St Finbarr’s 4-22 Charleville 2-15
ST FINBARR’S sit top of Group C of the Premier SHC after powering past last season's SAHC champions Charleville, in Mallow on Saturday afternoon.
The city side outclassed the North Cork men pretty much from start to finish in a display that should make others sit up and take notice.
Barrs manager Ronan Curran was happy with his side’s victory but the retired Cork star knows that things at this level of competition are likely to get more difficult as the group stages progress.
“Not a bad start to be fair, happy with that,” said Curran. “We didn’t really know where we were after only getting to see a lot of the guys last week so of course, you would be getting a bit nervous coming in but I think we did ok.
“We got a good start with some early goals. We really did look dangerous I thought but we still have a lot to improve on – particularly looking to next week which looks like a step up – particularly after seeing Erin's Own’s win last night.
"We are still 'seed three' and will be up against seed two next week so we will have to try our best again for that.
“We came in here with respect for Charleville. I have seen them over the last few years and they have been really impressive. A great club so we knew we had to perform and right from the start we did well enough.”
Led by the brothers Cahalane, Conor, Jack and Damien, the city side were dominant for significant portions of this one with Charleville struggling to get their hands on the ball as the powerful Barr’s side powered through the gears.
Right from the off points came easy for the men in blue who set about their task with no indication that they had only come together after last weekend’s football was completed.
For Charleville manager Mark Foley this one will have to go down as a learning curve.
“Looking at the game I suppose it looked like a bit of a step up for us but to be fair to St Finbarr’s I thought they used the ball very well, were very good in the tackle, used the spare hand very well and took their scores very well.
“St Finbarr’s are a physically bigger side than us and were able to break the tackle – and we just couldn’t break their tackle.
“We will meet tomorrow, go through it and park it. I feel strongly that this is not a fair representation of the group so will need to improve on that.”
St Finbarr’s started in impressive fashion and led by 2-7 to 0-4 with just 15 on the clock. Points from Ben Cunningham, Eoin Keane and Jack Cahalane along with a brace of net-busters from Brian Hayes and Billy Hennessy had the victors in control as Charleville struggled all over the field.
The Avondhu men managed to cut the gap soon after the first water break, a brilliant Darragh Fitzgibbon goal, but the city side continued to dominate and netted again on 27 minutes: Damien Cahalane on the run.
Barrs led by 3-13 to 1-8 at the break and there was a gulf in class again in the second half.
The Blues were 16 clear late on, after an Ian Lordan penalty, but credit to them, Charleville finished the scoring with their second major on the stroke of full time from James O’Brien.