Cill na Martra 2-17
Noel Horgan Reports
THEY couldn’t have expected to run out such convincing winners, but Cill na Martra were by no means flattered to finish nine points to the good in the county IFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Simply put, they comprehensively mastered Muskerry neighbours Aghabullogue, whose fate was sealed long before the finish.
Indeed, the signs were ominous for Aghabullogue when they went in at half time 0-10 to 1-3 in arrears, because Cill na Martra had firmly stamped their authority on the proceedings towards the end of the opening period.
Having been stung by an Aghabullogue goal from full forward Evan O’Sullivan, which made it 1-3 to 0-5 in the 22nd minute, Cill na Martra responded with five unanswered points before the break.
They kept the momentum going on the resumption, tacking on four more points before removing any lingering doubts about the outcome when Danny Ó Conaill and Daniel Ó Duinnin combined to set Shane Ó Duinnin up for a goal in the 43rd minute.
By the time Aghabullogue finally broke their second-half duck, courtesy of David Thompson from a free four minutes later, Cill na Martra had stretched their advantage to a whopping 13 points with such ease that the gap looked destined to reach more embarrassing proportions before the finish.
In fairness to Aghabullogue, they battled gamely in a bid to spare their blushes in the last quarter, and they managed it to some extent, notwithstanding the fact that Cill na Martra grabbed a second goal in the 52nd minute when Danny Ó Conaill and Daniel Ó Duinnin again did the spadework for an excellent strike by Shane Ó Duinnin.
The bottom line is that Aghabullogue looked very much out of their depth against a Cill na Martra side that that hadn’t a weak link as they powered to a first-ever county intermediate title with a performance rich in flair, industry and cohesion.
Even in the opening quarter, Cill na Martra enjoyed the better of matters, applying the bulk of the pressure thanks primarily to the control exerted by Graham Ó Mochain, Nollaig Ó Laoire and Colm Ó Laoire in the half-back line, and midfielders Gearoid Ó Goillidhe and Tadgh Ó Corcora.
For all that, Aghabullogue, trailing by 0-3 to 0-2, almost made a major breakthrough when John Corkery shot narrowly wide with a goal chance in the ninth minute.
As Cill na Martra continued to struggle to transfer their territorial edge to the scoreboard, it seemed as if they might be forced to relinquish the initiative after Evan O’Sullivan’s goal nudged the losers ahead for the first time.
That the chance came about after an effort for a point by Cill na Martra’s Mícheál Ó Deasuna dropped short, allowing Aghabullogue to launch a counter-attack that ended with Ian Barry-Murphy delivering a precision pass to O’Sullivan at the edge of the square, seemed calculated to compound the Gaeltacht men’s frustration.
Instead of inspiring Aghabullogue however, O’Sullivan’s goal had the effect of prompting Cill na Martra to move into top gear, not least in attack where all six forwards performed creditably.
A fisted point by Shane Ó Duinnin quickly brought Cill na Martra back on terms, while Ciaran Ó Duinnin, Mícheál Ó Deasuna, who converted two frees, and midfielder Tadgh Ó Corcora also got on the scoresheet as they finished the first half with a flourish.
It didn’t take Cill na Martra long to consolidate their position in the second half, dominating to such a degree that hapless Aghabullogue were left with nothing but pride and respectability to play for heading into the last quarter.
Cill na Martra: M Ó Deasuna 0-8 (7f, 1 45), S Ó Duinnin 2-1, D Ó Conaill 0-3, C Ó Duinnin 0-2, D Ó Duinnin, T Ó Corcora, G Ó Mochain 0-1 each.
Aghabullogue: D Thompson 0-7 (4f), E O’Sullivan 1-0, I Barry-Murphy, N Barry-Murphy, J Corkery, M Bradley 0-1 each.
Cill na Martra: A Ó Conaill; D McLochlainn, A Ó Cuana, E Ó Longsigh; G Ó Mochain, N Ó Laoire, C Ó Laoire; T Ó Corcora, G Ó Goillidhe; M Ó Conchuir, M Ó Deasuna, D Ó Conaill; C Ó Duinnin, D Ó Duinnin, S Ó Duinnin.
Subs: S Ó Foirreidh for Ó Conchuir (44), D Ó hUrdail for C Ó Duinnin (50), F Ó hEalaithe for Ó Goillidhe (53), S Ó Ceilleachair for Ó Corcora (57), G Ó Faolain for D Ó Conaill (57).
Aghabullogue: D Moynihan; D Merrick, M Dennehy, P Twomey; B Casey, S O’Sullivan, P Ring; P Finnegan, A Barry-Murphy; M Twomey, J Corkery, N Barry-Murphy; I Barry-Murphy, E O’Sullivan, D Thompson.
Subs: R Dennehy for A Barry-Murphy (ht), M Bradley for M Twomey (34), C Smith for N Barry-Murphy (41), A Hogan for Casey (51), J Byrne for I Barry-Murphy (59).
Referee: E Sheehy (Newcestown).