REBEL ÓG FÉ 12 CENTRAL PREMIER 1 HURLING LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL
Sarsfields v Carrigtwohill in Riverstown at 2.30pm on Sunday 15th October 2017
Sarsfields 1-03 Carrigtwohill 1-05
The Fé 12 hurlers made the short trip up the dual carriageway to Riverstown on a damp Sunday afternoon to take on an East Cork team that they previously had wins against in the earlier rounds of the league and in the final of the Colman Dillon Tournament.
The general feeling was that Sars are an improving team that were closing the gap between themselves and Carrigtwohill as the year progressed, so any element of complacency from Carrig could be costly. This very much proved to be the case, as what ensued was a very close game from first to final whistle, with never more than a puck or two of a ball between the sides.
Sars scored first with a pointed free in the fourth minute. A scoreless ten minute spell followed, during which both teams were trying to get to grips with each other and the greasy sliotar. Carrig threatened the Sars goal with one effort cleared off the line and a follow-up one coming off the post. Sars then pointed another free, which was followed immediately by a pointed close range free by Cillian Barry in the 15th minute. Seán Brennan followed with a fine effort from a longer range free two minutes later, in conditions which were not conducive to long striking of the ball. Stalemate followed for the remainder of the first half, with both sides registering wides.
HT: Sarsfields 0-02 Carrigtwohill 0-02
Sars registered the first point from play inside 60 seconds of the restart. Carrig replied three minutes later with a pointed ‘65’ by Séan Brennan. What proved to be the decisive scores of the game came seven minutes into the half. Full-forward Cormac Murphy scrambled a goal with a ground stroke on a loose ball in the square. Straight from the resulting puck-out, Carrig won possession and Shane Buckley scored a fine point from the right corner forward position. This put Carrigtwohill four points up (0-03 to 1-04). To Sars’ credit, they did not give in and scored a goal four minutes later to close the gap back to a point. A ball into the square from a Sars free was not dealt with and an unmarked Sars player pulled on the dropping ball, finding the net, despite it hitting off goalkeeper, Tadhg Sullivan. The last fifteen minutes of the match involved a lot of fighting for possession, the conditions dictating that this was never going to be a free-flowing game of hurling.
Sars did have one late goal chance but it was parried by the Carrig keeper and then put wide by the incoming Sars forward. Patrick Walsh raised the final white flag seven minutes from the end, with possibly the score of the match from a tight angle on the right wing. It was a fitting final score in a game that was not adorned with such moments of skill but this was largely down to what were essentially ‘winter hurling’ conditions and was no reflection of the efforts of both teams, whose commitment and endeavour could not be questioned.
Yet again, this team did not press the panic button when they started slowly and failed to score until 15 minutes into the game. This is a very admirable quality of the Fé 12 team. A massive well done to the team and their mentors on what is a fantastic achievement in reaching the final of the top tier of the hurling league.
Carrig will face Valley Rovers in the final of the Rebel Óg Central Premier 1 hurling league. (There is not yet a date fixed for this game. Details to follow when available.)
Lastly, a special mention must go to referee, Brian Sweeney (Shamrocks) who did a fantastic job on the whistle.
Carrigtwohill Team: Tadhg Sullivan, Daniel Nolan, Fionn Kidney, Conor Hill, Aaron Desmond, Daniel Murnane, Ben Allen, Cillian Barry, Seán Brennan, Matthew Bernard, Joel Joseph, Shane Buckley, Kyle Graham, Cormac Murphy, Patrick Walsh.
Substitutes: Rory Adam, James Barrett, Jamie Cotter, Jake Horgan, Robbie Horgan, Ben O’Sullivan.
Carrigtowhill Scorers: Cormac Murphy (1-0), Seán Brennan 0-2 (1 f, 1 ‘65’), Cillian Barry (f), Shane Buckley & Patrick Walsh 0-1 each.