Premier 2 Championship Quarter-Final Replay v Éire Óg in Carrigtwohill on Monday 28th August 2017
Carrigtwohill 3-17 Éire Óg 4-07
This game may not quite have scaled the heights of the drawn match, yet it was an absorbing contest that ebbed and flowed. The game was a closer contest than the final scoreline would suggest, with only three points separating the sides with three minutes of normal time to go in a (60 minute) match which ran up an incredible 78 minutes on the clock including added time.
There were clearly some early nerves, as it took ten minutes for the match to settle after a stuttering start from both teams. Éire Óg registered a pointed free after 10 minutes. Alex Kidney responded with a point from play two minutes later and doubled his tally with a converted free soon after. John Nolan surged through from midfield and drilled the ball between the posts off the right wing and Justin Oke slotted one over on the turn seconds later to put Carrig three points clear after 20 minutes. Carrig were then caught napping in defence and conceded a poorly defended goal to draw the game. The hosts recovered well with two very well taken points from Justin Oke and David Joseph, along with two pointed frees from Alex Kidney. Carrig then traded two points in injury time (courtesy of Calvin Fitzgerald and Justin Oke) with two Éire Óg ones to lead by four at half-time.
HT: Carrigtwohill 0-10 Éire Óg 1-03
The game exploded into the type of contest that was anticipated straight from the second half throw-in. Carrig goaled after only 11 seconds after a burst through the centre by Justin Oke, setting up Alex Kidney, whose blocked shot was half-volleyed to the net by David Joseph who was starting to storm into the game. Éire Óg set up an attack straight from the resultant puck-out which yielded a goal from a long ball that wasn’t dealt with by the Carrig defence. It was not game-on with two goals inside 60 seconds. Carrigtwohill then settled with a fine spell of attacking hurling that raised four white flags thanks to four pointed Alex Kidney frees and a Justin Oke one from play with only a single point from Éire Óg. Carrig looked to be cruising at this midway stage in the half, with an eight point lead (1-15 to 2-04). However, Éire Óg were to have a much bigger say in this game and after scoring a point 18 minutes in, hit Carrig for two goals in less than a minute, the first one of which required two shots after a brilliant reflex save from goalkeeper, Adam Rooney. With only three points between the teams, Carrig goaled from the next attack with a sniping diagonal run by David Joseph off the right wing and a great finish to the far corner. The second goal-fest of three in two minutes meant that Carrig were now six points in front (2-15 to 3-06) with ten minutes of normal time to play. However, Éire Óg raised another green flag only three minutes later indirectly from a ‘65’, which had resulted from the ball being turned out over the end-line after another outstanding Adam Rooney stop. This was followed up with a pointed free by the visitors to narrow the gap the just two points with three minutes of normal time remaining and it looked like the momentum may have been swinging in Éire Óg’s favour. This was to be their final score, as Carrig added two points from placed balls by Alex Kidney (free) and Justin Oke (‘65’), along with a Calvin Fitzgerald goal after some hard work by Alex Kidney to set it up.
What followed after the goal, which was scored three minutes into added time were another eight – scoreless – minutes of added time, over six minutes having been added in the first half. At least these young hurlers now know what playing senior intercounty hurling for over 70 minutes is like!
Well done to the players and mentors on what was a great all-round performance, with very impressive displays throughout the team. The Éire Óg team and mentors must be commended for contributing to what was a very sporting and competitive game of hurling.
Team: Adam Rooney, Niall Harte, Liam Scriven, Cian Murphy, Cian O’Riordan, Jonathan Spillane, Oscar Cahalane, John Nolan, David Joseph, Neil Coughlan, Justin Oke, Daniel Cahalane, Jack Barrett, Alex Kidney, Calvin Fitzgerald.
Subs used: Daragh Hannigan for John Nolan (inj), Kuba Hoft for Jack Barrett, Seán Ahern for Neil Coughlan.
Scorers for Carrigtwohill: Alex Kidney 0-09 (8 fs), David Joseph 2-01, Justin Oke 0-05 (1 x ‘65’), Calvin Fitzgerald 1-01, John Nolan 0-01.
Referee: Patrick Ryan, Gleann na Laoi.
(Photos courtesy of John O’Brien)