St Mary’s 1-13
MATTHEW HURLEY REPORTS
SUPER SUB Rory Baggott was the hero for St Mary’s after hitting a last-gasp winner in a dramatic quarter-final against Kilmacabea.
It means a battle of the Saints this Sunday, as Marys face St James in the junior A football championship semi-final.
‘It’s just about calming things down again, getting the bodies right, light training session and we’ll go from there,’ said Mary’s selector Brian McCarthy after this epic in Ardfield on Sunday.
In a game full of quality and excitement, up stepped Baggott with a shot close to the sideline. He judged the gale-force wind to perfection to angle a shot with the outside of his boot. When the ball found its target, it sparked unbridled joy in the Marys dugout.
‘The conditions out here were fairly bad but the two teams were outstanding,’ McCarthy said. ‘It was just some kick of a ball by Rory in the end. Outside of the left, I wouldn’t give it to anyone else if I wanted it to be scored, he’s the man.’
It’s hard to believe the Ballineen/Enniskeane side had to wait for 20 minutes to hit their first score, as they played against a strong wind in the opening half. That, in large part, was down to Kilmacabea starting like a train as Damien Gore hit an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. The Leap club raced into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead after points from Donnacha McCarthy, Dan O’Donovan and Colin McCarthy seemed to have them in cruise control.
Rory O’Connor finally opened St Mary's account before an O’Donovan free stretched the gap out to eight again. St Mary’s Olan Corcoran and Kilmacabea’s McCarthy traded scores before a critical moment in the game. Dylan Scannell burst down the middle of the Kilmac’s defence before laying it off to Niall Kelleher to fire home. Corcoran added on another Mary’s point to reduce the gap at half time, 1-7 to 1-3.
‘We got off to a bad start. We worked hard to get a score and it was really the goal that got us back into it,’ McCarthy explained. ‘Then at half time the lads said we’ll just keep it going, play exactly the way we were playing, don’t do anything fancy, just make sure we didn’t take the wind for granted.’
Marys struck two without reply at the start of the second spell as Corcoran increased his tally while Brian Everard also hit a nice score. Richie O’Sullivan got one point for Kilmacabea but O’Connor and Corcoran points for Marys cut the margin to one.
The momentum looked to be going Mary’s way until a Dan O’Donovan effort for Kilmacabea from around 30 metres ended up in the back of the net, 2-8 to 1-7. A fortuitous goal which could have finished St Mary’s off, but it didn’t.
In fact, after the goal, Marys outscored Kilmacabea 0-6 to 0-1 until the end of the game.
St Mary’s full forward Darren O’Donovan and Gore traded scores, leaving it 2-9 to 1-8 with ten minutes of normal time left. Marys never said die though, as they closed the margin, point by point.
O’Donovan hit two more points while efforts from Dylan Scannell and Kelleher (free) meant they were level for the first time. It looked like we were heading for another 20 minutes of action until Baggott hit a late score to win it.
St Mary’s: Olan Corcoran 0-4 (2f); Niall Kelleher 1-1 (1f); Darren O’Donovan 0-3; Rory O’Connor 0-2; Brian Everard, Dylan Scannell, Rory Baggott 0-1 each.
Kilmacabea: Dan O’Donovan 1-3 (1f); Damien Gore 1-1; Donnacha McCarthy 0-3; Colin McCarthy, Richie O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
St Mary’s: Paul Gleeson; Finighin O’Driscoll, David Curtin, Billy O’Brien; Ryan Scannell, Dylan Scannell, Mark O’Driscoll; Rory O’Connor, Brian Everard; Aaron O’Driscoll, Olan Corcoran, Michael O’Driscoll; Jack Hurley, Darren O’Donovan, Niall Kelleher.
Subs: Stephen Keohane for A O’Driscoll (41), Jason Collins for M O’Driscoll (55), Rory Baggott for F O’Driscoll (61).
Kilmacabea: Karl McCarthy; Mark Jennings, Ruairi Hourihane, Diarmuid O’Callaghan; Donie O’Donovan, Sam O’Driscoll, Clive Sweetnam; Ian Jennings, Martin Collins; Ray Shanahan, Damien Gore, Owen Tobin; Dan O’Donovan, Colin McCarthy, Donnacha McCarthy.
Subs: Richie O’Sullivan for R Shanahan (ht); Joe Collins for M Jennings (36); Eamonn Shanahan for S O’Driscoll (41); Declan O’Sullivan for Donie O’Donovan (48).
Referee: Michael O’Mahony (Kilbrittain).