Courcey Rovers 1-16 Youghal 1-11
COURCEY Rovers’ second win in a week means that they are all but through to the knockout stages of the Co-Op Superstores PIHC after they beat Youghal 1-16 to 1-11 at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.
A clinical display from Richard Sweetnam, who claimed 0-10 of his side’s total - eight of those frees and one 65 - proved to be decisive as Rovers maintain their perfect start to keep them top of Group A while Youghal crash out.
The sides showed in the opening exchanges that they were going to be tough to separate as they both hit two early wides apiece as well as converting a free each with centre-forward Brett Moloney doing the honours for Youghal and Richard Sweetnam following suit for Rovers.
The first goal of the game was scored in the eighth minute and it was Youghal that got it thanks to corner forward Oisin Hill, whose superb catch allowed him to fire low past the keeper at his near post.
But the men from Ballinspittle and Ballinadee responded superbly and three unanswered points before the first water break ensured they restored parity heading into the second quarter.
And then, for a time, it was a battle between the two free-takers. Moloney raised a couple of white flags for Youghal before Sweetnam added four more converted frees in a row to his tally but despite this, the two teams remained level at half-time, 1-6 to 0-9.
But in the second half Courceys - helped by Sweetnam’s ruthlessness from dead-ball situations - powered past their rivals.
Sweetnam even saw a penalty saved brilliantly by goalkeeper Richard Cunningham late on but Sean Twomey’s well-taken goal shortly after the restart meant they had already secured a commanding 1-15 to 1-7 lead by that juncture.
The number 11 sent a 65 over the blackspot for his and his team’s final point before Youghal rallied to notch 0-4 without reply to add some more respectability to the scoreline.