Brilliant Carrick Swan turn on the style to reach South Tipperary SHC final

Brilliant Carrick Swan turn on the style to reach South Tipperary SHC final

Swan captain Kevin Lanigan led by example against Ballingarry.

 

Carrick Swan stormed into the South Tipperary senior hurling championship final with a swashbuckling display that tore Ballingarry asunder at Cloneen on Friday evening.

They followed up their surprise win over Mullinahone last weekend with another superb display that saw them win 4-18 to 3-15.

A hat-trick of goals from full forward Damien McCarthy was a highlight of the win. He took his scores superbly as the Ballingarry defence struggled to contain the rampant Carrick attack.

If McCarthy was the main scoring threat then Danny O'Hanlon was the engine of the machine. He was superb as he broke up Ballingarry attacks and set Swan ones up at the other end.

Equally impressive for a Swan side that were certainly up for this encouter were Colin Waters, Dale O'Hanlon, Gavin O'Halloran, Kevin Lanigan and Aaron Dunne.

Some poor wides threatened to disrupt their momentum in the first half as Ballingarry looked impressive.

But with the Slievardagh side leading 0-5 to 0-3 midway through the half, McCarthy struck for his first goal to push his side ahead, finishing off a flowing movement in style.

The sides were level at 1-6 to 0-9 after 21 minutes when Aaron Dunne struck for Swan's second goal and remarkably a minute later McCarthy hit his second and the side's third to put daylight between them.

But with some super free taking from Ian  Ivors, Ballingarry clawed their way and went in at the break a point ahead, 1-13 to 3-6, the goal following a mistake by Swan keeper Kieran Lonergan. He allowed a long range Ivors free to drop in front of him and when he failed to clear, Dylan Walsh popped up to tap to the net.

When another Ivors point from a free twenty seconds into the second half pushed Ballingarry further ahead, it looked like they might drive on. But McCarthy hit back with his third goal from a booming Darren Fahey ball into the danger area and Swan took a lead they would not relinquish.

They hit five points without reply to go 4-11 to 1-14 ahead. But even when slack defence allowed Dylan Walsh in for his third goal, they didn't panic and maintained the constant pressure.

Ballingarry were reduced to fourteen men when corner back John Edward Molloy received a second yellow card but that didn't really impact on the outcome as Swan were already so dominant. They continued to tack on the scores and Ballingarry's third score came with the last puck of the game when the outcome was already decided.

After a slow start to the season, Swan are coming good at the right time and will relish their final against Killenaule next weekend.

They might go in as underdogs but Killenaule will underestimate them at their peril.