LISGOOLD and Kilbrittain took the two automatic semi-final spots in the Co-op SuperStores Cork LIHC after both maintained their 100 percent records as the group stages of the competition culminated on Saturday.
The rise of Lisgoold has been meteoric – they won the 2020 junior A title in August and showed no signs of trouble in stepping up to intermediate, with wins over St Finbarr’s and Russell Rovers putting them in a great position.
As Tracton had also overcome the other two sides in Group B, both they and Lisgoold had secured qualification ahead of their meeting in Páirc Uí Rinn, but the carrot of a last-four place ensured that the game was at the same level of intensity.
Ultimately, Lisgoold took the honours, and second seeding overall, as they won by 2-18 to 0-15, having trailed by 0-8 to 1-4 at half-time.
The bulk of Tracton’s scoring output came from John Good and Ronan Walsh.
In the other game, the Barrs came out on top against Russell Rovers by 1-17 to 0-12 in Watergrasshill. This means that the Shanagarry side, who reached the 2020 final – losing to Castlemartyr in August – must face Grenagh in the relegation play-off.
Grenagh were beaten by Group A winners Kilbrittain in Ballinora, with 1-20 to 0-7 the final score, a result which gave Kilbrittain top seeding and the other semi-final spot.
Jamie Wall’s side have been very impressive in the second halves of all of their games and that pattern continued here as they eased clear after holding a 0-7 to 0-6 half-time advantage – scoring eight unanswered points before the second-half water break. Maurice Sexton and Conor Ustianowski were on song on the scoring front along with Philip Wall, who scored the late goal.
Kilbrittain’s neighbours Argideen Rangers joined them in progressing as they beat Dripsey by 2-20 to 1-9 in what was effectively a knockout game in Ballinhassig. Mattie Lawton’s goal just before half-time helped the Timoleague side to a 1-10 to 0-4 interval lead and Seán Walsh raised another green flag early in the second half to put them into a comfortable position. John Michael O’Callaghan and Finbarr Butler weighed in heavily, too.
Catherine’s had won their first two games, against Milford and Barryroe, but a five-point loss to Ballygarvan, 1-16 to 1-11, in Rathcormac, meant that they were edged out by the south-east side on scoring difference.
Gary White’s second-half goal was key for Ballygarvan as it put them five points clear. Cormac Dowd and Donald O’Sullivan were among the points.
Milford took top spot, but only just, as they beat Barryroe by 1-15 to 0-17 in Ovens. The narrow loss ensured that Barryroe steered clear of the relegation play-off.
(a) Milford v Tracton, (b) Argideen Rangers v Ballygarvan.
Kilbrittain v (b), Lisgoold v (a).
Grenagh v Russell Rovers.