IN terms of league positioning, Bandon’s SHC win over Na Piarsaigh in Brinny on Sunday followed the pattern of league results.
The Lilywhites had a success rate of 50 percent ahead of their 2-15 to 0-15 win while the northsiders had lost all but one of their seven outings, just 14 percent.
However, that Bandon win-rate was based on just two league games, a win over Newcestown at the end of February before a defeat against Kanturk last Saturday week, while they were also up against the side which had beaten them by nine points in last year’s quarter-final.
Goals from Mike Cahalane and Mark Sugrue earned Bandon the win, though manager Séamus Lawton admitted that it was an outcome which he hadn’t necessarily felt was inevitable.
“I’m surprised, really,” he said, “because our preparation was poor.
“The football championship was put off for a week and that caught us, we only had two weeks. Then with the weather, I know it cost everyone but we couldn’t get matches played.
“We would have been worried coming into it.”
Lawton is no stranger to high achievement, having been at the helm as Mayfield won county and Munster JAHC titles in 2016 and following that with the All-Ireland in February of last year. Even so, he has been impressed by the standards of his new charges, who have met each challenge placed in front of them over the past few years.
“It’s my first year with them but their history is there,” he said. “They’ve done it in the last few years, they won a great a county two years ago, they’ve won football counties.
“They’re a good bunch of lads and that was some test. I couldn’t give them enough praise. They had experience of playing Na Piarsaigh in league games and in the championship and they made good use of that.
“Making sure we didn’t let them get a goal was a big thing.”
Leading by four points at half-time, Bandon saw that advantage halved before Cahalane’s goal gave them breathing space but even then Na Piarsaigh came back at them again.
“We knew Na Piarsaigh’s tradition that they’d come back at us,” Lawton said. “The first 10 minutes of the second half were going to be key. The boys stood up to it.”
Cahalane was slightly injured coming into the game and found himself well-policed by Cork colleague Chris Joyce for the most part. When he got his chance he took it, though, with Lawton feeling that it showed just what a threat he is.
“He was injured, he carried a hamstring,” he said. “All he could do was stand at the edge of the square, he did that and he got the goal. That’s class, that’s why he’s a Cork senior hurler.”
Bandon were able to see things out from there, Sugrue securing the win at the death. This win, and the football victory over Naomh Abán, mean they can look forward to round three in both codes.
“That’s experience, they have that in abundance,” Lawton said. “They have a bit of a break now, they can enjoy that and come back after it again.”