Duhallow footballers return to knockout stages after edging UCC in extra time

Duhallow footballers return to knockout stages after edging UCC in extra time
Conor O'Callaghan (Duhallow) lays off the ball against UCC at Glantane. Picture: John Tarrant

Duhallow 4-20 UCC 6-12 (aet)

LAST year’s beaten finalists Duhallow will compete in the quarter-finals of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC after prevailing against UCC in a topsy-turvy encounter at Glantane last night.

Trailing by three points as the end of normal time loomed, Duhallow forced extra time only to fall three behind again early in the second period of extra time before turning the game with a pair of goals.

UCC began well in normal time and had the first two points before Duhallow looked to have taken control, with Mark Ellis and Paul Walsh on top at midfield. After Conor O’Callaghan put them 0-4 to 0-3 ahead, Ellis landed a goal and but he and Jerry O’Connor had chances for further green flags.

Jerry O'Connor seeks an opening against UCC. Picture: John Tarrant
Jerry O'Connor seeks an opening against UCC. Picture: John Tarrant

They were punished in the 24th minute as Ruairí Ó Beaglaioch levelled with a UCC goal after Conor Geaney’s initial shot was blocked, and they led through Alan Quinn before four straight Duhallow points – two from Eoghan McSweeney – opened up a 1-8 to 1-5 lead.

Once again, things swung as Geaney levelled with a goal and it was 2-6 to 1-9 at half-time, but Duhallow began the second half well. Jerry O’Connor got their second goal following good work by Séamus Hickey and that was followed by points from Ellis and wing-back Shane Hickey to leave it 2-11 to 2-6, the biggest lead of the game up to that point.

Almost immediately, though, it was cut from five points to two as UCC’s Ian Jennings conjured a brilliant individual goal. At the other end, John Fintan Daly nearly cancelled that out but Eoin Fitzgerald made a great block and a fine pointed free from UCC goalkeeper Eoghan O’Brien cut the gap to a point.

The students were wasteful with other efforts however and when Duhallow sub Neil Flahive pointed on 49, they led by two. In keeping with the way the game had gone, UCC struck for another goal as Michael O’Gara – influential in the second half after moving to midfield – picked out sub Dylan Casey for a superb goal and O’Brien and Ó Beaglaioch added points to put them 4-9 to 2-12 ahead.

The excellent Walsh nearly tied the game again but O’Brien was on hand to carry out his primary duty in goal and, though Eoghan McSweeney pointed a Duhallow free, they fell three behind as James O’Mullane pointed for UCC on 57.

After a Jerry O’Connor free for Duhallow, UCC were reduced to 14 as James McEntee was black-carded and Séamus Hickey and McSweeney had late points to send the game to extra time.

While Conor O’Callaghan put Duhallow ahead after the restart, Geaney struck for his second and UCC’s fifth goal following a good catch and they led by 5-11 to 2-18 at the turnaround. Liam Wall put them three ahead in the second period of extra time but Hickey’s superb goal levelled again and Duhallow pushed ahead through Walsh and Fintan O’Connor before O’Callaghan opened up a five-point lead in the 78th minute.

Even then, the lead was cut to two as McEntee levelled for UCC at the death, but Duhallow held out.

Scorers for Duhallow: Séamus Hickey 1-3, J O’Connor (0-1 f), C O’Callaghan 1-2 each, E McSweeney 0-4 (0-2f), M Ellis 1-1, D O’Connor 0-3 (0-2f), P Walsh 0-2, Shane Hickey, N Flahive, F O’Connor 0-1 each.

UCC: C Geaney 2-1, R Ó Beaglaioch 1-2 (0-1f, 0-1m), E O’Brien 0-3 f, I Jennings, J McEntee, D Casey 1-0 each, J O’Mullane, L Wall, S Walsh, L Kennedy, A Quinn, C Crowley 0-1 each.

DUHALLOW: P Doyle (Knocknagree); D O’Mahony (Knocknagree), B Daly (Newmarket), M Mahoney (Knocknagree); Shane Hickey (Millstreet), K Cremin (Boherbue), C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe); P Walsh (Kanturk), M Ellis (Millstreet); F O’Connor (Knocknagree), D O’Connor (Ballydesmond), E McSweeney (Knocknagree); J O’Connor (Boherbue), JF Daly (Knocknagree), Séamus Hickey (Rockchapel).

Subs: N Flahive (Millstreet) for D O’Connor (39, injured), D Linehan (Castlemagner) for F O’Connor, D Moynihan (Ballydesmond) for Daly (both start of extra time), D O’Connor for J O’Connor (65), F O’Connor for McSweeney (68), D O’Keeffe (Newmarket) for D O’Connor (79).

UCC: E O’Brien (Churchill, Kerry); E Dodd (Canovee) E Fitzgerald (Gneeveguilla, Kerry), C Smith (Aghabullogue); J McEntee (Curraha, Meath), E Lehane (Canovee), A Quinn (Macroom); S Desmond (Clondrohid), L Kennedy (St Kieran’s, Limerick); I Jennings (Kilmacabea), M O’Gara (Austin Stacks, Kerry), C Crowley (Glanmire); S Walsh (Scartaglin, Kerry), C Geaney (Dingle, Kerry), R Ó Beaglaioch (An Ghaeltacht, Kerry).

Subs: J O’Mullane (Kilmurry) for Crowley (half-time), L Wall (Kilmurry) for Kennedy, D Casey (Austin Stacks, Kerry) for Quinn (both 38), D Lucey (Mayfield) for Walsh (50), Quinn for Jennings (68).

Referee: C Dineen (Douglas).

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