Cloughduv 0-21 Midleton 1-16
A late surge from Cloughduv was enough to keep them in with a chance of qualifying from Group C of the Co-Op Superstores Cork Intermediate A Hurling Championship as they saw off Midleton at Carraig na bhFear.
After Midleton’s Michael Abernethy was shown a straight red card just before the second half water break, Cloughbuv - who then trailed by three - rallied to claim the final five points of the game to snatch an important win.
With Aghabullogue edging past Glen Rovers in Blarney earlier in the afternoon, Midleton knew a win here would see them join the Muskerry club at the top of the group on four points each.
Cloughduv’s first game back following the lockdown saw them lose to Aghabullogue by 11 points while Midleton made a memorable return as they beat Glen Rovers by five points in Cobh last weekend.
Cloughduv started like they knew another loss would be the end of their championship hopes and by the 10th minute they were ahead 0-5 to 0-2, with Sean O’Connor firing over a chance for a goal.
They hit four crucial wides in the process though and the Magpies soon punished them for that as the excellent Aaron Mulcahy drilled the sliotar into the far bottom-right corner of the net before adding a point, 1-3 to 0-5.
Then came an incredible sequence where the sides went point for point but Midleton finished the first period strongly to lead 1-12 to 0-11 at the interval.
Cloughduv would only reduce the arrears by one point before Abernethy’s red card, with the scoreboard reading 1-16 to 0-16 by the next much-needed water break.
But the extra man proved crucial and corner-forward Brian Verling, in particular, found his range to help his club complete a dramatic turnaround and set up an interesting finale in three weeks time.
Scorers for Cloughduv: M Walsh 0-6, B Verling 0-6 (0-3 f), M Verling 0-4 (0-1 f), S O’Connor 0-2, W Ahern, D O’Leary and E Clifford 0-1 each.
Midleton: A Mulcahy 1-6 (0-2 f), J Hegarthy 0-4, K Finn 0-3, E Mitchell, P O’Brien and R O’Regan 0-1 each.
CLOUGHDUV: J Buckley; J Moynihan, B Ahern, P Buckley; T Dineen, E Clifford, D O’Leary; W Ahern, L Kelleher; A Murphy, M Walsh, M Verling; K Walsh, S O’Connor, B Verling.
Subs: D Corkery for T Dineen (ht), A Twomey for K Walsh (42), E Curzon for L Kelleher (47), E Moynihan for S O’Connor (55).
MIDLETON: A Power; C O’Brien, C Murphy, C Gunning; A Daly, L Dineen, E Mitchell; P Haugney, K Finn; J Hegarthy, P O’Brien, A Mulcahy; M Abernethy, R O’Regan, C Crowley.
Subs: P Connaughton for P Haugney (39), C Farmer for A Daly (43), D Scanlon for E Mithcell (56).
Referee: John Horgan (Gleann na Laoi).