TOM LYONS REPORTS
KILMACABEA left it late as they qualified for the quarter-finals of the Bandon Co-op junior A football championship in sun-soaked Rosscarbery.
Missing a number of top players, including Damien Gore, Richie O’Sullivan and Ruairí Hourihane, the Kilmacs were slow to get going, but were helped when Owen Tobin struck for a controversial goal before half time. The second half saw the winners upping their form considerably, registering further goals from Liam McCarthy and Ray Shanahan.
‘It’s been very difficult to get things going properly because of the many injuries but the objective was to qualify from the group and we’ve done that now,’ admitted manager Shane Crowley.
‘Damien has an ankle injury since the first game against Kilbrittain but will be back for the quarter-final. It was good to see the team scoring 3-11 without our top forwards in action.’
This contest was a real slow burner, with only four points being scored in the first quarter – Ian Jennings and Donncha McCarthy for the Kilmacs and Niall Barrett and Shane Collins (free) for Clon. The Kilmacs began to get on top in the second quarter, but Niall Barrett, Cian O’Donovan, Ciarán Crowley and Jack Wycherley were to the fore in the Clon rearguard. They limited the Kilmacs to three points from McCarthy (free), Jennings and Declan O’Sullivan. In response, James Campbell and Fintan Keogh raised white flags for Clon.
Probably the most vital moment in the game came in the 32nd minute and provided a controversial goal that had a big influence on the proceedings. Joe Collins claimed a mark in front of the Clon goal but no whistle came as the kicker was inside the 45. The Clon backs appeared to stop but Collins quickly passed the ball to Owen Tobin who rifled it to the Clon net. Clon objected strongly but the score stood and it was the Kilmacs in front, 1-5 to 0-4, at half time.
The second half saw a big improvement in the Kilmac intensity. Quick points from frees by Eamon Shanahan and impressive sub Colin McCarthy had them six to the good. Clon answered with points from Campbell (mark) and Collins (free). It was 1-8 to 0-6 at the three-quarter stage, following a second pointed free from Colin McCarthy.
The Kilmacs went from strength to strength in the last quarter. Points from Declan O’Sullivan and Owen Tobin were followed by Kilmac’s second goal in the 53rd minute when sub Liam McCarthy, finished a fine combined move to the Clon net. Ray Shanahan finished with a third green flag for the Kilmacs in the 63rd minute.
Scorers - Kilmacabea: Owen Tobin 1-1; Liam McCarthy, Ray Shanahan 1-0 each; Ian Jennings, Declan O’Sullivan, Colin McCarthy (2f), Donncha McCarthy (1f), Eamon Shanahan (1f) 0-2 each. Clonakilty: Shane Collins 0-3 (3f); James Campbell 0-2 (2m); Fintan Keogh, Liam Halligan, Niall Barrett 0-1 each.
Kilmacabea: Karl McCarthy; Dara Tobin, Sam O’Driscoll, Mark Jennings; Clive Sweetnam, Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Donie O’Donovan; Martin Collins, Joe Collins; Owen Tobin, Ian Jennings, Donncha McCarthy; Declan O’Sullivan, Eamon Shanahan, Ray Shanahan. Subs: Dan O’Donovan for J Collins (35), Colin McCarthy for D McCarthy (35), Liam McCarthy for D Tobin (45), Timmy Nyhan for D O’Sullivan (55).
Clonakilty: Conor O’Callaghan; Denis Kerrisk, Ciarán Crowley, Niall Barrett; Jack Barrett, Cian O’Donovan, Jack Wycherley; Liam Halligan, Tim McCarthy; David O’Sullivan, Fintan Keogh, Jim Twomey; James Campbell, Shane Collins, Kieran Calnan. Subs: Thomas O’Donovan for K Calnan (50), Kieran Calnan for D O’Sullivan (60).
Referee: Shane Scanlon (Newcestown).