Avondhu 3-18 Muskerry 0-19
Two goals early in the second half ensured a straightforward passage to the Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC unseeded divisional final for Avondhu against Muskerry at Donoughmore on Tuesday night.
The North Cork side will face Duhallow next week for a spot in the semi-finals of the divisions and colleges section and they were good value for the victory, settling the outcome as a five-point half-time lead was buttressed thanks to goals from Stephen Condon and Jack Twomey.
Having scored 1-8 in their previous match against Carbery three weeks ago, Condon improved on that as he landed 1-10, ensuring that the absence of Colin O’Brien – scorer of 1-10 in the Carbery match – was not felt as keenly as it might be.
Despite playing against the wind in the opening period, Avondhu led at half-time by 1-11 to 0-9, with their power source coming from a half-back line of Darragh O’Reilly, Mark Keane and Brian Buckley that became more dominant as the half went on.
In the early stages, Muskerry looked to have made a burst as David Kirwan put them 0-3 to 0-2 in front before Shane Tarrant set up Mark Walsh to double the lead. Then Tarrant broke the next puckout, allowing Kirwan to point again. They might have added a goal after that as Alan O’Shea’s flick created an opening for Mark Walsh but his namesake, Avondhu goalkeeper Kieran, was quick off his line.
Stephen Condon was in sparkling form in the Avondhu full-forward line and his third point, followed by a Davy Jones score, made it 0-5 each. Though Muskerry got two of the next three, it was the last time they led as Brian O’Reilly levelled at 0-7 before James Magner struck for his goal.
The impressive Jones’s fine pass was the catalyst, giving the corner-forward a route to goal and, though Bryan O’Mahony hooked his first shot, his follow-up beat James Linehan. Liam Cronin, Jack Twomey and Keane combined for Jeremy Saich to put them four in front, 1-8 to 0-7, and Jones was unlucky to have a goal ruled out for a square ball following a sideline cut.
Magner might have had another goal, his shot whizzing over, but impressive midfielder Joseph O’Sullivan and Condon ensured that they were in a strong position at the break.
While Shane Tarrant and sub Séamus Cronin had Muskerry points on the restart, Condon’s seventh for Avondhu was followed by his goal, getting to the loose ball after Linehan had come out to deny Magner. It was Magner who played an assisting role for the third goal too, his shot saved by the goalkeeper with Twomey on hand to rifle home the rebound.
It left the scoreboard showing a 3-14 to 0-11 advantage for Avondhu with 21 minutes remaining and such a gap was never likely to be bridged. Muskerry battled well for the remainder, with Brian Keating, Kirwan and subs David O’Keeffe and Kevin Murphy all on target, but the goals they needed never came.
Avondhu did lose Mark Keane to a late injury that they will hope is not too serious but otherwise, it was a good night’s work for them.
S Condon 1-10 (0-4 f), J Twomey 1-2, J Magner 1-1, D Jones 0-2, J O’Sullivan, J Saich, B O’Reilly 0-1 each.
S Tarrant 0-6 (0-4 f), B Keating 0-4 (0-1 f), D Kirwan 0-3, A O’Shea, K Murphy, M Walsh, S Cronin, J Mannix, D O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
AVONDHU: K Walsh (Kilworth); F Herlihy (Ballygiblin), E McGrath (Kilworth), E Burke (Kilshannig); D O’Reilly (Ballyhooly), M Keane (Ballygiblin, Capt), B Buckley (Dromina); L Cronin (Killavullen), J O’Sullivan (Ballygiblin); D Jones (Dromina), J Twomey (Kilshannig), B O’Reilly (Shanballymore); J Magner (Killavullen), J Saich (Kilworth), S Condon (Harbour Rovers).
D Linehan (Ballyhooly) for Keane (46, injured), E Cotter (Killavullen) for O’Reilly (Shanballymore), D Buckley (Dromina) for Jones (55).
J Linehan (Ballincollig); F Denny (Ballincollig, Capt), B O’Mahony (Inniscarra), J Kelleher (Éire Óg); E Clifford (Cloughduv), S Sheehan (Inniscarra), A Murphy (Cloughduv); D Kirwan (Éire Óg), B Keating (Ballincollig); A O’Shea (Ballinora), J Mannix (Cloughduv), S Tarrant (Aghabullogue); C O’Driscoll (Ballincollig), J Dwyer (Ballincollig), M Walsh (Cloughduv).
K Murphy (Ballinora) for Walsh, S Cronin (Grenagh) for Mannix (both half-time), D Coakley (Éire Óg) for O’Shea (35), D O’Keeffe (Inniscarra) for Clifford (40, injured), R Murphy (Kilmichael) for O’Driscoll (56).
D Daly (Brian Dillons).