LOCALS are calling it ‘El Westico’-the meeting this evening of west Cork’s finest from Beara and Carbery in Bantry at 7.30.
At stake is a place in the preliminary phase final of the Bon Secours county premier senior football championship divisions/colleges section against either Avondhu or Imokilly who collide in Ballynoe at the same time.
In 2013, extra-time was needed to separate the rivals as Carbery savoured a 3-11 to 2-11 victory in Adrigole en route to reaching the semi-finals, where they lost to the eventual champions, Castlehaven, by a point.
Carbery’s campaign started impressively enough with a 2-18 to 1-10 win over Imokilly, their team including former Cork players Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) and the O’Driscoll brothers from Tadhg MacCarthaighs, Kevin, Colm and Brian as well as representatives from Gabriel Rangers, St Mary’s, Ballinascarthy and Randal Og, among others.
Dave O’Sullivan and Paddy O’Driscoll supplied the goals and Sean Daly contributed 0-7, four frees, with Kevin O’Driscoll and Sean Ryan forming a fruitful midfield partnership.
Imokilly stayed with their opponents for three-quarters of the game, trailing by just three points, 1-11 to 1-8, before Carbery pulled away.
This is Beara’s third outing to-date, losing their opening round tie to Avondhu by 3-10 to 0-14, but were very much in the hunt coming down the stretch.
The sides were level with eight minutes to play, but a third north Cork goal ended Beara’s resistance.
A 0-16 to 0-10 success against Muskerry saw Beara take full advantage of the back-door system, a performance highlighted by the scoring efforts of Garnish brothers, Sean Terry and Brian Terry O’Sullivan, who shared half their side’s tally.
Castletownbere’s Fintan Fenner and Adrigole’s Jason Harrington added 0-3 apiece while keeper William O’Sullivan and Eanna Murphy are other important members.
Carbery look the fancied side, but a highly-charged derby is anticipated with Beara having every chance of progressing.
Could Avondhu have Cork star Cathail O’Mahony and the returning Killian O’Hanlon in their camp?
Either way the north Cork representatives appear to have a lot going for them, led by the experienced Shane Beston in a team containing players from Mitchelstown, Kilshannig, Glanworth and Buttevant.
Avondhu led Beara by 2-7 to 0-6 at half-time after early substitute Mark Lenihan pounced for the two goals, but they struggled on the resumption.
Beara roared back into contention to restore parity at 2-7 to 0-13 with eight minutes remaining only for Darragh O’Brien to score Avondhu’s third goal, part of his 1-4 haul in a five-point triumph.
Aghada back-bone the Imokilly challenge, having seven starters and introducing former Cork star Pearse O’Neill at half-time.
This should be their third game, but Muskerry conceded a walk-over, so the east Cork representatives missed out on the opportunity of another outing.
Mike Kelly (Castlemartyr) accounted for 0-5 with Cobh’s Conor McLoughlin claiming the goal.
Shane Bennett and Jordan Tynan were in good form for Aghada last weekend and with Aidan Berry adding experience and know-how up front, Imokilly will test Avondhu.