Seán Twomey’s four goals mean Courcey Rovers are still on track to win the Co-op SuperStores Cork Hurling Championship for the second time in a row.
The Ballinspittle/Ballinadee team edged away from Fermoy in Friday night’s SAHC semi-finals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and their firepower, not for the first time this year, was instrumental in pushing them past the challenge.
Having won their final match in the group with a 2-0 victory over Blarney, here they shot with five green flags to turn the match their way. Scoring two Blarney goals, Tommy doubled that output, including three in the second half to make the match safe, while Ronan Nyhan’s first-half goal was the catalyst to turn a game that might have been turning them away.
In addition, Richard Sweetnam continued his excellent scoring style while Fergus Lourdan and Colm Daly led a solid defence.
The fact that Courceys played that must-win match against Blarney before beating Ballyhea in the “real” knockout stages. Unfortunately for Fermoy, who bid farewell to the semi-finals after topping his group and was playing his first match in four weeks, he couldn’t make the extra remain in his favour.
The north side of Cork seemed to gain control early on. Although Sweetnam pointed twice in the first two minutes in favor of the Courceys, a cheap ball concession by Ballinspittle/Ballinadee allowed Liam Coleman to fire Fermoy ahead by the ninth minute and they were 0-6-0-3 in their favour after 17.
While Sweetnam finished off the Courceys’ nine minutes without a hitch, Fermoy responded with a good Jake Carr point for a three-fold lead again but this was the last time they got such a score. Nyhan’s goal came after he successfully hit the loose ball after captain Tadj O’Sullivan’s break, a polished finish that tied the score.
Although Coleman freed from midway back Fermi to the front, Sweetnam reciprocated before Toomey’s first goals. After he was fouled shooting towards goal and firing into the net, it looked as though the goal wouldn’t stand with the freebies instead, but the green flag was raised and they never looked back.
The long-range ball from goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan helped make a 2-7 to 0-10 lead in the first half and doubled the lead on appeal. Again, O’Sullivan’s goal-moves were key, but Fermi goalkeeper Jason Condon had no luck, saving from Toumi and then Ronan Nyhan before Tommy could practically assemble the goal off the line. When O’Sullivan set up Sweetnam for a great point outsider on the right, they were up by seven, 3-8 to 0-10. While Coleman responded with his seventh in 35 minutes, Fermoy didn’t score again until after the regular time was up.
Their case was further hampered by Carr’s dismissal for a second bookable offense and led the Courceys to extend their lead. The fourth goal, Tommy’s third, came just after the three-quarter mark after he showed good anticipation to intercept a loose defensive pass.
After the points scored by Brendan Ryan and Stephen Nyhan (Free) from 4-12 to 0-11, Toomey scored his fourth goal after a superb capture to collect another ball from O’Sullivan.
When the seats were emptied, Olan Crowley and his subordinate Jerry O’Neill added more points and Coleman and Tommy got the Fermi score again but the score was decided long before the match was halted.
For the Courceys, the journey continues and they look forward to a semi-final showdown between Father O’Neills – for whom they finished runner-up of the group – and Pride Rovers on Saturday night.
S Twomey 4-0, R Nyhan 1-1, R Sweetnam 0-7 (0-3 f), S Nyhan 0-2 f, O Crowley, J O’Neill, T O’Sullivan, B Ryan 0-1 each who are they .
L Coleman 0-9 (0-7 f, 0-2 65), S Aherne 0-2, J Carr, B Twomey, M Brennan 0-1 each.
S Nyhan C Daly, K Collins, B Mulcahy; Collins, F.; Lordan, C. Roche; DJ Twomey, M. Collins; B Ryan, S. Twomey, O Crowley; T O’Sullivan, R Sweetnam, R Nyhan.
J. Condon J. Lardner, J. Scannell, E. Clancy; Doctrine, de O’Carroll, P. Murphy; M. Brennan, D. Daly; BD Ruiste, T. Clancy, L. Coleman; S Aherne, J Carr, G O’Callaghan.
In Wall (Ballincolleg).