History - The Elixir of Youth
On the 29th of July 1990 the club reached another milestone. Seven years after 6.2 acres of ground had been purchased to the west of the existing ﬁeld, a new pitch was officially opened by Denis Conroy, chairman of the county board. It was bigger and ﬂatter than the old ﬁeld, with better drainage and viewing banks. The enterprise had been borne of necessity, but its realisation was a monument to ambition and the most dynamic special committee in the history of the club.
The project was initiated by John Kelleher, Chairman of the club in 1982. When the ground became available he was convinced of the need to buy. The wisdom of his conviction is obvious now, but at the time Carrig teams were not going well at any level, morale in the club was fragile and not everybody could see the merit of committing to such a massive undertaking.
To secure the future of the club, however, a second ﬁeld was absolutely critical. One pitch simply couldn’t cater for the expanding number of teams and increasingly juveniles were being squeezed out and forced to train in rented ﬁelds.
Including stamp duty the ground cost £46,530 and, as a gesture of goodwill the Nagle family, from which the land was purchased, gave the club the residue of land between the southern boundary of the plot and the northern boundary of the by-pass for the nominal fee of £1.
A bank loan secured the purchase and nothing focuses the mind like debt. A public meeting was held to form a fundraising committee whose mission would be to clear the loan and ﬁnance the development of the ﬁeld. Willie O’Brien, Barryscourt, was elected chairman and with him were Willie John Daly as vice-chairman, secretary Pat O’Sullivan, Ballyadam and treasurer Jimmy McCarthy, Ballyrichard.
Their task was enormous. The club received GAA grants of £4,000 and another £10,000 from the National Lottery, but by the time the field was ready in the summer of 1990 it had cost £83,275. From dust that money was found.
The first source was a door to door collection in the parish. A dozen teams of three collectors were organised and marshalled by O’Brien. His leadership in this, as in every other facet of the project, was powerful and totemic: “Once Willie accepted the role as chairman,” says Kelleher, “the man thought of nothing else. Anybody that stood in his way was blown away. The enthusiasm of the whole committee was unreal.”
That collection yielded £23,601; next was a raffle for a Rover 213 car. Pat O‘Sullivan was the propelling force behind this enterprise and it was an extraordinary success, bringing in a proﬁt of £35,645. One last surge took them over the line. Individuals were targeted for substantial contributions and £10,355 was raised. In a decade of economic recession the committee had come up with £83,601, a surplus of £326.
The value of the committee’s work, however, is incalculable in pounds and pence.
“Our sincere thanks to the development committee who have done untold work in providing such an excellent facility,” wrote club chairman John Barry in the match programme on the day of the pitch opening. Conroy wrote a piece in the programme too and it concluded: “May this property be used well by future generations of Carrigtwohill men, women and children, and may it serve to advance enormously the playing of our great games of hurling and football in the great-hearted village of Carrigtwohill, of which I am so proud.”
Two years later a plaque in honour of Willie John Curran was unveiled at the side of the pitch. Many, led by Tommy O’Donovan and Dan Scannell, had toiled at the site to hone a pitch from boggy ground but the enormity of Willie John’s contribution demanded commemoration. The inscription on the plaque reads; “In grateful appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the development of this playing ﬁeld.”
On the day of the opening Conroy cut the ribbon, the Midleton Brass and Reed Band provided the music, Monsignor Timothy Sheehan performed the blessing and a senior championship second round match between Midleton and Na Piarsaigh raised the curtain on the new ﬁeld.
Six years later the club’s facilities were developed significantly again. Surplus land from the 1983 purchase was fashioned into a pitch for the use of U-12s and originally camogie – until camogie went 15-a-side and required a full-sized pitch. As well as that the existing dressing rooms were modified and extended which brought the cost of the whole enterprise to £64,000.
Dan Scannell was chairman of the new field committee which also included Maurice O’Donoghue, Jack Walsh, John O‘Mahony, Charlie O’Sullivan, Jimmy McCarthy and John Kelleher. They started off with £10,000 in the kitty and received a grant of £25,000 from the Department of Education, leaving a shortfall of £29,000. Income from the county board draw accounted for much of that; the club’s involvement in corporate entertainment on the day the Tour de France visited Carrig in 1998 covered the rest.
Another source of income for the development was the weekly lotto draw started by the club in April 1993. Instigated by Peter Hogan, Jack Walsh, John ‘Bishop’ O’Mahony, Jimmy Morrissey and Fr Frank O’Neill – an outstanding juvenile chairman during his seven years in the parish – the lotto gathered momentum over the years to become the club’s principal source of income.
Sustained by an army of regular ticket sellers proﬁts from the lotto increased from about £5,000 in the ﬁrst year to nearly ﬁve times that in 1999. When the need arose some of those proﬁts were channeled into development projects although the lotto essentially funded the day-to-day running of both the adult and juvenile clubs.
The third pitch was opened in 1998 but the development committee refused to stand still. A plot of land between the old pitch and the by-pass measuring 2.6 acres was bought from the county council at a cost of £9,000 and paid in full by May of 1999. Plans for its use have not yet been ﬁnalised.
A year later, however, the ﬁeld committee kicked on with another enterprise under new chairman Charlie Walsh. At a projected cost of £100,000 work began on a gym and ball alley. Once again they started with £10,000 in hand which was supplemented by a grant of £40,000 from the National Lottery. The shortfall is a work in progress.
Having begun the 20th century without a place they could call home the club ended it with the best playing facilities of any club in East Cork; it bears the stamp of the 21st century.
The omens looked good for the junior hurlers in 1990 when they won the Midleton Gold Watch tournament on the ﬁrst weekend of June, beating Aghada, 2-7 to 0-7, in a taut ﬁnal. Only a point separated the sides at half time, 0-4 to 0-3 in Carrig’s favour, until a Billy Landers goal a minute into the second half gave Carrig impetus. Aghada reduced the deﬁcit to two points before, in the closing minutes, Jim O’Connor sealed victory with Carrig’s second goal.
Eight days later Carrig routed St Catherines in the ﬁrst round of the championship, 2-16 to 0-6, followed three weeks later with a quarter ﬁnal victory over Fr O’Neill’s. Facing Aghada in the semi-ﬁnal optimism was high. It was a gripping match which swung one way and then the other. Carrig stormed into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after only eight minutes with Tony O’Flynn starting well at centre ﬁeld. Aghada, though, equalised with a goal and pulled 1-6 to 0-6 ahead after 21 minutes. Carrig cut Aghada’s lead to a point at the break, 1-7 to 0-9, and began the second half with a burst of four points, two by Billy Landers and one each from O’Flynn and Jim O’Connor.
JJ Barry – who played two championship matches for the Cork minors that year – was forced into a couple of good saves but Aghada made their way back into the game with points and surged four clear. With two minutes remaining Philip Kidney held his nerve to ﬁnd the net with a re-taken free, but it was Aghada who got the last score of the game to win, 1-15 to 1-13.
The junior B hurlers went out in the first round to Killeagh, 2-12 to 2-10, suckered by a couple of late points. The U-21 hurlers, though, defended their East Cork B title with a run to the ﬁnal.
The campaign began with a one point victory over Cobh, 1-15 to 4-5, in a brilliant match. Carrig let in three goals in the ﬁrst half with only one in reply from Mossie O’Hanlon to trail by 3-4 to 1-3 at the break. They were forced to start without the injured Jim O’Connor – a Cork U-21 that summer – but he was introduced at the start of the second half and with that the game changed.
Within ten minutes the deﬁcit was down to a point and soon afterwards they went two points clear. Cobh got their final goal with ten minutes to go but Carrig kept their heads and in the last minute Billy O’Flynn won the match with a point from 40 yards. Top scorer Eoin O’Mahony was outstanding on the night, as were the half back line of Sean Barrett, Niall Walsh and Paul Nolan.
Carrig rolled over St Catherines in the semi-ﬁnal, 3-18 to 2-8, to set up a ﬁnal against Aghada on the second Sunday of October. The match was played in a torrent of rain and failing light and Carrig lost it in the last ten minutes from a position where they should have won.
The sides were level at the break, 1-5 to 0-8, but propelled by a Christopher Roche goal Carrig pulled four points clear 11 minutes into the second half: “Against lesser teams Carrig would have taken control at this stage, ” reported the Imokilly People, “but Aghada fought back gallantly and in the end their greater hunger proved decisive.” Aghada’s third goal was a freak produced by the conditions but it decided the match, 3-7 to 1-10.
Carrig: Sean Barry, Martin O’Riordan, Pat Horgan, John Ronan, Paul Nolan, Niall Walsh, Sean Barrett, Tony O‘Flynn, Brian Nolan, Noel Gubbins, Billy O’Flynn, Jim O’Connor, Mossie O’Hanlon, Christopher Roche, Eoin O’Mahony.
Subs: Kenneth Kidney, Patrick O‘Sullivan, Denis Walsh, Troy Cuddigan, Shane Cuddigan.
The junior A footballers began where they left off at the end of 1989 with a convincing first round victory over Glenville, 3-7 to 0-4. Carrig took a while to settle but an opportunist goal by Kieran Horgan mid-way through the half set things in motion and Tony O’Flynn added another goal before the break to leave them leading by 2-3 to 0-2. The Carrig defence stood up to everything Glenville threw at them early in the second half and a Philip Kidney goal from a penalty mid-way through the half killed the contest.
In the last week of June, however, Carrig crashed out of the championship with a one point defeat to St Catherines, 0-10 to 1-6. A brilliant goal from Eoin O’Mahony sustained Carrig in the first half but, though they dominated possession in the second half, they were unable to turn it into scores. Denis Walsh was outstanding for St Catherines, but in the final they were no match for Aghada.
Carrig: Ned Dunlea, Donal Harnedy, Peter Hogan, Liam Manning, Seanie Cashman, Terence O’Brien, Anthony Barry, Tony O’Flynn, Gerard O’Mahony 0-1, Jim O’Connor, Donal Scannell 0-1, Kieran Horgan, Eoin O’Mahony 1-0, Philip Kidney 0-3, Gerard Barry 0-1.
The U-21 footballers dropped down to the B championship and cruised through the ﬁrst couple of rounds with victories over Fr O’Neills and Carrignavar, but the run ended in the semi-ﬁnal against Killeagh. The junior B footballers had no run at all, beaten in the ﬁrst round against Castlemartyr, 2-5 to 1-6. With the wind at their backs Carrig led by 1-2 to 0-0 at half time, Peter Manning getting the goal from a penalty, but in the second half Castlemartyr made much more of the wind and Carrig had no answer.
For the club’s ﬂagship teams 1991 was a desperately bad year. The footballers left the championship in the ﬁrst week of May and the hurlers followed them ﬁve weeks later, also in the ﬁrst round.
Having reached the East Cork ﬁnal only two years before it was the second year in a row that the footballers lost in the ﬁrst round and once again it was against a team Carrig were fancied to beat. The lead up to the game was not ideal. Noel Gubbins and Eoin O’Mahony won All Ireland vocational schools medals playing for Cork in Croke Park on the ﬁrst Sunday of May, the original date for Carrig’s match. So Carrig asked the East Cork board for a postponement and, contemptuously, the board moved it to Monday night.
The preparation in general, though, had not been good: “There was something very dead or sluggish about the lead-up to it,” remembers Niall Barrett. On the night it was reﬂected in the performance. Carrig came from five points down at half time to lose by just one, 0-10 to 0-9, but they never really got going.
“We found ourselves under severe pressure early on,” wrote Dan Scannell in his report to the AGM, “and having weathered the storm mid-way through the ﬁrst half we then eased off again and allowed Carrignavar to regain the initiative and take a seven points to two lead at half time. Though we enjoyed majority possession in the second half, poor finishing and lapses in concentration in the middle of the ﬁeld proved our undoing.”
Carrig: Noel Kidney, Donal Harnedy, Peter Hogan, Anthony Barry, Seanie Cashman, Gerard O’Mahony , Terence O’Brien, Tony O’Flynn 0-1, Donal Scannell(c), Noel Gubbins 0-1, Jim O’Connor 0-2, Philip Kidney 0-1, Sean Barrett 0-1, Liam Manning, Eoin O’Mahony 0-1.
Subs used: Con O’Mahony 0-1, Robert Kidney 0-1
Other subs: Paudie O’Mahony, Pat Horgan, Patrick O’Sullivan, Martin O’Riordan.
The junior A hurlers suffered a much heavier defeat. With a very young team they lost by double scores to Fr O’Neills in the quarter-ﬁnal in Midleton, 2-14 to 1-7. Fr O‘Neill’s got a goal after only ﬁve minutes and led by 1-8 to 0-4 at half time, with all of Carrig’s scores coming from frees by Eoin O’Mahony.
Fr O’Neills missed a raft of chances in the third quarter and when Carrig got a goal with ten minutes to go it put them only four points behind. But Fr O’Neills responded immediately with their second goal and the game was over.
Carrig (not in position): JJ Barry, Peter Hogan, Liam Manning, Paul Nolan, Donal Harnedy, Terence O’Brien, Anthony Barry, Eoin O‘Mahony, Billy Dineen, Sean Barrett, Christopher Roche, Billy Landers, John Ronan, Gerard O’Mahony, Jim O’Connor.
Subs used: Seanie Cashman, Niall Walsh, Michael Barry.
The junior B hurlers went out in the first round as well, hammered by Killeagh, 3-10 to 1-5, but for the junior B footballers it was a momentous year. It opened with a 1-10 to 0-2 victory over Cobh which led to a semi-final meeting against Youghal in Cloyne in early September. Carrig were trailing by two points approaching half time when the Youghal keeper stepped over the line with the ball in his hands to gift Carrig a goal. They added three quick points after half time and held on to win, 1-7 to 0-7.
It was Carrig’s ﬁrst appearance in a Junior B football ﬁnal since they won it in 1980. That year it was Carrig‘s ﬁrst team and this time they were beaten by a first team, Ballinacurra, captained by a Carrig man, Finbar Manning. The writing was the on the wall for Carrig at half time when they trailed by a point, 0-5 to 0-4, having played with the wind.
Kieran Horgan kicked his third point to bring Carrig level early in the second half and Adrian Kidney had a great shot brilliantly saved by the Ballinacurra keeper. But Carrig failed to score for the rest of the second half and Ballinacurra edged away to win their first East Cork football championship by four points, 0-9 to 0-5.
“Ned Dunlea kept a safe goal,” reported the Imokilly People, “with Billy O’Flynn, John Horgan and John Ronan the best in defence, while Kieran Horgan, Paul O’Brien and Adrian Kidney were the pick of the attack, although Billy Dineen tried his heart out when introduced for the final ten minutes of the game.”
Carrig: Ned Dunlea, Billy O’Flynn, John Horgan, David O’Sullivan, Kenneth Kidney, Pat Horgan, John Ronan, Jim Ring, Paudie O’Mahony 0-1, Kieran Horgan 0-3, Paul O’Brien 0-1, Tony Carey, Paul Nolan, Adrian Kidney, John O’Mahony.
Subs used: Billy Dineen, Niall Walsh.
Other subs: Paul Keegan, Frank Savage, Martin O’Riordan.
The U-21 footballers went out in the ﬁrst round of the championship, beaten by St Catherines, 2-5 to 0-5. Carrig had enough possession to win the match, but failed to score in the ﬁrst half and missed a penalty in the second just as they were building up a head of steam.
The U-21 hurlers remained in the B championship, and two years after Carrig won it for the first time they won it again. It was a gruelling six match campaign which included two draws, the first against Watergrasshill in the opening round.
Two goals by Christopher Roche put Carrig in a commanding position early in the second half but three minutes from time the Hill saved themselves with a goal to leave it 2-5 to 1-8.
The replay was a much more open but no less dramatic affair. With a strong wind at their backs the Hill were 0-8 to 0-1 ahead after 15 minutes and they were still 0-10 to 0-3 ahead when Carrig embezzled two goals, one from a free, through a ruck of players, and another from a long delivery.
With their tails up Carrig added three points and amazingly went in at the break two points ahead. Despite having the wind at their backs in the second half Carrig never really pulled away and ended up winning by four points, 3-11 to 1-13.
Against Youghal in the next round Carrig rode their luck. Youghal led by ﬁve points at half time, 0-7 to 0-2, but they had committed 11 wides and Carrig were comprehensively out-hurled. Carrig had the breeze in the second half, but they still trailed by five points entering the ﬁnal quarter; then three Carrig goals in as many minutes turned the game on its head.
Christopher Roche forced the ﬁrst after a goalmouth scramble, Billy O’Flynn booted the next and then Mossie O’Hanlon, who did well after coming on as a substitute, got the third. Three quick points increased the lead to seven, and Youghal were out on their feet. They managed an injury time goal, but that was their only response, and it ended 3-8 to 1-10.
Carrig scorers: Eoin O’Mahony 0-4, John O’Connor 0-3, Christy Roche 1-0, Billy O’Flynn 1-0, Mossie O’Hanlon 1-0, Michael Barry 0-1.
A last minute point by Eoin O’Mahony saved Carrig in the semi-ﬁnal against Fr O’Neills after a pulsating match. Carrig trailed by two points at half time and ten minutes from the end they ﬁnally pulled ahead with Christopher Roche’s second goal and Eoin O’Mahony’s fourth point. O’Neills though responded with a goal to go back in front and Carrig had to dig deep. The excellent Michael Barry gave them hope with a long range point before the equally impressive O‘Mahony popped up with the equaliser, 2-9 to 3-6.
Carrig scorers: Christopher Roche 2-1, Eoin O’Mahony 0-5, Troy Cuddigan 0-1, Sean Barry 0-1, Michael Barry 0-1.
Three Carrig goals decided the replay. Christopher Roche got the ﬁrst, blocking down a goalkeeper’s clearance to leave Carrig 1-2 to 0-3 ahead at the break. John O’Connor got the second early in the second half and ﬁfteen minutes from the end the match was sealed with Roche’s second goal. Fr O’Neill’s had no answer and Carrig were through to the ﬁnal, 3-6 to 0-6.
Carrig scorers: Eoin O’Mahony 0-6, Christy Roche 2-0, John O’Connor 1-0.
Cobh were Carrig’s opponents in the ﬁnal at Rostellan in the middle of November. Cobh started the stronger and four points by Mick Daly – a future Cork senior – gave them an early lead. But Carrig recovered to lead by one at the break, 0-5 to 0-4, and early in the second half yet another Christopher Roche goal, his eighth of a marvelous campaign, sent Carrig on their way.
Thereafter they took control and, with Eoin O‘Mahony’s accuracy from frees, Carrig pulled into an unassailable nine points lead before Cobh forced an injury time goal to leave it 1-12 to 1-6. At the end of the roller coaster ride JJ Barry accepted the cup, only the second man in the history of the club to do so.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Paul Nolan , Sean Barry, Sean Barrett, Seamus Collins, Niall Walsh, Michael Barry, Noel Gubbins, Brian Nolan, John O’Connor, Billy O’Flynn, Eoin O’Mahony, Troy Cuddigan, Christy Roche, Davy Barry.
Sub: Shane Cuddigan for Davy Barry.
Other subs: Mickey Joe Ryan, Adrian Healy, Pat Doyle, Mossie O’Hanlon, Martin O‘Riordan.
The minor hurlers offered even more hope for the future. For the ﬁrst time since Carrig’s three-in-a-row of 1975-77 the East Cork minor A championship returned to the village. The campaign began with a one point victory over Erin’s Own, 2-11 to 3-7. Erin’s Own had a defender sent off after 20 minutes and driven on by Noel Gubbins, Eoin O‘Mahony and John O’Connor Carrig established a comfortable lead early in the second half.
Then Brian Corcoran, in his last year as a minor, took a grip on the match. He found the net from a 65 before soloing through for what appeared to be another goal. However, he had been fouled before shooting and instead of allowing the goal to stand the referee awarded a penalty which Corcoran drove over the bar. He continued to torment Carrig and struck a free near the end that went narrowly wide; for Carrig that was the ﬁnal alarm.
Carrig were clearly better than Cobh in the semi-final but made hard work of winning. They shot 12 wides with the breeze in the first half to lead by just two points at the break, 0-6 to 1-1. Carrig improved after the break and were 0-9 to 1-2 ahead entering the final quarter. Cobh snatched a goal but it was their last score against an impressive Carrig defence in which Sean Barry excelled at full back. With the Cobh goalie knocking the ball into his own net Carrig ran out comfortable winners, 1-12 to 2-2.
The final against Sars was a cracking match. Carrig played with the breeze in the first half, but two Sars goals in as many minutes during the first quarter tested Carrig‘s mettle. Their response was emphatic. A succession of points was followed by a superb John O’Connor goal two minutes before the break, stretching Carrig’s lead to seven points at half time, 2-10 to 2-3.
Sars, though, came again in the second half and with ten minutes to go cut Carrig‘s lead to just two points. Just as in the first half, Carrig rose to the challenge and in the time that remained they pulled away to win by six points, 2-17 to 3-8.
Carrig: Seanie O‘Farrell, John Fitzgibbon, Sean Barry 0-3, Pat Doyle, Justin Donnelly, Paul Nolan(c), Adrian Healy, Seamus Collins 0-1, Noel Gubbins 1-1, John O’Connor 1-2, Martin Horgan, Eoin O’Mahony 0-6, Davy Barry 0-3, Troy Cuddigan 0-1 Tadhg Horgan.
In the semi-final of the country county Carrig met Ballincollig in Douglas on the first Saturday of September and were outclassed, 1-18 to 1-5. Ballincollig led by 1-8 to 0-3 at half time and were a further four points in front before Eoin O’Mahony scored a brilliant goal for Carrig. However, Ballincollig didn’t check their stride and pulled away before the finish.
Carrig ended the season, however, on a high note with a one goal victory over Midleton in the league final, 3-6 to 2-6. Eoin O’Mahony led the scoring with 1-4, Troy Cuddigan and Tomas O’Brien got the other goals while Sean Barry and John O’Connor completed the scoring.
The minors added the B football league title to their honours with a 5-4 to 1-6 victory over Aghada Rovers. In the championship they had beaten Castlelyons by 3-11 to 3-5 in the ﬁrst round and went on to beat Castlemartyr in the next round, 1-14 to 1-3, before losing narrowly to Glenville.
After a couple of bad years the junior A footballers straightened themselves up with a great run in 1992. A fast, young Castlelyons team were their ﬁrst victims. A Donal Scannell goal in the 12th minute gave Carrig a base and with Tony O’Flynn doing really well at centre field they led by 1-5 to 0-5 at half time. Castlelyons came back strongly in the second half, but a Jim O’Connor goal sealed the match for Carrig, 2-9 to 0-10.
Carrig scorers: Jim O’Connor 1-2, Donal Scannell 1-1, Noel Gubbins 0-3, Philip Kidney 0-2, Eoin O’Mahony 0-1.
The second round against Glenville was turned in Carrig’s favour by the introduction of 17 year old Seamus Collins mid-way through the second half. Inside four minutes he scored and Glenville, who had trailed Carrig by just two points at half time, were killed off, 1-8 to 0-4.
Youghal were Carrig’s opponents in the semi-final on the first Wednesday of September. It was a game Carrig should have won. Youghal kicked a raft of wides in the ﬁrst half so that Carrig went in leading by 0-4 to 0-3 at half time with the breeze to come. Half-way through the second half Carrig opened up a four point lead before Youghal struck for their ﬁrst goal. Carrig gathered themselves to stretch three points clear again, before Youghal squeezed another goal to force a replay, 0-10 to 2-4.
The replay was just as close, even though Carrig started as if they were going to crush Youghal. Three points by the excellent Noel Gubbins helped Carrig to a 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 22 minutes and, before the break, a goal from Jim O’Connor left Carrig 1-6 to 0-3 in front. A point by Philip Kidney early in the second half stretched Carrig seven clear, but it was their only score of the half, and with the wind behind them Youghal picked off their points to tie the scores at full time, 1-7 to 0-10.
Carrig looked to be in dire trouble when their only score with the breeze in the ﬁrst half of extra time was a point by Con O’Mahony. But in the second half Paudie O‘Mahony added another and, extraordinarily, it proved to be the winner as Youghal failed to produce anything except a late point. By 1-9 to 0-11 Carrig were through to the East Cork final against Midleton.
Carrig: Noel Kidney, Pat Horgan, John Horgan, Anthony Barry, John Ronan, Terence O’Brien, Seamus Collins, Tony O’Flynn, Kieran Horgan, Eoin O’Mahony 0-3, Jim O’Connor 1-1, Noel Gubbins 0-3, Philip Kidney, Paudie O’Mahony 0-1, Donal Scannell.
Subs: Martin Horgan for Tony O’Flynn, Sean Barrett for John Ronan, Con O’Mahony 0-1 for Martin Horgan,
O’Flynn for Donal Scannell, Scannell for O’Flynn.
The ﬁnal was played in Watergrasshill on the ﬁrst Sunday of October but it turned out to be a lost opportunity. Carrig were good enough to win and played in spells as if they would, but they failed to take their chances. “Poor ﬁnishing allied to the inability to make the most of free kicks cost them dearly,” reported the Examiner.
Carrig played with the wind in the ﬁrst half and settled well. The half forward line started strongly and within eight minutes Carrig were three points up. But Carrig didn’t score again until five minutes before half time and at the break their lead was down to a point, 0-4 to 0-3
“On the resumption the game took an unexpected turn,” reported the Examiner, “with Carrigtwohill taking over at midfield through Jim O’Connor as Denis Mulcahy‘s inﬂuence waned. Noel Gubbins added a point in the 39th minute and Philip Kidney with a well kicked free two minutes later gave them a big boost.”
The game was there for the taking; and then it turned again. Midleton switched Colm O’Neill to centre forward, he kicked two excellent points and with eleven minutes to go came the decisive score. Kevin Hennessy engineered a free, took it quickly to release substitute Paul Moynihan and he finished to the net. Carrig responded with a pointed free from Kidney, but Midleton came back with two more points and the game was settled, 1-7 to 0-7.
“We were overawed a bit by Midleton’s ‘senior’ players,” remembers selector Dan Scannell. “I think we were afraid of their big guns.” Midleton went on to lose a replayed county ﬁnal to Urhan. Carrig’s day was coming.
Carrig: Noel Kidney, Pat Horgan, John Horgan(c), Anthony Barry, Sean Barrett, Terence O’Brien, Seamus Collins, Kieran Horgan, Tony O’Flynn, Eoin O’Mahony 0-1, Jim O’Connor 0-1, Noel Gubbins 0-2, Philip Kidney 0-3, Paudie O’Mahony, Donal Scannell.
Subs: Eddie Dunlea, John Ronan, Donal Harnedy, Con O’Mahony, Adrian Kidney, Martin Horgan, Peter Hogan.
Coach: Sean Power.
Selectors: Sean Power, Derry Hartnett, Dan Scannell.
The Junior B footballers had another good run, but couldn’t quite return to the ﬁnal. Aghada were their victims in the first round, 2-8 to 2-2, with Ned Barden coming off the bench to score 1-1. A strong Midleton side were overcome in the next round followed by a great victory over Glanmire in the quarter-ﬁnal when Carrig looked a beaten team for most of the match.
At this stage a number of the B players were drafted onto the A panel and Castlemartyr took advantage in the semi-ﬁnal to win by three goals, 3-9 to 0-9. Carrig trailed by just a point at half time, 2-1 to 0-6, but their resistance snapped early in the second half.
Carrig: Ned Dunlea, Liam Manning, Patrick O‘Sullivan, Billy O’Flynn, David O’Sullivan, Christy Roche, Barry McGrath, Robert Kidney, Adrian Kidney ,Billy Dineen, Paul Keegan, Brian Nolan, Paul Nolan, John O’Mahony, Shane Cuddigan.
The U-21 footballers beat St Catherines in the first round of their championship, 1-12 to 2-4, conceding two late goals to take the gloss off a comprehensive victory. Eoin O’Mahony was top scorer with 1-5 while Shane Cuddigan came on as a sub and scored three points. Carrig beat Cloyne in the semi-final and went on to meet Fr O’Neills in the final at the end of July.
However, after trailing by just four points at the break, 1-5 to 0-4, Carrig fell away badly afterwards to lose by 1-12 to 0-4. On the night only Brian Nolan, Sean Barry, Noel Gubbins, Sean Barrett and Troy Cuddigan played to form.
Carrig (ﬁrst round team only available): Pat Doyle, Sean Barry, Christopher Roche, Billy O’Flynn, John O’Connor, Niall Walsh, Sean Barrett, Martin Horgan, Noel Gubbins, Seamus Collins, Brian Nolan, Paul Nolan, Troy Cuddigan, JJ Barry, Eoin O’Mahony.
Subs: Shane Cuddigan, Stephen Leahy, Erwin Hodnett, Davy Barry.
The junior A hurlers started 1992 brilliantly with six successive victories in the league, but in the first round of the championship they struggled to beat Watergrasshill, 1-8 to 1-6. Carrig’s goal came immediately after the Hill’s just before half time and the sides were level with ﬁve minutes left until Carrig ﬁnally surged ahead with two clinching points.
A week later, on the last Sunday of June, Carrig met Killeagh in Midleton. It was an extraordinary match in which Carrig relinquished a ten point lead to lose by two, 3-10 to 3-8. The sides were level at four points each after twenty minutes, but then Carrig galloped clear with goals by Eoin O’Mahony and Donal Scannell, followed by a Billy Dineen point to leave Carrig 2-5 to 0-4 ahead at half time.
Early in the second half Carrig took what seemed to be an unassailable lead when a long free was deﬂected into the Killeagh net by a defender. For the next ten minutes there was no sign of a Killeagh comeback, but, inexorably, the mood of the match changed. Carrig’s scoring was reduced to a couple of plundered points while Killeagh hit full stride, cutting the deﬁcit to just two points with five minutes left.
Jim O’Connor added another point; Tom Fitzgibbon responded immediately with a goal. Again O’Connor stood up to be counted and scored a brilliant solo point to put Carrig back in front, but before the ﬁnish Killeagh drilled over three points without reply and Carrig were left to contemplate another heartbreaking defeat.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Sean Barry, John Horgan, Anthony Barry, Paul Keegan, Michael Barry, Sean Barrett, Donal Harnedy, Noel Gubbins ,Philip Kidney, Billy O’Flynn, Billy Dineen, Eoin O’Mahony, Jim O’Connor, Donal Scannell.
Subs: Christopher Roche for Billy O’Flynn, Peter Manning for Dineen.
Carrig only had to wait six months for a measure of retribution because the two sides met again in the league ﬁnal on the ﬁrst Saturday of November and after a thrilling match, Carrig took the title in extra time, 2-20 to 3-11. It was an exceptional performance by Carrig who were reduced to 14 men after 18 minutes at a time when they were trailing by four points. Carrig responded impressively to adversity and Eoin O’Mahony got four points before the break to bring them level, 0-8 to 2-2.
Killeagh regained the lead by the three quarter stage, 2-6 to 0-10, and, though Carrig struggled back to parity, a goal by Tom Fitzgibbon for Killeagh with three minutes left seemed to have decided the match. Carrig, though, mustered one last surge. Sean Barrett soloed 60 yards to score an inspirational point and then Donal Scannell was fouled for a penalty; Sean Barry – a Cork minor that year – came up from corner back and crashed it to the net.
In the last breath of normal time Killeagh found an equaliser, 1-13 to 3-7. For extra time Carrig were restored to 15 players but it wasn’t until the second half of extra time that they put Killeagh away. Points by Billy Dineen and O’Mahony edged Carrig ahead and then Scannell sealed it with 1-2.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Sean Barry 1-0, Pat Horgan, Anthony Barry, Seamus Collins, Michael Barry, Sean Barrett 0-1, Donal Harnedy, John Ronan 0-1, Billy Dineen 0-2, Jim O’Connor 0-4, Noel Gubbins, Eoin O’Mahony 0-9, Martin O‘Riordan, Kieran Horgan 0-1.
Subs: Donal Scannell 1-2, John O’Connor and Paul Keegan.
The Junior B hurlers stretched their year into winter as well with a run which took them to the final of the championship. They beat Killeagh after a replay in the ﬁrst round and beat Cloyne by a goal in the second, 1-7 to 0-7.
The semi-ﬁnal against Fr O’Neills was a stirring match. Carrig led by a point at half time, 2-4 to 2-3, with one goal from Martin Horgan and the ﬁrst of two goals from Denis O’Mahony, but the outcome was still in the balance until the ﬁnal ten minutes when a burst of four points from Billy Landers put Carrig clear.
The ﬁnal against St Catherines was played in Dungourney a week later on the first day of November. In the event it was no contest. St Catherines led by 0-6 to 1-1 at half time, with Carrig‘s goal coming from a long range free; the only score they could muster in the second half was another goal and they went down in the finish by 1-11 to 2-1.
Carrig: Adrian Healy, Pat Horgan, Liam Manning, Martin O‘Riordan, Tadhg Horgan, Noel Kidney, Seamus Collins, Martin Horgan, Brian Nolan, John O’Connor , Niall Walsh, Terence O’Brien , Denis O‘Mahony, Kenneth Kidney, Billy Landers.
Subs: Paul Nolan, John ‘Junior’ Buckley.
The U-21 hurlers met Midleton in the ﬁrst round of the A championship and engaged them in a titanic match. Carrig led by a point at half time, 0-3 to 0-2, but nothing separated the sides in the second half and with ﬁve minutes to go the scores were level 0-5 each. Then a goal by Niall Walsh seemed to have sealed the match for Carrig only for a defensive lapse at the other end to allow Midleton an equalising goal and the reprieve of extra time. Carrig’s chance was lost. In extra time Carrig could only manage one point while Midleton pulled away to win by 2-9 to 1-6.
Carrig‘s minor footballers went down to a strong Cobh team and the hurlers met Midleton in the first round of the Premier championship. The ﬁrst match ﬁnished in a draw, 0-8 to 0-8, but Carrig were pipped in the replay when Midleton converted a 65 with the last puck of the match to win by a point, 1-8 to 2-4.
Carrig (Hurling): Seanie O’Farrell, John Fitzgibbon, Sean Barry, John Ahern, John Grace, John O’Connor, Tadhg Horgan, Adrian Healy, Martin Horgan, Seamus Collins, Thomas O’Brien, John Healy, Kevin O’Driscoll, Eric Fouhy, Davy Barry.
Subs: Paul McCarthy for Tadhg Horgan and Tadhg Horgan for Eric Fouhy
The story of 1992, however, was of the remarkable U-12s. Between hurling and football they won 38 of the 40 games they played, ending the season with a haul of six trophies. Three of those were tournaments, the Willie Ryan in Aghada, the Midleton CBS primary schools blitz and the 9-a-side county blitz, where they beat Na Piarsaigh in the final, 1-2 to 0-1. The others were essentially championships. In U-12 competition straight knock-out had been replaced by a roundrobin league with a final at the end. To generate more matches two of those leagues were played in both hurling and football; Carrig reached all four finals, losing only the second football final to Glanmire.
Glanmire had also been their opponents in the first football final. That night in Lisgoold first half goals from Cian McSweeney and Aidan Lehane set up a four point victory, 2-5 to 1-4, and brought an East Cork U-12 A football trophy to the village for the first time. Midleton were Carrig’s opponents in both hurling finals and Carrig won them both handily.
Also that summer the national school won their section of the Sciath na Scoil at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The team was made up of U-12s with the addition of Liam Barry, Derek Delea and Killian O’Brien and they swept to a 3-5 to 1-2 victory over Glounthaune in the ﬁnal. Michael Fitzgerald settled the team with a couple of early points from 65s; John Ahern scored a magniﬁcent goal to put them 1-4 to 0-0 ahead at half time and goals from Aidan Lehane and Peter Furlong clinched it after the break. On the steps of the covered stand Damien O‘Donovan accepted the cup from Denis Conroy.
Carrig panel: Damien O‘Donovan, Niall Kidney, Liam Barry, Cormac Carroll, Derek Delea, Jason Barrett, Killian O’Brien, Sean McCarthy, Niall McCarthy, Andrew Bowen, Andrew Seymour, Michael Fitzgerald, John Ahern, Peter Furlong, Aidan Lehane, Seamus O’Farrell, Carl Watson, Philip Kidney, Jonathan Lane, Denis O’Connor, Cormac Byrne.
Selectors: Ger Foley NT, Billy Power, James Connery.
A year later the momentum was sustained. The U-13s won both East Cork A championships, hammering Glenville in the football ﬁnal, 3-8 to 0-1, and showing no greater mercy to Castlelyons in the hurling final, 5-9 to 3-0. The U-12s retained the East Cork A hurling title with a 6-2 to 2-3 victory over Sars. Carrig had lost to Sars and Erin’s Own during the league phase of the competition, but took their revenge on both in the knockout stages. Two U-12 championships in succession were loaded with intimations of glories to come.
Carrig U-12 panel: Liam O’Brien, Fergus O’Mahony, Philip Kidney, Gerry Roche, Alan Walsh, Cormac Byrne, Cian O’Mahony, Niall McCarthy, Aoghan O’Hara, Killian McCarthy, Johnny Ahern, Christopher Carey, Carl Sylvester, Michael Fitzgerald, Frank Flannery, Noel Furlong, Eoin O’Leary, Jay O’Connell, Patrick O’Connor, Stephen Holland, Jamie O’Rourke, David Jagoe, Cian Walsh.
For the national school 1993 was another hugely significant year. Once again they won their section ﬁnal of the Sciath na Scoil at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, holding off Sunday’s Well by a point, 0-4 to 1-0, in the final. All of Carrig’s scores came from placed balls, each of them struck by the already unﬂappable Michael Fitzgerald
They went on from there to compete with the other section winners and with victories over Bishopstown and Glasheen reached the Cork county schools shield final. Carrig had not won it since 1934 but at Caherlag on June 22nd 59 years were bridged. Knocknaheeny were their opponents and Carrig won by five points, 1-10 to 1-5.
The achievement was marked with a function in the school later in the year. Five of the 1934 team were still alive and two of them, Dan Twomey and Paddy Galvin, came along. Willie John Daly presented the players with their medals and then he recited a song that Jim Barry had composed in the early 1930s.
I am just but a young garsun
As yet I am unknown,
I ‘ve some ambitions in my mind
To accomplish when I ‘m grown
If God will spare my health to me
I’ll hurl for Carrigtwohill
I’ll strike a blow for the blue and gold
Where first I went to school
I’ll strike a blow for that village brave
True spot of hurling fame
Like true Carrig men I’ll give my life
To uphold that glorious name
And when I reach my manhood
‘Tis then I’ll do my best
With the blue around my shoulders
And the gold across my breast.
The 1993 season began, like every other, with high hopes for the hurlers. In early July a junior hurling tournament was arranged in the build-up to the championship. Tommy O’Donovan presented a cup in memory of his late brother Timmy who had been one of the club’s great servants: groundsman, gateman, kitman, although never ofﬁcially bestowed with any of these titles.
Carrig beat Passage by 0-11 to 0-9 in one semi-ﬁnal and Ballinhassig beat Mayﬁeld in the other, 4-16 to 4-8. The ﬁnal was a decent, competitive match. Carrig led by four points at half time, cushioned by goals from Donal Scannell and Kieran Horgan. Horgan got his second goal just as Ballinhassig were mounting a comeback after half time and it ﬁnished 3-9 to 0-11 in Carrig’s favour.
Carrig met Castlemartyr in the ﬁrst round of the championship in Cloyne on the last Sunday of July. It was one of those confounding evenings to which the hurlers had become accustomed. Carrig squandered the wind, a penalty and a stream of possession to trail by 0-6 to 0-4 at half time. Carrig had only led once during the half and though Castlemartyr struggled to pull away after half time Carrig never drew level.
A goal by Sean Bowes with nine minutes to go was Carrig‘s ultimate undoing, even though Jim O’Connor responded with a Carrig goal in the last minute. Another championship campaign had been still-born, 1-11 to 1-8.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Sean Barry 0-2, John Horgan, Anthony Barry, Sean Barrett, Michael Barry, Gerard Barry 0-1, Noel Gubbins 0-2, Seamus Collins, Eoin O’Mahony 0-2, Jim O’Connor 1-0, Philip Kidney, Maurice O’Donoghue 0-1, Donal Scannell, Kieran Horgan.
Subs: Billy Dineen for Maurice O’Donoghue; Peter Manning for Kieran Horgan.
The Junior B hurlers picked up the pieces with a 3-9 to 0-7 victory over Youghal in the ﬁrst round of their championship with Donal Harnedy getting two of the goals and Pat Devlin notching the other. They had to wait over three months for the semi-ﬁnal against Midleton, and when the day came it arrived with a tempest of rain and wind.
Carrig were forced to ﬁeld without Thomas O’Brien, Davy Barry and Adrian Healy who were involved in the U-21 county ﬁnal, but nevertheless started brilliantly. A goal each from Kenneth Kidney and Niall Walsh inside the first two minutes rattled Midleton, but they gathered themselves to lead by 0-7 to 2-0 at half time and astonishingly Carrig failed to score for the rest of the match. In the end Midleton won easily, 1-10 to 2-0.
Carrig: Billy Landers, Pat Horgan, Liam Manning, Noel Kidney, Brian Nolan, Paul Keegan, John Ronan, Terence O’Brien, Robert Kidney, Pat Devlin, Niall Walsh, Paul O’Brien, Peter Hogan, Donal Harnedy, Kenneth Kidney.
Subs: Denis O’Mahony and Christopher Roche
The Junior B footballers never got going, beaten in the ﬁrst round by Bride Rovers, 0-12 to 1-2. Carrig had done well in the league, but were rooted to the ground on the night falling 0-9 to 0-0 behind by half time. Rovers kicked another two points before Carrig ﬁnally broke their duck with a long range goal from Con O’Mahony. Paul O’Brien and Adrian Kidney kicked further points before the end to take the bare look off the scoreline.
Carrig: Pat Doyle, Donal Harnedy , Patrick O‘Sullivan, David O’Sullivan, Barry McGrath, Paul Keegan, Martin O’Riordan, Peter Manning, Tony O’Flynn, Con O‘Mahony, Paul O’Brien, Pat Devlin, Noel Kidney, Adrian Kidney, Paul Nolan.
Subs: Davy Barry, Billy Dineen and Kenneth Kidney.
The U-21 B footballers, however, reached the East Cork ﬁnal for the second year in a row and this time went one better. They began with a 4-8 to 2-6 victory over Bride Rovers in the ﬁrst round and four days later were forced into extra time by Cloyne before coming through by 3-12 to 1-10. Eoin O’Mahony was unable to start because of injury and Carrig’s difficulty became a crisis when a man was sent off after 15 minutes.
However, Carrig dug in and were leading with time nearly up. Cloyne took the match into extra time but in the second half three Carrig goals, two by O‘Mahony, who had joined the match during normal time, and one by Justin Donnelly put Carrig through to the semi-ﬁnal against Castlelyons.
Carrig went into the match as slight underdogs, but started brilliantly to lead by 0-6 to 0-1 after twenty minutes. Just before the break they missed a penalty but the rebound was pointed and Carrig led by 0-7 to 0-3. They stretched further ahead early in the second half with Eoin O‘Mahony kicking his fourth point and another by Noel Gubbins, but from there to the end it was a rear guard action. A late point by Michael Barry lifted the pressure a little to put three points between the sides, 0-10 to 0-7, and it proved to be enough.
Because of Carrig‘s protracted involvement in the junior football championship and the U-21 hurling championship the ﬁnal against Castlemartyr wasn’t played for nearly 12 months. But when the time came they ﬁnished the job. On a bitingly cold day in Shanagarry Carrig played some superb football to lead by 0-9 to 0-1 at half time. They relaxed after the break and Castlemartyr cut the lead to just three points, but team captain Sean Barrett steadied the ship and a cracking goal from Noel Gubbins eventually sealed the match for Carrig, 1-10 to 1-5.
Carrig: Pat Doyle, Martin O’Riordan, Sean Barry, Paul Nolan, John O’Connor, Sean Barrett, JJ Barry, Martin Horgan 0-1, Noel Gubbins 1-0, Adrian Healy, Eoin O’Mahony 0-7, Davy Barry, Frankie Leahy 0-1, Seamus Collins 0-1, John Healy.
Subs: John Fitzgibbon for Martin O’Riordan (injured); Shane Cuddigan for Adrian Healy (injured); Alan Collins.
It turned out to be the most momentous football year in the history of the club. Since the late 1980s the junior footballers had been threatening to produce something big and in 1993 it happened.
They got nothing easy. Landed in what was by far the toughest half of the draw in East Cork they were pitted against Youghal in the ﬁrst round. A year before it had taken 150 minutes of football to separate the sides, but this time Carrig came through at the ﬁrst attempt. “We always felt we would beat Youghal,” remembers selector Derry Hartnett, “because we thought Youghal wouldn’t score a lot against us. Our backs were good and they didn’t foul.”
Carrig were leading by 0-4 to 0-3 just before half-time when Youghal struck for a goal, but Carrig replied immediately and Jim O’Connor deﬂected Noel Gubbins‘ long delivery to the net. O’Connor added another point after the break before Gubbins found the net to give Carrig a cushion. Some missed chances left Youghal back into the game, but Terence O’Brien, John Horgan and Ned Dunlea were outstanding in defence and Carrig held out to win by a goal, 2-6 to 1-6.
Carrig scorers: Jim O’Connor 1-3, Noel Gubbins 1-0, Eoin O’Mahony 0-2, Donal Scannell 0-1.
In the next round Carrig met Midleton, their conquerors in the East Cork ﬁnal a year before, and exacted revenge. It came only a week after the hurlers were beaten in the ﬁrst round of the championship, but on the Monday night they played brilliantly in a challenge match against Ballincollig’s intermediate team.
“We were going so well we had to pull fellas off with 10 minutes to go in case they started thinking they were world beaters,” says Hartnett. “In the end Ballincollig beat us by two points but that was the ﬁrst night we ﬁgured that we were going to win the East Cork.”
Midleton scored ﬁrst but Carrig were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after ﬁfteen minutes and then four minutes before half time Paudie O’Mahony set up Jim O’Connor for an excellent goal. Midleton responded, however, with a goal by Kevin Hennessy and Carrig’s half time lead was cut to three points, 1-5 to 1-2. Carrig had the breeze in the second half, but Midleton dug in during the third quarter and they drew level with a point by Michael O‘Mahony after 44 minutes.
However, it proved to be their last score. O’Connor put Carrig back into the lead with a great point and two pointed frees by Philip Kidney late in the game clinched the victory, 1-10 to 1-7. “When we beat Midleton that day,” says Hartnett, “fellas realised that they were better than they possibly thought they were. When you think about it Midleton should have won the county the year before.”
Carrig scorers: Eoin O’Mahony 0-4, Jim O’Connor 1-1, Philip Kidney 0-2, Martin Horgan 0-1, Paul O’Brien 0-1, Noel Gubbins 0-1.
Carrig ground out a victory against Glenville in the semi-ﬁnal, 0-7 to 0-5. They had to cope with the loss of Martin Horgan through injury in the first half which resulted in Donal Scannell coming in at full forward and Jim O’Connor switching to centre ﬁeld: “Bringing Jim O‘ to midfield was one of the planks of our game plan,” says Hartnett, “We reckoned we’d never get an hour from him at midﬁeld but if you could get 20 minutes out of him that’s the 20 minutes that could win the match.”
At half time there was nothing between the sides, 0-3 apiece, but Glenville were more menacing after the break and would have gone clear if it wasn’t for Ned Dunlea in goal and the Carrig crossbar. However, O’Connor took a grip on centre ﬁeld in the last quarter and points by Eoin O’Mahony, Noel Gubbins and Adrian Healy edged Carrig through.
Carrig scorers: Philip Kidney 0-3, Eoin O’Mahony 0-2, Noel Gubbins 0-1, Adrian Healy 0-1.
On the Sunday before the East Cork ﬁnal Seamus Collins brought the first All Ireland minor football medal to the club. Collins enjoyed an extraordinary summer. He played corner back for the Cork minor hurlers, beaten in the Munster final, making him Carrig‘s second dual Cork minor – after Billy O’Neill in 1947. It was with the footballers, though, he made his name.
In Cork’s 2-7 to 0-9 victory over Meath in the All Ireland ﬁnal Collins contributed a ﬁrst half goal, his fourth of the campaign. His ﬁrst, however, had been the most important. Trailing by two points to Kerry with half a minute left in the Munster semi-ﬁnal Collins won the match at the death. He had scored a point in the ﬁrst round against Clare, chalked up 1-3 against Tipperary in the Munster ﬁnal and 1-1 in the All Ireland semi-ﬁnal against Galway. By the end of the campaign he had scored 4-5 from right corner forward; by any standards an outstanding contribution. A year later he graduated to the U-21 panel and was sub for Cork‘s All Ireland triumph.
Erin’s Own were Carrig‘s opponents in the East Cork ﬁnal at Rathcormac on the last Sunday of September. Carrig betrayed their nerves for most of the ﬁrst half and failed to score for fully 18 minutes, but then Eoin O’Mahony found the range and Carrig settled.
“That score had the desired effect,” reported the Examiner, “and with Erin’s Own losing their control Carrig began to show glimpses of their potential with some great play from Jim O’Connor at full forward and Terence O’Brien at wing back. Carrig finished the half in great style with Noel Gubbins taking good advantage of a poor kick out to score a point and leave Erin’s Own leading by the minimum at half time.”
“Carrig mentors made a number of changes for the second half that were to have a major bearing on the outcome,” continued the Examiner. Jim O’Connor went to centre forward, Seamus Collins to full forward and Eoin O‘Mahony took Collins‘ place in the corner and all three moves worked to perfection. O’Connor began to stamp his authority on proceedings with some magniﬁcent high ﬁelding and, after Eoin O’Mahony gave his side the lead, in the 35th minute O’Connor stretched it to two with a great point after Collins set him up.”
“Carrig were in full cry now and when substitute Paul O’Brien billowed the net from 13 metres for a picture goal in the 45th minute there was no way back for Erin’s Own. Brian Corcoran moved to centre ﬁeld for the last quarter in an effort to get his forwards moving but Carrig’s defence was rock solid with team captain John Horgan and Sean Barrett in particular very impressive. Erin’s Own did ﬁnish with a late ﬂourish which yielded two points from John Corcoran but at the ﬁnal whistle Carrig were full value for their six point victory, 1-11 to 0-8.”
Afterwards Jim O’Connor was presented with the man of the match award in the Rathcormac Inn. All evening the village heaved, and when the pubs could take no more a bonﬁre in the ﬁeld warmed those who didn’t want the day to end.
Carrig: Ned Dunlea, Sean Barry, John Horgan(c), John Ronan, Sean Barrett, Kieran Horgan, Terence O’Brien, Paudie O’Mahony, Gerard Barry, Noel Gubbins 0-4, Eoin O’Mahony 0-4, Adrian Healy, Seamus Collins, Jim O’Connor 0-2, Philip Kidney 0-1.
Sub used: Paul O’Brien 1-0 for Adrian Healy
Other subs: Noel Kidney, Con O‘Mahony, Paul Nolan, Anthony Barry, Pat Horgan, Donal Scannell, Martin Horgan, Niall Walsh.
Coach: Derry Hartnett. Selectors: Derry Hartnett, Jim Nolan and Bernard Fouhy
Erin’s Own: P Collins, D Collins, B Corcoran, D Long, T Kelleher, F Horgan, B O’Neill, D O‘Mahony, P Geasley, T Lyons, J Corcoran, P McNamara, C Dillon, J Dillon, C O’Connell.
Subs: M Mulcahy for C O’Connell; K Murphy for T Lyons.
Referee; John G Barry (St Catherines)
A Week later Carrig went in as underdogs against Adrigole in the quarter ﬁnal of the county championship at Newcestown, but came out as winners by ten points after a stunning performance. Carrig played against the wind in the first half, but went in at the break leading by a goal. They had to endure an Adrigole rally in the first ten minutes of the second half which saw them draw level, but a goal by Philip Kidney in the 42nd minute kick-started Carrig again and they kicked some lovely points before the ﬁnish to win by 2-12 to 0-8.
Carrig scorers: Philip Kidney 1-4, Noel Gubbins 0-3, Eoin O’Mahony 1-0, Jim O’Connor 0-2, Sean Barrett 0-1, Paul O’Brien 0-1, Seamus Collins 0-1.
Valley Rovers‘ second team were routed by ﬂu in the lead up to the semi-ﬁnal but they still made Carrig sweat. At half time Carrig trailed by two points, 0-6 to 0-4, but according to the Examiner Carrig “stepped up their performance following the resumption and with Cork minor Seamus Collins, Noel Gubbins and Eoin O’Mahony dovetailing in swift forward movements drew level with a great score from Sean Barrett in the 45th minute.”
Carrig then forged 0-9 to 0-7 in front with points from Jim O’Connor and Eoin O’Mahony from a free in the 49th minute. Kevin McCarthy narrowed the margin to the minimum and the Rovers battled hard to stay in contention. But solid defensive play by captain John Horgan, Kieran Horgan and Barrett saw Carrig weather the storm and they ﬁnished with a three point ﬂourish from Gubbins, Collins and O’Connor to ensure their club’s first county final appearance.” Carrig won by 0-12 to 0-8.
Dohenys from Dunmanway were Carrig’s opponents in the county final at Ovens on the 14th of November. Carrig were once again clear underdogs, and their chances were further undermined by an injury to Sean Barrett picked up in the U-21 championship, which sidelined him. The preview of the match in Friday morning’s Examiner reﬂected the perception of Carrig around the county.
“It is a surprise to most people,” wrote Brendan Larkin, “but Carrigtwohill’s rise to prominence is no fluke as far as the club is concerned. Never in their wildest dreams, however, could they have envisaged reaching the county final at the beginning of the season. In a club where hurling is the dominant code and football was usually played to keep the hurlers ﬁt.”
Club chairman Peter Hogan described to Larkin the mood in the week of the match: “There is an incredible atmosphere in the village at the moment. It’s like olden days when the hurling team was winning, everyone wants to be involved. There won’t be anyone left on Sunday as we make the journey to Ovens for what promises to be a great day out.”
“We are certainly not going there to make up the numbers and Dohenys won’t underestimate us. Getting to the ﬁnal is a great achievement for a team that was given little chance at the beginning of the season. We would have gladly settled for the divisional title, but now that we have won it we are hungry for further honours and we will give Sunday’s final our best shot.“
he ﬁnal, however, proved to be a huge disappointment. Carrig were torn apart early in the second half and in the end were beaten as clearly as the1-10 to 0-6 scoreline suggests. With Gerard Barry and Paudie O’Mahony doing well at centre ﬁeld and Jim O’Connor making an effective third midﬁelder Carrig settled into the game reasonably well, but the match took its ﬁrst turning against Carrig when Philip Kidney’s penalty was saved in the 17th minute.
The Examiner takes up the story: “The West Cork representatives, though still troubled by Carrigtwohill‘s stylish and determined play, went in at the interval two points to the good and just three minutes after the restart produced a cracking goal, scored by Kevin Murray, to ﬁnally put daylight between the sides. Murray’s goal changed the trend of the game and heralded a 15 minute period in which the Doheny‘s could do no wrong against a loser’s defence in which Sean Barry, Brian Nolan and Kieran Horgan performed heroically.“
Doheny’s proved their class by taking the intermediate title a year later before moving up to the senior grade. For Carrig, at this altitude, the air had just been too thin.
Carrig: Ned Dunlea, Sean Barry, John Horgan, John Ronan, Brian Nolan, Kieran Horgan, Terence O’Brien, Gerard Barry 0-2,
Paudie O’Mahony, Noel Gubbins 0-2, Jim O’Connor 0-1, Eoin O’Mahony 0-1, Seamus Collins, Paul O’Brien, Philip Kidney.
Subs: Donal Scannell for Philip Kidney, Adrian Healy for Paul O’Brien, Con O’Mahony for Eoin O‘Mahony.
Other subs: Anthony Barry, Pat Horgan, Niall Walsh, Martin Horgan.
While the footballers were making their mark, it was a significant year for underage hurling in the club too. The minors had a good run in the championship and that form carried over into the league. In October they qualified for the final after a 5-5 to 1-6 victory over Killeagh in a play-off. The final wasn’t played until the following February when on a foul day in Pilmore they thrashed Cobh by 6-7 to 0-1. Sean O’Farrell had started the year as the minor goalkeeper, but he soon came out field and finished the league final as top scorer with 2-3.
Carrig: John Roche, Martin Healy, John Fitzgibbon, John Ahern, Brian Kidney, Thomas O’Brien, Paul McCarthy, Adrian Healy, John Grace 0-1, John Healy 1-1, Seamus Collins 2-1, Seanie O’Farrell 2-3, Brian O’Flynn 0-1, Alan Collins 1-0, Derek Nolan.
Subs: Mark Nolan and Sean Sheahan.
Conor Lehane and Tadhg Horgan were ruled out through injury.
The U-21s lifted the gathering depression over hurling in the club. Their championship didn’t begin until the ﬁrst week of September but it ended three months later in the county ﬁnal after a glorious campaign. They crushed Youghal in the ﬁrst round, 3-17 to 0-8, and were just as convincing against Sars in the semi-ﬁnal winning by 4-11 to 0-10. They went into the East Cork ﬁnal against Erin’s Own as favourites and justified their status with a 1-10 to 1-6 victory.
“The brilliance of Carrig‘s full back line in keeping a tight rein on Brian Corcoran paid dividends,” reported the Examiner, “although he managed to score all his side’s 1-6. At the other end the twin striking power of Eoin O’Mahony and Mickey Barry caused the Erin’s Own half back line many problems.”
A great goal by John O’Connor helped Carrig to a 1-6 to 0-1 interval lead, having played with a stiff breeze in the ﬁrst half. Erin’s Own rallied after the break and at one stage Corcoran scored three 65s in a row, but a magniﬁcent point by Martin O‘Riordan helped stem the tide and further points by Barry and O’Mahony seemed to have Carrig safe, until Corcoran mustered a superb goal.
O’Mahony pointed again to put Carrig four points clear with three minutes left but Carrig had to survive one last burst from Corcoran; his shot for goal found the side netting and that was that.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Paul Nolan, Sean Barry, John Fitzgibbon, Sean Barrett, Adrian Healy, Seamus Collins, Noel Gubbins, Shane Cuddigan, Eoin O’Mahony 0-5, Michael Barry 0-4, John O’Connor 1-0, Martin O‘Riordan 0-1, Troy Cuddigan, Davy Barry.
Two weeks later Carrig squeezed past Ballyhea in the quarter final of the county, 1-5 to 1-2. In appalling conditions Carrig were 1-1 to 0-0 down after only ﬁve minutes but gradually fought their way back. Points by Michael Barry, Davy Barry and Eoin O’Mahony left Carrig just a point behind at half time, but it took another ten minutes of pressure after the break before Michael Barry struck the equaliser. Barry won a Munster U-21 hurling championship at full back with Cork that year but Carrig used him effectively in attack.
Two minutes later a 16 year old Sean O’Farrell entered the fray and with his second touch scored what proved to be the decisive goal. Ballyhea didn’t score again until Jason Sherlock, the future Dublin football star, popped up with a point four minutes from the end. Ballyhea also boasted Eamon Morrissey and Darren Ronan, who would both play senior for Cork later, but Carrig had a more balanced team and with Noel Gubbins, O’Mahony, Sean Barry and John Fitzgibbon doing well Carrig went through to meet Valley Rovers.
The semi-ﬁnal was played a week after the junior footballers were beaten in the county ﬁnal but there was no hangover and Carrig played brilliantly to win by 12 points, 1-21 to 0-12. “Giving a marvellous display of point taking Carrig led from the ﬁfth minute,” reported the Examiner, “and after turning over four points to the good turned on the power in earnest in the second half to completely overrun the Innishannon side. The big difference between the sides was the long range striking ability of the Carrigtwohill side who were able to pick off points from any angle and any distance while the Rovers laboured for scores.“
Carrig scorers: Eoin O’Mahony 0-12, Seamus Collins 0-4, Martin O’Riordan 1-0, Michael Barry 0-3, Sean O‘Farrell 0-1, Noel Gubbins 0-1.
The ﬁnal against Newcestown was played in Minane Bridge on the second Sunday of December. Carrig lost but were heroic in the face of adversity. Sean Barrett, injured against Ballyhea in the quarter-ﬁnal, was an enormous loss at centre back and then mid-way through the ﬁrst half Adrian Healy was sent off.
In the rearrangements Martin O’Riordan went to full back and Sean Barry went to centre back and both had blinders. Ultimately, however, Carrig didn’t make enough of the breeze in the ﬁrst half. To compound their plight Newcestown forced a goal from a harmless delivery which held up in the wind just long enough for one of their forwards to nip in.
“In the second half Carrig had a mountain to climb,” reported the Imokilly People, “a man down and playing into a gale force wind. However the Carrig backs to a man, including JJ Barry in goal and Noel Gubbins dropping back from centre ﬁeld, performed wonders in restricting the Newcestown attack.”
It was eight minutes into the second half before Newcestown pulled ahead and Michael Barry quickly equalised. However Newcestown added two further points and using their extra man intelligently as a sweeper in the half back line Carrig found it hard to penetrate. A free by Seanie O‘Farrell reduced the deﬁcit to just a point again but in the closing stages Newcestown added three points without reply to win by four, 1-8 to 0-7
Defeat, though, couldn’t mask the certainty that hurling in the club had turned a corner.
Carrig: JJ Barry, Paul Nolan, Sean Barry, John Fitzgibbon, John O’Connor, Adrian Healy, Seamus Collins, Noel Gubbins, Shane Cuddigan 0-1, Eoin O’Mahony 0-3, Michael Barry 0-2, Troy Cuddigan, Davy Barry, Martin O’Riordan, Thomas O’Brien.
Subs used: Sean O’Farrell 0-1 and John Healy.
Other subs: Pat Doyle and Alan Collins
Coach: Michael John Roche
Selectors: Michael John Roche, Michael Rohan, Johnny O‘Riordan.