Clonakilty 0-13 Duhallow 1-9
SEÁN White scored a 58th-minute winner as Clonakilty scored the last seven points to beat Duhallow at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Sunday evening’s Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC.
A first semi-final since 2010 seemed a remote possibility when Clon trailed by 1-9 to 0-6 just after the second water break but they refused to wilt. Two Dara O’Shea frees sandwiched a point from sub Conor Daly as they cut the lead to a goal and, with goalkeeper Mark White making regular forays forward to provide an extra body, they seized the momentum.
After O’Shea landed his fifth point, he scored one from play after intercepting a loose Duhalllow pass and Haulie O’Neill’s side were level when Liam O’Donovan set up Seán McEvoy to fist over.
The possibility of extra time loomed but Seán White put Clon ahead for the first time since the game’s opening score as he pointed from a tight angle when Jack O’Mahony’s delivery broke. While Duhallow sought a late equaliser, a late Paul Walsh effort was narrowly wide and Clon advanced to meet Douglas in the last four.
Midfielder Joe Grimes was excellent throughout for the winners while Gearóid Barry was effective in a sweeping role and Thomas Clancy brought his influence to bear in defence.
Playing into the wind in the first half, Clon made some good early running but with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard as they had four wides in the opening eight minutes. The West Cork side also fashioned a half-chance of a goal as Grimes and Ben Ridgeway linked with Maurice Shanley to feed Dara O’Shea, but Kyrle Holland did well to smother his effort.
In contrast to Clon, Duhallow had the elements at their backs in the first half but, despite three of their kickouts being claimed as marks, struggled to make headway against the massed green and red ranks, forced sideways or backwards most often. However, after Grimes opened the deadlock for Clon 14th-minute point, Duhallow snatched the lead with a goal after their first direct foray.
Séamus Hickey was the provider with a ball from deep, claimed inside the large rectangle by Jerry O’Connor – a late addition to the starting 15 – who slotted home well. That signalled the water break and the second quarter saw Donncha O’Connor come to the fore for Duhallow, kicking four points, the first of those a long-range free after action resumed, followed by a clever mark.
Grimes, the Clon driving force, did get his second and Mark White’s run to halfway was the catalyst for Ross Mannix to point from a mark. After Mannix did well to force a free on 28, Duhallow dissent saw the ball brought in and Dara O’Shea converted to make it 1-3 to 0-4, but the divisional side ended the half well.
First, O’Connor sent over a free, awarded following a driving Séamus Hickey run. Then, when a Clon attack broke down, play was allowed to continue even though the allotted minute of injury time had elapsed and Donncha O’Connor landed a point from distance, to the chagrin of the Clon support.
That left it 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time, with the lead extended by Jerry O’Connor on the restart following a mark. While Clon were able to nibble at that lead with frees from O’Shea, Duhallow responded through Donncha O’Connor – when a short kickout was straight to him – and a fine Shane Hickey effort.
In the midst of that, Grimes might have had a goal opportunity for Clon when he combined with sub Conor Daly but he was just unable to gather the return pass.
Just before the water break, Duhallow almost created a goal chance of their own as Séamus Hickey, Conor O’Callaghan and Jerry O’Connor worked the ball to Mark Ellis but Eoghan Deasy made a heroic intervention. They remained five ahead at the break, 1-8 to 0-6, and that lead became six when O’Callaghan and Ellis provided the build-up for a fine Crowley score on 46. Incredibly, it proved to be their last as Clon dug deep to fight back.
D O’Shea 0-6 (0-5 f), J Grimes 0-2, S White, R Mannix (m), C Daly, S McEvoy, G Barry 0-1 each.
D O’Connor 0-5 (0-1 f, 0-1 m), J O’Connor 1-1 (0-1 m), C O’Callaghan, Shane Hickey, K Crowley 0-1 each.
M White; M Shanley, D Peet, T Clancy; S White, E Deasy, L O’Donovan; B Ridgeway, J Grimes; D Lowney, D O’Shea, G Barry; S McEvoy, J O’Mahony, R Mannix.
C Daly for Peet (half-time), O Bancroft for O’Donovan (58).
K Holland (Kanturk); M Browne (Newmarket), J McLoughlin (Kanturk), P Allen (Newmarket); K Crowley (Millstreet), A Ryan (Newmarket), Shane Hickey (Millstreet); P Walsh (Kanturk), D Linehan (Castlemagner); Séamus Hickey (Rockchapel), M Ellis (Millstreet), C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe); B Daly (Newmarket), J O’Connor (Boherbue), D O’Connor (Ballydesmond).
C O’Keeffe (Newmarket) for Ryan (53), D Moynihan (Ballydesmond) for Séamus Hickey (58), D O’Keeffe (Newmarket) for J O’Connor (60).
A O’Connor (Ballygarvan).