Clonakilty CC 1-7
Hamilton HS 0-5
DENIS HURLEY REPORTS
WHILE there were five point between teams in the end, Wednesday’s West Cork derby in the Corn Uí Mhuirí was in the balance until the very end.
Ultimately, Ciarán O’Neill’s injury-time goal ensured that it will Clonakilty Community College progressing to the semi-finals but they had to work the victory and it wasn’t until Bandon’s Hamilton High School were reduced to 14 and then 13 players that Clon eased clear.
On a difficult day for football, a high-scoring classic were never a likelihood and victory was going to be decided by which side made the fewer mistakes.
Clon’s performance certainly wasn’t flawless – they had eight wides to the Hammies’ three, six of those in a wind-assisted first half – but in the closing stages they displayed a good temperament to hold off their rivals.
It was an outcome which not have appeared inevitable at half-time, when Clon led by 0-4 to 0-3 after taking time to get to grips with the game, having wasted more than a few good chances.
Hamilton had the game’s first two points, both scored by Fionn Herlihy, the first a free, but by and large the Bandon school found it difficult to pierce the massed Clon ranks, with corner-back Brian Deasy doing a good job to limit the supply to Herlihy, the primary attacking outlet.
Clon might have had a goal in the eighth minute, Ciarán Nyhan’s pass giving JP Eady a sight of the target but he was forced wide and defender Cullan Barry cleared off the line.
Nevertheless, Ryan O’Donovan had a long-range point to get Clon off the mark, that and Eady’s leveller set up by Conor Hayes.
After the cheap concession of a free, Brian White – younger brother of Cork stars Seán and Mark – put Clon ahead and, coming up to half-time, Odhran Bancroft made it 0-4 to 0-2 after Ryan O’Donovan set him up.
In injury time, though, Hamilton’s Niall Lawton was fouled and Herlihy sent over his third point to leave them in a good position with the wind to come.
Adam Kenneally, Adam Walsh Murphy and Darragh O’Shea combined to set up Bill Murphy for the equaliser upon the resumption.
With full-back Tim Twohig defending on the front foot, Hammies looked tight at the back and another Herlihy free had them ahead at 0-5 to 0-4 on 41 minutes.
However, it was to prove to be their final score. Nyhan set up Eady to made it 0-5 each soon after that and Clon sub Conall Cullinane then gave the full-forward another goal chance but he fired across the face of the goal.
In response, Hammies sub Seán Sexton’s pass set Kenneally through, but Clon goalkeeper Cian Ryan was quick off his line. He tried a first-time clearance, which rebounded off Kenneally and into the net, but referee Cormac Murphy’s whistle had blown, calling play back for a Hamilton free, deeming the advantage to have ended when Ryan got to the ball.
Denied a goal, things got worse for Kenneally as he picked up a second caution after that, with Brian White landing the resultant long-range free and then Clon made the most of the extra manpower as corner-back Dan Peet got forward to make it 0-7 to 0-5.
As time ran out, Hamilton searched for a goal. Full-forward Ben Donegan had a chance when he won a Darragh O’Shea free but, under pressure, he fired high and wide. An intended ball in by sub Eolann McSweeney nearly deceived Ryan but the goalkeeper palmed away and after those let-offs, Clon pushed on again.
Eady was denied as David Curtin stood up well to his shot but, in the 64th minute, after Bandon lost Eoghan Collins to another red card, a delivery by Cullinane broke in the Bandon large rectangle and O’Neill was on hand to fire home.
Clonakilty CC: Ciarán O’Neill 1-0, Brian White, JP Eady 0-2 each, Ryan O’Donovan, Odhran Bancroft, Dan Peet 0-1 each.
Hamilton HS: Fionn Herlihy 0-4 (3f), Billy Murphy 0-1.
Clonakilty CC: Cian Ryan (Ballinascarthy); Brian Deasy (Kilmeen), Kieran Lawton (Ibane Gaels), Dan Peet (Clonakilty); Darragh O’Connor (Sam Maguires), Jack Wycherley (Ibane Gaels), Ciarán O’Neill (Ballinascarthy); Ciarán Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), Cian O’Donoghue (Clonakilty); Conor Hayes (Clonakilty), Brian White (Clonakilty), Odhran Bancroft (Clonakilty); Ryan O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels), JP Eady (Carbery Rangers), Pádraic Cullinane (Ballinascarthy).
Subs: Conall Cullinane (Ballinsacarthy) for Pádraic Cullinane (42), Tony O’Connell (Clonakilty) for O’Donovan (48), Seán Walsh (Ibane Gaels) for White (60, injured).
Hamilton HS: David Curtin (Ahán Gaels); Cullan Barry (Sam Maguires), Tim Twohig (Bandon), David Muckian (Valley Rovers); Eoghan Collins (Newcestown), Seán Barry (Valley Rovers), Harry Lillis (Bandon); Adam Kenneally (Valley Rovers), Cian McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s); Niall Lawton (Valley Rovers), Darragh O’Shea (Valley Rovers), Adam Walsh Murphy (Valley Rovers); Billy Murphy (Sam Maguires), Ben Donegan (Bandon), Fionn Herlihy (Sam Maguires).
Subs: Seán Sexton (Kilbrittain) for Lawton (half-time), Eolann McSweeney (Bandon) for Walsh Murphy (52).
Referee: Cormac Dineen (Douglas).