The Carrickshock side that won the league shield on Saturday. Picture: Willie Dempsey
On a summer-like Saturday afternoon in Danesfort, Carrickshock and St Martin’s (Muckalee) served up a competitive shield final in front of a sizeable crowd.
No doubt both teams will have had at least one eye on next week’s intermediate championship quarter-final, but there was still plenty of effort from both sides.
The best of the action was in the first half and while the game was very competitive throughout, with no more than a point or two between them almost all the way through, it seemed to peter out somewhat in the second half.
Carrickshock shaded the first quarter. Most of the scores in this spell were from placed balls, while Eoghan O’Neill for Carrickshock and Robert Shore for St Martin’s put over the pick of the scores from play.
The scoreline read 0-5 to 0-3 for Carrickshock at the water break.
The second quarter produced the best hurling of the day, and best demonstrated the differences in the teams’ styles.
Carrickshock worked the ball at pace through the lines at times, and some of these moves produced outstanding scores.
Two in quick succession finished off by Brian Donovan and Darragh Brennan after great build up play involving Kevin Farrell and Brian Donavan were the finest examples.
Meanwhile, at the other end St Martin’s forwards were working hard at turning second ball into scores.
None more so than Robert Shore, and two well taken points in the space of a minute tied up the game at 0-7 each with 20 minutes gone.
From there St Martin’s finished the stronger and, when goalkeeper Colin McGrath sent over a monster free on the stroke of half time, they led 0-10 to 0-8.
The second half, for whatever reason, didn’t seem to have the same intensity.
Maybe the teams, and management, were already thinking ahead to the upcoming championship games.
And the line of Carrickshock players at their physio table probably didn’t help in this regard.
Five minutes after he was introduced, John Power (Stoneyford) put one over after good work by Barry Lennon.
But five minutes later he was taking his place in the queue behind the previously replaced Michael Rice and Kevin Farrell.
Meanwhile, on the field of play St Martin’s were maintaining their advantage.
The Shore men in the corners were more than playing their part – by the end they’d racked up six from play between them.
When Donal fired over his second with five minutes left it put three between the times for the first time.
Goal chances had been a rarity until then, but Carrickshock were in determined mood now.
They worked the ball well up the field before the other John Power (Lismatigue) won the battle of the square to squeeze it over the line 1-12 to 0-15.
When that man Donal Shored negated an Eoghan O’Neill free right on full-time it was then left to the deadly accurate Jake O’Dwyer to fire one over deep into injury time.
It sent the Shield southwards by the minimum margin, 1-14 to 0-16.
A win is a win, regardless of how you look at it, but you can expect that Carrickshock will have quickly turned their gaze to next week’s quarter final.
In the meantime the draw has pitted them against St Lachtain’s (Freshford) on Sunday while St Martin’s will face The Fenians (Johnstown) on Saturday.
Carrickshock - Eoghan O’Neill (0-5, 0-3 frees); Jamie Power (0-3, 0-1 free); John Power (Lismatigue, 1-0); Kevin Farrell, Brian Donovan, John Power (Stoneyford), Darragh Brennan, Kieran Conway, Jake O’Dwyer (0-1 each).
St Martin’s - Shane Kinsella (0-4, frees); Justin Manning, Robert Shore, Donal Shore (0-3 each); Brian Cody (0-2); Colin McGrath (0-1, free).
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