Duhallow 2-15 Clonakilty 0-12
Another really solid performance from Duhallow in the quarter-final of the Cork SFC at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday. Conditions were difficult due to incessant rain but it didn’t deter last season’s defeated finalists from getting the desired result against Clonakilty.
They posted the exact same scoreline as they did against Carrigaline in the third round two months ago, and now the divisional outfit are just one step away from back-to-back county final appearances. However, there is no such talk yet, as standing between them and a date with destiny is Newcestown.
Clonakilty started with a purpose and were in contention early on but once Duhallow settled they started to move the ball swiftly. By half-time, the divisional team had pulled away and would win well in the end. The led by eight points at the break.
They were up and running when Eoghan McSweeney and Anthony O’Connor combined to set up Daniel O’Connell for the opening point in the sixth minute, in response to a Ross Mannix free. Each time the ball was worked up field, Duhallow looked dangerous in attack.
It was only going to be a matter of time before Anthony O’Connor would billow the net from close range following an excellent cross field delivery from Fintan O’Connor. Over the next 20 minutes, they kicked seven points without reply, some of which were from the top drawer with all six forwards contributing.
McSweeney and Fintan O’Connor were responsible for two exceptional points before half-time. It took Clonakilty 30 minutes to register their first point from play from Sean White. And when Mannix followed with his second free, it gave them a glimmer of hope as they got to the dressing-room 1-8 to 0-3 in arrears.
And while the momentum switched momentarily in their favour at the start of the second half with points from Mannix and Timmy Anglin, and the gap was reduced to six points, Duhallow remained unfazed and following a sweeping movement they came with another big score.
This time, and on a difficult night for football that had every player putting his shoulder to the wheel, Aidan Walsh beat goalkeeper Mark White for Duhallow to go 2-9 to 0-6 up with 42 minutes played. They lost their centre back Keelan Buckley to a black card but such is the strength of the divisional panel, he was replaced with little fuss by Alan Ryan.
The sides traded six points each from there to the end. Two of the Clonakilty substitutes – Gearóid Barry and Dave O’Regan were responsible for four of their scores, while Duhallow substitutes Conor O’Callaghan and Ian Walsh (3) kept the Duhallow juggernaut ticking over.
Interestingly, Duhallow’s upcoming opponents, Newcestown, suffered a first-day loss to Clonakilty back in April. They recovered in excellent fashion to record hard-earned victories over Valley Rovers, Mallow and Ilen Rovers.
The semi-final is pencilled in for October 13. Duhallow manager Padraig Kearns, though, will be keeping a close eye on proceedings next weekend when a sizeable number of his players will be involved with their clubs in the business end of the junior, intermediate and Premier intermediate championships.
Scorers for Duhallow: A O’Connor (1-2, 0-1 free), A Walsh (1-1), I Walsh (0-3), F O’Connor and E McSweeney (0-2 each), P Walsh, D O’Connell, S Hickey, D O’Connor (free) and C O’Callaghan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Clonakilty: R Mannix (0-6, 0-5 frees), D O’Regan (0-3), T Anglin, S White and G Barry (0-1 each)
Duhallow: P Doyle (Knocknagree); J McLoughlin (Kanturk), B Daly (Newmarket), L O’Neill (Kanturk, Capt); K Cremin (Boherbue), K Buckley (Knocknagree), K Crowley (Millstreet); P Walsh (Kanturk), A Walsh (Kanturk); F O’Connor (Knocknagree), E McSweeney (Knocknagree), D O’Connell (Kanturk); A O’Connor (Knocknagree), S Hickey (Rockchapel), D O’Connor (Ballydesmond).
Subs: C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe) for D O’Connell (half-time), A Ryan (Newmarket) for K Buckley (39 BC), E O’Callaghan (Rockchapel) for B Daly (54), I Walsh (Kanturk) for D O’Connor (54), M Mahoney (Knocknagree) for A Walsh (57), B O’Connor (Newmarket) for E McSweeney (57).
Clonakilty: M White; E Deasy, F Coughlan, M Shanley; L O’Donovan, T Clancy (c), D Murphy; D Lowney, S Nagle; S White, T Anglin, R Mannix; B Ridgeway, M Scally, J O’Mahony.
Subs: S McEvoy for S Nagle (25), D O’Regan for M Scally (40), G Barry for L O’Donovan (49), D Lyons for T Anglin (55).
Referee: David Murnane (Macroom).