Fielding the bulk of the team that progressed to the All-Ireland final (a narrow loss to Kilkenny champions St Patrick’s), the North Cork side proved far too strong for Ballygarvan in this IHC quarter-final, built on their first-half dominance to cruise to an impressive win.
Right from the first ball Charleville were in control, five points on the board within nine minutes though playing into a stiff breeze, while Ballygarvan were yet to register. With midfielders Daniel O’Flynn and James Casey dominating, they built on that lead to go in at the break 1-10 to 0-4 in front.
Ballygarvan started the second half with two quick goals, giant full-forward Joe Spillane with a spectacular double on a Gary White centre for the first, the same player then keeping alive another high centre for corner-forward Ken Ashton to pounce from close range.
That was that for Ballygarvan, however.
A succession of points from a parade of scorers — Paul Gammell (three), Andrew Cagney (three), Derry Murphy (three), James O’Brien (two), Brendan Dennehy (two), Daniel O’Flynn and sub Mark Kavanagh — and Charleville were home free, semi-final berth secured.
On this form, they’re going to take beating. It’s not just that midfield and the all-fronts attack, it’s tenacious defence, epitomised by the Dennehy brothers Alan and Brendan and Michael O’Flynn in the corner, it’s the manner in which they hunt and support each other, epitomised for the whole hour by man-of-the-match Derry Murphy.
Scorers for Charleville: P Gammell 0-7 (4fs), A O’Connor 1-1, A Cagney 0-4, D Murphy 0-3, J O’Brien 0-3 (1f), J Casey 0-2, D O’Flynn, B Dennehy (2fs) 0-2 each, M Kavanagh 0-1.
Scorers for Ballygarvan: J Spillane 1-1, K Ashman 1-0, M Kennefick 0-3fs; G Spillane, A Murphy, G White 0-1 each.
CHARLEVILLE: N O’Keeffe; M O’Flynn, C Fitzgerald, A Dennehy; G Kelleher, B Dennehy, C O’Flynn; D O’Flynn (c), J Casey; S Butler, D Murphy, B McCarthy; A Cagney, A O’Connor, P Gammell.
Subs: J O’Brien for Butler (24), M Kavanagh for Gammell (inj. 55).
BALLYGARVAN: P Murphy; J Browne, C O’Sullivan, S White; M O’Callaghan, G Spillane, D O’Sullivan; M O’Riordan, G White; M Kennefick, A Murphy, E Ahern; D McCarthy, S Spillane, K Ashman.
Subs: Diarmuid O’Sullivan for A Murphy (30), Donal O’Sullivan for Ahern (49), T O’Halloran for White (49).
Referee: D Carroll (Kanturk).