THEY have had to wait until the last weekend in October but it was a case of better late than never as Killeagh/St Ita’s got their Premier Cork County U21 hurling championship up and running with a first-round victory over holders Fr O’Neill’s last Saturday afternoon.
They fully deserved their win, leading from the outset and winning comfortably in the end by six points.
Team selector Joe Deane was happy to have got a championship game under their belt.
“Look, it’s a good win for us, we have been waiting since July for this game so it’s good to have got it done and now we move on and see who we get next in the competition.
“It was a long wait for the players, they were hanging around waiting for the game but Ii thought that we did well overall.
“Fr O’Neill’s were the holders and they were missing a lot from last season but we had a job to do and we did it well.’’
The former Cork star was delighted with a return of 1-17, good scoring at this time of the year.
It was, we got some nice scores, Ryan McCarthy got a lot of them and his free-taking was superb.
“Richie (Long) took his goal well and back in defence we did not concede too much from play.
“It’s getting late in the year now but we’ll keep at it and see where it takes us."
Deane acknowledged too that the victory was a boost overall for the club.
“It was, we were disappointed with how things turned out at senior level but there are good, young players coming through so we’d be hopeful going forward."
The Killeagh/Ita’s combination dominated the game from the outset, putting four points on the board before O’Neill’s got their first point.
It was 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval and when Richie Long fired home the goal it was effectively game done and dusted.
Kevin Murphy was excellent in a solid Killeagh/Ita’s defence and Ryan McCarthy’s accuracy from the placed ball was top class Ger Millerick, at centre-back, posted the bulk of Fr O’Neill’s scores while their goal was a pure gem, superbly drilled home by Peter Hassett.
O’Neill’s must now wait for the outcome of the Blarney-Duhallow encounter to determine their opponents in the second round.
In another Premier 1 game at the weekend, Ballincollig had a fine victory over Glen Rovers, winning by just a point.
In the Premier 2 grade there were wins for Cloughduv over Tracton and Inniscarra over Courcey Rovers.