Macroom 1-11 St Nicks 1-7
MACROOM ensured that their status in the PIFC is secure following a closely fought contest with St Nicks at Ovens on Saturday night.
The city side will now face rivals St Vincent's in the relegation playoff.
The Muskerry club began this contest brightly, but Nicks to their credit were to battle hard and ensure this was right in the melting point heading into the latter stages.
It was Macroom that could breathe a sigh of relief at the full-time whistle after ending the game strong to secure the crucial win.
Despite qualification to the knockout stages being out of reach, there was still much at stake and that was clear throughout by the effort and application of both sides.
Macroom began this game brightly and in confident fashion. Pa Lucey got an early well-taken score for the Mid Cork side, with Conor O’Sullivan, David Goold and Fintan Goold also slotting over points.
St Nicks got a point in reply from Stephen O’Callaghan from a tight angle to get the city side off the mark.
David Horgan added to the Macroom tally in the 13th minute, which was followed up by a good Blake O’Gorman score to leave Macroom 0-6 to 0-1 ahead at the first half water break.
St Nicks around the 20th minute mark got a number of points to drag themselves back into the contest through Ryan Long and David Brosnan.
Macroom ended the opening half with a pair of Fintan Goold points, as they led 0-8 to the 0-5 of St Nicks at the half the break.
St Nicks had the perfect start to the second half when they found the back of the net through a cool close-range finish from Ryan Long Long indeed had the city side in front at 1-7 to 0-9 with 46 minutes played on the clock, at Nick’s sensed a potential victory could be theirs.
But Macroom had a purple patch in the latter stages and that proved to be crucial in deciding the overall outcome of this encounter.
The Mid Cork men responded with a score from Alan Quinn. This was before in the 54th minute Macroom made a decisive breakthrough, when Lucey finished from close range after John Murphy knocked the ball across the goalmouth.
From here Macroom drove to the finish line, with a further Quinn point and a Sean Kiely free securing the victory.
Macroom’s status is safe in the Premier Intermediate grade, while the relegation trapdoor remains a very realistic proposition for St Nicks, who now face a relegation battle with St Vincent’s.