SHIRLEY MOLONEY REPORTS
THE dream is over for Carbery after they were knocked out of the SE Systems Cork Camogie Senior Championship on Sunday.
It took extra time to decide this quarter-final played at Castle Road on Sunday afternoon with Sarsfields equalising in injury time at the end of normal time and then scoring the match-winning goal in the second half of extra time.
It was cruel luck on a Carbery team that had chances to advance to the last four but while they led at several stages in normal time and extra time, they couldn’t shake off Sarsfields, who had Emer Fennell scoring 2-11 to their total.
Carbery were first on the scoreboard when Cork star Orla Cronin nailed a 20-metre free after seven minutes. Sarsfields responded when a great offload by Clare Mullins set up Chloe Casey to level proceedings.
Points from the influential Emer Fennell and Mullins sent Sars two points clear before Maria Kenneally pulled one back for Carbery, 0-3 to 0-2.
It looked a lot better for Carbery after 19 minutes when, after a strong run from Orla Cronin, Ciara O’Sullivan shot low to the net for a goal. O’Sullivan followed it up with a tight-angled effort to see the West Cork outfit lead 1-3 to 0-3.
Fennell kept the East Cork side in touch when she pointed a 40-metre free but Carbery’s stock was soaring after 25 minutes when an innocuous O’Sullivan delivery towards deceived everyone and landed in the back of the net. Now Carbery led by five.
Sarsfields rallied and pushed forward. Lucy Allen unleashed a goal-bound shot that needed a superb diving save from Carbery goalkeeper Eimear White to deny her. Despite clearing their lines Carbery conceded a free which Fennell pointed. But that was cancelled out by Libby Coppinger when she fired over after a great run to see Carbery lead 2-4 to 0-5 at the break.
Fennell and the outstanding Cronin traded scores early in the second half, and after Sarsfields had a goal ruled out, Fennell landed two more frees to cut the gap to 2-5 to 0-8 after 40 minutes.
Sarsfields had their tails up and on the three-quarter mark Fennell blasted to the Carbery net to level the game, and then Lucy Allen nudged Sarsfields ahead.
The game swung from one end to the other now, and after Cronin tied the sides in the 50th minute with a long-range free, she added two of the next three scores – Fennell scoring a Sars free in between – as Carbery led by one after 58 minutes.
In injury time the unerring Fennell scored another free to send the game to extra time after the sides finished level, 2-8 to 1-11.
In the first half of extra time, Cronin (free) and O’Sullivan pushed the divisional side two ahead.
After Hollie Herlihy forced Carbery goalkeeper White to pull off a diving save, Fennell fired over the resultant 45 to leave Sarsfields trailing by 2-10 to 1-12 at half time in extra time.
Early in the second half Fennell fired over a free to level proceedings but back came Carbery with two quick frees from Cronin to lead by two.
Then came the game’s crucial score when Fennell slotted to the Carbery net after great passing to set her up; this pushed Sarsfields one clear, 2-13 to 2-12. Fennell extended the lead to two before Moira Barrett pulled one back for Carbery. However, despite a late Carbery rally Sarsfields held strong to book themselves a semi-final spot after a thrilling encounter.
Carbery: C O’Sullivan 2-2; O Cronin 0-8 (4f, 2 45s); M Kenneally, L Coppinger, M Barrett 0-1.
Sarsfields: E Fennell 2-11 (10f, 1 45); C Mullins, C Casey, L Allen 0-1 each.
Carbery: E White (Barryroe, captain); M Sexton (Barryroe), D Carroll (Enniskeane), A Crowley (Kilbrittain/Timoleague); M Murphy (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), C Kingston (Ballinascarthy), A O’Donovan (Newcestown); M Lynch (Newcestown), L Coppinger (St Colum’s); H Sexton (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), O Cronin (Enniskeane), M Barrett (Ballinascarthy); T Sheehan (Enniskeane), C O’Sullivan (Newcestown), M Kenneally (Newcestown). Subs: D O’Brien (Enniskeane) for M Sexton (ht), S Hurley (Enniskeane) for A O’Donovan (40).
Sarsfields: M Lynch; N O’Callaghan, K Barry, K Walsh; E Murphy, M Mullins, E Casey; L Kelly, C Casey; C Mullins, H Herlihy, R O’Mahony; M Barry, L Allen (captain), E Fennell. Subs: E Lonergan for K Walsh (27), O McAllen for R O’Mahony (27), C Irwin for C Mullins (54), C Holland for C Casey (81)
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).