Fr O’Neill’s 1-11
By John Murphy
KILMACABEA let their football do the talking as they advanced to the last eight of the county JAFC.
The back-to-back West Cork champions kicked 2-7 without reply in the last seven minutes of this first-round clash against resilient East Cork outfit Fr O’Neill’s at foggy Kilmurry.
Boosted by the introduction of super-subs Tim Nyhan and Ger O’Donovan, who both got amongst the goals, Kilmacabea were also indebted to the stellar performances of star attackers Damien Gore and Ian Jennings.
Manager Noel McCarthy was delighted to see his side put the recent fall-out from the West Cork final behind them as they showed their quality.
‘That off-the-field stuff was hanging over us, we wanted to show that we are a better team that we were given credit for against a very good team in Caheragh,’ McCarthy said.
‘They were two great games of football, it was a good West Cork championship and while it is regrettable what occurred, I thought it was blown a bit out of proportion.
‘I thought what was crucial today was the impact our substitutes made and Damien (Gore) and Ian (Jennings) delivered important scores up front early on.’
Fr O’Neill’s started well and Kilmacabea’s defence needed to be on its toes as Niall Hayes, Darren Whooley and Donnacha McCarthy kept the East Cork side at bay while goalkeeper Matthew O’Neill brought off a series of superb saves, one a point-blank drive by Robert Hyde in the eighth minute.
When the Kilmacs did drive forward in attack, Gore, Jennings, Diarmuid O’Callaghan and Clive Sweetnam had the ability to prise open the Fr O’Neill’s defence.
Jennings then rattled the back of the Fr O’Neill’s net after a sublime move involving midfielder Daniel O’Donovan, O’Callaghan and Gore in the 13th minute. It put Kilmacabea 1-2 to 0-1 in front.
But Fr O’Neill’s dug deep and stunned the pre-match favourites in the 28th minute with a cracking goal from Billy Dunne. Kilmacabea led 1-7 to 1-4 at the break.
In the second half Kilmacabea got on top around the middle third as Daniel O’Donovan and Joe Collins pushed deeper into attacking roles. Enter Tim Nyhan and Liam Thompson, as Kilmacabea sensing the danger upped the ante.
Ian Jennings and Gore were still delivering the scoring goods, but with a slender lead, 1-13 to 1-10, and the home straight beckoning, the Leap lads were far from home and hosed.
Kilmacabea then exploded into action. Crucially, the substitutes – Ger O’Donovan, Tim Nyhan, Liam Thompson, Mark Jennings and Colin McCarthy – all played key roles, emphasising the Kilmac’s strength in depth.
Ger O’Donovan (1-3), Timmy Nyhan (1-1) and Colin McCarthy (0-1) all shared in the scoring bonanza as points by normal service providers Jennings and Gore completed a truly remarkable scoring blitz, a point by Padraig McMahon of scant consolation to a now outclassed Fr O’Neill’s.
Kilmacabea: Damien Gore 0-9 (1f), Ian Jennings 1-5, Ger O’Donovan 1-3, Timmy Nyhan 1-1, Colin McCarthy, Daniel O’Donovan (f) 0-1 each.
Fr O’Neill’s: Eoin Motherway 0-3, Billy Dunne 1-0, Cillian Broderick 0-3 (1f), Daniel Harrington 0-2f, Tom Millerick, Jason Hankard, Pádraig McMahon 0-1 each.
Kilmacabea: Matthew O’Neill; Declan O’Sullivan, Darren Whooley, Niall Hayes; Donnacha McCarthy, Martin Collins, Sam O’Driscoll; Daniel O’Donovan, Joe Collins; Clive Sweetnam, Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Dan Lynch; Donie O’Donovan, Damien Gore, Ian Jennings.
Subs: Tim Nyhan for Dan Lynch (40), Liam Thompson for Donie O’Donovan (40), Mark Jennings for Declan O’Sullivan (47), Ger O’Donovan for Joe Collins (47), Colin McCarthy for Clive Sweetnam (53), Thomas Jennings for Sam O’Driscoll (55).
Fr O’Neill’s: Stephen Sloane; Niall Griffin, John O’Driscoll, Mike Millerick; John Barry, Adrian Kenneally, Ryan Kenneally; Daniel Harrington, Tomás Millerick; Adam Kenneally, Cillian Broderick, Eoin Motherway; Billy Dunne, Jason Hankard, Robert Hyde.
Subs: Padraig McMahon for John O’Driscoll (ht), Kevin O’Sullivan for Robert Hyde (ht), Pat Steele for Daniel Harrington (inj, 36), John O’Driscoll for Billy Dunne (58).
Referee: Trevor Lyons (Douglas).