Goals crucial as Carbery set up meeting with champs Imokilly
Denis Hurley Reports
CARBERY hurling manager Charlie Vaughan insists that miracles can happen as he prepares his side for their toughest challenge.
Goals from Darragh Coakley and John Sheehan were the difference as Carbery overcame Avondhu in the opening round of the county SHC divisions/colleges section at Páirc Uí Rinn on Tuesday. However, there is little time for basking in the glow of that as they must face reigning champions Imokilly this Tuesday.
The Carbery board have postponed the Carbery JAHC game between St Oliver Plunkett’s and Kilmeen scheduled for Sunday as every effort is being made to help give the division’s hurlers the best possible chance of an upset.
‘Carbery almost folded over the last two years,’ he said, ‘but the effort has been made, from the top down to the bottom.
‘We have a huge mantle to carry and we’re going into next Tuesday now. We’re playing the county champions and more than likely they’ll come out to try and get a big score but we’ve a few players to come on too and we will put it up to them. We’ll give them a fight and if we’re five points down or 20 points down, none of those lads will give up.
‘We’ll certainly have a cut off it next week and Imokilly will know they’ve been in a game because we’re not going in to make up the numbers. We’ll fight for 63 or 64 minutes and it won’t be for the want of trying.
‘Listen, miracles have happened!’
This was a fine performance from Carbery, who bore the hallmarks of a lot of ground-work, even if they were helped by Avondhu shooting 11 first-half wides. Having trailed 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes, the West Cork side hit the front as Kevin O’Donovan did brilliantly to set up Darragh Coakley for a goal and they never trailed after that as points from Kevin O’Donovan, Darragh O’Donovan and Don McCarthy put them in control.
There might have been another goal on 23 minutes, Philip Wall drawing a save from Aidan Long, but Carbery were good value for a 1-8 to 0-7 half-time lead.
However, Avondhu were improved on the resumption and had the first three points of the second half, two by Brian Murphy and a Colin O’Brien fee. Carbery needed a settling score and they got it as Gearóid O’Donovan and John Sheehan combined to set up Coakley, with Gearóid O’Donovan’s free giving them a goal lead again.
‘Whatever was said to Avondhu at half-time made a difference,’ Vaughan said, ‘because, I’ll tell you, I was worried.
‘We were all worried on the sideline because they were winning second ball and working it across the field, we seemed to be asleep for the first ten minutes of the second half. But the lads came back into it, I’ve said it for three years, they don’t know when they’re beaten.
‘They keep fighting, because they’re proud Carbery men.’
While Avondhu did show a greater accuracy as they stayed in touch, the Carbery defence was ensuring that no goal chances accrued. The score was 1-12 to 0-14 after Liam Cronin’s point for Avondhu on 48 but a super Pádraig Butler point and one from impressive sub Nick O’Donovan pushed Carbery clear again.
Though Stephen Condon had his fifth in reply for Avondhu, Sheehan then strode forward from midfield to fire a low shot to the net for a 2-14 to 0-15 advantage. Again, Avondhu came back with a pair of Colin O’Brien frees cutting the deficit to two but Don McCarthy converted a free for Carbery in the final minute of normal time.
There was one goal chance for Avondhu in injury time, Carbery’s championship campaign flashing before their eyes as Condon’s effort went just wide of the post, but Gearóid O’Donovan pointed with the next play to make sure of the win.
Delight for Carbery and Vaughan as they look forward to the meeting with Imokilly, who were 0-31 to 1-13 winners over Carrigdhoun.
‘These lads are afraid of me,’ he said, ‘and it’s not fear that I’d fight with them – they’re afraid that I’d come to their houses at one o’clock in the morning and bang on their doors and say, “Lads, come and play for Carbery!”
‘That’s why they’re here. Look at the panel we had, you could have had two teams, and winning is everything.
‘We could have done with a couple of more points and we’ll work on that, but the goals came at important times. These lads make me smile because I couldn’t do half of what they do.’
Carbery: Don McCarthy 0-5 (4f), Darragh Coakley 1-2, John Sheehan 1-0, Gearóid O’Donovan, Pádraig Butler, Kevin O’Donovan, Darragh O’Donovan 0-2 each, Nick O’Donovan 0-1.
Avondhu: Stephen Condon (2f), Colin O’Brien (4f, 1 65) 0-5 each, Brian Murphy 0-3, Killian O’Connor (f), Liam Cronin, Will Condon, Henry O’Gorman, Brian O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Carbery: Denis Dullea (Kilbree); Cathal O’Donovan (Argideen Rangers), James Hurley (Kilbrittain), Conor O’Driscoll (St Oliver Plunketts); Patrick Crowley (Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas), Brian O’Donovan (Kilbree), Pádraig Butler (Argideen Rangers); John Sheehan (Argideen Rangers), John Murphy (Barryroe); Geaóid O’Donovan (Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas), Darragh O’Donovan (Argideen Rangers), Don McCarthy (Kilbree); Kevin O’Donovan (Diarmuid Mathúnas), Darragh Coakley (Kilbree), Philip Wall (Kilbrittain).
Subs: Nick O’Donovan (Kilbrittain) for Murphy (half-time), Kieran O’Donovan (Ardfield) for Wall (51), Jamie Lucey (Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas) for Darragh O’Donovan (57), Paudie Brennan (Kilbrittain) for Crowley (59).
Avondhu: Aidan Long (Mallow); Ronan Sheehan (Mallow), Killian O’Connor (Mallow), Eoin Clancy (Fermoy); Nathan Byrne (Kilworth), Kieran Morrison (Fermoy), Liam Cronin (Killavullen); Séamus Roynane (Clyda Rovers), Diarmuid Buckley (Dromina); Colin O’Brien (Liscarroll/Churchtown Gaels), Brian O’Sullivan (Fermoy), Will Condon (Kilworth); Stephen Condon (Harbour Rovers), Henry O’Gorman (Milford), Brian Murphy (Milford).
Sub: Seán Linehan (Ballyhooly) for O’Sullivan (half-time).
Referee: Patrick O’Driscoll (Bride Rovers).