Knocknagree 0-14 Naomh Abán 0-14
MICHEÁL Ó Duinnín proved to be Naomh Abán’s saviour when his 38th minute free secured his side a share of the spoils against Knocknagree in this Bons Secours PIFC Group B encounter played in Banteer on Saturday evening.
He was introduced in the 40th minute with his side leading by 0-10 to 0-6 and when he kicked three successive points to extend their lead to seven points, it seemed it would be enough as the sides broke for the second water break.
However, Knocknagree, who had looked so good in the opening exchanges, showed great fortitude in turning the tie around.
Eoghan McSweeney started the comeback on the resumption before Fintan O’Connor kicked three-in-a-row for last year’s Intermediate champions. Patrick Doyle then slotted over a 45, Gearóid Looney pointed before the outstanding O’Connor’s seventh point levelled the game at 0-13 each three minutes into injury-time.
A Matthew Dilworth point then seemed give Knocknagree a sensational victory but there was still time for Ó Duinnín to restore parity.
Knocknagree looked comfortable in the early stages with points from O’Connor (2), McSweeney, Denis O’Connor and Michael Mahoney helping them establish a 0-5 to 0-2 lead coming up to the first water break, Diarmuid Ó Ceallaigh with Naomh Abán’s scores.
The Gaeltacht side took over on the resumption, however, with frees from Ó Ceallaigh and Aodhán Ó Luasa, and a ’45 from Deaglán Ó hAileamhain bringing them level.
Further scores from Ó hAileamhain, Micheál Ó Laoghaire and Éanna Ó Criodáin ensured they led by 0-8 to 0-6 at the break.
They further stretched their lead after the break but back came Knocknagree and it leaves both sides very much in the hunt for a quarter-final place, with Naomh Abán set to play St Vincent’s while Knocknagree face the already qualified Cill na Martra.
Scorers for Knocknagree: F O’Connor 0-7 (0-5 f), E McSweeney 0-2, P Doyle (45), M Mahoney, D O’Connor, G Looney and M Dilworth 0-1 each.
Naomh Abán: M Ó Duinnín 0-4 (0-1 f, 0-1 sl), D Ó Ceallaigh f, D Ó hAileamhain (0-1 f, 0-1 45) 0-3 each, A Ó Luasa 0-2, M Ó Laoghaire agus É Ó Críodáin 0-1 each.
KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; M Doyle, D O’Mahony, G O’Connor; D Cooper, K Buckley (c), M Mahoney; D O’Connor, D Moynihan; J Dennehy, E McSweeney, F O’Connor; D O’Connor, JF Daly, G Looney.
Subs: M Dilworth for D O’Connor (43), P O’Connor for Dennehy (47).
NAOMH ABÁN: G Ó Luasa; T Ó hAiléasa, S Ó Mathúna, R de hÍde; C Ó Deasúna, É Ó Críodáin, D Ó Loingsigh; M Ó Laoghaire, C Ó Donnchú; D Ó Ceocháin, P Ó Liathán, D Ó hAileamhain; M Ó Liatháin (c), A Ó Luasa, D Ó Ceallaigh.
Subs: M Ó Duinnín for P Ó Liatháin (40), N Ó Ceallaigh for Ó Ceocháin (47), A Ó Catháin for Ó hAiléasa (55), T Ó Catháin for Ó Deasúna (66).
Referee: Peter O’Leary (Cloughduv).