Inniscarra 0-23 Castlelyons 1-18
TO say this was a massive win for Inniscarra was an understatement.
In this PIHC quarter-final clash in perfect conditions at Riverstown they looked to be in serious trouble by half-time, between the scoreline, injuries and a sending off.
The odds were certainly stacked against them at this point, but their second-half display had everything any manager would look for. Plenty of guts, determination and some sublime scores to see them shock the east Cork side to reach the semi-final and they were fully deserving of their win.
In the first-half they lost three key players to injury, John O'Callaghan was first to depart, followed by Con O'Leary, two key defenders and when their Cork star, Sean O'Donoghue followed it didn't look good for them.
Add in the sending off of Liam Buckley just before half-time and the fact they trailed by five points by then it didn't look good.
But what a second-half performance from them to a man they battled for every ball, gave Castlelyons no room and with Michael Coleman starring in their forward line, they drove on to win.
For any neutrals in the crowd they witnessed a superb game, but no doubt for both sets of supporters it was hearts in mouths stuff.
The crucial period of the tie was between the 33th and 43rd minutes when they came from 1-12 to 0-9 down to hit seven without reply to lead by one.
This turnaround gave them a massive boost of confidence and even when they fell two points behind later on they never panicked and hit four in succession to go back in front.
Castlelyons will be disappointed with their second-half performance in particular, where they failed to make use of the extra man and they didn't help their cause by hitting 14 wides over the hour.
They got the perfect start to the game when Anthony Spillane goaled in the first minute, with O'Donoghue replying with a point for Inniscarra.
Alan Fenton got Castlelyons first point, but a good spell from Inniscarra saw them back level with two from Coleman, along with points from Eddie O'Connor and Colm Casey.
Michael Spillane and Owen McCarthy exchanged points, to make it 1-3 to 0-6 with 20 minutes gone.
Spillane pointed again, with David Morrison, Keith O'Leary, Barry Murphy and Anthony Spillane all on target to put them 1-8 to 0-6 in front.
Eoin Maye and O'Leary hit two more and as the game went into injury-time they were 1-10 to 0-8 in front.
Deep into injury time Liam Buckley received a straight red card for a late tackle on Michael Spillane and at the interval Castlelyons led 1-11 to 0-9.
Anthony Spillane got the opening score of the second-half but instead of driving his side on, it saw their opponents up their game to turn it on its head.
Coleman started the comeback, with Casey and McCarthy adding points.
David O'Keeffe, Casey, Coleman and Michael O'Connell all scored and with 43 minutes gone they led 0-16 to 1-12.
Eoin Maye levelled it with Coleman putting his side back in front. As the game ended the final 15 minutes the fear for Inniscarra was the warm weather and the extra man would count against them and it looked like it when their opponents hit three-in-a-row, through Michael Spillane, Tom Carroll and O'Leary, making it 1-16 to 0-17.
But again Inniscarra responded in style, with McCarthy making it a one-point game and Coleman equalising. McCarthy pointed again to put Inniscarra back in front, with Coleman adding another, making it 0-21 to 1-16 with five minutes to go.
Michael Spillane and O'Keeffe exchanged points, with Barry Murphy scoring for Castlelyons to put one between the sides. But fittingly Coleman got the last score of the half to see Inniscarra advance to the semi-final where they will face Kilworth.
Scorers for Inniscarra: M Coleman 0-10 (0-4 f), C Casey, O McCarthy 0-4 each, A Fenton 0-2, S O'Donoghue, E O'Connor, M O'Connell 0-1 each.
Castlelyons: A Spillane 1-3, M Spillane 0-5 f, K O'Leary 0-3, B Murphy 0-2, A Fenton, D Morrison, N O'Leary, E Maye, T Carroll 0-1 each.
INNISCARRA: J O'Keeffe; J O'Callaghan, B O'Mahony, J O'Sullivan; A McCarthy, C O'Leary, C Lombard; L Ryan, S O'Donoghue; O McCarthy, D O'Keeffe, M Coleman; E O'Connor, C Casey, M O'Connell.
Subs: L Buckley for J O'Callaghan (10 inj), S Olden for C O'Leary (22 inj), S O'Mahony for S O'Donoghue (30 inj), C Buckley for E O'Connor (h-t), C Bennett for M O'Connell (58).
CASTLELYONS: J Barry; B Carroll, C Barry, C O'Neill; D Varner, N O'Leary, S Moroney, E Maye; T Carroll, B Murphy, A Fenton; K O'Leary, D Morrison, A Spillane, M Spillane.
Referee: Dave Farrell Jnr, Mitchelstown.