Cloyne 3-15 Bandon 0-14
A hat-trick from the poacher Mikey Cahill saved Cloyne from relegation after a 10-point victory over Bandon in Ballymaw.
Cloyne got the opening score after 30 seconds through a Brian Walsh point. While both teams' shooting was sloppy early, it took 10 minutes before the next score, from a Brian O’Shea free. Ross Desmond had Bandon’s first real chance of breaking the deadlock with a ground pull from 13 yards, which went right and wide.
Bandon did get on the scoreboard in the 13th minute from Aidan O’Mahony. O’Shea tacked on his second free before Conor Calnan got his first score of the game in the 15th minute, which was quickly cancelled straight from the puck-out as Ciaran Mullins stuck the sliotar over the Bandon crossbar to have the East Cork side lead 0-4 to 0-3 at the first water break.
O’Shea kept his account ticking over before the deadlock was broken in the 24th minute. A long ball from Jack Hallahan from his own 45’ found Briain Minihane in the half-forward line who offloaded to Brian Walsh, forcing Bandon keeper Pat Barry into a super save but the rebound was finished to the net by Mikey Cahill.
Both sides exchanged scores in the latter end of the first half, Bandon’s Rory Desmond, Calnan & a first pointed free from O’Mahony while Cloyne had points from O’Shea (free) and a second from Walsh, they led 1-8 to 0-7 at Ciarán O’Regan’s short whistle.
Bandon got the flyer they required in the second half with Dylan O’Donovan scoring 30 seconds of the resumption. Two replies from Keith Dennehy and Conor Cahill edged Cloyne into a five-point lead. But, Bandon never stopped fighting with points from O’Mahony, either side of a superb Eolann McSweeney score.
O’Shea and O’Mahony exchanged points from frees but a second blow for Bandon as right on the water break. Again, a move starting from Hallahan found a free Dennehy who had space in front of him, popped the sliotar to Cahill who finished to the back of the net, the margin out to four points at the second water break.
Minihane was in on goal off the back off the short break but forced sub keeper Eoin Duggan to pull off a fine save.
Points from O’Shea and a second from Dennehy in the final quarter put the squeeze on the Bandon before Donough Lucey received his marching orders for a second yellow. In injury time, Mikey Cahill picked off a third goal after great work from Minihane and Dennehy in the half-forward line.
Cloyne ended up running away with the win at the game to save their senior status, while Bandon will have to revert back to the drawing board in the PIHC next season.