Second half surge sees Roscrea into Munster Final
GAA: AIB Munster Club Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Report: Michael Dundon at FBD Semple Stadium
Photos: Bridget Delaney
Player of the Match: Alan Tynan (Roscrea)
SCORERS – Roscrea: Luke Cashin 1-8 (0-7 frees); Alan Tynan 0-4; Evan Fitzpatrick 0-2; Daryl Ryan, Conor Sheedy, Sam Conlon 0-1 each.
Inniscarra: Owen McCarthy 0-5 (4 frees); Sean O’Donoghue 1-2; Colm Casey, Jerry Roche 1-0 each; Joseph Enright, Andrew McCarthy, Fergal O’Leary 0-1 each.
Just as they did in their quarter-final win over Ballysaggart of Waterford, Roscrea turned on the style in the second half to topple Cork champions Inniscarra in the Munster Club Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-final on Saturday.
A two-point winning margin did not flatter the Roscrea lads who were nine points clear with the hour almost up but, disappointingly, concentration dipped, and they conceded two goals in injury time, the second in the 65th minute, the puck-out from which signalled the final whistle.
Those goals cast something of a shadow over the Roscrea victory that was beyond doubt for some time before those late blips, but that said the main objective was achieved, a place in the final on December 4th against Limerick’s Monaleen who defeated St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield of Clare in the other semi-final, also on Saturday.
The Roscrea crusade had gained momentum as the year progresses and the prospect of a provincial title now looms large on the horizon. The second half performance, up to those late slips, certainly suggests that Roscrea have what it takes, but a second quarter dip in the intensity of their play, which allowed a struggling Inniscarra a foothold, will also give manager Liam England food for thought.
Early on Roscrea were in control. Their use of the long deliveries to Sam Conlon at full-forward, had Inniscarra in difficulty. Conlon had the ball in the Inniscarra net after four minutes but was deemed to be in the square. A minute later, Luke Cashin saw an effort worthy of a goal, saved by Inniscarra goalie John O’Keeffe.
Roscrea were going for goals at every opportunity and were leading only 0-4 to 0-3 after fifteen minutes of dominance when they were rocked by a Colm Casey goal for Inniscarra after Roscrea possession was turned over at midfield
That score settled the Cork champions who began to gain a footing but before half-time Roscrea saw two more goal chances come to nought, Shane Fletcher’s effort bundled out for a 65 and Conor Sheedy denied by the excellent O’Keeffe in the Inniscarra goal.
Trailing 0-7 to 1-6 at half-time, Roscrea needed to raise their game in the second half and this they did with some conviction. Owen McCarthy had the first point of the second half for Inniscarra but then came the Roscrea charge. Luke Cashin hit three points, two from frees, Alan Tynan and Evan Fitzpatrick were also on target before, in the 41st minute, Cashin was on the end of a quality Roscrea move to finish to the net for a 1-12 to 1-7 lead.
Roscrea looked winners at this stage and were 1-15 to 1-8 leaders at the start of the last quarter. Two further unanswered points from Cashin and a Daryl Ryan free, extended the advantage to nine points with the hour almost complete and no sign of a Inniscarra resurgence. Roscrea had outscored their rivals 1-10 to 0-2 in that period.
Inniscarra’s late face-saving scores including goals from new Cork captain Sean O’Donoghue and sub Jerry Roche distorted the picture of the contest but served as a reminder to Roscrea that the game is never over until the final whistle. A repeat of such lapses in concentration could be disastrous.
Roscrea followers enthusiastically acclaimed their side after the game and have another big game to look forward to. Relegated from the top-flight last year, they have come back with a bang, a tribute to the work of manager Liam England and his back-room staff as well as to the players themselves.
Cork sides are always strong at this level and this was never going to be an easy game, but Roscrea’s superiority was marked, their pace, use of the ball, and their options for scores far ahead of Inniscarra’s.
Called into Liam Cahill’s Tipperary panel, Alan Tynan underlined his potential with four points from play in a man of the match performance. There was much to like about the tenacity of Keith McMahon at fullback, and the work of Michael Campion at half-back with Darren O’Connor the steadying influence at the heart of the defence. Daniel Ryan’s hard graft at midfield is vital to the Roscrea cause while Jason Fitzpatrick, Luke Cashin and Sam Conlon early on were others to contribute significantly to the win.
Inniscarra came to Thurles with an impressive track record but on the day had to give best to a superior side. Liam Ryan, a Cork under-age star, and Sean O’Donoghue, a senior panellist, were the leaders in the team with Joseph Enright, Bryan O’Mahoney, and Owen McCarthy others to work hard for the Cork cause.
TEAMS – Roscrea: Daryl Ryan (6); Shane Davis (6), Keith McMahon (7), James Synott (6); Michael Campion (7), Darren O’Connor (7), Darragh Tynan (6); Daniel Ryan (7), Jason Fitzpatrick (6); Alan Tynan (8), Luke Cashin (7), Evan Fitzpatrick (7); Conor Sheedy (6), Shane Fletcher (6), Sam Conlon (6).
Subs: Kenny Lee (6) for J Fitzpatrick (38); Conor Dooley (6) for Conlon (48); Jason Gilmartin (6) for Cashin (54); Conor Phelan (NR) for O’Connor (59), Joe Carroll (NR) for Synott (60+3).
Inniscarra: John O’Keeffe (7); David Keane (6), Bryan O’Mahoney (7), Jack O’Sullivan (6); Jack Harrington (6), Liam Ryan (7), Sean Shanahan (6); Joseph Enright (7), Andrew McCarthy (6); Colm Casey (6), Sean O’Donoghue (7), Fergal O’Leary (6); David O’Keeffe (6), Padraig Holland (6), Owen McCarthy (6).
Subs: Kieran Rice (6) for F O’Leary (HT); Colin O’Leary (6) for Harrington (48); Jerry Roche (7) for O’Keeffe (54); Mark Nagle (6) for Holland (56).
Referee: Niall Malone (Clare).