Premier SFC: Barrs head to quarter-finals with unbeaten record

The city club made it three wins from as many games with a dominant second-half display; next up it's Éire Óg
Premier SFC: Barrs head to quarter-finals with unbeaten record

St Finbarr's, Ian Maguire in acion against Clonakilty's, Liam O'Donovan in the Premier SFC at Coachford GAA grounds. Picture: Gavin Browne

St Finbarr’s 1-12 Clonakilty 1-5

ST FINBARR'S capitalised on Clonakilty's use of keeper Mark White coming out from goal to figure in general play, when winning their final group game in the Bon Secours PSFC at Coachford on Sunday.

The city side, who now meet Éire Óg in the quarter-finals with Clon taking on Duhallow, benefitted at the mid-way stage of the second half to move 1-8 to 0-4 in front.

Clon had possession in defence with White vacating his position between the posts, but they turned it over to Barrs substitute Darragh Callanan, who fed Steven Sherlock.

He's the last player you'd want to have in that situation and Sherlock kept his cool to float the ball from 30m or so into the empty net which guaranteed a third successive victory for the Togher club.

But, they handed it back cheaply within a couple of minutes, a fisted clearance going across the face of their goal ending with Sean McEvoy blasting in the chance to cut the deficit to four points again.

Yet, Clon could only add one more point to their tally as the Barrs regained control to close out the tie with four points from Enda Dennehy's second, a Sherlock free, Ian Maguire and a 'mark' from newcomer Conor McCrickard, the Down player.

The Barrs led by 0-4 to 0-3 at the end of a slow-starting opening half during which Clon created the only goal-scoring chance of note.

That came after seven minutes when a kick-out from keeper John Kerins went directly to Dara Ó Sé, but he couldn't capitalise, kicking the ball tamely back into the grateful arms of a relieved Kerins.

Clonakilty's Jack O'Mahony and St Finbarr's, Sam Ryan. Picture: Gavin Browne
Clonakilty's Jack O'Mahony and St Finbarr's, Sam Ryan. Picture: Gavin Browne

It took 11 minutes for the first score, Dennehy obliging for the city club, though Clon were back on level terms within three minutes, courtesy of an Ó Sé free.

The west Cork club got their noses in front for the first time almost immediately, when they created space for McEvoy to set up the chance for Jack O'Mahony, who punched over his side's second point.

Another misdirected re-start, this time by Clon keeper White, went straight to Cork captain Maguire, who placed Denis O'Brien to make it 0-2 apiece after 20 minutes.

A couple of minutes later Adam Lynne curled over a beauty to edge the Barrs in front for a second time, though Kerins had to time his move off his line to beat David Lowney to the loose ball.

They were level a third time with a McEvoy point before O'Brien nudged the Barrs ahead at the interval and they went on to consolidate their position by dominating the second period.

The hard-working Brian Hayes, Luke Hannigan and Dennehy reflected their appetite for graft on a heavy pitch and the winners eventually began to find space in attack with scores accruing as result.

Fittingly, Hayes, who applied himself in a serious shift, fittingly, began the scoring after 34 minutes and added his second, five minutes later, with Sherlock opening his account from a free in between.

Ó Sé's 40th minute free ended a 15-minute barren spell for the west Cork club before the sides exchanged goals, though, the Barrs always looked like completing a 100 percent in their section.

Now, it's getting more serious with the knock-out stage and the remaining seven teams all believing they're in with a shout.

Clonakilty's Dan Peet closes in on St Finbarr's, Cillian Myers Murray. Picture: Gavin Browne
Clonakilty's Dan Peet closes in on St Finbarr's, Cillian Myers Murray. Picture: Gavin Browne

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 1-2 (0-2 f), E Dennehy, B Hayes, D O’Brien 0-2 each, I Maguire, A Lyne, C McRickard (mark) 0-1 each.

Clonakilty: S McEvoy 1-1, D Ó Sé 0-2 f, J O’Mahony, R Mannix 0-1 each.

ST FINBARR’S: J Kerins; S Ryan, J Burns, E Dennehy; C Lyons, A O’Connor, C Scully; I Maguire, captain, L Hannigan; D O’Brien, S Sherlock, B Hayes; C Barrett, C McCrickard, C Myers-Murray. 

Subs: A Lyne for Barrett injured 10, D Callanan for Myers-Murray injured 12, B O’Connell for O’Brien 50, E Twomey for Hannigan 53, M Shields for Dennehy 56.

CLONAKILTY: M White; L O’Donovan, T Clancy, D Peet; D Lowney, E Deasy, S White; B Ridgeway, J Grimes; S McEvoy, D Ó Sé, G Barry; C Daly, J O’Mahony, R Mannix. 

Sub: C O’Donovan for O’Donovan injured 35.

Referee: D Daly (Brian Dillons).

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