McCarthy fires In­nis­carra to ti­tle

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - Barry O’Mahony

IN the drawn game it went to ex­tra time and a sim­i­lar sce­nario seemed set to be en­acted with both teams locked to­gether en­ter­ing the last five min­utes of Satur­day’s re­played Rebel Óg Pre­mier 1 Mi­nor quar­ter-fi­nal.

On a splen­did Clon pitch it was 3-12 apiece be­fore a side­line ball broke into the path of Jack McCarthy who promptly dis­patched the ball to the net with Olan Barry pointed in in­jury time to give the win­ners an ex­ten­sion to their sea­son.

Like the pre­vi­ous en­counter, there was lit­tle be­tween two com­bat­ive sides with Car­ri­ga­line get­ting the first goal in a high scor­ing af­fair when Shane Mo­ran availed of a de­fen­sive er­ror to ease his side 1-1 to 0-1 clear.

Slowly the divi­sional side got their act to­gether and win­ning a num­ber of the op­po­si­tion’s kick outs they cap­i­talised on one of them when Cor­mac Whe­lan gained pos­ses­sion be­fore plac­ing Owen Power for a ma­jor that put them two points clear en­ter­ing the sec­ond quar­ter.

With Rory O’Driscoll prom­i­nent the losers kept up the pres­sure and a point from Power was quickly fol­lowed by a goal from Whe­lan. Although the points flowed the goals dried up tem­po­rar­ily as both de­fences, where block­downs were ex­e­cuted, closed ranks for the re­main­der of a half that had Beara 2-7 to 1-5 to the good on the changeover.

That ad­van­tage was cut by the win­ners, cour­tesy of a goal from sub­sti­tute Ryan O’Re­gan be­fore they went back in front in the 49th minute when Olan Barry dis­patched a penalty after Mark Bros­nan had been up­ended go­ing through.

A fine solo goal from Ja­son Har­ring­ton was fol­lowed by a pointed free from Jamie O’Neill to en­able Beara get back on terms be­fore the win­ner’s fi­nal scor­ing burst. IN­NIS­CARRA cre­ated his­tory yes­ter­day af­ter­noon at Páirc Uí Rinn, as they were crowned County U21 A hurl­ing cham­pi­ons for the first time after over­com­ing Fer­moy in the de­cider.

Over­all, In­nis­carra were de­serv­ing win­ners de­spite go­ing down to 14 early on, with their for­wards all con­tribut­ing mas­sively. Fer­moy were too re­liant on Eric De­laney, and the lat­ter had to go off in­jured just after the third quar­ter, which didn’t help their cause.

It took Fer­moy 29 min­utes to score from play, which came from Shane O’Ke­effe. Fer­moy were aided by a strong wind in the first-half, but it was the Muskerry cham­pi­ons that started brightly.

Goal­keeper John Wales made two point-blank saves from Tomás O’Con­nor and Owen McCarthy in quick suc­ces­sion. Both sides traded points un­til In­nis­carra were re­duced to 14 play­ers, mid­fielder Liam Ryan re­ceived a straight red after seven min­utes for an off the ball in­ci­dent.

De­laney con­verted a free for Fer­moy, but a brace of Sean O’Donoghue frees pushed In­nis­carra ahead after the first-quar­ter, 0-3 to 0-2. In­nis­carra were un­af­fected by the red card, with their dis­tri­bu­tion into the for­wards top qual­ity, and they scored three white flags with­out re­ply, Tomás O’Con­nor, Sean O’Donoghue and Owen McCarthy all with one each.

The afore­men­tioned De­laney once again sent over a free, but In­nis­carra were well on top at this stage, and the win­ners sent over two ef­forts from Owen McCarthy and Sean O’Donoghue: 0-8 to 0-3 after 25 min­utes.

The Avondhu king­pins pointed twice with­out re­ply, as a De­laney free and a Shane O’Ke­effe ef­fort kept their side in touch. Tomás O’Con­nor, who had an out­stand­ing game at wing-for­ward for In­nis­carra, dis­sected the posts from an acute an­gle, with the half-time whistle sound­ing soon after, 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time.

There was a sense that Fer­moy needed a goal to stay in the game. The sec­ond-half was only 140 sec­onds old when Fer­moy cap­tain Shane Ah­erne was pulled down in the penalty box, De­laney stepped up to bury the ball into the back of the net. Tomás O’ Con­nor raised two white flags, as the Ballyanly side re­sponded mag­nif­i­cently to the goal.

Fer­moy were not go­ing away, and there was only a point be­tween the sides after 40 min­utes, as De­laney and Dale Daw­son pointed. 0-11 to 1-7.

Fer­moy were hav­ing their best spell of the game, but re­ceived a suck­er­punch, as In­nis­carra cap­tain Podge O’ Donoghue, sent in a teas­ing ball into the penalty box from a side­line cut, Owen McCarthy, got a vi­tal flick on the ball, and it went into the net. A crucial mo­ment in the pro­ceed­ings. O’Donoghue con­verted a placed ball for the win­ners, as they led 1-12 to 1-7 after the third quar­ter.

Fer­moy bat­tled gamely, and with seven min­utes re­main­ing, they were well in the con­test, trail­ing only by three points, 1-13 to 1-10. Shane Ah­erne and Dale Daw­son were in­stru­men­tal fig­ures in Fer­moy’s re­vival. In­nis­carra were very in­tel­li­gent in their play, avoid­ing Fer­moy’s ex­tra man in de­fence, and the Muskerry side fin­ished pow­er­fully in the clos­ing stages.

In­nis­carra scored five of the fi­nal six points. Owen McCarthy and Stephen Dor­nan with two each, while Sean O’Donoghue tapped over a close-range free. Dale Daw­son with Fer­moy’s point, as their brave fight pe­tered out.

There were no com­plaints at the fi­nal whistle, as In­nis­carra ran out de­serv­ing win­ners. In­nis­carra had a bet­ter bal­ance as their de­fence was also on song, with Ciaran Lom­bard, David O’Car­roll and Con O’Leary par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive.

Fer­moy’s wait for a

1986 will con­tinue. first ti­tle since

The In­nis­carra play­ers cel­e­brate after beat­ing Fer­moy in the Cork County U21 A HC fi­nal yes­ter­day. It marked a great sea­son for the club, who also cap­tured a Pre­mier 2 mi­nor ti­tle. Pic­ture: Ed­die O’Hare

In­nis­carra’s Tomás O’Con­nor, who scored five points, goes high with Fer­moy’s Shane Ah­erne.

In­nis­carra play­ers cel­e­brate at the fi­nal whistle after beat­ing Fer­moy.

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