Sarsfields too strong for Ballymartle
Reigning Cork champions are back in the final
Sarsfields 0-24 Ballymartle 1-12
Reigning Cork senior hurling champions Sarsfields are one game away from achieving back-to-back titles for the first time after they saw off Ballymartle at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.
Only trailing after Killian McCarthy’s early goal gave Ballymartle a fillip, Sars dealt comfortably with the challenge in front of them as the excellent attacking play of Michael Cussen and Robert O’Driscoll helped them establish a 0-14 to 1-4 half-time lead.
Cian McCarthy, who played in the recent All-Ireland hurling final replay against Clare, was also on song from frees, though he did miss a penalty in first-half injury time, Cussen putting the loose ball over the bar.
Cork sub goalkeeper Darren McCarthy, operating first at midfield and then attack for Ballymartle, attempted to inject a bit of impetus into their play and a 65 from him, allied to Brian Corry coming to the fore, helped them to close the gap to four points during the second half.
Crucially though, they could not plunder a second goal, Sars goalkeeper Alan Kennedy and full-back Joe Barry both making important blocks, and points from the impressive Daniel Kearney an dO’Driscoll opened up breathing space for the champions again.
They finished strongly, and with Cork’s Conor O’Sullivan (suspended) and former captain Kieran ‘Fraggie’ Murphy likely to be available for the final they will fancy their chances of another title success.
SARSFIELDS: A Kennedy; R Ryan, J Barry, G O’Kelly-Lynch; C Leahy, E Quigley, É Martin; D Kearney (0-3), E O’Sullivan; D Roche (0-1), C McCarthy (0-8, 0-7f), G O’Loughlin (0-2); T Óg Murphy (0-1), M Cussen (0-4), R O’Driscoll (0-4). Subs: W Kearney (0-1) for T Óg Murphy (51 mins), R Murphy for W Kearney (60 mins, blood).
BALLYMARTLE: Declan McCarthy; J Kelly, M Tobin, D Edmonds; S Corry, P Dwyer, C Coleman; Darren McCarthy (0-3, 0-1 65), R Cahalane; B Dwyer (0-2f), R Dwyer (0-1), J Dwyer (0-1); D Dwyer, B Corry (0-3), K McCarthy (1-1). Subs: K Fitzpatrick for B Dwyer (inj, 44 mins), S O’Mahony (0-1f) for Cahalane (50 mins).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).