Tadhg MacCarthaigh 0-8
Carbery Rangers 0-5
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
CHAMPIONS Tadhg MacCarthaigh will face Argideen Rangers in the last four of this year’s Bandon Co-op Carbery junior A football championship.
It was far from pretty but the Caheragh club defeated Carbery Rangers by three points under floodlights in Dunmanway on Monday evening.
Heavy showers of rain made life awkward for both clubs but wasn’t the cause of a tight, low-scoring encounter that never rose above the ordinary in standard.
0-4 to 0-2 up at the break, the reigning Carbery kings were nowhere near their best. Tadhg MacCarthaigh needed three important Paddy Burke scores and some dogged defending to see off their opponents.
Carbery Rangers defended in numbers and moved the ball intelligently throughout the evening, but they will look back at this quarter-final as an opportunity lost.
Kicking four consecutive wides when trailing 0-6 to 0-2 early in the second half and some wayward passes into their forward line meant an out-of-sorts Tadhg MacCarthaigh survived a real scare.
‘We are very, very disappointed with our performance and we never got up to the levels we expect of our players,’ Tadhg MacCarthaigh coach Mike O’Brien said.
‘For some reason we don’t seem to be hitting those levels at the minute. We are through to a semi-final, that’s a good thing, but if we are going to even compete with Argideen Rangers, we have to raise our level of performance, big time.’
Seamus Hayes got Rosscarbery off the mark from a free inside the third minute. Caheragh were struggling all over the pitch, epitomised by Shane Fitzgerald’s yellow card after eight minutes for a reckless foul.
Carbery Rangers sensed their opponent’s early disarray and Ciaran Santry thundered a goal chance millimetres past an upright before Seamus Hayes doubled his side’s advantage.
It took a full quarter of an hour for Tadhg MacCarthaigh to settle with Dylan Murray and Brian O’Driscoll points making it 0-2 apiece. Darragh Twomey produced an excellent save shortly after but Rangers’ approach play became ragged and two Paddy Burke (one free) scores handed his team a barely deserved two-point interval advantage.
Eoin O’Donovan and Leon Burke stretched Tadhg MacCarthaigh’s lead, 0-6 to 0-2, early in the second period. Creditably, Carbery Rangers hit back but a succession of wides proved a setback.
Paul Hodnett sent over a long-range effort to reduce the deficit prior to Colm O’Driscoll splitting the posts.
A Seamus Hayes free and second Hodnett effort galvanised Rangers heading into the closing stages. Scores were harder to come by and tempers frayed with one brief flashpoint in front of the Tadhg MacCarthaigh bench threatening to escalate. Cool heads prevailed and Paddy Burke’s late free made it 0-8 to 0-5.
No further scoring meant Tadhg MacCarthaigh progressed to the last four but require a major step up in quality if Argideen Rangers are to be overcome.
‘We battled, our full-back line was excellent and our defence, in the second half especially, is why we won this game,’ Mike O’Brien explained.
‘Players didn’t perform on the night for whatever reason. We never got going and that is a big concern going into a semi-final against a quality team like Argideen. We can only get the players ready but once they cross that white line, it is up to them to deliver.’
Tadhg MacCarthaigh: Paddy Burke 0-3 (2f); Dylan Murray, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin O’Donovan, Leon Burke, Colm O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
Carbery Rangers: Seamus Hayes 0-3 (2f); Paul Hodnett 0-2.
Tadhg MacCarthaigh: Patrick Kirby; Cathal Hegarty, Tadhg Keating, Shane Fitzgerald; Eoin O’Donovan, Daniel Kingston, Liam O’Donovan; Brian O’Driscoll, Colm O’Driscoll; Sean McCarthy, Paddy Burke, Leon Burke; Dylan Murray, Jack McCarthy, Michéal O’Donovan.
Subs: David O’Connor for S Fitzgerald (13), Charlie McCarthy for L O’Donovan (ht), Gavin O’Neill for J McCarthy (44), Shane O’Driscoll for D Murray (50), Kevin O’Driscoll for M O’Donovan (53).
Carbery Rangers: Darragh Twomey; Peter Óg Hill, Rob Hegarty, Michael O’Donovan; David O’Dwyer, Cathal Hennessy, Seamus O’Mahony; Ciarán Calnan, Conor Twomey; Cillian Keane, Paul Hodnett, Colm O’Mahony; Ciarán Santry, Seamus Hayes, Michael Mennis.
Subs: Evan Browne for C Keane (ht), John O’Brien for M Mennis (52, inj), Michael O’Mahony for C Santry (58).
Referee: Connie Murphy (Kilmeen).