SAHC: Declan Dalton stars as Fr O'Neills come good in second half

Five-point first-half deficit is turned around by Ballymacoda/Ladysbridge side in East Cork derby
SAHC: Declan Dalton stars as Fr O'Neills come good in second half

Fr O'Neills Thomas Millerick reaches out to the sliotar ahead of Killeagh's James Fogarty. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Fr O’Neills 1-22 Killeagh 1-18

A third-quarter turnaround was key as Fr O’Neills came out on top in their Co-op SuperStores SAHC East Cork derby at Youghal on Sunday afternoon.

Trailing by five points, 1-9 to 0-7, after Eoghan Keniry’s goal for Killeagh in the 24th minute, the Ballymacoda/Ladysbridge side had reduced the margin to three, 1-11 to 0-11, by half-time. A five-point run early in the second half turned the game, though – it was 0-19 to 1-14 for the victors by the time of the second-half water break and their position was solidified when Declan Dalton struck for a goal on 51 minutes, part of a 1-14 haul from the Cork panellist. While Killleagh did come back to within two points after that, it was to be O’Neills’ day.

Having drawn with Newcestown last week, they know qualification is in their own hands in three weeks’ time against a Cloyne side that has yet to pick up a point, while Killeagh will face Newcestown in a game where the winners will advance.

Winners against Cloyne in their opener, Killeagh brought that momentum in as they got on top in the first half, with Shane Smiddy’s point putting them 0-5 to 0-2 in front by the eighth minute.

While Dalton’s points helped O’Neills back to a two-point deficit, 0-8 to 0-6, by the water break, Killeagh were boosted in the 24th minute as, from a free brought forward for dissent, Keniry’s shot was only half-blocked on the line and ended up in the net. By the break, Dalton and John Millerick were on target for O’Neills to leave them with a manageable deficit as they turned to play with the elements.

Leahy made it a four-point game again on the resumption but O’Neills were far sharper in the second period, with Cillian Broderick, Rob Cullinane and Mike Millerick all making their presence felt.

Dalton was landing scores from all angles while Thomas Millerick put them in front, 0-16 to 1-12, for the first time in the 42nd minute. Ryan McCarthy did level with a free but O’Neills had the impetus by this stage and Kevin O’Sullivan put them in front again before Dalton got his 11th of the day and then landed a sideline cut from halfway.

Keniry’s eighth was Killeagh’s eighth just before the water break but, when action restarted, O’Sullivan’s delivery was the catalyst for Dalton to flick the ball to the net.

Two from Keniry and one from Andrew Leahy represented a good response from Killeagh as O’Neills – who didn’t have any wide until the 34th minute – lost their accuracy, but late points from Dalton and Paudie McMahon made sure of the win.

Killeagh's Andrew Walsh and Fr O'Neills Joe Millerick in action. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Killeagh's Andrew Walsh and Fr O'Neills Joe Millerick in action. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Scorers for Fr O’Neills: D Dalton 1-14 (0-10 f, 0-1 65, 0-1 sl), T Millerick, C Broderick 0-2 each, M O’Keeffe, John Millerick, P McMahon, K O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Killeagh: E Keniry 1-11 (0-7f, 0-1 65), R McCarthy 0-3 (0-1 f), J Fogarty 0-2, S Smiddy, A Leahy 0-1 each.

FR O’NEILLS: C Sloane; E Motherway, S O’Connor, M Millerick; D Harrington, T Millerick, Joe Millerick; M O’Keeffe, K O’Sullivan; R Cullinane, P McMahon, J Hankard; John Millerick, D Dalton, C Broderick.

Subs: C O’Connor for Harrington (41, injured), R Kenneally for Broderick (59).

KILLEAGH: P O’Neill; A Keniry, P O’Brien, C Fogarty; D Hogan, C Coughlan, D Walsh; M Fitzgerald, S Long; J Fogarty, E Keniry, S Smiddy; R McCarthy, A Walsh, G Leahy.

Subs:  A Leahy for Walsh (45), Walsh for McCarthy (56).

Referee: C O’Regan (Ballyhea).

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