Bantry Blues 1-10
MALLOW footballers are through to the knockout stages of this season’s Bon Secours Cork Senior A Football Championship, but the north Cork side had to work hard to get there as Bantry Blues fought all the way in Macroom on Sunday afternoon.
Nothing to choose between the sides on the scoreboard for long periods but Mallow were wasteful in front of the posts on far too many occasions while their opponents were far more clinical when their opportunities arose.
This one was impossible to call for long periods but it would ultimately be decided by the brilliance of Eoin Kelleher.
The attacking sub scored one of the finest goals of the year to break the deadlock late on and send his side through to the knockout stages, with Eire Óg joining them at the business end of the championship.
Led on the pitch by veteran corner forward Cian O’Riordan, Mallow showed they were not going to follow the club’s hurlers out of championship with Cork stars Mattie Taylor and James Loughrey ably assisted by Ryan Harkin, Eoin Stanton and Shane Merritt who all impressed – as did Kieran O’Sullivan (one of the game’s stand out performers).
For Ruairi Bantry, Deane was busy all game with Shane McSweeney and Stephen Coughlan also doing very well.
Bantry came flying out of the traps with a goal and a point inside 90 seconds. McSweeney opened the scoring with a splendid point before Deane smashed home the game’s first major as Mallow struggled with the early pace.
O’Riordan was Mallow’s go to guy with four ridiculously good points in the first half which were added to a clever goal and a free. (1-5 apiece at the break).
It was 1-9 apiece for over 10 minutes in the second half and Mallow looked to be exiting but Kelleher’s lob from out wide, followed by points from Jack Dillon and Pa Herlihy and this one was done.
Mallow made the quarters but they will need to be much more frugal than this.
Scorers for Mallow: C O’Riordan 1-5 (0-3f, 1.sl); E Kelleher 1-0; J Loughrey, M Taylor, E Stanton, K O’Sullivan, J Dillon, P Herlihy 0-1 each.
Bantry Blues: R Deane 1-5 (0-3f); S McSweeney 0-3; A Coakley 0-2 (0-1f).
MALLOW: K Doyle; O Carroll, J Loughrey, A Cashman; T McEvoy, S Merritt, M Taylor; D Moynihan, E Stanton; K O’Sullivan, R Harkin, M O’Rourke; C O’Riordan, K Sheehan, S McDonnell.
Subs: J Dillon for K Sheehan (49), E Kelleher for M O’Rourke (49), P Herlihy for S McDonnell (58).
BANTRY BLUES: M Casey; C O’Leary, E O’Shea, T Cronin; S Thornton, B Foley, E Minihane; S O’Leary, S Coughlan; J O’Neill, D Daly, T Foley; S McSweeney, R Deane, A Coakley.
Subs: S Murray for E Minihane (12)(inj); P Goggin for B Foley (inj)(ht), M Barry for E O’Shea (58).
Referee: J Regan (Lough Rovers).