St Michael’s 2-12 Knocknagree 2-9
ST Michael’s took the honours in this Round 1 Bon Secours Cork SAFC in Carrigadrohid, they now join Fermoy at the top of the table in Group C.
The elements played a big factor in this entertaining tie, and it was last year’s defeated finalists who had the wind at their backs in the opening half and they made it count when straight from the throw-in Rory O’Shaughnessy pointed.
When Adam Hennessey fired goals in the 10th and 15th minute - both came as a result of wayward kicking from Knocknagree - they opened up a 2-3 to 0-1 lead on the quarter-hour mark.
Knocknagree, who were depleted by injuries, settled when Fintan O’Connor scored two brilliant frees into the wind and another from play. And the same player ended the half with a fantastic goal after he won possession from Eoghan McSweeney’s delivery.
The green flag left them in a reasonable position at the interval, trailing 1-4 to 2-5.
Fintan O’Connor kicked a free early in the second-half to narrow the gap to three points. And it appeared to be game on.
But, St Michael’s who managed the elements well after the break, replied with a trio of unanswered points - one each from wing-backs Peter Cunningham and Tom Lenihan and an Eric Hegarty free.
The game could have been put beyond reach only for a Patrick Doyle save from O'Shaughnessy. Still, Hennessey brought his tally to 2-2 to stretch the advantage to seven points.
In true Knocknagree fashion, they stayed in touch, kicking the next three points to reduce the deficit once again to four.
In keeping with the see-saw nature, Eric Hegarty showed his class to further extend the St Michael’s lead, 2-12 to 1-8 and the contest entering its final few minutes.
Knocknagree weren’t quite finished yet. Michael Mahoney clipped over a point and they closed with a green flag when the McSweeney’s combined with sub Michael slamming home a goal in stoppage.
St Michael’s, who had nine starters from last year’s county final team that lost to Mallow in their line out, held on to claim the first set of points.
A Hennessey 2-2, E Hegarty 0-5 (0-1 f), P Cunningham, T Lenihan, A Murphy, R O’Shaughnessy, D Lenihan 0-1 each.
F O’Connor 1-6 (0-5 f), M McSweeney 1-0, G Looney, M Mahoney, D O’Connor 0-1 each.
M Burke; L Carroll, J Golden, S Keating; T Lenihan, A O’Callaghan, P Cunningham; A Murphy, D Meaney; D Lenihan, L O’Herlihy, R O’Shaughnessy; K Hegarty, E Hegarty, A Hennessey.
R Coleman for L Carroll (5 inj), L O’Sullivan for L O’Herlihy (half-time), E Hickey for D Meaney (38 inj), R Kavanagh for D Lenihan (57), E O’Donovan for K Hegarty (58).
P Doyle; M Mahoney, M Doyle, G O’Connor; D Cooper, K Buckley, G Looney; D Moynihan, D O’Connor; J Dennehy, E McSweeney, F O’Connor; D O’Connor, J F Daly, N O’Connor.
T O’Connor for D Moynihan (43), M Dilworth for D O’Connor (50), M McSweeney for N O’Connor (50).
Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).