Carbery Rangers are through to the knockout stages of the Bon Secours Cork Premier SFC following their two-point win over Éire Óg in Round 2 at Bandon.
It was their second-half that helped them get the better of a side who beat them in last season’s championship. Having trailed by a single point at the interval, a crucial goal from Darragh Hayes on the 45-minute mark was the catalyst that shaped the win.
They play St Finbarr’s next to determine who will top Group A.
Manager Declan Hayes, who is in his second year in charge, was delighted especially as they didn’t emerge from their group in 2021.
“We were a bit standoffish at the start, hanging on to Éire Óg for the first 10 or 15 minutes. We weren’t happy at all with a lot of aspects of it, but the lads have savage work put in. So we were confident if we were there with 10 or 15 minutes to go, it would tell. “Once we opened up in the last 10 minutes, I was very happy.
“We are playing the Barrs in three weeks so it is a great chance to play a different way. The Barrs are a super team, they are different to a lot of other teams in that they have savage scoring forwards.
“This format is great. You play different teams that play different ways.” A low-scoring first-half went the way of Éire Óg, 0-6 to 1-2 - despite the absence of the injured John Cooper. Kevin Hallissey (2), Daniel Goulding (2), and Colm O’Callaghan the providers as the mid-Cork side opened up a 0-5 to 0-2. O’Callaghan had a great chance of goal but his blasted effort went high and wide.
Carbery Rangers, who weren’t helping their cause with early wides, dug deep and when Alan Jennings slotted a goal in the 21st minute, it got them going.
Jack Kevane nearly added a second, but his low shot was off target.
It took a Colm O’Callaghan point six minutes from time to put distance between the teams.
As the half drew to its conclusion, goals went amiss from Dylan Foley and Peadar O’Rourke, while Ronan O’Toole provided good cover when Kevane broke through again.
The contest was all to play for during the third quarter as Carbery Rangers returned to the pitch with more pep in their step and took the lead for the first time when the O’Rourkes - John and Peadar - pointed.
Goulding clipped over two good frees, and when Darragh Hayes split the posts from a free, the arm-wrestle continued.
The teams were deadlocked twice more, before Carbery Rangers made their move. John Hodnett put Darragh Hayes through, and his finish was superb, 2-7 to 0-10.
The margin could have been greater had Jerry O’Riordan been successful but Chris Kelly tipped the ball out for a ’45, which was cooly converted by goalkeeper Paul Shanahan.
With sub Brian Hurley and Goulding finding the target and reducing the gap to two, the stage was set for a grandstand finale and eight minutes of regulation remaining.
Central to Carbery Rangers getting over the line was their strong finish. Among the subs they introduced were Jack O’Regan who scored his second point, while the experienced John Hayes (recovering from injury) steadied the ship with a free. Peadar O’Rourke put them 2-11 to 0-12 up in the third minute of additional time.
Colm O’Callaghan’s 64th minute goal was the final act but it was too late for Éire Óg, who are next pitted against Carrigaline - neither with points on the board.
D Hayes (1-1, 0-1 free), A Jennings (1-0), J O’Regan and P O’Rourke (0-2 each), J O’Riordan, J Kevane, J O’Rourke, B Shanahan, P Shanahan (’45) and J Hayes (free) (0-1 each).
D Goulding (0-6, 0-4 frees), C O’Callaghan (1-2), K Hallissey (0-2, 0-1 free), Joe Cooper and B Hurley (0-1 each).
P Shanahan; C Daly, T O’Rourke, K Scannell; J O’Riordan, J Kevane, B Shanahan; B Hodnett, J Fitzpatrick; A Jennings, P O’Rourke, J Hodnett; P Hurley, J O’Rourke, D Hayes.
S Linehan for C Daly (35), J O’Regan for J Fitzpatrick (40), J Hayes for D Hayes (50), B Kerr for B Shanahan (59).
C Kelly; M Corkery, M Griffin, J Mullins; D McCarthy, D O’Herlihy, D Dineen; D Kelly, R O’Toole; Joe Cooper, C O’Callaghan, K Hallissey; D Foley. D Goulding, J Kelleher.
B Hurley for D Dineen (45), R O’Flynn for D Kelly (53), D Kirwan for D McCarthy (55), B Thompson for M Corkery (61).
James Bermingham (Bride Rovers).