Bandon 1-10 Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh 1-9
AFTER 38 minutes Bandon looked comfortable as they led Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh by 1-10 to 1-5 in this Bons Secours SAFC Group A encounter played in Kilmurry on Saturday afternoon.
They led by the minimum at the break and though Ben Seartan levelled proceedings on the resumption, Bandon soon took control with a quick fire 1-2. Adam Murphy slipped over a nice score before a long-range delivery from Cian O’Mahony was misjudged by Béal Átha keeper, Darren Ó Coill, and ended up in the back of the net.
Matthew McNamara then further increased their lead but amazingly, they weren’t to score again. They had plenty of possession and plenty of chances but time and again their decision-making left them down, the result, perhaps, of playing three weeks in a row, and left the door open for their rivals from the Gaeltacht.
Béal Átha, however, were nearly as profligate with possession and going into the final quarter they had only reduced the margin by one through Ben Seartan. But Bandon then presented them with a golden opportunity to reel them in when firstly Rob Long and then Dylan O’Donovan received black cards to leave Bandon with fourteen men for the final quarter.
Aindrias Ó Coinceannain and his midfield partner, Conchúr Ó Loingsigh, then pointed to leave just two between them but Bandon were doing just about enough in defence to keep them at bay. Cian Ó Duinnín brought Béal Átha within one with four to play but they couldn’t get level, and Bandon held on.
The game got off to a slow start with both sides struggling to find their range. Adam Murphy spurned an early goal chance for Bandon after a tremendous pass from Matthew McNamara, their next two shots dropped short while Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh opening efforts both slipped to the wrong side of the posts.
Ben Seartan finally registered the game’s first score in the sixth minute with a free for the Gaeltacht side, but Bandon then reeled off three-in-a-row with one from Michael Cahalane and two peaches from Barry Collins.
Béal Átha then struck for the games first major. A searching ball from Séamus Ó Tuama was broken by Leonard Ó Conchúir and Ben Seartan was on hand to place it past Pat Prendergast. Liam Seartan followed up with another score for Béal Átha to give them a 1-2 to 0-3 lead, but they then failed to press home their advantage as Bandon began to control the game.
Collins was in lethal form up front, and he kicked the next four scores, three of which were from play to leave the west Cork side two poins to the good, 0-7 to 1-2. In Ben Seartan, Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh had a similar talisman and two points from him sandwiched a fine score from Bandon’s Peter Murphy to leave the minimum between them at the break, 0-8 to 1-4.
It means that both sides hold their destiny in their own hands going into the final round of fixtures. Bandon face into a west Cork derby against Dohenys while the Gaeltacht side will play O’Donovan Rossa as the race to qualify for the quarter-finals will go down to the wire.