Courcey Rovers 0-8 Castlelyons 1-4
Castlelyons: S. O’Sullivan; B. Carroll; S. Kenny; C. Barry; C. Spillane; L. Sexton; A. O’Sullivan; E. Maye; P. Murphy; T. McCarthy (0-1); B. Fitzgerald (A. Fenton); D. Wallace (M. Spillane); R. Fenney (1-0); C. McGann (0-1); D. Tobin (0-2f).
Courcey Rovers: S. Nyhan; G. Moloney; T. Lordan; D. Lordan; O. Gately; V. Hurley; B. Hayes; D. Hayes; D. Murphy; K. Moloney (S. Lordan); N. Murphy (0-1); D. Lordan (0-4; 0-3f); G. Moloney; G. Minihane (0-1); S. Hayes (0-2).
A scrappy, extremely low scoring affair between two of the premier intermediate grade’s favourites ended in a Courcey’s victory and a very disapointing game of hurling for those in attendance. With both half-back lines on top for the entirety of the game, and space at a premium for both attacks, this was a game that essentially game down to free-taking, and in Daire Lordan, Courcey’s had the trump card. In contrast, Timmy McCarthy hit a number of scoreable frees wide in the opening half and Castlelyons were far too slow to take him off frees and give them to Darren Tobin, who was considerably more confident and clinical.
For Castlelyons, Leo Sexton at center-back stood out, playing a lot of ball particularly in the final quarter while both half-backs had solid games. Elsewhere Robert Feeney took his goal very well and Ciaran McGann showed some flashes of class the few times he got on the ball. Similarly for Courceys their half-back line was always on top and their defence generally very tight – further up Daire Lordan won some great ball in the air and was accurate from the dead ball while Seamus Hayes got a pair of nice points. In general Courceys were more developed physically and showed the cleaner hurling and deserved their win. All in all though, and even if they did win, this was a pretty miserable showing from Courceys, solid defensively but lacking energy and spark up front, and one would assume the likes of Youghal, Tracton and Newcestown will be considered the frontrunners for the grade from here out.
Carrigtwohill 0-16 Muskerry 1-10
Carrigtwohill: W. McCarthy; P. O’Sullivan; A. Garde; M. O’Riordan; S. Flannery; N. Furlong; S. Forbes; D. O’Mahony (0-2); C. O’Connell; L. O’Sullivan; N. McCarthy (0-1); B. Lordan; R. White (0-4); M. Fitzgerald (0-5, 0-4f; A. Gosnell); T. Hogan (0-4, 0-3f; S. Kidney).
Muskerry: P. Ryan; J. Carey; E. Hegarty; P. O’Leary; N. Buckley; S. O’Donoghue; J. Dineen (0-3); M. Cremin (J. Crowley 1-0); R. Doherty (0-1); D. O’Riordan; P. Finnegan (0-5, 0-3f); M. O’Sullivan; C. Murphy (A. O’Mahony 0-1).
Carrigtwohill rather luckily squeezed past a game Muskerry side in the senior championship on Saturday night. Even though Carrigtwohill completely dominated the opening half Muskerry dragged themselves back into the game and before the end missed a penalty and a open goal from two yards out. Carrigtwohill marginally deserved the victory as they were more economical with what possession they had and in comparison to Muskerry, who distributed the ball in a lazy manner throughout, Carrig played effectively as a team. At the same time, the drop off in work ethic from Carrig in both halves was noticeable and presumebly they expected an easier match despite Muskerry having, for a divisional side, a very strong and experienced team out.
MOTM was probably Robert White of Carrigtwohill, who tormented his man throughout with his physicality and slotted over four points from play. Elsewhere both Carrig midfielders were excellent in the opening half, Daniel O’Mahony in particular offering a touch of class with a pair of long distance points, although Muskerry got a grip in this area of the pitch in the second half. Elsewhere Andrew Garde, Niall McCarthy and Sean Forbes stood out at different times. For Muskerry, Paul Ryan made some excellent saves in the first half, while in front of him John Carey played a lot of ball. Stephen O’Donoghue at center-back had a fine game and was in dominant form throughout while John Dineen pilfered three nice points from midfield. Up front both Mark O’Sullivan and John Crowley led the Muskerry comeback in the second half with impressive work ethic and in the latter’s case a opportunistic goal.
Ballymartle 1-16 St. Finbarrs 1-12
Ballymartle: Declan McCarthy; D. Coleman; M. Tobin; G. Webb; J. Kelly; P. Dwyer; S. Corry; R. Dwyer (S. O’Mahony 0-1); K. Fitzpatrick (0-2); B. Dwyer (0-4; 0-2f); B. Corry (0-4); Darren McCarthy (0-2; 0-1f); P. Coughlan (0-2, J. Coleman); D. Dwyer (0-1); J. Dwyer (1-0).
St. Finbarrs: F. O’Mahony; R. McCarthy; D. Cahalane; P. Kennedy; P. Wiley; G. O’Connor; E. Keane; J. Neville (0-1f); R. Curran; D. O’Leary (0-1,I. Lordan); J. Fitzpatrick (0-2); C. McCarthy (0-6; 0-2f); R. O’Mahony (0-2); E. Finn; A. Fitzpatrick (1-0).
Ballymartle deservedly knocked out Cork GAA’s most decorated club on Saturday night with a comprehensive performance. It was game in which Ballymartle were always a step ahead despite the final four point deficit and throughout they looked the much better drilled, better organised and cleaner hurling side. Even though some may be suprised by the result this wasn’t a particularly well conceived St. Finbarrs side and Ballymartle generally out played and out thought their opposition.
For the Barrs, their big names Damien Cahalane, Eoin Keane and Cathal McCarthy largely carried the side throughout, Cahalane putting in a powerful performance in the heart of the Barrs defence and Cathal McCarthy was typically tidy and clinical and undeniably the Barrs star performer. It was indeed astonishing that he wasn’t tasked with free-taking throughout the game. Elsewhere, the Barrs did a poor job of getting Ronan Curran into the game, whether he played midfield or center-forward, the few too rare times he got on the ball he showed a touch of vision and class otherwise absent in the Barr’s play. In general Ballymartle had an effective plan – close down space for the Barr’s forwards and use a one or two man full-forward to create space for their own forwards and the Barr’s management never came up with an effective counter-plan and as such players like Joe Fitzpatrick and Robert O’Mahony were starved of ball throughout.
For Ballymartle it was a satisfying performance. Their often leaky full-back line was well protected throughout with Seamus Corry in the opening half and John Kelly throughout their most effective defenders. Declan McCarthy similarly had an excellent game in goals pulling off a number of excellent saves. Further up the pitch Darren McCarthy was excellent at times in midfield and scored a fantasitc long range point; Brian Corry again excelled at center-forward and scored four fine points from play while inside Paul Coughlan and Keith Fitzpatrick were clinical and even though he was largely quiet Jamie Dwyer snatched an important goal. In general up front Ballymartle revelled in the kind of space that the Barr’s forwards were never allowed and this was as much a tactical victory for Ballymartle then anything else.
Sarsfields 2-14 Na Piarsigh 0-18
Sarsfields: A. Kennedy; D. Kenneally; J. Barry; C. O’Sullivan; G. O’Kelly-Lynch; R. Ryan; D. Kearney; E. Martin (0-3); D. Roche (0-1); C. McCarthy (1-6; 0-4 f, 0-2sl); E. Quigley; G. O’Loughlin (W. Kearney 0-1); R. O’Driscoll (0-2; T. Og Murphy); M. Cussen (1-1); K. Murphy (E. O’Sullivan).
Na Piarsigh: A. Keating; D. Mannix; S. Og Hailpin; E. Moynihan; J. Gardiner; C. Joyce; R. Healy (0-1); A. Brady; J. Egan (0-1); K. Buckley (0-2); S. Glasgow (0-1, C. O’Carroll 0-1); P. Gould (0-9, 0-7f); S. Duggan (0-2); C. Buckley; A. Dennehy (0-1).
Sarsfields rather luckily scraped past a competitive Na Piarsigh side on Sunday night after Na Piarsigh hit 15 wides throughout the game. It was a pretty lacklustre and unenergetic performance from a Sars team out of competition for a long time, and Na Piarsigh really should have punished Sars complacency. Instead, they hit wide after wide, failed to create any more then a half-chance at scoring a goal and were generally wasteful with the ball. Na Piarsigh’s lack of clinicalness aside, this was a very quick, high quality game of hurling that was noticeably superior to Ballymartle/St. Finbarrs, even though neither game looked particularly physical. In all likelihood, after the Glen, Midleton, Sars and probably Newtown, Na Piarsigh are the cleanest, most skillful hurling team in the county and its a shame to see them exit so early.
For Sarsfields, there were a number of impressive individual performances. Wexford’s Eanna Martin was excellent at midfield and grabbed three impressive points from play; Cian McCarthy led the attack well, got two brilliant sideline points and was clinical from the deadball while Micheal Cussen got 1-1 from play, if rather luckily as Sean Og lost his footing for both scores. For Na Piarsigh, Robert Healy and Christopher Joyce were the best at the back and played plenty of ball throughout, while Na Piarsigh’s attack was lively throughout, although Padraig Gould and Shane Duggan were particularly impressive, the former excellent from deadball situations and won a huge amount of breaking ball, while the latter was dangerous on the ball throughout and a real thorn in the Sar’s defence. However, too many Na Piarsigh players hit horrible wides, and this, coupled with their lack of goal chances, ensured they threw away a huge chance to knock out the Senior champions.