Imokilly 0-31 Carrigdhoun 1-13
IMOKILLY began their quest for a third Cork County SHC title in a row with an emphatic victory over Carrigdhoun in the Divisional/Colleges section of the competition.
The reigning champions were minus a few key players from last season for various reasons, most notably Colm Spillane, Niall O’Leary, and Will Leahy but it mattered little at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.
Carrigdhoun started brightly and led by a point after the opening 10 minutes but, once the East Cork side found their rhythm, there was no stopping them and they romped into the winners enclosure with plenty to spare.
A number of players made significant scoring contributions, with Paudie O’Sullivan, Dan Mangan and Barry Lawton in outstanding form.
Cork captain Seamus Harnedy always exhibited his class as well and split the posts with some exquisite points too.
Carrigdhoun, to their credit, battled on to the bitter end, and were rewarded with the game’s only goal in the closing stages when a Ger O’Neill delivery went all the way to the net.
It was, however, small compensation on a night when Imokilly sent out a clear message, they are up and running again in their bid for title number three in three years.
Tadgh O’Sullivan and David Andrews were on the board for Carrigdhoun in the opening sequences with Mark Kennefick also posting a fine point.
But Imokilly eventually settled into the contest and led by 0-10 to 0-6 after 26 minutes.
They could have secured a few goals too but they were happy enough to take the points.
They led at the interval by seven points, 0-15 to 0-8, and the writing was very much on the wall at that juncture.
Tadgh O’Sullivan and Colm Butler nailed a few early points for the men from the South-East, but the quality in the Imokilly attack continued to shine through.
The champions did lose Anthony Spillane to an early injury and he was replaced by Deccie Dalton who knocked over a brace of 65s and a fine point from play as he continued his comeback from a leg operation.
Barry Lawton fired over a few excellent points as the second half aged and — with 15 minutes remaining — the gap between the two teams was 12 points.
Michael O’Sullivan pointed for Carrigdhoun coming down the home stretch but with the Imokilly defenders in total control now, led by Bill Cooper, it was just a matter of waiting for the last whistle.
O’Neill’s goal added some gloss to the Carrigdhoun scoreline but two fine points from Brian Lawton helped to embellish Imokilly’s final tally.
The East Cork side emptied their bench in the second half, and their depth of resources puts them in a very advantageous position as they move forward.
They didn’t hit any significant heights here but once they got going they were always comfortable.
And, as aforementioned, they have the likes of Colm Spillane and Will Leahy to come back into contention.
Scorers for Imokilly: P O’Sullivan 0-7 (0-3 f), Barry Lawton 0-6, D Dalton (0-2 65, 0-1 f) and D Mangan 0-5 each, S Harnedy 0-4 each, Brian Lawton 0-2, C Broderick, M O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carrigdhoun: T O’Sullivan 0-7 (0-5 f), J O’Neill 1-1, C Butler 0-2, D Andrews, M Kennefick, M O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
IMOKILLY: D O’Callaghan (Watergrasshill); M Russell (Aghada), C Barry (Castlelyons), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s); C O’Brien (St Ita’s), B Cooper (Youghal), J Cronin (Lisgoold); S Hegarty (Dungourney), M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neill’s); Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr), S Harnedy (St Ita’s), Barry Lawton (Castlemartyr); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), D Mangan (St Catherine’s), A Spillane (Castlelyons).
Subs: D Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s) for A Spillane (22 inj), C Broderick (Fr O’Neill’s) for M O’Keeffe (48), S O’Regan Óg (Watergrasshill) for P O’Sullivan (50), K Histon (Cobh) for C Barry (52), S O’Regan (Watergrasshill) for S Harnedy (54).
CARRIGDHOUN: S Nyhan (Courcey Rovers); G O’Riordan (Belgooly), B Collins (Courcey Rovers), C Desmond (Ballinhassig); D Andrews (Shamrocks), K Kavanagh (Carrigaline), D Lordan (Courcey Rovers); D Looney (Valley Rovers), M O’Sullivan (Tracton); D O’Sullivan (Ballygarvan), J O’Neill (Courcey Rovers), D O’Flaherty (Tracton); T O’Sullivan (Courcey Rovers), M Kennefick (Ballygarvan), C Butler (Valley Rovers).
Subs: T Collins (Courcey Rovers) for C Desmond (39 inj), K Fitzgerald (Belgooly) for D O’Sullivan (50), D O’Connor (Ballygarvan) for T O’Sullivan (54).
Referee: Joe Larkin (Ballinora).