Mighty Mallow coped without key man Cormac Murphy in a PIHC thriller

Mighty Mallow coped without key man Cormac Murphy in a PIHC thriller
Mallow's Darragh Moynihan clears his lines as Carrigaline's Cian Barry closes in. Picture: David Keane.

MALLOW and Carrigaline played out a closely fought Cork Premier IHC at Ballincollig on Sunday, the north Cork men narrowly coming out on top, 3-15 to 1-20.

The second-half was played out on a knife edge as the lead changed hands constantly.

While there were many individual performances of note, central to the victory was a personal haul of 2-7 from Mallow forward Sean Hayes.

Sean Hayes goes high to win the ball as Kevin Kavanagh closes in. Picture: David Keane.
Sean Hayes goes high to win the ball as Kevin Kavanagh closes in. Picture: David Keane.

Mallow manager Fergal McCormack said they were ready for the challenge.

“We prepared well and we felt we were in good shape coming into the game. As I just said there now to our boys, games take a life of their own. We got a couple of goals, they came back at us, and we were down two points in the second half but we showed real leadership from a number of players throughout the pitch which was fantastic.

“The goal before half-time meant we went in two points up. It gave us a bit of a cushion, there was a bit of a breeze going down into that goal. That was not a fluke either. 

"In a couple of our league matches, we have scored 31- and 32-minute goals and they are a real fillip. You could say it is a coincidence but it has happened a couple of times which is great.

“Sean Hayes is a fantastic player and you want him in a number of positions. Carrigaline found him a handful. We had other players around the pitch too that performed. 

"In defence Darragh Moynihan and Fionn O’Neill who are stalwarts of the team for the last number of years. Pa Herlihy, I thought when he went out around midfield was fantastic and Kenneth Mills. To a man they were brilliant.”

Mallow were minus their county player Cormac Murphy who is sidelined due to injury.

“We knew he had a groin injury for the last couple of weeks. It was been looked at by physios but we knew during the week he wouldn’t be playing.

“The way the inter-county is these days, he hasn’t been with us all year. It wasn’t disrupting anything. This is a very tough competition. There was nothing in it today. Carrigaline will have a big say going forward.”

Like most management teams, they are faced with a break until the third round.

“Our first-year as a management team was last year, we didn’t really know what to do after we won our first round. There was a couple of months break, we kept training. 

"Sometimes you think it might get stale for us and the players. So, we will try and manage it a bit differently this year. Everyone is trying to win the championship, that is our ultimate goal.”

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