Blarney 0-22 Fermoy 1-14
LAST year’s Co-Op Superstores Cork PIHC winners Blarney finished with a flourish in the opening round of the Cork SAHC at Riverstown.
They outscored Fermoy 0-8 to 1-1 to emerge with a five-point margin.
Fermoy were in contention throughout, they led this game at half-time by a single point and only relented at the death.
Blarney’s midfield pairing Mark Coleman and Denis McSweeney were massively influential - Coleman racked up ten points from frees and play while McSweeney struck three great points in the opening 30 minutes.
“We knew Fermoy would be extremely dogged,” commented selector Brian Hurley.
“The first game in championship is always tough. Fermoy were right there towards the end, very competitive. We struggled to create chances but our big players stood up in the second half. The win today is big because it is a tough group (Bandon and Kanturk).
“I thought Denis McSweeney was outstanding, the best player on the pitch. He got some nice points, he is only 18-years-of-age. How he wasn’t on the Cork minor panel last year, I don’t know. One of the best talents in the county.”
Coleman and McSweeney’s work-rate proved decisive in this tight match. And Shane Barrett made a difference when switched outfield in the second half. As well, the introduction of Eoin Kirby and Shane Mulcahy was to be significant.
Blarney were 0-6 to 0-5 up at the first water-break - Coleman and McSweeney the contributors. Liam Coleman (0-8) scored three of Fermoy’s from frees.
Fermoy lost their full-back Peter Murphy to injury, even though they still managed to arrive at the interval 0-10 to 0-9 ahead. Kieran Morrisson leading the charge from wing-back.
Jake Carr stretched the lead upon the resumption. Blarney, however, found their groove and hit back through Coleman, Barrett, Declan Hanlon and Alan McEvoy.
Ruairi O’Hagan and Adam Creed points left Fermoy trailing at the second water-break, 0-13 to 0-14.
Five points without reply, including one from sub Eoin Kirby, increased Blarney’s advantage.
Fermoy needing a goal, applied all sorts of pressure but Blarney held out for as long as they could. They couldn’t prevent Tomás Clancy’s effort in the 62nd minute when he doubled on Shane Ahern’s cross from the corner.
It cut the gap to two points. But Fermoy couldn’t get any nearer, Blarney closing with late points from Power, Hanlon and Coleman.