step

Only in 2013, when Bishopstown blitzed them early in their quarter-final, have the Rosscarbery outfit failed to reach the semi-finals, while last year they made it to the final and led early in the second half against Ballincollig before being reeled in.

Such levels of consistency — especially from a club which only made its senior bow in 2011 — are to be applauded, but Ross defender Brian Shanahan makes the case that it can be looked at another way “From the inside looking out, we find it very frustrating that we’re knocking on the door and haven’t quite made it.

“We know we’re good enough and we’re hoping to get over the line at some stage.” Last year was the closest they have come to getting their hands on the Andy Scannell Cup. When sub Seán O’Neill pointed in the 43rd minute, they led 1-10 to 1-9 but didn’t score again as Ballincollig reeled off four unanswered points.

It was a crushing disappointment, but a resolution was made in the dressing room that they would be back.

“The soul-searching started straight after the game,” Shanahan says.

“Everyone made an agreement that there was nobody going anywhere, on the basis that we had unfinished business. When we came back in January, it was a case of looking at what we could do differently to improve and to put in better performances than we had when we came up short.”

As it happened, their next championship fixture was a first-round defeat to last year’s Premier IFC champions Valley Rovers as the concession of late goals ambushed them. But the second round match against Clyda Rovers soon after began the turnaround, with subsequent wins over Ilen Rovers and Duhallow since the resumption of action in July.

“The format of the championship is a bit of a disaster, I think,” Shanahan says.

“You’re playing two championships, really. When we won round two, the management were very sensible, they knew how much of a break was needed to get fellas to come back and peak rather than training all the way through or taking a five- or six-week break.

“We built up again as if we were starting a new season and it’s a case of trying to keep that momentum going now.”

In the run so far, Shanahan has filled three different positions while he appeared at centre-forward a few years ago. He isn’t alone in that as Kevin MacMahon, John O’Rourke and James Fitzpatrick are just a few others who have proven their versatility.

“I played midfield for the first game, full-back for the next one and then either centre-back or full-back since,” he says.

“The lads set out jobs for us to do and I’d be more focused on that job rather than wondering why I’m in a certain position. It’s a good attribute to be able to play in a few areas and that filters down to numbers 25, 26, 27. It’s a demand really, if you’re put in a position you have to adapt quickly and guys get on with it. Ultimately, I think it leads to a better all-round player.”


Cork PIHC relegation play-off

Inniscarra v Kilworth, Mallow, 7.30pm

Inniscarra lost after extra time to Mallow and ran Cloyne close but were beaten by 3-20 to 0-5 against Valley Rovers in the third round in July. Aidan O’Mahony’s free-taking will be key. Kilworth lost to Blarney, Tracton and Bandon, with their most recent outing at the end of June.



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