JOHN TARRANT REPORTS
A STRONG showing from Iveleary confirmed their standing as serious contenders for the county junior A football crown after they powered past Lyre in Round 1 at Millstreet last Sunday.
After a competitive 15 minutes, Iveleary moved up through the gears to enjoy a largely trouble-free outing.
While an understrength Lyre gave as good as they got until the midway point of the opening half, the expectations of a close contest for the full hour failed to materialise. Instead, Lyre were soon a man down, and Iveleary proceeded to offer an exhibition of confident, disciplined and ruthless play despite the absence of playmaker Cathal Vaughan.
Iveleary team manager John McNulty had reason to admire Lyre’s capabilities during the opening half though the loser’s copybook was blotted when they lost a player before the interval.
‘It was a tough opening. Fortunately for us, Lyre were down a man and it allowed us kick on. Fair credit to them, they really came out of the blocks, a big, physical team that put us under pressure and took fine scores,’ he said.
‘We were forced to stay patient, we started to get good ball inside and obtain a few scores. Their man going off was decisive.’
Coming off a convincing win over Aghinagh when they retained their Mid Cork title seven days previously, there’s a hunger in the Iveleary team to go far in the county series.
‘There are 37 players on the panel, there’s little between them and they keeping pushing each other.
‘The guys starting are extremely lucky to be putting on a red jersey. If anybody has an off day, they will sit down and let in the next guy, that drives it on, there is no complacency,’ McNulty said.
A nip-and-tuck opening flattered to deceive a large attendance.
Iveleary put together a spell of pressure as both Chris Óg Jones and Ciarán Galvin hit the target. Lyre put the brakes on that surge, as a series of attacks yielded points from Jamie Sexton, Cathal O’Donoghue and Denis Roche to restore parity at 0-5 apiece at the close of the opening quarter.
However, Iveleary warmed to their task, grabbing a breakthrough in the 19th minute when the enterprising Jones centred for Conor O’Leary to net. As the rain descended, Iveleary’s game saw the greater urgency with Kevin Manning, Sean O’Leary and Galvin sweeping forward from defence with Jones a constant menace in attack.
The flow of the game remained with Iveleary, with Jones and Brian Cronin on target, while Lyre were down to 14 players after Timmie Murphy was flashed the red card.
Trailing 1-12 to 0-5 at the interval, Lyre were quickly into their stride in the second half with a Roche point.
However, the Duhallow runners-up faced a mountain to climb and it was lights out after a sweeping Iveleary move the length of the park ended when Jones made no mistake to goal. That score ended the game as a contest but there was no let-up from the Mid Cork men with five Iveleary players adding a 0-6 tally during the closing quarter to rubberstamp a place in the last eight.
Iveleary: C Óg Jones 1-7; C O’Leary 1-4 (2f); B Cronin 0-3 (2f); C Galvin, A O’Donovan, S O’Riordan, K Manning, D O’Sullivan, G McSweeney 0-1 each.
Lyre: D Roche (0-4); T Murphy (f), C O’Donoghue (f), J Sexton 0-1 each.
Iveleary: J Creedon; B Murphy, C O’Riordan, G O’Riordan; K Manning, S O’Leary, C Galvin; S Lehane, D O’Riordan; C O’Leary, B Cronin, A O’Donovan; C Óg Jones, S O’Riordan, B O’Leary.
Subs: D Cotter for G O’Riordan (17, inj), F McSweeney for S Lehane (45), G McSweeney for C Óg Jones (46), J Pickering for C O’Riordan (48), D Kelly for S O’Riordan (50), D O’Sullivan for B Cronin (52).
Lyre: D McAullife; J McAulliffe, C Coughlan, K Sexton; D Kearney, K Tarrant, B O’Keeffe; J Sexton, C O’Keeffe; T Murphy, C O’Donoghue, D Murphy; P Ryan, A Coughlan, D Roche.
Subs: N Twomey for C Coughlan (34), E O’Brien for C O’Keeffe (38), L O’Brien for A Coughlan (40), E Buckley for K Sexton (58), D Barrett for J McAulliffe (59).
Referee: D Hickey (Millstreet).