Sunday 21 October 2018

Mitchelstowns great escape

Pic: Patrick Casey.
Pic: Patrick Casey.

Late, late point from Diarmuid Lynch gives them deserved second chance

Their full-back Diarmuid Lynch moved upfield to collect a free that was taken quickly by substitute Kieran Walsh and the former managed to subsequently put the ball between the uprights seconds before the final whistle sounded. The sides must consequently meet again and they will be glad of the opportunity to show that they are capable of playing better as the exciting finish was the best part of Sunday’s encounter.

Over the hour there was a large amount of substandard play and the closeness of the scoring was the only reason for the game holding the interest for the fairly large attendance.

Tadhg MacCarthaigh were the side that always appeared to have the greater potential and they were looking at the interval when the score in their favour read 0-7 to 0-3.

The Caheragh side were not flattered by their position as Mitchelstown did not impress during that opening period when all their scores came from frees.

Tadhg MacCarthaigh’s failed to consolidate their position when play resumed, however, when they failed on a few occasions to apply the finishing touches to good attacking movements. Mitchelstown consequently stayed in touch and they slowly but surely reduced the arrears. The North Cork side got on level terms in the 56th minute and both sides then scored an additional point during the exciting final minutes of play.

The Caheragh side looked good in the early stages of the game and their forwards appeared to have the beating of the opposing defence. Noel Deasy scored points for the West Cork champions in the fourth and fifth minutes and they moved further ahead when Brian O’Neill and Tadhg Deasy raised white flags before the end of the first quarter.

Mitchelstown made very little impression in attack during that period and they did not display much improvement during the rest of the first moiety. The North Cork men did score three points in the second quarter but they were all from frees converted by John Barrett.

MacCarthaighs were faring better in attack and points from Seán Murray, Kevin Barrett and David O’Brien in the 21st, 22nd and 30th minutes respectively, put them in a comfortable enough position at the interval. A four points lead looked significant, particularly when they appeared to have the better potential in attack.

Caheragh failed to consolidate their position when play resumed, however, despite the fact that they managed to put a few attacking movements together. The west Cork men failed to bring those movements to a satisfactory conclusion as they were hesitant when the opportunity to kick a score presented itself and Mitchelstown’s defence managed to foil them in their efforts at increasing their lead.

Twenty minutes of the second half had elapsed before Tadhg McCarthaighs put an additional score on the board while Mitchelstown kicked two points during the same period to keep themselves in touch. John Barrett converted a free in the 38th minute and Joe O’Brien secured Mitchelstown’s first score from play when he kicked over a point in the 46th minute.

So, Tadhg MacCarthaighs were now looking vulnerable. Their failure to press home their earlier advantage now looked likely to cost them dearly but their prospects got a boost in the 50th minute when midfielder Brian O’Neill scored a point to finally open their second half account. Subsequent Tadhg MacCarthaigh attacks yielded nothing, however, as their lack of incisiveness close to goal continued while Mitchelstown availed of their scoring opportunities.

Another pointed free by John Barrett reduced the arrears in the 52nd minute and the minimum separated the sides two minutes later when Simon Maher scored a Mitchelstown point from play. Subsequent pressure by the North Cork side yielded a free and John Barrett availed of the opportunity to tie the scores when his accurate boot sent another placed ball between the uprights.

The West Cork men who realised that they had allowed victory slip from their grasp made a last ditch effort to garner the spoils and Noel Deasy appeared to have given them victory when he scored Caheragh’s ninth point.

Mitchelstown had the time to launch one final attack, however, and full-back Diarmuid Lynch who had moved outfield was on target with a point scoring effort so he gave his side a second chance.

Neither of Sunday’s contestants looked likely county championship winners and they will be glad to have the opportunity to give a better performance and the replay is eagerly awaited.

James Kingston, Mark Barrett, Seán O’Sullivan, Brian O’Neill and Noel Deasy performed well for the Tadhg MacCarthaigh side on Sunday while Mitchelstown’s best were Diarmuid Lynch, Aidan McNamara, Brian Burke and John Barrett.

Scorers — Tadhg MacCarthaigh: Noel Deasy (0-3); Brian O’Neill (0-2); Tadhg Deasy, Seán Murray, Kevin Barrett and David O’Brien (0-1 each).

Mitchelstown: John Barrett (0-6 frees); Joe O’Brien, Simon Maher, Diarmuid Lynch (0-1 each).

Tadhg MacCarthaigh: Niall Murray; James Kingston, William O’Sullivan, Liam O’Donovan; Mark Barrett, Seán O’Sullivan, Tony Herlihy; Pat Hegarty, Brian O’Neill; David O’Brien, James Herlihy, Seán Murray; Kevin Barrett, Tadhg Deasy, Noel Deasy. Subs: Colm O’Sullivan for James Herlihy; Ivan Kingston for Colm O’Sullivan; Michael McCarthy for Tony Herlihy.

Mitchelstown: Paul Horgan; Ollie McGrath, Diarmuid Lynch, John Cleary; Colm Courtney, Peter Griffin, Aidan McNamara; Kieran Duggan, Brian Burke; Simon Maher, David Moher, Darren Nugent; Joe O’Brien, John Barrett, Anthony O’Brien. Subs: Eddie Walsh for Ollie McGrath; Padraig Donegan for Kieran Duggan; Michael Allen for Joe O’Brien; Kieran Walsh for David Moher.

Referee: Paul Higgins (Ballincollig).