Spink caused the first shock of the Sparrow Insurances Intermediate football championship at Timahoe on Wednesday evening, with a five star attacking display from Damien Carter propelling them into a first half lead that they never surrendered.
When Spink won the junior football championship last year Carter won the footballer of the year award, and two goals and two points in a six minute first half burst from the diminutive corner forward shocked Park-Ratheniska to the core, and they never recovered.
Spink, who had come into the game with little collective preparation due to so many of the squad involvement with Ballinakill hurler,s were fired up by manager Sammy Kelly and a fancied Park Ratheniska side had no answer to their all action physical style of football. Park did take an early advantage, dominating the opening quarter and they led by 1-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes, when they should have enjoyed a much greater advantage such was their dominance.
Then when Spink began to ask them questions physically, and took the game to them, they had few answers and capitulated amazingly in the second quarter. They went from four points in front to five points in arrears by half time.
It was Carter who did all the damage as he struck for two goals inside a minute and added a point either side as well for a 2-5 to 1-3 half time lead and amazingly, both sides could only manage two points each in a fiercely contested second half, for Spink to hold the same advantage at the finish.
In blustery conditions Daithi Brennan opened the scoring from a placed ball for Spink but Kerry native John Sugrue fired Park Ratheniska level in the third minute, only for Damien Carter to show that he was going to be a threat with a fine point within a minute.
Then the game turned in Park’s favour as a long free from Ger Ramsbottom was seized on by Kieran Delaney and he fired the ball to the net. Ramsbottom again fed Delaney and he pointed as his side dominated out the field.
Great play by Paul Brennan led to Paddy Kelly hitting a fine point as Park Ratheniska led by 1-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes of play, but amazingly they weren’t to score again in this half as the game turned in Spinks favour.
A Daithi Brennan free narrowed the gap to a goal, and then Carter hit his purple patch, when first he pointed a free from the left and then cut through the Park defence and fired past a hapless Brian Ramsbottom.
From the kickout the ball was back in with Carter and again he raced through for goal but when he was dragged to ground inside the big box, he slotted the resultant penalty to the net. When he was fouled two minutes later he pointed to put his side in a commanding lead, 2-5 to 1-3, at the break.
Park-Ratheniska were rocked to the core and in reality they never recovered as Spink continued to throw everything at them in the second half with scores at a premium. Kieran Delaney did cut the gap but Carter was again on target from a free, and Willie Barry gave his side a six point advantage at the end of the third quarter. Spink closed up shop in defence and Park could only manage a single point from John Sugrue in the final 15 minutes of action in what was a very disappointing display.
SCORERS - Spink: Damien Carter 2-4, Daithi Brennan 0-2, Willie Barry 0-1; Park-Ratheniska: Kieran Delaney 1-2, John Sugrue 0-2, Paddy Kelly 0-1.
SPINK: John Dunphy; Paddy Gorman, Paudge Lalor, Tom O’Connor; Eamon Jackman, Seamus Dwyer, Jimmy Walsh; Brian O’Mara, Declan Murtagh; Cha Dwyer, MJ Lalor, Willie Barry; Daithi Brennan, Mark Carroll, Damien Carter.
PARK-RATHENISKA: Brian Ramsbottom; Martin Kelly, David Larkin, Shane O’Connor; Paddy Kelly, Mark Delaney, Benny Green; John Sugrue, Cathal Og Greene; Paul Brennan, Ger Ramsbottom, Skinny White; Darragh Nolan, Kieran Delaney, Mark Delaney. Subs: Eamon Cooke for Paddy Kelly, Dennis Brennan for Ger Ramsbottom.
Referee: Pat Moran (Graiguecullen)