Carrickshock battled their way through to the senior hurling championship semi-finals, but victory came at a serious cost.
Former Kilkenny star, John Tennyson, received a serious shoulder injury nearing the end of the first half, and the odds are stacked against him being fit for the semi-finals on Sunday week.
There was a most unruly finish to the opening half. As Tennyson lay in agony on the ground after being injured in an accidental clash with an opponent the whistle sounded for the break. Almost immediately a melee broke out on the Carrickshock ‘50’ at the city end of the grounds.
Punches appeared to be exchanged by players, but this scuffle settled down. However it started up a second time as players moved down the field. There was a mass brawl at the mouth to the dressing-rooms in the old stand as players made their way in for the rest.
All appeared to have clamed down, but when Dicksboro reappeared for the new half the referee made out full-forward, Shane Maher and he was red carded. Moments later Carrickshock’s John Cahill was red carded too as the two teams lined up for the restart.
After that it was back to 14 against 14 hurling, and there wasn’t another incident in the match, much as had been the case before the first row. The players had long gone to the dressing-rooms when John Tennyson had his shoulder put back in place on the pitch, and he left with his left shoulder in a sling; his day over.
Tennyson had been is powerful form, possibly season high form. His movement was better than for a long time, and he was driving forward and into tackles like a man on a mission. His loss the next day may be offset by the fact that Michael Rice should be ready to return after missing this tie with a hamstring strain.
Whether the pre-break incident influenced things afterwards is hard to know, but Carrickshock were the better team during the closing half. And their full-back, John Dalton, was absolutely superb as the free man. He cleared ball after ball as the opposition persisted with raining down the sliotar on top of him, and he simply gobbled it up.
The first half exchanges unfolded in a tame fashion, far from the thunderous play you would expect in a do-or-die championship clash. Early on Michel Rohan and Shane Maher (free) swopped points, and that set the tone for a half that left us with no idea how things might go afterwards.
Three times after that early exchange the scores were level at 0-2 each, 1-3 to 0-6 and then 1-4 to 0-7. The Dicksboro goal arrived first in the 12th minute. A speculative shot from outfield by Cillian Buckley took a flight path close to the crossbar, and the ’keeper attempted to control the sliotar with his hurley. Things went badly wrong and the ball ended up in the net (1-2 to 0-2).
The losers didn’t get much chance to build on that fortunate lift, because three of the next score were claimed by the opposition - Richie Power (2) and Paddy Mulcahy.
On the 19th minute Mark O’Dwyer was tripped, and Richie Power scored from a handy enough free to leave 1-3 to 0-6. O’Dwyer and Shane Maher swopped points after that as the game entered the closing minutes of the half. The ’Shock went close to snatching a goal when Richie Power, after being put in space by John Power (Stoneyford), rifled a shot from the left wide of the far post with the ’keeper out of position.
In the dying moments it was Carrickshock who made gains, adding points through Paddy Mulcahy and Richie Power (65) to earn an interval lead of 0-9 to 1-4.
Red card flying
As explained above, red cards were flying before the ball was even throw-in for the start of the second half. The ’Shock resumed with veteran Pat Tennyson at centre-back in place of his brother, and a fine job he did too in this vital position.
There were minor alterations to the scoreboard before Carrickshock hit on a decisive spell between the 35th and 40th minute.
During that period unanswered scores flowed from Richie Power (free), a now more involved Jamie Power; Richie Power again and Jamie Power again after taking possession from a short hit free by the supreme Dalton. That blast of scores opened up a gap of 0-14 to 1-7.
The ’Boro were on the slide. Their attacks from here on out were fitful and lacking in direction. Robbie Fitzpatrick came off the bench and livened up things a bit, but the opposing defence stood firm. In fact, the losers scored just one point during the closing 20 minutes.
Such was their lack of scoring power that 23 minutes separated their 7th and 8th points! And they rose only four flags during the closing half.
The loss of Tennyson - he is still hoping to play in the semis - will be a huge blow to Carrickshock because he was moving smartly, confidently after putting a lot of injury troubles behind him since stepping off the inter-county stage. We wish him well.
Heroes for the winners were the peerless John Dalton, Richie Power, Pat Tennyson, Jamie Power when operating around midfield, and Michael Rohan, who played a lot of hurling without enjoyed the best of results when it came to shooting.
Dicksboro had good performers in Evan Cody, Michel Fagan, Enda Malone and David Glynn.
Scorers: Carrickshock - Richie Power (0-9, six frees, one 65); Paddy Mulcahy, Jamie Power (0-2 each); Michael Rohan, Mark O’Dweyr, Brian Donovan, Damine Walsh (0-1 each). Dicksboro - Cillian Buckley (1-1); Oisin Walsh (0-2); Martin Gaffney (0-2, one free); Shane Maher (0-2, frees); Paul O’Flynn (0-1).
Carrickshock - John Butler, John Murphy, John Dalton, David Franks, Niall Tennyson, John Tennyson, Pat Tennyson, Paddy Mulcahy, John Cahill, Jamie Power, Richie Power, John Power (Stoneyford), Michael Rohan, Mark O’Dwyer, Brian Donovan. Subs - Darren O’Dwehyr for J. Tennyson (inj); Damien Walsh for O’Dweyr; Andrew Power for M. Rohan.
Dicksboro - Aaron Duggan, Evan Cody, Kieran Cuddihy, Enda Malone, Michael Fagan, David Glynn, Tom Manning, Cillian Buckley, Conor O’Loughlin, Martin Gaffney, Oisin Walsh, Ollie Walsh, Kevin Kenny, Shane Maher, Paul O’Flynn. Subs - John Fagan for C. O’Loughlin; Robbie Fitzpatrick for T. Manning; Cillian Starr for Gaffney.
Referee - Eugene Ryan (Fenians).