Bantry Blues 3-11 St Vincent’s 1-16
TIM FOLEY’S injury-time free earned Bantry Blues a one-point victory over St Vincent’s at the conclusion of a marvellous Cork PIFC first round clash in Enniskeane on Saturday night.
Both teams contributed to a memorable encounter in which Bantry Blues recovered from a shaky start to lead by five points at the interval.
St Vincent’s were much improved after the break and outscored their opponents 0-10 to 1-3 but still ended up on the losing side.
It was the Blues’ ability to conjure up important scores despite limited possession that ultimately swing the result in their favour.
A free-flowing game full of productive approach work and clinical finishing had Vincent’s 1-1 to no score ahead after three minutes. Seán O’Leary found the net for the Seandún side but Bantry hit back to level with Shane O’Neill’s point preceding a converted Tim Foley penalty.
Excellent scores at either end included John Paul Murphy floating over some superb efforts and Ruairí Deane raising a white flag courtesy of a terrific point.
Then, the Cork senior setup Kevin Casey for the west Cork club’s second goal and Bantry finished the half strongly, leading 2-8 to 1-6 after 30 minutes.
St Vincent’s were much improved after the restart and finished the third quarter just three adrift after Gerry Kelleher, Blake Murphy and John Paul Murphy began to find their range. Tim Foley’s converted free was Bantry’s only score for 24 minutes until Ruairi Deane setup David Daly for a goal completely against the run of play.
That made it 3-9 to 1-12 with less than six minutes remaining but St Vincent’s were not finished as two Blake Murphy points and a Gavin McCarthy 45 reduced the deficit to the bare minimum as the clock passed 60 minutes.
In a welter of excitement, a flowing St Vincent’s move ended with Gerry Kelleher fisting the ball over the crossbar to tie the score and the prospect of extra-time loomed large.
Bantry Blues had other ideas and dug deep to move the ball up the opposite end where a foul on Deane presented the Carbery side with a chance to retake the lead six minutes into injury-time.
Tim Foley took responsibility for the kick and calmly split the posts to confirm Bantry Blues as the narrowest of winners.
Scorers for Bantry Blues: T Foley 1-4, (1-0 pen, 4f), K Casey and D Daly (1-1 each), S O’Neill (0-2), R Deane, S O’Leary and S Murray (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Vincent’s: J P Murphy (0-7, 4f), B Murphy (0-4, 1f), G Kelleher (0-3), P O’Sullivan (1-0), G McCarthy (1 45’) and A Hart (0-1 each).
BANTRY BLUES: D Casey (captain); E O’Shea, C O’Leary, E Minihane; R O’Mahony, B Foley, K Coakley; S Coughlan, S O’Leary; K Casey, R Deane, D Daly; S Murray, T Foley, S O’Neill.
Subs: J Downey for S Murray (40), J Casey for J Downey (51, black card), S McSweeney for S Coughlan (55).
ST VINCENT’S: P O’Shea; A Gould, G McCarthy, A O’Callaghan; A Hart, D O’Regan (captain), S Duggan; W Long, P O’Sullivan; G Kelleher, D Duggan, D Lockyer; B Murphy, J P Murphy, A King.
Subs: D Fenton for A Gould (ht), C Barry for D Lockyer (44).
Referee: A O’Connor (Ballygarvan).