Muskerry side on course for first premier intermediate title
Éire Óg 2-16
Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh 1-11
BRENDAN KENNEALLY REPORTS
BRAGGING rights and a place in the semi-finals of the county premier intermediate football championship rested with Éire Óg after this Mid Cork derby last Saturday.
The weather forecast was correct for this one. The rain started to fall just before the commencement of this quarter-final at Macroom, got progressively heavier and the second half was played in a deluge which drenched players and supporters.
Éire Óg were not worried by the weather conditions and, in fact, dominated the second half after struggling for periods earlier. Paradoxically, they had victory within their grasp by the half-time break as they had their two goals on the board at this stage – both vital scores – which helped them to a 2-6 to 0-8 lead.
Béal Átha opened well, Andy Ó Coinceannain pointed a first-minute free, Diarmuid Mac Thomáis added another a minute later and when Brian Hurley had an opening point for Éire Óg, Mac Thomáis fired over another point in reply to give Béal Átha a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes.
Within a minute, Éire Óg were in the lead. Daire McCarthy found Brian Hurley who turned his marker and, from close range, buried the ball in the Ballingeary men’s net. He earned himself a yellow card for his subsequent action.
It was a setback for Béal Átha and it took them a while to get back into a rhythm. Éire Óg had a point from a Daniel Goulding free in the 13th minute, quickly answered by a Daire Ó Ceallacháin score. When Goulding pointed another free, Diarmuid Mac Thomáis answered with a superb point early in the second quarter to keep only the minimum between the teams, 1-3 to 0-5.
Ronan O’Toole broke through the Béal Átha defence to again increase the Éire Óg lead, Donagh Seartan answered with a point for the Gaeltacht men, before O’Toole set up a point for Colm O’Callaghan.
Béal Átha had a lucky escape subsequently when a shot from O’Callaghan, a star with Cork U20 footballers in their All-Ireland victory, hit the woodwork before being scrambled to safety in the 22nd minute.
Béal Átha were again playing well at this stage and in attack their inside line of Donagh Seartan, Andy Ó Coinceannain and Diarmuid Mac Thomáis was posing problems for the Ovens defence. When points from Ó Coinceannain and a Seartan free brought them level in the 29th minute it was no more than they deserved. Indeed, they could have been in front as the free awarded for a foul on Andy Ó Coinceannain could quite easily have been a penalty.
After Béal Átha then kicked another free wide, the kick-out was won by Ronan O’Toole who parted to Colm O’Callaghan. From 25 metres the Éire Óg man sent a looping ball to the ball to the Béal Átha net with the goalkeeper slightly off his line. It was a decisive blow and turned this contest in favour of Éire Óg who had a further point from Eoin O’Shea to lead by 2-6 to 0-8 when the whistle sounded for the break.
Éire Óg started the second half on the attack and never really allowed Béal Átha back into contention again as the rains poured down. The winners showed the benefits of their strength and conditioning work undertaken by coach Paudie Kissane.
Éire Óg kicked two early wides but Daniel Goulding followed up with two points from play to put two goals between the teams by the 38th minute. When substitute Kevin Hallissey and Colm O’Callaghan added two more scores, Éire Óg led by 2-10 to 0-8 at the three-quarter stage and were playing with such assurance that it was difficult to see Beal Átha getting back into contention.
Donagh Seartan had Béal Átha’s first score of the second half in the 49th minute and his brother Ben struck for a fine goal in the 56th minute to cut the gap to five points but Éire Óg finished with a string of points to re-assert their control.
Éire Óg: C O’Callaghan 1-4; D Goulding 0-5 (2f, 1 45); B Hurley 1-1; R O’Toole, E O’Shea 0-2 each, K Hallissey, Jack Murphy 0-1 each.
Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh: D Seartan 0-5 (3f); D Mac Thomáis 0-4; B Seartan 1-0; D Ó Ceallacháin, A Ó Coinceannain (f) 0-1 each.
Éire Óg: Eoin Kelleher; John Kelleher, John Mullins, Dermot O’Herlihy; Diarmuid Dineen, John Cooper, Daire McCarthy; Liam Sheehan, Ronan O’Toole; Eoin O’Shea, Jack Murphy, Colm O’Callaghan; Daniel Goulding, Denny Murphy, Brian Hurley.
Subs: Kevin Hallissey for D Murphy (39), Joe Cooper for B Hurley (47), Michael Corkery for D Dineen (53), Michael O’Shea for D McCarthy (55), Donncha Kelly for Colm O’Callaghan (59).
Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh: Gearóid Ó Muirthille; Ciarán Ó Nunáin, Leonard Ó Conchuir, Seán Ó Donnchú; Daire Ó Ceallacháin, Amhlaoibh Ó Loinsigh, Matt Ó Riordáin; Eoibn Ó Coill, Ctothuir Ó Loinsigh; Nollaig Ó Laoire, Cian Ó Duinnin, Eanna Ó Duinnin; Donnagh Seaertan, Aindrias Ó Coinceannain, Diarmuid Mac Thomáis.
Subs: Barra Ó Coinceannain for E Ó Coill (inj, ht), Ben Seartan for C Ó Nunáin (48), Liam Ó Críodáin for D Ó Ceallacháin (54), Seamas Ó Tuama for E Ó Duinnín (56), Liam Seartan for C Ó Duinnin (57).
Referee: Cormac Dineen (Douglas).