Castlelyons 3-18 Inniscarra 1-21
ANTHONY Spillane scored 1-6 as Castlelyons secured a third victory in Group C of the Cork Premier IHC to book a semi-final spot.
Going into the clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the East Cork side topped the group and were almost certain of a place in the knockout stages and a superb start, with David Morrison scoring a second-minute goal, looked to have put them on course for a straightforward victory.
Inniscarra, who had an outside chance of qualification, stuck with their opponents though and a strong second quarter from them meant the sides were level at half-time.
Three points on the resumption for Castlelyons, scored by Barry Murphy, Anthony Spillane and Alan Fenton, put them into a lead they would hold for the remainder, but they were never fully able to shake off the Muskerry side.
Ultimately, they did enough to second the number two seed and that last-four spot, denied top ranking by a late goal from ‘Scarra’s Séan O’Donoghue.
Castlelyons had a dream opening, with Barry Murphy setting up Michael Spillane for a point before Anthony Spillane’s run created space and his pass to the unmarked David Morrison ended with a goal from the corner-forward.
By the 11th minute, a good long-range effort from midfielder Eoin Maye had them 1-3 to 0-2 in front and, after Seán O’Donoghue replied for Inniscarra, the East Cork side should have had another goal.
Impressive wing-back Leo Sexton’s searching pass was ideal for Anthony Spillane and again he played in Morrison, who was just crowded as he went to shoot.
In addition to that chance, Castlelyons were also squandering opportunities for points and, by the water-break, Inniscarra had the margin down to a point, 1-3 to 0-5 as David O’Keeffe’s pointed free was followed by an Owen McCarthy score after a good turnover.
By half-time, they were level, but Castlelyons were recharged on the restart and were three clear again within two minutes, but Shane O’Mahony and O’Keeffe brought Inniscarra back to within a point.
A second Castlelyons goal, on 36 minutes, looked to have ended the contest. Colm Barry’s clearance was claimed by Anthony Spillane, who linked well with his brother Michael before Morrison again applied the finish.
Anthony Spillane’s third point in the wake of that made it 2-9 to 0-11 and he should have added another goal but John O’Keeffe saved well.
Spillane was finding more space though and making it count on the scoreboard, with one superb score on 42 coming courtesy of a fine assist from the influential Maye.
Inniscarra wouldn’t give in though and three points in a row – from Fergal O’Leary, O’Keeffe and O’Donoghue – had them within two, 2-15 to 0-19, as the end of normal time loomed.
Deep in injury time, Anthony Spillane got the goal his performance deserved, set up by sub Leon Doocey, and that looked to have nailed down top spot.
However, with the final puck, O’Donoghue scored Inniscarra’s goal, meaning Castlelyons have to settled for second seeing and a meeting with either Watergrasshill or Courcey Rovers.
Scorers for Castlelyons: A Spillane 1-6, D Morrison 2-0, A Fenton 0-4 (0-3f), E Maye 0-3, B Murphy 0-2, M Spillane, C Spillane, J Kearney 0-1 each.
Inniscarra: D O’Keeffe 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 65), S O’Donoghue 1-3, O McCarthy 0-3, S O’Mahony, F O’Leary 0-2 each, E O’Connor 0-1.
CASTLELYONS: J Barry; J O’Leary, C Barry, T Carroll; C O’Neill, N O’Leary, L Sexton; E Maye, K O’Leary; A Fenton, C Spillane, B Murphy; M Spillane, A Spillane, D Morrison.
Subs: J Kearney for M Spillane (40), L Doocey for K O’Leary (42), C O’Leary for Carroll (51), B Carroll for Fenton (55).
INNISCARRA: J O’Keeffe; J O’Callaghan, S Olden, J O’Sullivan; S Sheehan, L Ryan, C Lombard; J Harrington, S O’Donoghue; O McCarthy, L Buckley, S O’Mahony; F O’Leary, E O’Connor, D O’Keeffe.
Sub: J Buckley for O’Callaghan (44, injured).
Referee: D Daly (Brian Dillons).