Cork star Cronin dazzles as Carbery off to a flying start
SHIRLEY MOLONEY REPORTS
CARBERY camogie captain Eimear White was encouraged by what she saw on Sunday – but she insists the divisional team needs to get together more if they want to make an impact in the county championship.
Quarter-finalists the past two seasons, Carbery are keen to make an impact this year and they got off to a winning start with this preliminary round win against Muskerry at Castleroad.
It means Carbery advance to a round one game against Cloughduv whilst Muskerry must go the backdoor route.
The winners led by two points at the break, 1-9 to 0-10, before stretching their legs in the second half.
‘Being a divisional team it just took us a little bit longer to find our shape and to get to know each other,’ goalkeeper Eimear White said.
‘It was point for point in the first half and there was never more than a puck of a ball between us. In the second half we got our confidence up and to score 1-24 is phenomenal scoring. You can see there is good talent there and it’s more practice together that we need.’
Barryroe club woman White added: ‘We have all the pick in West Cork but it’s about co-ordinating everyone and coming together. It’s bringing it all together, that’s what we need more. The talent is there, the core is there, it’s just to get used to each other.’
Amassing an impressive 1-23 from play against Muskerry, with the only placed ball coming from the outstanding Orla Cronin, Carbery didn’t have it all their own way last Sunday.
In fact, they only held the lead twice in the opening 30 minutes. Their early lead came after Muskerry opened proceedings via Fiona Bourke inside the first minute before a Carbery brace from Caroline Murphy and the energetic Tara Sheehan pushed them one clear.
Muskerry enjoyed a spell of dominance when they hit four unanswered points in a six-minute spell. Orla Cremin, a Healy brace from play and a free and a Ciara McCarthy effort saw Muskerry open up a three-point lead after 11 minutes. Carbery points from Cronin and Ciara O’Sullivan cut the lead to the slimmest.
Healy and Cronin swapped scores, with dual star Libby Coppinger, commanding at midfield, firing over the first of her four points to keep Carbery in close pursuit.
Five minutes from the break Caroline Murphy put Carbery in the lead for just the second time when she crashed to the net after an O’Sullivan pass put her through on goal. Coppinger put three between the sides when she fired over after a surging run through the heart of the Muskerry defence.
Healy cut the deficit to one with two placed balls, the second after Carbery goalkeeper Eimear White pulled off a save to deflect out for the 45. Sheehan had the final say of the half when she fired over her third from play to see Carbery lead by two 1-9 to 0-10.
While Cork seniors Cronin and Coppinger were outstanding and scored 12 points between them, All-Ireland winning minors like Tara Sheehan (0-5), Claire Kingston and Ciara O’Sullivan (0-3) all stood out.
‘A lot of teams have players that they need to rely on, and absolutely Libby and Orla are stalwarts for us and they really stood up and led by example, but what is more encouraging is the other players that came in – like Claire Kingston at centre back, Ciara O’Sullivan, Caroline Murphy, they all came into their own and there are no passengers on the team,’ Eimear White said.
Two Muskerry points from Cremin and Healy sandwiched an O’Sullivan score for Carbery, as Muskerry moved to within one point inside three minutes of the restart.
After Coppinger put two between the sides, the superb Orla Cronin moved the West Cork outfit six clear after she struck four in a row in as many minutes without reply.
Sheehan opened up the Carbery lead to seven when she pointed before Cronin in sublime form split the posts to see Carbery lead 1-16 to 0-12 on the three-quarter mark.
Three unanswered Muskerry points from a Healy brace and a McCarthy effort cut the gap to five heading into the closing ten minutes.
However, a Carbery brace from Coppinger and O’Sullivan pushed the lead back to seven. The winners were never in trouble from here on but goalkeeper White had to save well to deny Muskerry a goal.
Carbery: O Cronin 0-8 (1f), T Sheehan 0-5, C Murphy 1-2, L Coppinger 0-4, C O’Sullivan 0-3, S Burke 0-2.
Muskerry: C Healy 0-10 (3f, 2 45), C McCarthy, O Cremin 0-2 each, F Bourke, L Dineen, J Tarrant 0-1 each.
Carbery: E White (Barryroe); D O’Brien (Enniskeane), D Carroll (Enniskeane), M Sexton (Barryroe); M Murphy (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), C Kingston (Ballinascarthy), M Coppinger (St Colum’s), L Coppinger (St Colum’s), C Crowley (Ballinascarthy), M Crowley (Kilbree), O Cronin (Enniskeane), O Fahey (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), C Murphy (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), C O’Sullivan (Newcestown), T Sheehan (Enniskeane).
Subs: C Sexton (Barryroe) for O Fahey (ht), S Burke (Kilbrittain/Timoleague) for M Crowley (ht), E
Ryan (Barryroe) for C Murphy (59).
Muskerry: K Ward (Aghabullogue); E O’Connell (Aghabullogue), M Cotter (Aghabullogue), A Cotter
(Blarney), J McAuliffe (Ballinora), J Barry (Blarney), C Dooley (Ballinora); S O’Regan (captain) (Ballinora), E Foley (Aghabullogue); F Bourke (Grenagh), C McCarthy (Aghabullogue), C Healy (Aghabullogue); O Cremin (Blarney), E Tarrant (Aghabullogue), J Tarrant (Aghabullogue).
Subs: S Bannon (Blarney) for K Ward (ht), B Cotter (Aghabullogue) for A Cotter (42), M Murphy (Blarney) for E Tarrant (45), L Dineen (Aghabullogue) for F Bourke (48), A Lenihan (Ballinora) for C Dooley (50).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).