JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
A TERRIFIC point from an acute angle by super sub Colm Sheehan in the dying embers of this Cork Lower IHC tie earned favourites Kilbrittain a share of the spoils against a youthful Barryroe in a competitive local derby played at Timoleague last Sunday.
Despite the fact that the sides were level on seven occasions the hurling standard never rose above the realms of mediocrity, but both teams have earned a point in this round-robin format championship.
Going on their final quarter performance, underdogs Barryroe could have snatched it, as Kilbrittain manager Jamie Wall readily concurred.
‘We were hanging on a bit there towards the end, Barryroe could have pulled it off. The bottom line is that a tally of 12 points will win very few matches. Maybe our experience helped us particularly in the opening half. I thought we defended well, but with the elements we failed to put away some of the opportunities’, Wall said. ‘We face Russell Rovers next and they will be no pushover. We need to improve. In fact, both sides have to if we want to go further because displays like this won’t do.’
His counterpart Brendan Coleman had more reasons to be optimistic given how his young charges had stood up to the white heat of championship hurling but he too was preaching caution.
‘We meet Ballygarvan this weekend, they drew with the favourites Russell Rovers so that gives an idea of the level we must raise the bar to,’ the Barryroe boss said.
‘We did well today, all the team put in a big shift, Kilbrittain took their scores at the end as that bit of experience helped. But it’s all to play for, we will take this result as positive and move on.’ An evenly contested opening 30 minutes saw both defences basically on top with goal-scoring opportunities a scarce commodity. Soaring high deliveries were food and drink to defenders of the prowess of Kilbrittain’s James Hurley, Ross Cashman, Tommy Harrington and Thomas Sheehan, while minding the house for the lads from the Barony of Ibane, David Kiely, Patick and James Moloney, veteran Kieran Griffin, Jerome O’Brien and Conor O’Regan were providing excellent cover for Billy O’Donovan.
Hence most of the scoring came from frees with Jack Murphy and Maurice Sexton to the fore here. A Ross Cashman free and two delightful scores by Robbie Kiely and Jack Murphy got the ball rolling. Patrick Moloney and Mark Hickey swapped points, while Sexton and Murphy bisected the posts with clockward regularity, the Blues having their noses in front at the interval, 0-7 to 0-6.
A Maurice Sexton free and a dainty Sean Holland score set the second half tone, as a bullet of a drive by the proactive Philip Wall forced a great save from the Barryroe shot-stopper. Hickey and Wall switched wings, but it was Barryroe with their tails up who had moved into a commanding position as the clock ticked down.
But Kilbrittain are doughty campaigners and two delightful scores from Maurice Sexton and Colm Sheehan’s beauty at the end ensured parity, a fair result to a dour derby.
Kilbrittain: Maurice Sexton 0-8 (7f); Colm Sheehan, Philip Wall, Mark Hickey, Ross Cashman (f) 0-1 each.
Barryroe: Jack Murphy 0-8 (8f); Robbie Kiely, Patrick Moloney, Sean Holland, Billy O’Donovan (f) 0-1 each.
Kilbrittain: Alan Hayes; Nick O’Donovan, James Hurley, Damien Desmond; Ross Cashman, Tommy Harrington, Thomas Sheehan; Paudie Brennan, Chris Hickey; Mark Hickey, Maurice Sexton, Sean Sexton; Philip Wall, Dec Harrington, Morgan Madden.Subs: Sam Shorten for Morgan Madden (18), Colm Sheehan for Paudie Brennan (47), Bertie Butler for Dec Harrington (52).
Barryroe: Billy O’Donovan; James Moloney, Jerome O’Brien, Conor O’Regan; Patrick Moloney, David Kiely, Kieran Griffin; Ted Kearney, Mark Crowley; Donal O’Buachalla, Daniel O’Driscoll, Jack Murphy; Seán Holland, Robbie Kiely, Ciarán Hurley.Subs: Con Dineen for Donal O’Buachalla (38), Adam McSweeney for Daniel O’Driscoll (38), Cathal Sheehy for Ted Kearney (46).
Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).