Senior Hurling Relegation Playoff in Killavullen on Sunday, October 1st at 3pm
Carrigtwohill 2-17 Ballyhea 3-12
Referee: Joe Larkin (Douglas)
What a difference a year makes. Carrig and Ballyhea met in the back door of the championship last year and the Avondhu side overcame a strong Carrig start to ease home by 7 points in the end. Carrig only scored 1-10 that day and 1-5 of that total was missing on Sunday with the absences of Robbie White and Daniel O’Mahony.
Throw-in was 3pm on the dot but Carrig didn’t start playing until seven minutes in. By that time they were trailing by 10 points, 2-4 to no score. For most Carrig supporters this was their first trip to Killavullen and although the well-kept pitch on the banks of the Blackwater was prone to flooding, the tide was stemmed when Carrig withdrew Ronan Power deep in front of the full back line. His presence as the extra man dulled Ballyhea’s attack going forward. Carrig registered their first score on eight minutes with a Liam Gosnell free and proceeded to rattle off 10 of the next 12 points as they imposed themselves on the game. Sean Rohan, Sean Dempsey and Darren O’Driscoll all scored from play and Liam Gosnell added two further points from frees before Ballyhea registered their fifth point; their first score in over fifteen minutes. Power had solidified the back line and Shane Healy, Ollie Baverstock and a native of Killavullen, Colm O’Connell, were on top in their matchups. O’Connell’s trademark runs in particular were a great launching pad for O’Driscoll, Dempsey and Gosnell who were consistently beating their men inside. Carrig narrowed the gap to two points with another Dempsey score followed by a Tomás Hogan 65′ and a fine shot from distance from the impressive Liam O’Sullivan on twenty-five minutes. O’Driscoll and Ballyhea traded a point each to leave Carrig 2 points adrift at the half, 10 points to 2-6. It was a hard-earned fightback but Carrig could have been level or even ahead but for some wayward shooting across the board whilst playing with a strong crosswind. By full-time the wide count was at 14 for Carrig to 5 for Ballyhea.
Ballyhea again made the better of it on the restart with 2 more points inside the first five minutes to stretch their lead to 4. Tomás Hogan then landed a great free from distance before Darren O’Driscoll, excelling after moving to centre-forward, was fed by the marauding Jay Horgan; O’Driscoll then ran through the heart of the Ballyhea defence to sneak the ball into the net. It was the first time the sides were level, 1-11 to 2-8. It was short-lived euphoria however as five minutes later Pa O’Callaghan managed to turn the corner in the Carrig square and Padraic Hogan was forced to pull him down for a penalty. O’Callaghan himself stepped up but his effort to the left-hand corner was spectacularly saved by Shane Devlin and the lines were cleared. Ballyhea did edge ahead by 2 points with fifteen minutes left but Carrig were determined to come out on top and great effort and determination was shown across the field from one to fifteen with Seamus Roche and Tomás Hogan in particular dropping deeper to cover a great amount of space. Over the next ten minutes Liam Gosnell was perfect with the placed ball, putting over three frees from ridiculous angles out on the wing. Ballyhea registered another point in that time to leave the sides level once again with five minutes to go, 1-14 to 2-11. Pa O’Callaghan was then brandished a second yellow card for dissent and Carrig capitalised straight away as Sean Dempsey, outstanding at full-forward, plucked the ball from the sky and buried to the Ballyhea net. The Avondhu side responded immediately with a goal of their own as their desperation gave them impetus and they caught the Carrig defence on the hop. Liam Gosnell answered from play two minutes later but in the sixty-first minute Ballyhea tied it up once more at 21 points apiece, 2-15 to 3-12. Ballyhea had been to extra-time in their two previous rounds but that wasn’t on the cards here as substitute Brendan Twomey, another minor hurler, put Carrig ahead in the second minute of injury-time after great work in the corner. The irrepressible Gosnell, persistently fouled all evening, put over the final point from the wing and cemented his status as one of the best minor hurlers in the county this year. It was a magnificent win and that was reflected in the celebrations at the final whistle. These lads deserved the adulation as they were clapped off by the sizable Carrig crowd at the end.
There aren’t many people in the county that fully understand how the relegation system works or will work going forward but there was no doubt that neither of these two teams wanted to be involved. There was incredible effort, work rate and passion from the off and the Carrig players deserve immense credit for the performance they put in. Credit also deserves to go to the management team of Marty McConville, Peter Hogan, Denis Walsh, Niall Barrett, Damien Donovan and Conor Hemmersley for getting the lads ready and making the necessary changes in-game to get the win. The club would also like to extend its best wishes to Eoghan O’Mahony, Brian Cashman and Cathal O’Sullivan in their respective recoveries from injury and place on record its gratitude to everyone involved in the panel for their efforts this year. Considering the hurdles overcome by this young team and the gulf to be made up from last year’s defeat, there is no doubt but that this was one of the great Carrigtwohill victories at this grade.
Scorers: L. Gosnell 0-8 (0-6f), S. Dempsey 1-2, D. O’Driscoll 1-2, T. Hogan 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1 65′), S. Rohan 0-1, L. O’Sullivan 0-1, B. Twomey 0-1.
Team: 1. Shane Devlin 2. Conor O’Mahony 3. Padraic Hogan 4. Oliver Baverstock 5. Colm O’Connell 6. Ronan Power 7. Shane Healy 8. Liam O’Sullivan 9. Jay Horgan 10. Seamus Roche 11. Sean Dempsey 12. Tomás Hogan 13. Sean Rohan 14. Darren O’Driscoll 15. Liam Gosnell Subs used: 18. Brendan Twomey for 13 Sean Rohan on 44mins
Subs: 17. Conor McCarthy 18. Brendan Twomey 19. Daire Crotty 20. Christopher Keegan 21. Matthew Kidney 22. Paul Barden 23. Cathal O’Sullivan
Many thanks to local photographer John O’Brien for use of his photos. If you would like to acquire any of the photos above then you can contact the club PRO, who will direct you to John, or else you can contact John directly.
1min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 0-1
2min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 1-1
4min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 1-2
5min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 1-3
6min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 2-3
7min Carrig 0-0 Ballyhea 2-4
8min Carrig 0-1 Ballyhea 2-4 L. Gosnell free
9min Carrig 0-2 Ballyhea 2-4 S. Rohan
11min Carrig 0-3 Ballyhea 2-4 S. Dempsey
15min Carrig 0-4 Ballyhea 2-4 L. Gosnell free
16min Carrig 0-5 Ballyhea 2-4 D. O’Driscoll
18min Carrig 0-6 Ballyhea 2-4 L. Gosnell free
22min Carrig 0-6 Ballyhea 2-5
22min Carrig 0-7 Ballyhea 2-5 S. Dempsey
25min Carrig 0-8 Ballyhea 2-5 T. Hogan ’65
25min Carrig 0-9 Ballyhea 2-5 L. O’Sullivan
28min Carrig 0-9 Ballyhea 2-6
31min Carrig 0-10 Ballyhea 2-6 D. O’Driscoll
33min Carrig 0-10 Ballyhea 2-7
34min Carrig 0-10 Ballyhea 2-8
35min Carrig 0-11 Ballyhea 2-8 T. Hogan free
36min Carrig 1-11 Ballyhea 2-8 D. O’Driscoll goal
41min Carrig 1-11 Ballyhea 2-8 Ballyhea penalty saved by Shane Devlin
42min Carrig 1-11 Ballyhea 2-9
46min Carrig 1-11 Ballyhea 2-10
47min Carrig 1-12 Ballyhea 2-10 L. Gosnell free
52min Carrig 1-13 Ballyhea 2-10 L. Gosnell free
53min Carrig 1-13 Ballyhea 2-11
55min Carrig 1-14 Ballyhea 2-11 L. Gosnell free
55min Carrig 1-14 Ballyhea 2-11 Ballyhea’s Pa O’Callaghan sent off
55min Carrig 2-14 Ballyhea 2-11 S. Dempsey goal
55min Carrig 2-14 Ballyhea 3-11
57min Carrig 2-15 Ballyhea 3-11 L. Gosnell
61min Carrig 2-15 Ballyhea 3-12
62min Carrig 2-16 Ballyhea 3-12 B. Twomey
62min Carrig 2-17 Ballyhea 3-12 L. Gosnell