Earlier tonight, the Carrick Swan Senior hurlers took on West Waterford’s An Rinn for the Sarah Lonergan Memorial Cup in Davin Park.
The game was played in very wet conditions which made it very slippery for both sets of players. There was handling errors aplenty, but neither team were found wanting for effort. It was a very enjoyable battle between two committed teams.
Swan started the game brightly and flew into a 1-02 to 0-00 lead after just 3 minutes. Damien McCarthy with the goal in the 2nd minute. A super pass by Danny O’ Hanlon put Damien in one on one with the keeper, and he made no mistake about it. Take it out!
This was quickly followed up with a point from each of the next two An Rinn puckouts. The first by Aaron Dunne, while Gavin O’Halloran grabbed the second, his first of seven points on the night.
Swan then went 10 minutes without scoring as An Rinn came into the game strongly putting 4 points over, without reply, to bring them right back into the game.
In the 13th minute of the game, Aaron Dunne slotted a close-in free over the bar, and this was followed by another Gavin O’ Halloran point in the 15th minute to put Swan 1-04 to 0-04 points up at the halfway stage of the first half.
For the next 10 minutes of the half, the teams went tit-for-tat, with 2 scores each. In the final 2 minutes of the half An Rinn reeled off two more points without reply to make the half-time score Carrick Swan 1-06 An Rinn 0-08.
An Rinn started the second half similarly to how Swan began the first; blistering quick, scoring 1-01 within the opening 90 seconds of the half. The goal coming from half-forward, Donie Breathnach, who also hit 3 points in the first half.
Kevin Lanigan steadied the ship with a point in the 35th minute.
The next score of the game came in the 44th minute when Gavin O’ Halloran tapped a one over the bar. Gavin stepped up again a minute later to put Swan level, at the mid-way point of the second half. 1-09 to 1-09.
Dean Waters put Swan ahead a few minutes later but this was quickly followed up with two points without reply by An Rinn to put them a point ahead with just 6 minutes to play.
The latter was a golden opportunity for a goal. A combination of a super Dean Kiely block, and a reflex Kieran Lonergan save somehow kept the sliotar out of the Swan net. The ball ricocheting off Dean’s body, Kieran’s hurley, and going inches over the crossbar.
Both teams were going at it hammer and tongs in the final stages of the game, with Gavin O’ Halloran putting Swan one point up in the 56th minute, after sinking two difficult frees in quick succession.
Swan had a couple of good opportunities to goal in the closing minutes. The exceptional Dean Waters looked like he was after putting Damien McCarthy through but he was hooked for what looked a certain goal. Shortly afterwards, Mikey Loughman drew an outstanding reflex save from An Rinn’s shotstopper, Donie O’Murchadha.
Swan sealed the win in the 61st minute when Damien McCarthy pointed.
Full time score. Carrick Swan 1-13 An Rinn 1-11
Credit must go to both teams for putting on a good game of hurling in tough conditions. The game was great preparation for Swan’s upcoming County Championship game against Drom/Inch.
The starting Swan team on the night was: K. Lonergan, D. Walsh, S. Hogan, B. Muprhy, D. O’ Hanlon, C. Loughman, S. Torpey, G. O’Halloran. E. Halloran, D. Waters, K. Lanigan, L. Dunne, D. McCarthy, D. O’ Hanlon, A. Dunne.
Man of the match: Donie Breathnach, An Rinn.
Carrick Swan captain Dale O’ Hanlon was presented with the Sarah Lonergan Memorial Cup by Sarah’s parents, John & Delores, after the game.