IAHC: Ryan Denny and Jack Leahy fire Dungourney past Sars into final

East Cork derby concluded with Dungourney setting up a showdown with Cloughduv
IAHC: Ryan Denny and Jack Leahy fire Dungourney past Sars into final

Dungourney's Jack Leahy races past Sarsfields' Jack Leahy, during their IAHC semi-final, at Carrigtwohill. Picture: David Keane

Dungourney 0-18 Sarsfields 1-12

DUNGOURNEY progressed to the final of Co-Op Superstores Intermediate A Hurling Championship after they deservedly defeated Sarsfields in Carrigtwohill on Saturday afternoon.

A sensational performance from midfielder Ryan Denny, who claimed 0-7 of his side's total and only one of those was a free, was enough to see Dungourney see off the challenge of Sars in their semi-final clash.

Sars were hoping to return to the showpiece occasion and avenge their defeat last year but they were second best here for the majority of the first half.

By the half time break they would register nine wides and only four points, none of which came from play as Patrick O’Driscoll split the uprights with a free before Luke Elliott took control of the dead ball situations and did likewise on three more occasions.

But it was Dungourney who was in complete control of proceedings here at the interval led by the sensational shooting and the determination from Denny.

They were first to almost every ball and four sensational strikes from long distance by their number nine helped them into an eight-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

It was soon 0-10 to no score until the 23rd minute when the men from Riverstown finally got on the board and they would improve in the closing stages to ensure it was 0-13 to 0-4 at the break.

 Dungourney's James Ahern and Sarsfields' Neilus Fitzpatrick, tussle for possession. Picture: David Keane
Dungourney's James Ahern and Sarsfields' Neilus Fitzpatrick, tussle for possession. Picture: David Keane

Perhaps the wind was stronger than many believed as Sars started the second period brightly, although they emerged early from the dressing room to show they weren’t about to go down without a fight.

Suddenly by the end of the third quarter, they were right back in contention as three points without reply and a bullet of a shot from substitute Darragh Long which found the roof of the net reduced the deficit to just three points, 0-13 to 1-7.

Dungourney eventually disrupted their momentum with a big score from the excellent Jack Leahy for their first point in over 20 minutes and with only 10 minutes remaining.

But Sars would only ever get to within two points of their rivals as these two spirited teams traded scores as this enthralling contest edged to a close.

The Blue, Black, and Whites tried their best to set up an exciting finale but substitute Ben Graham’s close-range free in injury time was saved by goalkeeper Paul Flynn as Dungourney held on to secure their place in the final.

Scorers for Dungourney: R Denny 0-7 (0-1 free), J Leahy 0-6 (0-2 f), S Hegarty 0-2, M Leahy, B Forbes and N McGrath 0-1 each.

Sarsfields: L Elliott 0-5 f, D Long 1-0, P O’Driscoll 0-3 (0-2 f), B Graham (f), L Casey, J O’Leary, R O’Brien 0-1 each.

DUNGOURNEY: P Flynn; W McCarthy, M McGrath, S Rohan; M Leahy, N Motherway, D Healy; S Hegarty, R Denney; J Ahern, B Forbes, N Flynn; J Leahy, J Ahern, N McGrath.

Subs: C Padden for W McCarthy (32), C Griffin for N McGrath (53).

SARSFIELDS: C Looney; K Walsh, N Fitzpatrick, L Casey; J O’Leary, D Roche, E Gaffey; C English, J Leahy; S Higgins, J Flannery, L Elliott; P O’Driscoll, D Long, R O’Brien.

Subs: B Nodwell for J Leahy (28), A Marron for S Higgins (ht), A Walsh for R O’Brien (60).

Referee: David Daly (Brian Dillons).

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