Silver Hill Foods Senior Hurling Championship First Round Replay
Carrickmacross 1-11 Clontibret 0-11 12/7/11
Carrickmacross took the last place in the Silver Hill Foods Senior Hurling Championship semi-finals with a three-point win over Clontibret in this first-round replay, which was played in perfect conditions at Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen on Tuesday. The standard of the game won’t worry Inniskeen or Castleblayney, but that didn’t take away from Carrick, who showed greater desire and fitness to come from four points down early in the second half to edge through. Carrick outscored Clontibret by 1-6 to 0-2 in the final 25 minutes, although they were very reliant on the free-taking of Jason O’Rourke, who scored 1-8 from placed balls, including a fortunate goal late on. Éanna Mac Suibhne, Paul Shannon and Séamus Hayes also played well for Carrick, while Fergal Greenan and Seán Leonard (until his late sending-off) led Clontibret’s challenge.
Brian Greenan linked up with Fergal Greenan to give Clontibret an early lead, but Jason O’Rourke won and scored a 60-metre free to bring Carrick level. O’Rourke converted a 30-metre free for a foul on Séamus Hayes and although Seán Leonard replied with a point from play, Barry Connolly sent over after good work by Éanna Mac Suibhne and Gareth Keenan to leave Carrick a point up at the end of the opening quarter. A good point from distance by Fergal Greenan brought Clontibret back on terms, though, and they edged ahead when Feargal O’Dowd won a 20-metre free and Cormac Connolly went for goal, only to see his effort deflected over by Paul Shannon. O’Rourke hit back from a 45-metre free after Kieran Greenan had been penalised for over-carrying, but Connolly converted a 30-metre free for a foul on Brian Greenan and Leonard added a point after he had been well-placed by Fergal Greenan to give Clontibret a two-point lead at half-time: 0-6 to 0-4.
Éanna Mac Suibhne reduced Carrick’s deficit within a minute of the restart, but a loose pass in the Carrick defence allowed Leonard to hit his third point. Connolly added a brace of points from 30-metre frees, following fouls on Liam Savage and Brian Greenan, but O’Rourke responded with interest, pointing three frees in a row after fouls on Kevin Crawley, Jamie Guinan and Mac Suibhne. Savage restored Clontibret’s two-point lead with a well-taken effort from play, but that was quickly wiped out by a point from Hayes and another O’Rourke free, following a foul on Mac Suibhne. Clontibret had Leonard sent off on a second yellow card with four minutes left and it went from bad to worse when O’Rourke pointed another 50-metre free for a foul on Brian Whelan, before launching in a long-range free which went all the way to the net after being misjudged by Clontibret keeper Mick O’Dowd. Pádraig McShane got a point back for Clontibret in injury-time, but Carrick held on to book their place in the last four, where they will play neighbours and defending champions Inniskeen.
Carrickmacross: E Hearne; D Magee, D Butler, P Shannon (Capt.); J Guinan, B Whelan, B Gartlan; K Crawley, É Mac Suibhne (0-1); G Keenan, J O’Rourke (1-8f), S Fitzpatrick; S Hayes (0-1), B Connolly (0-1), F Payne.
Sub: G Capaldi for Guinan (40 mins), C Swinburne for Payne (44), M Bouchier for Gartlan (48).
Temporary sub: M Bouchier for Mac Suibhne (45-48).
Clontibret: M O’Dowd; R McNally, S Magennis, S Murphy; E Greenan, K Greenan, F Greenan (0-1); S McNally, A Morgan (Capt.); L Savage (0-1), S Leonard (0-3), G Brennan; F O’Dowd, B Greenan (0-1), C Connolly (0-4f).
Subs: P McShane (0-1) for Brennan (54), A Kerr for Murphy (58).
Referee: H Leonard (Castleblayney HC).