Castlemartyr showed no signs of trouble in making the step up to the Co-op SuperStores Cork IAHC as they recorded an impressive 3-29 to 1-20 win over Douglas in Sunday’s Group B opener.
The East Cork side beat Russell Rovers in the Lower IHC final last month and carried that momentum into the higher grade, leading all the way through in Castlelyons. Leading by 0-11 to 1-2 at the first-half water break – Andy O’Connell with the Douglas goal – Castlemartyr scored three goals in the second quarter to expand their advantage to 3-16 to 1-9 by half-time.
Barry Lawton scored two of the goals with Joe Stack also netting for Séamus Lawton’s side and they continued to ease clear in the second half, with Michael Kelly and Eoghan Murphy among the points for them.
The other game in that section took place on Saturday, with Mayfield getting the better of Blackrock on a 0-20 to 1-10 scoreline in Ballygarvan. David O’Neill was the scorer-in-chief for the victors while Nicky Kelly and Shane O’Donovan also contributed on the scoreboard. David Cashman got the goal for the Rockies.
Aghabullogue, beaten in the 2020 final by Éire Óg in August, lost out to Sarsfields – who had lost in the semi-final on penalties to the eventual champions last September – by 3-13 to 0-16 at Church Road in Group A.
While Rory O’Brien had a first-half goal for Sars, they trailed by 0-9 to 1-4 at half-time, but they took over in the second half as Darragh Long and James O’Leary netted. Garry Gray excelled in a sweeping role for the Riverstown outfit while Jack Leahy, James O’Leary and Aidan Hackett all had good displays.
Shane Tarrant’s frees provided half of the Aghabullogue output while scores also coming from Luke Casey, Seán O’Connell, Seán Furey, Ian Barry-Murphy, Pa Finnegan and Dan Ó Duinnín.
At Carrigtwohill, Dungourney got the better of Glen Rovers on a scoreline of 1-26 to 1-19. Niall Motherway got the goal for the victors, while Ryan Denny impressed from dead balls and Shane Hegarty, Niall McGrath and Jack Griffin all weighed in with scores.
In Group C, Saturday’s opening tie between Kildorrery and Cloughduv in Mourneabbey finished in a 1-17 each draw. After Kildorrery led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the first-half water break, Dylan Kent was set up for a goal by Cathal Harrington to put them four points clear but Cloughduv replied with a green flag from Mark Verling and it was 1-7 each at half-time. The second half remained similarly tight, with the sides ultimately unable to be separated.
On Sunday, Midleton beat Meelin in Glantane. Having led by 1-8 to 0-10 at half-time, they were five points clear at the end, 1-18 to 0-16.