JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
REIGNING South West U21B hurling champions Dohenys showed they are in no mood to relinquish their title.
The Dunmanway men were impressive winners of their semi-final against Bandon at Newcestown.
Granted, the champions started tentatively, falling behind by three points at the close of the opening quarter, but by the interval it was level pegging, 0-5 apiece. Once Dohenys got the bit between their teeth on resuming, they romped to a deserved 11-point victory.
Dohenys selector Declan Lavers was fulsome in his praise of his young hurling starlets.
‘These are a great bunch of lads, we had them all back tonight being missing several against Ballinascarthy, and I am very impressed by them,’ Laver said.
‘They fight for every ball, harried and hassed, that is their attitude, and it is second to none.
‘We battled away, got into the game and Aidan O’Donovan’s goal with 20 minutes left was a huge turning point.’
Certainly, Bandon started on the front foot and with football star Adam Murphy leading by example and Timmy McCarthy, Mark O’Regan, Robert O’Driscoll and Aidan O’Mahony winning primary possession, points by Murphy (65) and two beauties by McCarthy were no more than Bandon deserved.
In fact, but for a truly wonder save by Keith Forbes from Murphy, the Bandon side could have raised an early green flag.
However, Dohenys got their act together and with Mark Buckley, Brian Arnopp, Gareth Crowley, Fionn Herlihy, Kieran Forbes and Aidan O’Donovan much more involved, Bandon’s early momentum waned dramatically.
By the interval a now dominant Dohenys had clawed back the deficit and with Buckley lofting over the frees, despite wayward shooting by the winners’ forwards, it was all to play for on resuming.
Buckley had two fabulous points, Aidan O’Donovan another, but thanks to the enterprise of Murphy, Bandon were still just a point adrift, 0-8 to 0-7, by the 38th minute.
It was as close as the Lilywhites were to get, because when Aidan O’Donovan pounced to billow the Bandon net two minutes later, Kevin O’Mahony being the service provider, the floodgates opened.
The latter had Dohenys’ second goal at the close of the third quarter, the impressive Nathan O’Donovan doing the spadework ensuing that the last quarter proved a non-event the margin of victory, the only matter in doubt.
Dohenys: Mark Buckley 0-8 (4f), Aidan O’Donovan 1-1, Kevin O’Mahony 1-0, Fionn Herlihy 0-2, Kieran Forbes, Gareth Crowley, Nathan O’ Donovan 0-1 each.
Bandon: Timmy McCarthy, Adam Murphy (1f, 2 65) 0-4 each, Tony Quinn 0-1.
Dohenys: Keith Forbes; Jason Daly, Eoin Murray, Jerry Farrell; Gareth Crowley, Declan Collins, Darragh O’Connor; Mark Buckley, Cathal O’Donovan; Brian Arnopp, Kevin O’Mahony, Fionn Herlihy; Aidan O’Donovan, Kieran Forbes, Nathan O’Donovan.
Bandon: Cian Ó Fearáil; Harry Lillis, Ben Donegan, Niall Daly; Ciarán McCarthy, Robert O’Driscoll, Mark O’Regan; Nelson McCarthy, Dylan O’Donovan; Aidan O’Mahony, Adam Murphy, Timmy McCarthy; Brian O’Mahony, Olan McSweeney, Paul Hartnett.
Subs: Paul Lang for Paul Hartnett (ht), Tony Quinn for Dylan O’Donovan (43), Jack Calnan for Olan McSweeney (48), James Collins for Robert O’Driscoll (55).
Referee: Eamonn Sheehy (Newcestown).