Goals win games but you wouldn't know it in the Cork Senior Football Championship

Goals win games but you wouldn't know it in the Cork Senior Football Championship
Duhallow midfielder Aidan Walsh after the drawn game against Castlehaven. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

WHERE have all the goals gone? 

Six games, 12 teams and just four green flags from the weekend's action reflects the paltry return.

Neither county senior semi-finals yielded a goal with St Finbarr's, Castlehaven and Duhallow all managing to score 15 points, three more than Carbery Rangers, the 2016 champions.

The Haven's Roland Whelton went closest in the drawn game with Duhallow, taking the right option in attempting to lift the ball over the head of keeper Patrick Doyle.

Wheton's strike was sweet and clean and deserved a goal, but the ball struck the crossbar and rebounded away from danger. 

That apart I can't recall any other goal-scoring incident of note in the game.

The second semi-final was also shy of chances though Colm Keane got on the end of a flowing 'Barr's move in the first-half only to be snuffed out by a combination of keeper Paul Shanahan and defenders.

Carbery Rangers' Rob Hegarty and St Finbarr's Eoghan McGreevey race for the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Carbery Rangers' Rob Hegarty and St Finbarr's Eoghan McGreevey race for the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The two premier intermediate semi-finals did manage to produce a couple of goals, one each for Fermoy, who pipped Naomh Abán by a point, and Éire Óg, who lost to St Michael's by four.

Martin Brennan grabbed Fermoy's 10th goal of a four-game schedule, which yielded six against Bantry Blues in a couple of meetings and three more against Kanturk.

While the north Cork club, who lost the 2016 final to Kiskeam, certainly have a nose for goal, their points' return isn't hectic.

They couldn't hit double figures in that department until claiming a dozen at the weekend.

On average, Fermoy have netted 2.5 times and scored nine points. Would 2-9 do against St Michael's in the final the weekend after next?

The answer would probably be in the negative, though 3-9 would certainly go a long way towards compensating for the disappointment of two years ago.

Their opponents have an amazing record of yet to score a goal en route to another final, having contested it last season and in 2015 and 2012, as well.

St Michael's definitely know where the posts are in terms of points and they've made incremental improvement since scoring 12 against Macroom.

After that the Dazzlers, as they're known by their faithful followers, bagged 14 in the win over Newmarket before finishing with 16 against Éire Óg.

By that logical, they're poised to score 0-18 in the final and if Fermoy can manage that 3-9 then it's back for a second day/night out.

Yet, it's hard to envisage St Michael's conceding that may goals because only Jack Murphy from Éire Óg managed what the others failed to do in the two previous outings.

And it's not that they had chances because both Newmarket and Éire Óg also coughed up opportunities from penalties.

Keeper Martin Burke stood defiant on both occasions to pull off important saves, having not played against Macroom, when Cian Denn stood between the posts.

Aghabullogue had the satisfaction of not only one goal, but two in their 11-point win over Mayfield to reach the intermediate semi-final against St Finbarr's this weekend. One came from a penalty with Ian Barry-Murphy scoring the other.

The winners face Cill na Martra in the final after the Gaeltacht club squeezed past Mitchelstown by the minimum margin, 0-10 to 0-9, in the other semi-final, thus avenging last year's defeat at the same stage.

It would represent some achievement for the 'Barr's to have their second team joining their seniors in a county final.

They've lost as many as half-a-dozen players to the senior team following on from the intermediate's quarter-final victory over All-Ireland junior champions Knocknagree.

Four of those are in defence, including the goalkeeper after John Kerins took over from the unlucky Declan Murphy, who broke his leg in the senior victory over Douglas in the last-eight.

James McDonnell, who has previous senior experience, was on the bench against Carbery Rangers, so would expect to wear the number one jersey against Aghabullogue at the weekend.

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