Crafty Carrig find extra gear

Carrigtwohill 1-13 Glen Rovers 0-14

At times in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday, Carrigtwohill looked rusty and off championship pace, but the holders still had enough craft to see off a stubborn Glen Rovers side in booking a Cork SHC quarter-final date with either Sarsfields or Blackrock.

It’s been three long months since Carrig’s win over Courcey Rovers, so that sluggishness, particularly in the second-half, is probably self explanatory. Carrig boss James O’Connor was not too perturbed though, citing the long break from championship action as a telling factor But he was very happy with the win.

“Yes, I’m happy,” said O’Connor afterwards.

“I would certainly have taken a six point half-time cushion before the match, but I was disappointed with our second-half performance. I’m certain though we will get better.

“There’s no comparison between league outings and championship action, we simply weren’t up to the pace of the game in the second-half and they nearly caught us. In the end though I thought our fitness told, at times we hurled really well and the aggression and willpower was still there. Defensively we were terrific, the Glen were never able to break us down.”

There was nothing sluggish about Carrig’s start to the contest though — they had two points on the scoreboard before the Glen knew the game was on with Niall McCarthy and Mickey ‘Da’ Fitzgerald firing over lightning scores.

Pat Horgan, closely marked by Pat O’Sullivan – both got quick yellow cards — did convert a Glen free in the fourth minute, but Carrig, with wind advantage, looked hungrier and had the game’s only goal in the sixth minute, a crucial score.

Ironically, it could have been a Glen score at the other end, Carrig keeper William McCarthy grabbing Dean Brosnan’s weak effort before finding wing back Michael O’Riordan in space. His long cross-field delivery was a beauty to Robert White, who skipped past Graham Callanan before firing a peach past Declan Hourihan.

The Glen did have their chances though. Horgan and David Busteed failed to get a touch in a goalmouth scramble, Paul Virgo then missed a good opportunity before further points from Fitzgerald and Steve Dineen earned Carrigtwohill a 1-4 to 0-2 lead after the opening quarter.

The Glen were always in the contest, though Carrig’s blocking and tackling was exemplary, and, after Callanan got their third point, Horgan then missed a free and Dean Brosnan another good opportunity. The Glen were too reliant on Horgan for scores – he got nine of their points – but further points from Fitzgerald and midfielder Daniel O’Mahony pushed Carrig into a comfortable looking 1-9 to 0-6 interval lead.

And what a cracking second Carrig goal we might have seen had the nippy Dineen not fumbled the ball after a mazy run through the Glen defence in which Shane Kennefick had a fine outing, clearing a vast amount of ball.

Glen resumed with Brian Moylan partnering Virgo at midfield and Horgan roaming around the middle of the park. But they were never able to master a solid Liam O’Sullivan and David O’Mahony, with Noel Furlong also marshalling his defence to perfection.

Indeed it was Carrig who stretched their lead with a Dineen point, after Horgan had missed a free, but the champions seemed to lose their way subsequently as a now sharper Glen side came at them.

Two free conversions followed from Horgan, as well as a point from play, and, entering the third quarter, only four points separated the sides, 1-10 to 0-9.

But Carrig always seemed able to up a gear when danger lurked and another Fitzgerald free followed by a point from Jason Barrett restored their cushion, though it got nervous again when the Glen began to rattle over a few more points, three from Horgan and one from Dean Brosnan.

With six minutes remaining all that separated the sides was White’s crucial first-half goal, 1-13 to 0-13, and the Glen looked to have the bit between their teeth. But they could not break down a resolute Carrig defence, one last gasp opportunity to save the game going abegging when substitute Kevin Barry fired over the bar when a goal was so urgently required.

Scorers for Carrigtwohill: M Fitzgerald 0-6 (3fs), R White 1-0, N McCarthy and S Dineen 0-2 each, D O’Mahony, T Hogan (65) and J Barrett 0-1 each.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-9 (4fs, 1 65), B Phelan, G Callanan, P O’Brien, D Brosnan and K Barry 0-1 each.

CARRIGTWOHILL: W McCarthy; R Power, P O’Sullivan, A Garde; M O’Riordan, N Furlong, C O’Connell; L O’Sullivan, D O’Mahony; S Dineen, J Barrett, R White; T Hogan, N McCarthy, M Fitzgerald.

Sub: B Lordan for Hogan (44).

GLEN ROVERS: D Hourihan; S Kennefick, S McDonnell, G Moylan; B Moylan, P O’Brien, G Callanan; B Phelan, P Virgo; D Brosnan, D Cunningham, J Anderson; E Cronin, P Horgan, D Busteed.

Subs: K Barry for Anderson (36m), C Healy for Virgo (41), D Goggin for Busteed (46), A O’Brien for Cronin (56).

Referee: D Copps (Ballyhea).



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