Éire Óg 3-12 St Michael’s 0-4
ÉIRE ÓG advanced to the semi-final of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork SAFC with what was in the end a routine victory over St Michael’s at Ballyanly on Sunday afternoon.
A close game had been anticipated in this repeat of the 2019 Premier IFC final, which Éire Óg won by 0-14 to 0-12. However, Colm O’Callaghan’s goal coming up to half-time gave Éire Óg an interval lead of 1-5 to 0-2 and they were in control thereafter, with sub Kevin Hallissey finding the net twice in the closing stages.
The Ovens side now progress to the meet O’Donovan Rossa in the last four and will do in confident fashion, while knowing that a tally of eight first-half wides is unlikely to be absorbed again.
The victors’ early profligacy meant that the sides were tied at 0-2 each after 12 minutes but Tadhg Deasy’s levelling point for St Michael’s was their last until the 43rd minute, by which time Éire Óg were almost out of sight.
Mark O’Keeffe might have actually put Michael’s ahead with a goal on 13 minutes but he was denied by a Chris Kelly save while the netminder denied Eric Hegarty, too.
Outfield, Michael Corkery and John Cooper excelled in defence, with Ronan O’Toole and Jack Murphy giving them a platform in attack while O’Callaghan and captain Daniel Goulding helped them to move three points clear.
The first goal came on 27 minutes as Brian Hurley found O’Callaghan on the run and, though Owen O’Sullivan got a good block on his initial effort, the centre-forward able to send the loose ball home.
Hurley extended the lead on the resumption while Hallissey, just on, might have netted but was unlucky to shoot wide.
There was a let-off as the intervention of a linesman prevented referee Michael Collins giving O’Callaghan a second yellow card and, while sub Andy O’Connell ended Michael’s scoring drought, Goulding responded with a point – initially waved wide – to ensure a 1-7 to 0-3 advantage at the second-half water break.
O’Connell and Goulding exchanged scores on the resumption before Murphy’s ball found Goulding and he cleverly laid off to Hallissey, whose dinked finish to the net made it 2-8 to 0-4.
Michael’s might have given themselves some hope as a goal chance fell to Deasy just after that but again Kelly saved and Goulding was there to take the ball off his own goal-line.
O’Callaghan’s run set up Hallissey for his second and Éire Óg’s third goal on 58 and they rounded things off with three more points for Goulding and one by sub Jerome Kelleher.
Scorers for Éire Óg: D Goulding 0-9 (0-2 f), K Hallissey 2-0, C O’Callaghan 1-1, B Hurley, J Kelleher 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Michael’s: A O’Connell 0-2 (0-1 f), E Buckley (f), T Deasy 0-1 each.
ÉIRE ÓG: C Kelly; M Corkery, J Mullins, D O’Herlihy; D Twomey, John Cooper, D McCarthy; J Murphy, R O’Toole; Joe Cooper, C O’Callaghan, E O’Shea; B Hurley, D Goulding, L Sheehan.
Subs: K Hallissey for Joe Cooper (35), C Sheehan for L Sheehan (41), D Dineen for Twomey (53), J Kelleher for O’Shea (58), D O’Connor for Hurley (60).
ST MICHAEL’S: M Burke; J Golden, O O’Sullivan, J Cashman; T Lenihan, D Meaney, B Cain; M O’Keeffe, E Hickey; D Lenihan, T Deasy, L Grainger; E Buckley, A Hennessy, E Hegarty.
Subs: A O’Callaghan for Meaney (23, injured), E O’Donovan for Buckley (28), A O’Connell for Hickey (half-time), K Hegarty for E Hegarty, R Cotter for Grainger (both 49).
Referee: M Collins (Clonakilty).