IN THE end Carrigaline had to dig deep, and were thankful for a productive opening half as they overcame Mallow in the first round of the Cork County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at Blarney last evening.
Their 10-point interval lead (albeit with the aid of a strong breeze) looked secure. However Mallow came back after the break, cutting the margin to five points. Carrigaline finished stronger though, consigning the north Cork side to a second-round meeting with Argideen or Castlelyons.
There were plenty match winners on the Carrigaline side, none more than goal-getters Tony Murphy and Raymond Keohane who struck at vital stages on 17 and 25 minutes — their rich vein of form yielded 1-3 apiece. It was unfortunate for young Mallow keeper Aidan Long who started confidently but he couldn’t hide his disappointment when Tony Murphy batted to the net from his initial save, and then eight minutes later a long Keohane delivery bounced past him as he was distracted by a couple of players in front of him.
The south-east side too, exploited Mallow’s lack of scoring power with outstanding corner forward Aaron Sheehan firing all but three of his side’s points. In contrast Carrigaline were far more prolific and while the opening 10 minutes were even they started to build momentum once the first goal came. While Sheehan converted placed balls coming his way for Mallow, Robert O’Shea was equally productive for Carrig.
They led 1-6 to 0-4 with 10 minutes to go to the break but then the floodgates opened. The second green flag from Keohane unleashed points from all angles with Tony Murphy and Simon O’Brien to the fore. A mention too for Carrigaline custodian Eoin O’Sullivan who played his part as they went to the dressing room deservedly 2-10 to 0-6 ahead.
Mallow introduced Wayne O’Donnell after the break to full forward and with his first touch he set up Sheehan for a goal two minutes later. Mallow were far more effective now all over the park with Sheehan notching another pair of points from frees. Diarmuid Kerrisk was commanding at centre back but they were unable to wear down a Carrigaline side that began to stamp their authority at midfield and half back, especially number 11 Peter Murphy who roamed all over.
O’Shea and Sheehan exchanged flags but the margin remained at five points. And then when it mattered most Carrigaline found a new lease of life. As full back Paul Foster dramatically cleared to deny Mallow a certain goal, Keohane finished in sparkling form at the other end, striking three outstanding points in a final five-minute spell.
Scorers for Carrigaline: T Murphy and R Keohane 1-3 each, R O’Shea 0-6 (0-5 frees), S O’Brien 0-3, D Drake 0-1.
Scorers for Mallow: A Sheehan 1-10 (0-7 frees), J Curtin, M Maher and T O’Riordan 0-1 each.
CARRIGALINE: E O’Sullivan; K McSweeney, P Foster, G Dillon; C Hurley, J Moran, W O’Brien; N Murphy, D Drake; R Keohane, P Murphy, S O’Brien; B O’Keeffe, T Murphy, R O’Shea. Subs: C Barry for D Drake (47), G Harrington for G Dillon (54).
MALLOW: A Long; C Leahy, D Hayes, Jerry Hayes; F O’Neill, D Kerrisk, S Lane; D Coughlan, J Curtin; S Quilligan, Joe Hayes, M Maher; A Sheehan, T O’Riordan, P Herlihy. Subs: W O’Donnell for S Quilligan (ht).
Referee: D Kirwan (Éire Óg).
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