St Finbarr’s 3-26 Carrigtwohill 0-10
IN terms of extending their Cork County SHC season, this result meant nothing to the Barrs but that should not take away from what was their most polished display for quite some time.
This was a must-win for one of Cork’s most decorated clubs, lose and the consequences could have been dire.
But they well and truly brushed aside their relegation fears in Carrigaline last Saturday night and maybe the outcome against a well-beaten Carrigtwohill side might be the platform for better times in the future.
Right from the word go, the Barrs meant business and with former stars like John Cremin, Ger Cunningham and Donal O’Grady driving them on from the sideline, the outcome was never in doubt.
Carrigtwohill had done well in their previous two assignments, drawing with Na Piarsaigh and losing by just a couple of points to the Glen but it was an entirely different story this time.
All over the pitch, the Togher side ruled the roost, strong and assertive in defence with John Neville, Eoin Keane, Glenn O’Connor and Olan Murphy leading by example while further afield there were splendid performances from Eoghan Finn, young guns Ethan Twomey and Jack Cahalane.
Billy Hennessy exhibited his class too in a team performance that must have compensated for some recent very disappointing displays.
They laid down a solid base early on and were 0-9 to 0-0 after 20 minutes, Jack Cahalane, Finn, Neville and Twomey all registering on the board.
James Mulcahy had Carrig’s opening score in the 20th minute and young Liam Gosnell followed up with three more on the trot.
But the ‘Barrs rallied again and finished the half with some more sublimely executed scores.
Twomey added a second point and subsequently crashed home a goal after an initial save from Carrig ‘keeper Shane Devlin.
Hennessy added a brace of points before the interval and Carrig had a mountain to climb as the half-time whistle sounded, trailing by 1-14 to 0-4.
With points difference going to be crucial if teams finished on equal points, the Barrs were never going to let up and they took up where they left off when the sides resumed.
Twomey and Conor Cahalane split the posts again before Sean Walsh pointed a few frees for Carrigtwohill.
But the Barrs were relentless in pursuit of what their objective was and the points just kept on being converted with Brian Hayes getting in on the act.
Then arrived goal number two, Twomey the executioner again after strong work by Jack Cahalane.
Long before that the game had become a damage limitation exercise for the East Cork team and there were few bright moments over the hour for them.
Billy Hennessy clung another Barrs goal as the clock began to count down with Finn, Hayes and sub Stephen Sherlock troubling the umpire with the white flag.
Luke O’Kelly, a Carrig sub got a point back but it was all too little too late.
As a result of outcomes elsewhere, Carrigtwohill stayed safe in the top flight but this was the Barrs issuing a strong statement here, they might be down but they are not out and their hurling here suggested that better times might lay ahead.
They certainly answered the call when the need was at its greatest.
Scorers St Finbarr’s: E Finn 0-10 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), E Twomey 2-4, J Cahalane 0-5, B Hennessy 1-2, B Hayes 0-2, J Neville, S Sherlock, C Cahalane 0-1.
Carrigtwohill: S Walsh 0-5 (0-4 f), L Gosnell 0-3 (0-2 f), L O’Kelly, J McCarthy 0-1 each.
ST FINBARR’S: S Hurley, J Burns, J Neville, O Murphy, B Hennessy, E Keane, G O’Connor, C Walsh, D Cahalane, C Keane, C Cahalane, E Finn, E Twomey, B Hayes, J Cahalane.
Subs: S Sherlock for J Cahalane (52), J O’Kelly for Twomey (54).
CARRIGTWOHILL: S Devlin, B Twomey, P Sullivan, J Horgan, D Rooney, R Power, A Walsh-Barry, P Hogan, T Hogan, N McCarthy, L O’Sullivan, J McCarthy, J Mulcahy, L Gosnell, S Walsh.
Subs: C O’Connell for T Hogan, S de Burca for Rooney, L Kelly for J McCarthy, S Rohan for Gosnell (all second-half).
Referee: A O’Connor (Ballygarvan).