Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Carrig 3-17 (26) Ballyhea 2-16 (22) in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday, September 15th at 2pm.
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease)
Last Sunday week was a day for Carrig’s historians to get out the books and double-check a few things. Carrig’s win over Ballyhea saw them advance to a Senior Hurling County Semi-final for the first time since 2011? Check. The 3-17 that the team racked up was Carrig’s highest championship total since the summer of 2015? Check. Carrig scored 3 goals in a Championship match for the first time since Round 4 against Bishopstown in 2013? Correct but Carrig scored 2 of those goals in extra time. Carrig haven’t scored 3 goals in 60 minutes of Senior Hurling since the 2009 Relegation Final win over Castlelyons. And since coming up Senior in 2007, James Mulcahy’s hat-trick is the 1st time Carrig have scored 3 goals in 60 minutes of a Championship proper match. Speaking of which, Mulcahy’s second half hat-trick was the first championship hat-trick by a Carrig player since Seanie O’Farrell’s feat in the 2007 Premier Intermediate Final. Seanie was 30 then and Mulcahy is 18 now? Check and check.
For all the history that was made in the second half, Carrig were so-so in the first. Ballyhea won a ’65 from the throw-in which they converted but Jay Horgan responded immediately from the puckout. Ballyhea stretched their lead to 2 points before 3 Liam Gosnell scores in a row (0-2f) had Carrig in front 0-4 to 0-3 after 10 minutes. Ballyhea drew level and then pushed ahead when a mix up in the Carrig full back line saw a high ball break to Pa O’Callaghan and he netted the opening goal. Jamie McCarthy almost responded in kind by running onto the resultant puckout but his shot was well saved and cleared. Carrig did answer with scores from Sean Rohan and another Gosnell free; 0-6 to 1-4 after 18 minutes. Pat O’Sullivan, Ronan Power and Aaron Walsh Barry were battling well but Ballyhea had restored their goal advantage by the 22 minute mark. Sean Rohan again provided Carrig’s response but 2 quick frees in succession saw Ballyhea stretch to their biggest lead of the day; 0-7 to 1-8. In years past this game might have got away from Carrig but this is a different team and three great points from Rohan, Jamie McCarthy and Brendan Twomey had Carrig within the minimum after 30 minutes of play. Ballyhea added one more score to their tally but Carrig had the last say in the half when Tomás Hogan pointed off his left. 0-11 to 1-9 at the turnaround.
Carrig signalled their intent right from the off in the 2nd half with a series of hard hits and tackles that led to a Gosnell free to bring Carrig level. Sean Rohan then put Carrig in front with his 4th score of the day. Ballyhea regained parity with a free and then retook the lead when a push on corner-back Paul Barden went unpunished and Ballyhea stole in for their 2nd goal. Rohan and Gosnell again stood up for Carrig and tacked on another point apiece as Carrig wouldn’t lie down. 10 minutes gone in the 2nd half; 0-15 to 2-10. Carrig retook the lead that would see them over the line and they did it in emphatic fashion when first half substitute James Mulcahy buried 3 goals in 10 minutes of play. The first came from a rebound after Gosnell’s driving effort was saved. The second was the culmination of great ball-winning by Pat O’Sullivan who fed Rohan whose direct running created the space to pass to Mulcahy; goal no. 2. The hat-trick was sealed when Seamus Roche made a lung-bursting run through the middle and his handpass was cleverly batted to the net by Mulcahy. Ballyhea added 2 points in between the 3 goals and trailed Carrig 3-15 to 2-12 with 10 minutes to go. It was Carrig who stretched their lead when the outstanding Jay Horgan struck over his 2nd point of the day and Gosnell added his 7th to round out Carrig’s total. Ballyhea didn’t go away quietly however and got within 4 points as Carrig put up a great rearguard action with Padraic Hogan, Colm O’Connell and Paul Barden clearing a world of ball and McCarthy, Roche and Twomey working hard up front. Devlin was forced to make a couple of great reflex saves and as the clock ticked down Rohan popped up inside the Carrig ’21 to repel another attack from the Avondhu men and the final whistle sealed Carrig’s win.
It was an excellent display of character, determination and no little skill from our lads. This team has grown an incredible amount over the course of the year and when you consider that 6 of Carrig’s 7 scorers are 24 years or younger or that Carrig’s top 3 scorers from this game alone are 18, 20 and 24 respectively, the future looks bright.
Well done to the players and management team on an excellent win. Carrig will now meet Glen Rovers in the county semi-final proving that whilst you can beat the sweeper or the 3rd midfielder, you can’t beat tradition. Skyscrapers are going up all over Cork and Carrig are 60 minutes from a county final. The boom is back. Carrig Abú!
Scorers: J. Mulcahy 3-0, L. Gosnell 0-7 (0-4f), S. Rohan 0-5, J. Horgan 0-2, B. Twomey, J. McCarthy, T. Hogan 0-1 each.
Team: S. Devlin, P. O’Sullivan, R. Power, P. Barden, P. Hogan, C. O’Connell, A. Walsh Barry, J. Horgan, B. Twomey, S. Rohan, T. Hogan, J. McCarthy, S. Roche, L. Gosnell, E. O’Mahony. Subs used: J. Mulcahy.