Killian McIntyre registered 1-2 for Carrigaline including a major in second-half added-time that broke 13-man Mallow’s admirable resolve in trying circumstances.
Carrigaline led 0-16 to 1-11 before McIntyre flicked a tidy shot across goalkeeper Aidan Long to the corner of the net for the last score of an absorbing contest.
Afterwards, Carrigaline manager John Middleton paid tribute to his players.
“We knew the level of challenge we faced in Mallow tonight,” he said. “But the attitude of our players was most pleasing. The work-rate of Tony Murphy and Killian McIntyre, doing thankless jobs, was incredible.
“Mallow performed really well, especially in the circumstances. Sometimes, though, it is difficult to play with a numerical advantage.
“I said to the lads at half-time to keep it calm in the second half, be composed. And, thankfully, it worked out for us tonight.”
Five minutes into the first-half an unnecessary skirmish developed. The vast majority of players were involved and it resulted in Mallow’s full-back Killian O’Connor being given a straight red card.
Later, in added-time at the end of opening half, their wing-back, Ronan Mills was dismissed for a second bookable offence much to the disgust of the Mallow contingent. Facing into the second half with 13 men was, to put it mildly, not ideal.
Yet, Mallow’s display was defiant thereafter and were it not for their profligacy – they hit nine second-half wides and 16 overall – the result would most likely have been reversed.
Paul Lyons, in particular, was superb for Mallow contributing 0-3 in open play as well as linking play brilliantly in the middle-third.
However, with Rob O’Shea extremely accurate from placed balls especially – the wing-forward finished with 0-5 including nailing three frees and a 65 – Carrigaline were able to maintain their final-quarter lead.
Once Simon O’Brien, scorer of 0-4, equalised for Carrigaline on 45 minutes making it 0-12 to 1-9 – Denis Hayes raised a first-half green flag for Mallow – Middleton’s charges fought ferociously to build on their momentum.
In fact, from the fourth minute of the second-half they outscored Mallow 1-8 to 0-2.
Still, during this spell O’Shea had pushed Carrigaline 0-15 to 1-9 clear but points from Sean Hayes and Lyons brought Mallow to within one point on 58 minutes.
Tony Murphy, though, a powerful presence, collected a ball over his head, swivelled and fired over an outstanding point for Carrigaline to give them much-needed breathing space heading into added-time.
There was still time for a Mallow goal to rock them but it was Carrigaline that conjured a definitive major through McIntyre.
Mallow had led 1-7 to 0-8 at half-time but inaccuracy also hurt them thereafter.
K McIntyre 1-2, R O’Shea 0-5 (0-3 f, 0-1 65), S O’Brien 0-4, W O’Brien 0-2, D Drake, S Corcoran, T Murphy 0-1 each.
D Hayes 1-0, P Lyons, P Herlihy, S Hayes (0-2 f, 0-1 65) 0-3 each, D Hayes, J O’Hanlon 0-1 each.
A Long; J O’Hanlon, K O’Connor, D Sheehan; A Lutrell, F O’Neill (capt), R Mills; C Murphy, K Sheehan; P Lyons, G Hayes, P Herlihy; D Relihan, D Hayes, S Hayes.
D Moynihan for Lutrell (23).
R Foster; P Ronayne, D Griffin, Kieran Kavanagh; C MacSweeney, K O’Connell, S Williamson; W O’Brien, Kevin Kavanagh; R O’Shea (capt), S Griffin, S O’Brien; K McIntyre, T Murphy, D Drake.
P Mullane for Griffin (37), S Corcoran for Williamson (46).
Mark Maher (St Finbarr’s).