Carrigaline totally dominant
By Noel Horgan
IT seemed as if the extent of Carrigaline's winning margin was the only matter to be resolved midway through the second half of the county intermediate football championship clash with Kildorrery at Páirc Uí Rinn last Saturday evening.
Totally dominant before the break, the South-East men turned over leading by 0-10 to 1-1, and they remained firmly in the driving seat on the resumption, stretching the gap to eight points by the 43rd minute. Indeed, they could have been home and hosed at that juncture had not centre forward Peter Murphy shaved the butt of the upright with a golden opportunity within a minute of the restart.
Remarkably, however, Kildorrery came storming back in the last quarter, reducing the deficit to the minimum after Tom Monaghan blasted in a goal with five minutes remaining.
Thus, the scene was set for a gripping conclusion, and Carrigaline's relief was almost tangible when, following an exchange of scores between Simon O'Brien and Kildorrery's John Howard, David Drake landed a point to settle the issue deep in stoppage time.
While they were worthy winners on the overall run of the play, Carrigaline could have been forced to pay the price for their dramatic fade-out but for a splendid save by 'keeper Sean Mellet from Tom Monaghan in the 50th minute. Trailing by 0-13 to 1-5 at the time, Kildorrery suffered another setback shortly afterwards when Carrigaline's Barry O'Keeffe, who might have goaled with the chance, shot over the bar from close range.
The Avondhu side refused to lose heart, however, and they were back in the hunt after Monaghan lashed home their second goal following good work by wing back Jerry McCarthy and wing forward Shane Fitzgerald.
Monaghan, Kildorrery's best forward by some distance, bagged the losers' first goal as well, completing a slick raid involving Eamonn O'Connor, Shane Fitzgerald and Paudie Hanley with an excellent strike in the 14th minute. That came in reply to three Carrigaline points, two of which were claimed by Peter Murphy, who was constantly in the picture on the 40 early on.
Eoin Murphy and David Drake also showed up well on the flanks, while Simon O'Brien, Niall Coakley and Barry O'Keeffe caused all sorts of problems for Kildorrery's full back line in the first half. O'Brien was particularly effective, prompting Carrigaline to move wing back Richie McEniry to the left corner after 25 minutes.
That did little to stabilise the Kildorrery rearguard, and Carrigaline, with Nicholas Murphy to the fore at midfield, received due reward for their persistent pressure in the second quarter, stringing six points together before Paudie Hanley broke the sequence from a free in the 29th minute.
All six Carrigaline forwards had got on the scoresheet from play at that stage, while their general superiority was underlined by the dominance of their defence which was backboned by John Keohane and Gary Harrington in the central positions. Only Tom Monaghan measured up in attack for Kildorrery before the break, and he continued to carry the main threat up front early in the second half.
Elsewhere, Kildorrery showed steady improvement, with the decision to move Richie McEniry to centre back helping to tighten up their defence, and Dave White's switch from centre forward to midfield proving especially beneficial.
In light of their failure to make significant headway in attack, however, Kildorrery didn't look capable of mounting a comeback, especially after Tom Monaghan, with Carrigaline leading by 0-13 to 1-2, had a goal disallowed for a small square infringement in the 44th minute.
But White's growing influence at midfield against Nicholas Murphy encouraged Kildorrery to stick to their task, and Peter O'Brien, switched from midfield to the 40, thundered into the picture to give their attack a fresh impetus in the last quarter. The result was that they staged a gutsy rally which only just fell short.
Credit to Carrigaline for holding their nerve when the crunch came, and they were unlucky not to deliver the killer blow nearing the end of normal time. After a low drive from Barry O'Keeffe struck the upright, however, and John Howard, another to impress at wing forward for Kildorrery in the last quarter, pointed at the other end, Carrigaline found themselves clinging to a one-point lead before David Drake eased their anxiety when slotting over the insurance score at the death.
Scorers - Carrigaline: D. Drake 0-5, 0-1 free, P. Murphy 0-3, B. O'Keeffe, S. O'Brien and N. Coakley 0-2 each, E. O'Sullivan, free, and E. Murphy 0-1 each. Kildorrery: T. Monaghan 2-0, J. Howard 0-3, 0-1 free, P. Hanley 0-2, D. White, E. O'Connor and P. O'Brien 0-1 each.
Carrigaline: S. Mellett, K. Forbes, J. Keohane, C. Lynch, E. O'Sullivan, G. Harrington, P. Ronayne, N. Murphy, J. Moran, E. Murphy, P. Murphy, D. Drake, S. O'Brien, N. Coakley, B. O'Keeffe. Subs: W. O'Brien for O'Sullivan (injured), T. Murphy for Moran, R. Keohane for Lynch.
Kildorrery: B. Hannon, S. Kenny, T.P. Murphy, L. Kelly, Jerry McCarthy, M. Walsh, R. McEniry, P. O'Brien, E. O'Connor, J. Howard, D. White, S. Fitzgerald, T. Monaghan, P. Hanley, John McCarthy. Subs: D. Roche for Kenny, S. Coughlan for Kelly, M. Ahern for Hanley.
Referee: K. Murphy (Nemo Rangers).