Naomh Abán 1-18 Macroom 2-10
JUST the championship start Naomh Abán were looking for in Ballingeary on Saturday where a storming finish to a lively contest propelled the Gaeltacht men past a game Macroom side who were right in the contest with five minutes to go, level 2-9 to 0-15, and tasting victory.
But then Naomh Ábán hit a purple patch at the right time as the impressive Mikey Ó Duinnín kicked his 10th point and super-sub Daniel Ó Ceallaigh fired home a cracking goal, after being set up by brother Diarmuid, and the Gaeltacht men were on their way.
Macroom did make the better start with quick points from Cillian O’Donovan and Fintan Goold but Naomh Abán we’re always in the contest and trailed by just a point, 0-5 to 0-4, after the opening quarter, Ó Duinnín and Daire Ó Laoire replying to those opening Macroom scores.
Micheal Ó Liathain put Naomh Abán ahead in the 16th minute but Macroom centre-back Sean Kiely scored the first of his two penalties in the 20th minute after Naomh Abán keeper Finley Walker upended Eolan O’Leary for which the keeper saw yellow from referee Peter O’Leary.
It was nip and tuck to the half-time break with Ó Duinnín’s sixth point giving Naomh Abán a narrow 0-9 to 1-5 interval lead.
An explosive start to the second half with O’Leary again being taken down with a goal at his mercy and Kiely duly slotted home his second spot-kick. Not to be outdone, though, Naomh Abán battled away in a lively second half and some fine shooting by Ó Duinnín made sure his side were well in the contest, the sides still level heading into the final quarter, 2-7 to 0-13.
It was end-to-end stuff in the final quarter with Daniel Ó Ceallaigh’s late goal the deciding factor in an entertaining local derby.