MATTHEW HURLEY REPORTS
IT WAS clear to see who is a contender for the Bandon Co-op Carbery JAFC title and who is in relegation trouble.
Even without star forward Damien Gore, Kilmacabea were by far the better side, hammering Bandon’s second string in this Roinn 3 clash on a foggy night in Barryroe.
‘It was a hard game to prepare for because whether we lost or won, we still remained top of the group,’ Kilmacabea manager Shane Crowley told The Southern Star.
‘It was all about setting out our stall, getting a performance and going at it from the off. Thankfully, things went well for us. We came through injury free when we have a few injuries already.’
The 2020 Carbery victors will be hoping to get talisman Gore fit for the knockout stages.
‘If tonight was a knockout game, Damien would have been playing. It’s the same with Joe Collins and a few other lads. We had the luxury of not risking players. Damien isn’t 100 percent but we’re hoping in two weeks time, he will be,’ Crowley said.
This game was over long before the completion of the 60 minutes. After Ian Jennings hit an opening point, youngster Liam McCarthy played a role in two goals in the opening ten minutes. First he finished off a swashbuckling move after Ray Shanahan played him in. McCarthy then turned provider as he found Declan O’Sullivan who hit the net, 2-1 to no-score.
Further points from goalkeeper Colin McCarthy and O’Sullivan preceded a Bandon penalty after Ben Donegan was fouled in the danger zone after 18 minutes. Donegan stepped up himself but was denied by Colin McCarthy and the rebound was saved too. It just wasn’t the Lilywhites’ night.
Jennings (2), Donnacha McCarthy and Colin McCarthy finished off the opening half scoring, 2-7 to no-score at the short whistle.
Jennings was in great form for Kilmacs, and added two more early second-half scores, contributing to his 0-6 overall.
‘Ian was injured a lot last year but has really come into his own now that he is injury free, playing with a lot of confidence,’ manager Crowley acknowledged. ‘There were a lot of young fellas that played well too like Liam McCarthy and Liam Tobin. It all bodes well for the rest of the year.’
After 40 minutes, Bandon finally got on the scoreboard through the fist of Donegan, after a goal-bound effort was deflected over.
However, Kilmacabea were relentless. Declan O’Sullivan and Owen Tobin pointed before the same two players both hit the net within a minute. 4-11 to 0-1 with ten remaining.
It was about counting down the minutes from then on as Jennings, Liam McCarthy and Eamon Shanahan rounded off the victor’s scoring while Aaron O’Reilly added one more for Bandon.
‘We got momentum there. Got a lot of scores on the board and anytime you conceded 0-2, you’ve got to be happy with it,’ Crowley said. ‘That’s three clean sheets in a row in the group stage. It is one of the benchmarks we want to set out.’
Kilmacabea: Declan O’Sullivan 2-2; Ian Jennings 0-6 (3f); Liam McCarthy, Owen Tobin 1-1 each; Colin McCarthy 0-2 (1f, 1 45); Donnacha McCarthy, Eamon Shanahan 0-1 each.
Bandon: Ben Donegan, Aaron O’Reilly (1f) 0-1 each.
Kilmacabea: Colin McCarthy; Liam Tobin, Darren Whooley, Mark Jennings; Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Martin Collins, Jamie Ronan; Eamon Shanahan, Ruairi Hourihane; Donnacha McCarthy, Ian Jennings, Ray Shanahan; Owen Tobin, Declan O’Sullivan, Liam McCarthy.
Sub: Keith Whelton for J Ronan (41).
Bandon: William Allen; Conor Twomey, Ralph O’Mahony, Cian Burke; Aaron O’Reilly, Harry Lillis, Stephen Collins; Dylan Barr, Niall Daly; Rory Fogarty, James Daly, Cathal Lynch; Jake Lillis, Eoin Geary, Ben Donegan.
Subs: Nelson McCarthy for N Daly (25); Oisin O’Mahony for E Geary (ht); Dan Lane for D Barr (42).
Referee: Conor McCarthy.