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Manager John Hayes demands more from Carbery Rangers U21s as Ibane rematch looms in Carbery U21A FC semi

February 9th, 2024 8:30 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Carbery Rangers' Peadar O'Rourke scored 0-5 against Newcestown.

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Carbery Rangers 1-12

Newcestown 1-6

CHAMPIONS Newcestown were knocked out of the 2024 Clóna Milk Carbery U21A Football Championship by Carbery Rangers just 37 days after claiming their first U21 football title in 17 years.

Having built a commanding half-time lead, Carbery Rangers held off a late Newcestown surge before cementing their semi-final berth against 2023 runners-up, Ibane Gaels; this is a repeat of the controversial semi-final last season that needed a replay to separate the teams.  

It was far from perfect and the winning Ross manager John Hayes, although delighted to get through, believes there is plenty room for improvement.

‘I am not that pleased, to be honest, I thought it was pretty poor,’ Hayes admitted when asked to assess his team’s performance. 

‘To be fair to Newcestown, they had a very long year last year and were down a few players. I felt, having gotten into a comfortable position, the last 20 minutes were just awful from our perspective. I wouldn’t be happy with that even though it is only February, and we haven't a lot of work done. A lot of our fellas are training with the seniors. I would have been expecting better, to be honest.’

Ahead of throw-in Newcestown were short a number of starters including an injured Richard O’Sullivan, while Cork U17 Humphrey Canty was also unavailable.

Peadar O’Rourke (two) and Timmy Cullinane efforts saw the hosts lead 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter. Niall Kelly (free) and Dan Flanagan’s replies were Newcestown’s only scores of the first half. A dominant second quarter saw Carbery Rangers outscore their opponents 1-5 to 0-0 to lead 1-8 to 0-2 at the break.

Eoin McSweeney had made a superb point-blank stop before parrying a Timmy Cullinane long-range effort. Rangers’ Colm Hayes pounced on the rebound and found the net to add to a fisted point after 27 minutes. Peadar O’Rourke and Ben Lenihan both added two points to place Rangers in a commanding position at the break

O’Rourke and Conor Twomey scores extended Rangers’ lead shortly after the restart before Jack Kevane received a black card. The latter’s midfield partner Michael McGuire scored next before Niall Kelly and Dan Flanagan got Newcestown back on track. 

Colm Hayes’ second point made it 1-12 to 0-4 after 43 minutes but Rangers would fail to score for the remainder of the tie.

Niall Kelly (free) and a close-range Ronan McSweeney goal reduced the deficit to seven with over ten minutes to go. Kelly added another white flag and Rangers' Darragh Twomey was forced into an excellent save near the end. Carbery Rangers were not to be denied and saw out the remaining time to book a semi-final against Ibane Gaels.

‘There is a huge amount of work to be done and it will have to come from the players themselves as there is such a short turnaround,’ John Hayes explained.

‘We will do our bit, but the players have to look at themselves because they can’t be happy with that second half. A win is a win. We will take it but I will be hoping for better and so will the players the next day out.’



Carbery Rangers: P O’Rourke 0-5 (1f); C Hayes 1-2; B Lenihan 0-2; T Cullinane, C Twomey, M McGuire 0-1 each.

Newcestown: N Kelly 0-4 (2f); R McSweeney 1-0; D Flanagan 0-2.


Carbery Rangers: D Twomey; D O’Dwyer, K Eady, S Lenihan; E Hodnett, C McCarthy, N Keane; J Kevane, M Maguire; T Cullinane, C Twomey, R Hayes; P O’Rourke, D Lenihan, C Hayes.

Subs: M Fitzpatrick for J Kevane (53), M O’Dwyer for R Hayes (56).

Newcestown: E McSweeney; JJ Flanagan, G Kelleher, R Sweeney; F Kenneally, J Burrows, P Kelly; J Kenneally, E Calnan; D Flanagan, N Kelly, D McSweeney; O O’Sullivan, C O’Donovan, R McSweeney.

Subs: M Kiely for JJ Flanagan (ht), T O’Sullivan for O O’Sullivan (57), C Hurley for N Kelly (57, inj).

Referee: M O’Leary (Diarmuid O’Mathunas).

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