Bantry Blues 2-11
GOALS in either half from Caitlin O’Mahony and Rachel Murphy earned Bantry Blues an important Cork LGFA Intermediate championship victory at home to Beara last Friday evening.
Both teams lost their opening intermediate games so nothing less than a win would suffice for Bantry or Beara in a group also containing Donoughmore and Rosscarbery.
Bantry were full value for their victory thanks to defenders Laura O’Sullivan, Ann Crowley and Emma Spillane. Eve Murphy and Ellen O’Sullivan got through a huge amount of work in front of clinical finishers Rachel Murphy, Amy Dineen and the excellent Zara Barry.
Despite a second consecutive loss, Beara tackled ferociously and would have been a lot closer on the scoreboard but for wasting two excellent goal chances. Goalkeeper Danielle Kelly shone as did Aimee Harrington, Clare O’Shea, Patricia Dunne and the ever reliable Áine Terry O’Sullivan.
‘Beara put up a good fight and we didn’t have the game won until late on,’ Eve Murphy told The Southern Star.
‘I’ve been playing midfield this year and am enjoying the role. It’s a lot of running but having someone like Emma Spillane next to you makes it a lot easier. Hopefully this result will give us confidence going into the Rosscarbery game. We must win it, or we won’t be going any further.’
Emma Spillane added: ‘Any time you meet Beara, they are always physical and they put up a good fight. We needed this heading into the Rosscarbery game because we were out of the championship if we lost. That was our motivation. We are looking forward to that Rosscarbery game in two weeks’ time, a very big game for us.’
Zara Barry (two), Sarah Bishop and Ellen O’Sullivan points handed Bantry the perfect start as the hosts took advantage of multiple turnovers in the Beara half. Beara took time to settle and were unfortunate not to pull a goal back when Aimee Harrington shot inches wide.
It proved a turning point as the Blues raised a green flag in their next attack, Caitlin O’Mahony finishing off a flowing move to make it 1-4 to 0-0 after 12 minutes. Danielle Kelly produced two top-class saves to keep her side in the game and Beara rallied with Aimee Harrington and Áine Terry O’Sullivan scores. Bantry finished the half strongly and led by eight points at the break thanks to additional Amy Dineen (two) and Sarah Bishop points.
The visitors enjoyed their best spell during the third quarter, maintaining possession but guilty of wasting numerous chances. For all their endeavour, Beara struggled to reduce the deficit after Zara Barry swapped scores with Áine Terry O’Sullivan (two, one free).
The game’s crucial score arrived after 41 minutes when Bantry Blues found a way past Beara’s tough-tackling rear-guard and stylishly worked the ball to Rachel Murphy. The Bantry forward’s initial effort rebounded back off the crossbar, but Murphy reacted quickest and forced the ball over the line.
Bantry solidified their win with late Ellen O’Sullivan, Sarah Bishop and Rachel Murphy (free) points and will need a similar display to overcome Rosscarbery in the final Group A fixture this Friday evening.
Bantry Blues: Rachel Murphy 1-1 (1f); Zara Barry, Sarah Bishop 0-3 each; Caitlin O’Mahony 1-0; Ellen O’Sullivan, Amy Dineen 0-2 each.
Beara: Áine Terry O’Sullivan 0-3 (1f); Amiee Harrington (0-1).
Bantry Blues: Mairead Dullea; Leah Murphy, Bernadette O’Flynn, Laura O’Sullivan (captain); Lucy Coakley, Ann Coakley, Emma Spillane; Eve Murphy, Ellen O’Sullivan; Zara Barry, Rachel Murphy, Sarah Bishop; Eve O’Sullivan, Amy Dineen, Caitlin O’Mahony. Subs: Kate Keevers for A Dineen (35, inj), Edel McGovern for L O’Sullivan (45), Tara Delaney for L Murphy (48), Liadh Barry for A Coakley (53), Aisling Stock for B O’Flynn (55).
Beara: Danielle Kelly; Lynda Hartnett, Christina O’Sullivan, Patricia Dunne; Lisa O’Sullivan, Clare O’Shea, Derarca O’Shea; Ciara Hanley (captain), Katie O’Sullivan; Siofra Nee, Áine Terry O’Sullivan, Becky O’Sullivan, Aimee Harrington, Niamh Terry O’Sullivan, Laura O’Sullivan. Subs: Kate Murphy for K O’Sullivan (48), Shannon Hanley Murphy for L O’Sullivan (48), Anna Crowley for L O’Sullivan (53).
Referee: Anthony McDermott (Clonakilty).