Carrigaline 0-26 Courcey Rovers 1-17
CARRIGALINE got their Co-Op Superstores PIHC off to a great start at Brinny on Saturday.
The South East derby was a highly entertaining affair with the winners made to fight all the way to the end for their victory.
In fairness, they would have expected nothing less from Courceys who battled right to the end and certainly can't be faulted for their efforts.
Carrigaline had a number of impressive displays, with Denis McBarron and David Drake in top form in the half-forward line.
But inside them Brian Kelleher was outstanding and he was a handful for the Courceys defence all through.
Carrigaline were also without the injured Kevin Kavanagh and veteran Tony Murphy went off injured seven minutes in, but they showed there is depth in their panel this year and on this form will be one of the sides to watch this year.
Wesley O'Brien opened the scoring for Carrigaline with Kelleher getting their second. Two from Murphy, before going off injured, helped them to a 0-5 to 0-2 lead, with Martin Collins and Richie Sweetnam on target for Courceys.
Courceys were back on level terms,with 13 minutes gone, when Ronan Nyhan got the only goal of the game and a point from John McCarthy saw them lead 1-5 to 0-7, with 18 minutes on the clock.
But then Carrigaline took over, with two from Kelleher, along with points from O'Brien and Ronan Kelleher making it 0-11 to 1-5.
Three more for Brian Kelleher, along with two from Drake saw Carrigaline lead by 0-17 to 1-7 at half-time.
Brian Kelleher was on target again, just 20 seconds into the second-half, before Courceys keeper Stephen Nyhan stepped up to get his second point from a free from 75 metres.
Kellerh and Rob O'Shea pointed for Carrigaline, but two from Sweetnam, along with another from Nyhan and a point from Aidan O'Donovan brought Courceys back into contention, 1-14 to 0-23.
Again Kelleher responded for his side, with Sweetnam replying at the other end and with time running out it was 0-23 to 1-16 to Carrigaline.
Drake and Kelleher scored either side of a Ronan Nyhan effort for Courceys.
Fittingly Drake got the last score of the game as Drake got the last score to see his side run out deserving winners.
Scorers for Carrigaline: B Kelleher 0-11 (6f, 65), D Drake 0-5, W O'Brien 0-3, T Murphy, R O'Shea 0-2 each, C Vaughan, R Kelleher, E Desmond 0-1 each.
Courcey Rovers: R Nyhan 1-1, R Sweetnam 0-9 (8f), S Nyhan 0-3 (3f), A O'Donovan 0-2, M Collins, J McCarthy 0-1 each.
CARRIGALINE: R Foster; S Williamson, P Ronayne, D Stack; C Vaughan, C Barry, D Griffin; W O'Brien, E Desmond; S O'Brien, D McBarron, D Drake; B Kelleher, T Murphy, R O'Shea.
Subs: R Kelleher for T Murphy (7m inj), D King for C Vaughan (59m).
COURCEY ROVERS: S Nyhan; C Daly, B Collins, B Mulcahy; D Coughlan, D Dwyer, F Lordan; J O'Neill, M Collins; A O'Donovan, O Crowley, M O'Donovan; R Sweetnam, R Nyhan, J McCarthy.
Subs: DJ Twomey for M O'Donovan (39m), T Collins for J McCarthy (42m), K Collins for D Coughlan (48m).
Referee: Brian Coniry, Crosshaven.