COURCEY Rovers booked their place in the 2018 Premier 2 U21 hurling championship final, following a hard-fought victory over fellow Carrigdhoun side Carrigaline in the semi-final at Brinny last Sunday afternoon.
The Ballinspittle side prevailed on a scoreline of 1-22 to 2-16. The winners had to show character late on; behind by two points after 57 minutes, Courcey’s finished well, with Sean Twomey’s injury-time goal crucial. The Ballinspittle based side had some fine performers throughout the hour.
Fergus Lordan anchored the defence, as well as chipping in two points, one from a long-range free. Cathal Maguire was effective in midfield, with his hard running. The Castlehaven footballer also scored three points.
Up front, Tadhg O’Sullivan, Brendan Ryan, Aidan O’Donovan and Sean Twomey all came up with big scores, when their team needed them.
Courcey Rovers selector John Ryan was naturally a delighted figure after the game.
“A brilliant victory for us. This was our second consecutive Carrigdhoun derby. We played here two weeks ago, when we defeated Ballymartle, and we were here again.
“The players have been incredible all year. They have had to dig deep in a number of matches. They had to do it again today. The players have character and mentality in abundance. Carrigaline looked to be in the driving seat going into injury-time, but we never gave up. I am just thrilled to be in the final.”
Courcey Rovers made a flying start to proceedings, as they led 0-6 to 0-0 after 11 minutes. In the end, that start would prove all so important, and it was something that pleased Ryan.
“We said all week, we need to start well. We certainly got the good start, but Carrigaline got on top of us, and scored a goal during their scoring spree. In any game, both sides are always going to have a period of dominance.
“But, the most important thing was we responded every time we suffered a setback. It’s a good sign of a team. We had outstanding individual performances, but the team performance was excellent.”
The win over Carrigaline sets up what should be a cracking final this Sunday in Páirc Uí Rinn against Ballincollig.
“Ballincollig are on a high after winning the intermediate county this season. We are in for a savage battle this Sunday. Ballincollig have beaten some top class teams in the U21 championship. I would like to think the Carrigaline game will stand to us.
“We will be ready for Sunday, I can’t wait for it.”