BEARA overcame Muskerry in the second round of the Bons Secours Cork PSFC Divisions/Colleges preliminary section in Dunmanway on Thursday evening.
A Muskerry side with 18 available players made their 2022 debut and were eager to build on last year’s two-point championship exit at the hands of UCC. Beara had the benefit of a competitive game under their belts, a 3-10 to 0-14 first-round loss to Avondhu.
A scrappy start saw both sides guilty of turning over possession. Ciarán O’Leary opened the scoring for Muskerry after four minutes and Cathal Vaughan quickly doubled the Mid-Cork team’s advantage.
That was Beara’s cue to wake up as Fintan Finner and Tomás Murphy efforts brought parity to the score. Brian Terry O’Sullivan handed the westerners their first lead with two excellent scores, 0-4 to 0-2, soon after.
Moving the ball intelligently, Beara led by a point after 15 minutes following another terrific Vaughan effort. Despite limited possession, Muskerry grew in confidence and equalised courtesy of a fine Ciarán Gavin strike.
Wasteful shooting prevented Beara from retaking the lead and a more clinical Muskerry took full advantage. Conor Cotter finished off a flowing move to make it 0-5 to 0-4 shortly before the interval.
Once again, Beara found another gear as two Sean Terry O’Sullivan frees and a Fintan Finner point made it 0-7 to 0-5. There was still time for a sublime Cathal Vaughan effort to leave a point between the teams at halftime.
Beara maintained their lead thanks to two additional Sean Terry O’Sullivan points and a Micheál Shea white flag early in the second half. Muskerry stuck doggedly to their task, however, with Jack Hayes and Mark Healy making it a two-point game once again after 40 minutes.
O’Sullivan’s accuracy from frees stretched Beara’s advantage, 0-11 to 0-8, with 13 minutes to go. Their opponents' struggles in front of goal continued and three consecutive wides preceded a Jason Harrington effort to stretch Beara’s lead.
Vaughan responded from a free but a marvellous Brian Terry O’Sullivan score made it 0-13 to 0-9 with six minutes left. Another Vaughan free left a goal between the sides until Jason Harrington twice split the posts and Fintan Finner added another in injury-time to seal a deserved Beara victory.
Beara’s reward is a Divisions/Colleges unseeded section semi-final berth alongside Avondhu and Carbery. As for Muskerry, an upcoming clash with Imokilly offers one final opportunity to reach the last four.