CARRIGTWOHILL’S HURLING HURRICANE
REBEL ÓG FÉ 12 CENTRAL PREMIER 1 HURLING LEAGUE FINAL
Carrigtwohill v Valley Rovers at West End at 7.30pm on Monday 23rd October 2017
Carrigtwohill 3-08 Valley Rovers 1-03
Exactly a week after Hurricane Ophelia ravaged West End and damaged the netting behind the goals, Carrig’s Fé 12 hurlers ensured that the league would not slip through the net by hurling up their own hurricane with a supreme second half display in this final against a gallant Valley Rovers team.
These two teams had met twice already in 2017; Carrigtwohill edged a tough league encounter in Brinny (3-05 to 2-02) and the opening game of the Colman Dillon Tournament finished in a draw (1-06 to 2-03), which, truthfully, Carrig were lucky to secure.
Straight from the throw-in, midfielder Cillian Barry won possession and cut through the middle, firing over the first point of the match after just 20 seconds with a fine shot from distance and on the run. Valley Rovers responded with a fine point from play three minutes late to level matters. There was no real flow to the game for the next ten minute period as both teams jostled for superiority. In the 12th minute, Joel Joseph made a storming run down the wing and the diagonal ball he delivered to the full forward line was rifled over the bar on the turn by lively looking full-forward, Aaron Desmond. This was followed up two minutes later by a well taken ‘65’ by Seán Brennan – a confidence booster after an earlier placed ball miss from closer distance. Just a minute later, centre-back, Daniel Murnane launched a clearance into the full forward line and as it dropped, Aaron Desmond connected well with it on the hop to finish it to the net. This put Carrigtwohill five points clear, 1-03 to 0-01. Patrick Walsh pointed a free (after a well-won free by Buckley) in the 17th minute, which was immediately responded to a minute later with a Valley Rovers goal after some slack marking in the Carrig defence. The remainder of the half saw the teams locked in stalemate until Seán Brennan hit a lovely point off his left a minute before added time.
HT: Carrigtwohill 1-05 Valley Rovers 1-01
The second half was scoreless until the 10th minute, despite the fact that there was great endeavour from both sides. As if this was the calm before the storm, Carrig brought their game to another level for the next fifteen minutes. It started with a ‘one-two’ between Matthew Barrett and Daniel Murnane in the half-back line, which resulted in Patrick Walsh getting possession in the left corner forward position. He struck a sublime shot off his left hand side across the goal and into the far corner of the goal. To Rovers’ credit, they did not buckle and fought ferociously to stay in the game. Carrig’s response to this was immense, as they stood up to the battle the Innishannon side brought for the next ten minutes. The defensive play from Carrig was particularly impressive, despite the fact that Valley Rovers got the next two scores (both points from play) to bring it back to five points (2-05 to 1-03) with eight minutes remaining. The clinching score came with three minutes of normal time to go, when a long ball in by Aaron Desmond was scrambled to the net by Cormac Murphy. This was followed a minute later with a well taken point by Patrick Walsh (who was now storming into the game) after some lovely interplay with Cillian Barry. Seán Brennan got the final two scores of the game with a pointed‘65’ and a free in added time.
There’s an old saying that ‘backs win matches and forwards decide by how much’. This adage is very applicable to this match. The Carrigtwohill backs were absolutely impenetrable during the second half, showing great tenacity with some very timely hooks and blocks at crucial stages of the game. The fact that throughout 55 minutes of hurling, they kept a very good Valley Rovers team to four scores speaks volumes. Carrig showed great discipline, resulting in Valley Rovers registering no scores from the few frees that they were awarded. This really was ‘total hurling’ in the second half.
Daniel Nolan, Fionn Kidney, Daniel Murnane, Matthew Barrett, Conor Hill and Ben Allen were outstanding in defence. Tadhg Sullivan was solid on goal with little to trouble him (with the backs sticking so well to their task) and he found the range with his long puck-outs.
The midfield pairing of Cillian Barry and Seán Brennan drove the team forward with their tireless workrate. The forwards were superb, getting the scores when it most mattered and acting as the first line of defence. Although Joel Joseph, Shane Buckley and Kyle Graham did not get on the scoreboard, they fought well for possession at every opportunity, as did Corey Cunningham, Denis Walsh, Jake Horgan and Rory Adam, when introduced.
Carrigtwohill GAA Club President, Eddie O’Riordan presented the winners’ shield to team captain, Daniel Murnane. Eddie commended both teams, saying that Valley Rovers were tough but that Carrigtwohill were tougher. Great credit must go to the Innishannon side for a very tough, fair and sporting game of hurling. Tiocfaidh a lá.
The Juvenile Club are immensely proud of this group of players, their coaches and mentors. A very special mention must go to the coaches and mentors, led by joint-managers, Seán Barry and Kieran Brennan. The coaches and mentors have put a huge amount of work into this team over the last six years. It is paying dividends, as was clearly evident when they hurled up the perfect storm during the second half of this final. It was the final hurling match of 24 played in 2017, 22 of which Carrigtwohill won with the others being a draw and a loss apiece.
Carrigtwohill Team: Tadhg Sullivan, Conor Hill, Fionn Kidney, Daniel Nolan, Matthew Barrett, Daniel Murnane, Ben Allen, Seán Brennan, Cillian Barry, Joel Joseph, Cormac Murphy, Shane Buckley, Kyle Graham, Aaron Desmond, Patrick Walsh.
Substitutes: Rory Adam (for Aaron Desmond), James Barrett, Jamie Cotter, Corey Cunningham (for Kyle Graham), Jake Horgan (for Corey Cunningham), Robbie Horgan, Ben O’Sullivan, Denis Walsh (for Shane Buckley).
Carrigtowhill Scorers: Patrick Walsh 1-2 (1 f), Aaron Desmond 1-1, Seán Brennan 0-4 (2 ‘65’s, 1 f) Cormac Murphy 1-0, Cillian Barry 0-1.
Referee: Arthur Murphy (Killeagh)
(Presentation photo courtesy of Eddie O’Riordan. Team photo courtesy of Paul Flynn. Action photos courtesy of John O’Brien.)