East Cork Junior A Hurling Championship Quarter Final
Carraig na bhFear 1-13 St. Ita’s 1-16
Pairc Cluain Mualt, Mainistir na Corann.
August 25, 2018
It ended as it had begun, with Seamus Harnedy troubling the score keeper one last time. In the last seconds of injury time, Harnedy knocked over his eight point of the evening and with that Carriag na bhFear’s sojourn in the East Cork Hurling Championship came to an end. The dismay on the faces of the players was all too evident as they trudged off the field, downcast in the knowledge that Carraig never got to the pitch of the game and were always chasing St Ita’s coat tails for the entire 65 minutes or so of game time. A winter of why/how and ,maybe’s lies ahead. Regrets….maybe a few more than Frank Sinatra mentioned.
The game had its first seminal moment within 60 seconds of the start of the game. Seamus Harnedy raced onto a breaking ball off the full back line, took it at pace and struck a venomous shot to the top right hand corner of the net. It set the tone of the game. Itas added another point before Carraig started to respond. John Forde got Carraig off the mark from a free after six minutes, yet Ita’s scored again, a point from play. Gradually the Carraig forwards started to make inroads. Good play by Brendan Murphy and Timmy Geaney created a goal chance that David Sweeney converted with aplomb. Within another minute Sweeney landed a monster shot from the wing and Carraig were within a point, 1-03 to 1-02.
However, Harnedy was proving a handful for our defence and he landed two easy points from intercepted puck outs. With ten minutes to go in the first half, Carraig were three points down, 1-07 to 1-04. But in Carraigs best patch, Carraig reeled off two good points from Forde and Geaney to leave a point in it coming up to the half time bell. Our defence had settled better and a number of very good turnover possessions were created by James Meehan, Hickey and Diarmuid O’Driscoll. However a good goal chance went abegging just before half time when the ball stopped on the goal line after a great run and shot by Brendan Murphy. St Ita’s had the last score of the half which Harnedy obliged, leaving the half time score as 1-08 to 1-06.
Could Carraig rouse themselves from their lethargy? This was a pertinent question that all Carraig supporters wondered. Ach is oth liom a ra, nior tharla aon rud difriuil sa dara leath. D’oibrigh Carraig go dian, ach ni raibh se easca scoranna a fhail. Do bhi easpa misneach ann agus do bhi cosanteoiri on Naomh hIde ag buachaint gach briseadh agus comhlint. For every time that Carraig tried to close the gap, St Ita’s managed to repeal any chance of a recovery.
With fifteen minutes left, Carraig had narrowed the score down to one point 1-12 to 1-11. However crucially, Carraig could not achieve parity. Costly frees given away at crucial moments and a lack of composure on the ball at times, meant that with time nearly up, St Ita’s lead by three points. A John Forde free gave Carraig a glimmer of a chance, but on a final attack, St Ita’s engineered a free, in which the most prominent player in the field, S Harnedy, gratefully lofted over the bar.
The long shrill of the referee’s whistle ended proceedings, and the mournful walk off the field for management and players followed. St Ita’s were worthy winners and now move forward to the East Cork Semi Finals next weekend. And so it is yet another championship exit for our junior hurlers. Ten years on from our maiden victory it was not difficult to sense the frustration, anger and desolation among the committed that have been unable to build on years of relentless effort. In times like this, it is certainly easy to lose hope and perspective. But if the team of 2008 taught us anything, it is that the consistent application of intelligent effort and organization are vital in paving the way to success. Certainly a major think tank and assessment among players, club mentors and officers will be necessary to improve fortunes in 2019.
P Sheehan, G Geaney, B Hegarty,
J Forde, D O’Driscoll, A Dorgan,
P Geaney, M Hickey,
John Forde, T Geaney, P Murphy,
P O’Sullivan, B Murphy, D Sweeney.
J Meehan for P Geaney
O Crowley for P O’Sullivan
D Coleman for B Hegarty
A Hegarty for P Murphy
P O’Keeffe for O Crowley