TOM LYONS REPORTS
IT was mission accomplished for Kilmacabea in this first round Bandon Co-op JAFC game in rain-drenched Ahiohill last Sunday evening.
Led by rampaging full forward Damien Gore, who was unstoppable, and by flying corner forward Richie O’Sullivan, this Kilmacabea attacking sextet must be by far the most lethal combination in junior football in the county and would do justice to a far higher grade.
‘It’s only the first round of the championship,’ stated a satisfied Kilmac manager Kevin O’Driscoll.
‘You have to take the strength of the opposition into account before you judge the result and there were a lot of things out there that we need to rectify as the championship progresses. This might have looked good but how would it stand up to the likes of St James, Ballinascarthy, Caheragh or Kilmeen? The appetite is back for the action. Plenty work to do.’
In truth this game was over as a contest after only ten minutes with the Kilmacs having three goals on the scoreboard. The architect of the blistering start was Cork senior Damien Gore, who found the net twice courtesy of some fine play from midfielder Daniel O’Donovan, Richie O’Sullivan, the returned Ruairí Hourihane and Diarmuid O’Callaghan. When Gore turned provider for O’Sullivan’s goal in the ninth minute, the Kilmacs were 3-3 to nil in front against a shell-shocked Bandon side.
To Bandon’s credit they tightened up in defence subsequently, with Joe Harrington, Niall Daly, Gavin O’Brien, Conor Calnan, Eoin Nolan and Ben Donegan to the fore, but they could do little to prevent a string of points from Gore, O’Sullivan, Hourihane and Ian Jennings, as the winners led by 3-13 to 0-2 at the break. Bandon’s scores came from the strong Ben Donegan and Eoin Nolan.
As the rain began to lash down after the break, Bandon improved their play and put some pressure on the Kilmac defence but a mere two points by Donegan (free) and Nolan, was their meagre reward for some determined play. At the other end Gore completed his hat-trick in the 45th minute.
Midfielder Daniel O’Donovan was now the dominant figure and when he finished to the net in the 50th minute, as well as kicking four points from frees, the score-keeper was the busiest man in the grounds as the Kilmacs ran riot. A sixth goal, a tap-in from O’Donovan, had the drowned supporters shouting for the full-time whistle as subs, Colin McCarthy and Oisín O’Sullivan, as well as wing back Dan Lynch added yet more points.
Kilmacabea: Damien Gore 3-5 (1f); Daniel O’Donovan 2-6 (6f); Richie O’Sullivan 1-5; Colin McCarthy, Ian Jennings 0-2 each; Dan Lynch, Ruairí Hourihane, Oisín O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Bandon: Ben Donegan (1f), Eoin Nolan 0-2 each.
Kilmacabea: Matthew O’Neill; Dara Tobin, Darren Whooley, Mark Jennings; Donncha McCarthy, Joe Collins, Dan Lynch; Daniel O’Donovan, Martin Collins; Ruairí Hourihane, Ian Jennings, Clive Sweetnam; Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Damien Gore, Richie O’Sullivan. Subs: Sam O’Driscoll for D Tobin (26), Oisín O’Sullivan for R O’Sullivan (45), Colin McCarthy for D O’Callaghan (45).
Bandon: Ciarán McCarthy; Harry Lillis, Jeremy Collins, Ralph O’Mahony; Joe Harrington, Niall Daly, Timmy McCarthy; Philip Crowley, Gavin O’Brien; Conor Calnan, Eoin Nolan, Charlie Long; Brian O’Mahony, Ben Donegan, Pat Barry. Subs: Kieran Essex for C Long (35), Denis Coffey for R O’Mahony (35), Steven Murphy for P Barry (45).
Referee: Mick Walsh (Barryroe).