UCC .... 1-16
TOM LYONS REPORTS
A GALLANT effort by Carbery in the first round of the county senior football championship divisional section in Macroom on Tuesday night fell just short when they came from 11 points behind to lose by a mere point.
Having trailed by seven points at the break, with UCC’s Jack Ryan goaling in the 11th minute, Carbery fell further behind to a rampant college outfit in the third quarter.
After 37 minutes it was 1-14 to 0-6, a gap of 11 points and Carbery looked a bedraggled outfit at that stage.
The introduction of Kilmac’s Daniel O’Donovan, just recently returned to his native club from Bishopstown, was the catalyst for an amazing Carbery comeback as his size and strength at full forward caused a hitherto impregnable college defence all kinds of problems.
A goal from play by wingback Ger O’Callaghan in the 43rd minute cut the deficit to a manageable six points and a penalty goal from Don O’Driscoll, after O’Donovan had been fouled in the 51st minute, left only three points between the sides.
It was all Carbery in the closing stages as they went in search of an unlikely win but they were really out of luck when Colm O’Driscoll blazed inches wide after a great defence-splitting move and Eddie Goggin’s fisted effort just failed to find the net.
Had Carbery taken their point chances at that stage they would surely have earned at least a draw.
As it was they cut the led to a single point but sub Pat Spillane produced the most vital college score of the night with a point in the 61st minute.
Two points in arrears, Carbery refused to give in and a point from sub Joe Collins had the lead down to one again but time ran out on the West Cork divisional side.
‘Of course we’re disappointed,’ said Carbery manager, Tim Buckley.
‘But you couldn’t but be proud of the effort the lads made out there in the second half. Colm’s goal effort, Eddie’s punched ball, it was that close. Daniel gave us a great option at full forward and it changed the game.
‘The first half was crazy, everything we had planned just fell to pieces, we never got going. We were probably too anxious to do well and made silly mistakes that you wouldn’t see at U12 level.
‘We had a good chat at half time but they got a good restart that put us under a lot of pressure. We showed mighty spirit in the last 20 minutes, almost pulled it off.
‘It’s a shame we don’t have another crack at it as we have been improving with each game. We knew if we could hold their full forward line, we would have a great chance but they were unmarkable in the first half. We’re disappointed but proud, we came so close with only four weeks’ preparation.’
Carbery had to line out without their three inter-county players, all injured, for this game, while UCC, who had nine Kerry players on their side, had none of the Kerry senior players on their team because they wouldn’t be allowed play.
It was the college lads who hit the ground running and their pace, especially up front, had Carbery in serious trouble.
With Castletownbere’s Gary Murphy showing electric pace, well aided by David Shaw and Cathal Bambury, UCC looked like scoring with every attack. As is was they had eight different players on the scoresheet by half time, Jack Ryan kicking the goal in the 11th minute and points coming from Ronan Buckley (3), Gary Murphy (2), and one each from Dan O’Brien, Mike O’Donnell, Graham O’Sullivan, David Shaw and Cathal Bambury.
Carbery had some good moments in the first half with Peter Murphy leading the way at centre back, well-assisted by Martin Collins, Ger O’Callaghan, midfielders Sean Ryan and Seanie O’Leary, and forwards Sean Kelleher, Don O’Driscoll, Eddie Goggin and Cillian Cullinane. Carbery points from O’Driscoll (2), Goggin (two frees), O’Callaghan and Cullinane left the half time score at 1-10 to 0-6.
UCC restarted with four quick points, two from Bambury and two from Murphy, and Carbery found themselves with a mountain to climb, 11 points in arrears.
The introduction of O’Donovan at full forward did the trick for the divisional side with 20 minutes remaining and with Peter Murphy, Colm O’Driscoll and Don O’Driscoll lighting the way, they upped their challenge considerably following points from Colm O’Driscoll and Cillian Cullinane.
When wing back Ger O’Callaghan finished to the UCC net in the 43rd minute, the game was really on but the comeback, further fuelled by Don O’Driscoll’s penalty goal, fell agonisingly short, thanks to a combination of bad luck, wrong options and a few tremendous blocks by a beleaguered UCC defence.
‘It’s hard to see what we can do with this championship,” said a disappointed but proud Tim Buckley.
‘Some people don’t want divisions in the championship but only one chance, compared to two for the club sides, hardly seems fair. Maybe they should put the eight weakest teams in here too.
‘I see nothing wrong with playing it so early as all these players will be playing championship with their clubs in April.
‘If we had a second chance or won tonight it would have given us a chance to work on a few things.’
UCC: Gary Murphy 0-5 (1f), Ronan Buckley, Cathal Bambury (1f) 0-3 each, Jack Ryan 1-0, Dan O’Brien, Mike O’Donnell, Graham O’Sullivan, David Shaw, Pat Spillane 0-1 each.
Carbery: Don O’Driscoll 1-3 (1-0 pen), Ger O’Callaghan 1-1, Colm O’Driscoll, Cillian Cullinane, Eddie Goggin (2f) 0-2 each, Peter Murphy, Joe Collins 0-1 each.
UCC: Eoghan O’Brien (Churchill); Aidan O’Connor (Dingle), Fionnán Clifford (Waterville), Ross Dunphy (Éire Óg, Carlow); Dan O’Brien (Glenflesk), Michael Flood (St, Bridget’s, Meath), Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearse’s); Ronan O’Toole (Éire Óg, Cork), Jack Ryan (Ballymartle); Ronan Buckley (Listry), Donagh Shorten (Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh), Mike O’Donnell (Austin Stacks); Gary Murphy (Castletownbere), David Shaw (Dr Crokes), Cathal Bambury (Dingle).
Subs: Pat Spillane (Templenoe) for M O’Donnell (41), Liam Wall (Kilmurry) for D O’Brien (black card, 44), Liam O’Sullivan (St Michael’s) for D Shorten (52), Jack Hannon (Doorabearfield) for R Dunphy (55).
Carbery: Pat Prendergast (Bandon); Cian O’Mahony (do.), Sean Crowley (D Ó Mathúna), Ronan O’Mahony (Bantry); Martin Collins (Kilmacabea), Peter Murphy (Bandon), Ger O’Callaghan (Gabriel Rangers); Seanie O’Leary (Bantry), Sean Ryan (Ballinascarthy); Cillian Cullinane (do.), Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCárthaigh), Sean Kelleher (Gabriel Rangers); Chris Moynihan (do.), Don O’Driscoll (Clann na nGael), Eddie Goggin (Gabriel Rangers).
Subs: Ogie Scannell (Kilmeen) for C O’Mahony (ht), Daniel O’Donovan (Kilmacabea) for C Moynihan (40), Shane Scannell for C Cullinane (49), Joe Collins for E Goggin (56).
Referee: John Ryan (Macroom).