Bantry Blues 3-15 St Nicholas 0-2
BANTRY retained their Senior A Football Championship status after they cruised to a comprehensive win at Dunmanway.
The Blues secured a facile victory in this relegation play-off, sending St Nicks down.
Bantry dominated throughout with the midfield platform established by Seanie O’Leary and Stephen Coughlan critical. Cork senior star Ruairí Deane, who operated in a roving role, caused huge problems with his direct running.
Team captain Arthur Coakley was also in imperious form, hitting 1-8.
The Blackpool club will now operate in the Intermediate A grade next season. They fought gallantly, but the gulf in class was evident throughout.
Bantry and St Nicks started tentatively initially. Both sides traded points inside the opening ten minutes. Bantry soon established their authority on proceedings as they scored nine successive points.
Coakley struck five points as he proceeded to give an exhibition of shooting. Stephen Coughlan with a brace and Bill Foley added further points as the Blues surged into a deserved nine-point lead at the interval, 0-10 to 0-1.
The Blues started the second half in similarly impressive fashion. They were devastating in attack. They scored two goals in the opening five minutes of the second half which effectively ended the game. Shane McSweeney netted in the 33rd minute after good approach play by Coakley.
Deane netted in the 35th minute following intricate play from O’Leary and Coakley. This moved Bantry ahead by 15 points.
There was no let-up from a rampant Blues. They added more points through Foley and Tim Cronin.
Coakley netted their third goal in the 44th minute after he netted from close range.
Scorers for Bantry: A Coakley 1-8 (0-2 f), R Deane 1-1, S McSweeney 1-0, S Coughlan 0-2 (0-1 f, 0-1 45), B Foley 0-2, S Murray 0-1, T Cronin 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Nick’s: D Morris 0-2 f.
BANTRY BLUES: M Casey; C O’Leary, R O’Mahony, T Cronin, S Thornton; B Foley, J O’Neill; S O’Leary, S Coughlan; S Murray, D Daly, E Minihane; S McSweeney, R Deane, A Coakley.
Subs: S O’Neill for J O’Neill (46), K Clifford for E Minihane (46), J Casey for R O’Mahony (51).
ST NICKS: K McEnery; R McCarthy-Coade; A Evans, R Byrnes; J Galvin, K McCarthy-Coade, D Dunlea; L Forde, J Morrissey; D Morris, A Hosford, G Mulcahy; D Busteed, D Brosnan, S Horgan.
Subs: R Long for A Hosford (40), C Cullinane for R McCarthy-Coade (40), J O’Brien for J Galvin (40).
Referee: Brian Coniry (Crosshaven).