Avondhu survive a fierce challege from Imokilly in cracking tie

Despite surging seven points clear late on, the north Cork side were hanging on at the end
Avondhu survive a fierce challege from Imokilly in cracking tie

Avondhu's Jimmy Sheehan breaks from Imokilly's Diarmuid Kearney during the Cork PSFC Divisional/Colleges game at Ballynoe>   Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Avondhu 2-15 Imokilly 1-17 

AVONDHU survived a fierce challenge from Imokilly to book a place in the final of the preliminary round of the Bon Secours county premier senior football championship (Divisions/Colleges) at Ballynoe on Thursday evening.

A Sean O’Sullivan goal after 54 minutes edged them 2-13 to 0-12 in front, but the east Cork combination hit back with a super goal from Cormac Beausang, three minutes later, to set-up a rousing finish.

Even though captain Shane Beston made it a five-point game moments later, Imokilly refused to give it up and roared back to claim four answered points in a dramatic climax.

Danny Creedon converted three frees as the pressure mounted on the north Cork side’s defence with half-time substitute Pearse O’Neill making his presence count.

Imokilly screamed for a penalty on the call of the hour after Shane Bennett was grounded, but they had to be content with Creedon’s third free.

In the closing act O’Neill’s screamer just carried the crossbar as Avondhu breathed a huge sigh of relief at the final whistle.

They led by 1-6 to 0-7 at half-time, but missed a glut of goal-scoring opportunities to have been further in front.

Imokilly keeper Kieran O’Shea came to his side’s rescue as early as the second minute to thwart Sean O’Sullivan and six minutes later Mark Lenihan had a shot cleared off the line.

It was 0-3 to 0-2 after the opening quarter before Avondhu moved three points in front with fine efforts from Jimmy Sheehan and Shane Walsh.

But, Imokilly’s spirit was reflected in their ability to restore parity with scores on the spin, Shane Bennett from play and two Mike Kelly frees, 0-5 apiece after 24 minutes.

Avondhu eventually accepted a goal chance in the next attack, the experienced Dave Pyne’s dummy, following a Sean O’Sullivan pass, left him in the clear and he finished expertly.

Imokilly still fought back to hit two points from a Kelly free and a super effort from play by defender by Kyle O’Shea.

In between, though, Lenihan’s pace and power took him past the defence only to drag his shot wide of the target.

They almost paid a heavy price, but just fell over the line in the end for the right to challenge Carbery next week.

Imokilly's Charlie Terry is tackled by Avondhu's Brian Guerin and Will Fouhy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Imokilly's Charlie Terry is tackled by Avondhu's Brian Guerin and Will Fouhy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Scorers for Avondhu: D Pyne, S O’Sullivan 1-0 each, S Walsh, K Twomey 0-3 each, J Sheehan 0-3 (0-1 f), M Lenihan 0-3 f, S Beston 0-2, J Twomey 0-1.

Imokilly: C Beausang 1-3, M Kelly 0-4 f, D Creedon 0-4 (0-2 f), T Hartnett 0-2, P O’Neill, K O’Shea, S O’Reilly, S Bennett 0-1 each.

AVONDHU: T O’Neill (Ballyclough); K Roche (Mitchelstown), E Burke (Kilshannig), W Fuohy (Kildorrery); A Finnegan (Ballyclough), B Guerin (Kilshannig), J O’Gorman (Kildorrery) S Walsh (Mitchelstown), D Pyne (Glanworth); K Twomey (Kilshannig), S Beston (Mitchelstown), J Twomey (Kilshannig); J Sheehan (Mitchelstown), M Lenihan (Buttevant), S O’Sullivan (Mitchelstown).

Subs: W Fuohy (Kildorrery) for J Twomey 40, D Kent (Kildorrery) for Finnegan 53.

IMOKILLY: Kieran O’Shea (Aghada); Kyle O’Shea (do), O Kelleher (Glanmire), S O’Reilly (Glenville); P Fitzgerald (Erin’s Own), J Tynan (Aghada), T Hartnett (do); C McLaughlin (Cobh), C Terry (Aghada); C Beausang (Midleton), M Kelly (Castlemartyr, c), D Creedon (Aghada); E Condon (St Catherine’s), S Bennett (Aghada), C Spriggs (Cobh).

Subs: P O’Neill (Aghada) for Terry and J Kingston (Glanmire) for McLaughlin half-time, S de Burca (Carrigtwohill) for Fitzgerald and D Kearney (Cobh) for Spriggs 47, A Mylod (Erin’s Own) for Condon 58.

Referee: C Walsh (Nemo Rangers).

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