PIHC Group 1, Round 2:
Carrigaline 1-21 Eire Og 0-18
BY JJ HURLEY
A slick Carrigaline performance saw the South County outfit brush past a valiant Eire Óg side in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at Ballinhassig on Saturday night.
Played at break-neck speed over the hour, one of the game's talking points came at the halftime interval when the réiteoir, Willie Wallis, reduced Carrigaline's tally by a point after an obvious error had occurred.
Outside that interjection, the referee oversaw a free-flowing game of hurling as Carrigaline hit the front, with the opening score coming from Chris Vaughan, followed by points from Ronan Kelleher and the impressive Eanna Desmond, landing eight points over the hour.
While Carrigaline had lost the influential David Drake before the game, Eire Óg had also been hit by several injuries, but their effective full forward was leading the line as he opened their account.
Further scores from Desmond, Coleman, Mellet and the impressive corner forward Brian Kelleher had Carrigaline on nine points on 15 minutes, with the Muskerry men replying with a total of 0-5, thanks to Hallissey and Colm O'Callaghan.
Now hitting something of a purple patch Eire Óg, began to eat into the Carrigdhoun men's lead as O'Callaghan fired over an impressive point that was followed by two Hallisey frees.
Sensing the initiative was beginning to swing their opponent's way, Chris Vaughan and Eanna Desmond steadied the Carrigaline ship with two points.
However, points from Hallissey, Sheehan and O'Callaghan, who worked tirelessly for the hour, had the score 0-11 to 0-12, approaching the interval before Carrigaline's influential number 15, added two points to leave the score at 0-13 to 0-11 at the break.
Carrying on where they left off, Carrigaline opened the scoring, but it was something of a body blow for Eire Og, as Kelleher lashed a penalty passed Desmond in the opening minutes of the second 30.
With their tails up, Carrigaline's fluidity in moving through the lines was characterised by points from Eannan Desmond and Nathan O'Keeffe, who were supplied respectively by Rob O'Shea and Patrick Mellet.
Needing to switch the impetus, up-stepped Joe Cooper, but his goal-bound strike was deflected for a 65 by Steve Williamson in the Carrigaline defence.
Indeed, for the remaining 22 minutes, the Carrigaline defence provided an impervious obstacle to their opponent's efforts to raise that all-important green flag.
At the other end, Carrigaline continued to tack on scores from Carrigaline's twin towers of Kelleher and Desmond as the mid-Cork men found the range from Colm O' Callaghan, Kevin Hallisey and Brian Hurley, with the scoreboard reading 1-18 to 0-16 midway through the second half.
As Eire Óg began to tire from their efforts, Carrigaline's Desmond and Kelleher completed their side's account as Hallissey, and O'Toole added a point each in injury time to their tally to leave the final score 1-21 to 0-18.
Carrigaline: B Kelleher 1-6 (1-0 pen, 1f); E Desmond 0-8; C Vaughan 0-2; N Coleman P Mellet, N O’Keeffe, R O’Shea and R Kelleher 0-1 each.
Éire Óg: K Hallissey 0-9 (5f, 1 ‘65); C O’Callaghan 0-5; J Cooper, J Sheehan, B Hurley and R O’Toole 0-1 each.
Carrigaline: R Foster; D King, S Williamson, K Kavanagh; C Vaughan, R McCarthy, N O’Keeffe; R Kelleher, D McCarthy; E Desmond, F O’Connell, R O’Shea; N Coleman, P Mellet, B Kelleher.
Subs: C Barry for C Vaughan (47), D McBarron for F O’Connell (56), F O’Connell for R Kelleher (inj, 61).
Éire Óg: D Desmond; D Kirwan, J Kelleher, J Mullins; D McCarthy, D Dineen, D Coakley; R O’Toole, J Kelleher; D Foley, L Considine, J Sheehan; C O’Callaghan, K Hallissey, J Cooper.
Sub: B Hurley for D Foley (14).
Referee: Willie Wallis (Aghada).