Mallow 0-14 Fermoy 1-9
MALLOW got their Senior A Football Championship campaign off to the perfect start in Castletownroche Saturday night with a hard-fought but deserved win over near-neighbours Fermoy.
In less than ideal conditions for error-free football, last season’s beaten finalists dug deep to take the spoils after Fermoy fought back from two points down at the break to lead this one with 12 minutes remaining.
Driven in the scoring stakes by full-forward Kevin Sheehan, Mallow battled through this real derby game and will now be well-fancied to make the knockout stages even though Clyda Rovers and Bantry Blues must still be faced.
Mallow were first out of the traps with a pointed free from Sheehan. The number 14 was clinical with the few chances he got in the opening 30 minutes, bagging three points while also linking well with Cork U20 star Sean McDonnell. The young inter-county man himself hit a brace of points in an opening half that saw little quarter asked or given from either side.
Mallow also had Cork senior star Mattie Taylor in their starting 15 with Shane Merrit (centre-back) Ryan Harkin (centre-forward) and substitute Stephen O’Callaghan all impressing.
Corner-back Bill Myres was another thorn in the side for Fermoy with his roving runs forward providing an extra man in the danger area for the victors.
For Fermoy, Padraig de Róiste was key to their first-half competitiveness with a pair of classy points, with Alan O’Connor and Ben Twomey(free) also raising white flags in the opening 30 minutes.
Mallow led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval.
In the second half, a brilliant individual goal from Kieran Morrisson settled Fermoy and when substitute Ruairi O’Hagan landed his first of three points to put Fermoy in front all bets were off as to who would see this one out.
Mallow dug deep in the final quarter and began to dominate possession – something that was aided by the loss of Fermoy’s Tomás Clancy who received a second card on 54 minutes.
Mallow subsequently had a great effort denied by Fermoy keeper Liam Coleman (his second top-class save of the game) before Sheehan hammered the ball off the Fermoy crossbar – Fermoy were beginning to hang on.
Few complaints from either side as to the way this one played out however it is Mallow that now have the cushion heading into the next two games while for Fermoy, two wins from the next two are almost certainly a must.