St Michael's lay down a marker in the SAFC against fancied Fermoy

City side have come close to lifting the trophy in recent seasons and will clearly be one of the teams to beat again
St Michael's lay down a marker in the SAFC against fancied Fermoy

St Michael's Keith Hegarty's shot beats Fermoy keeper Liam Coleman for the opening goal during the SAFC match in Watergrasshill. Picture: Howard Crowdy

St Michael’s 1-17 Fermoy 0-11 

A MAGNIFICENT display from St Michael’s proved too much for Fermoy to contain in a competitive Bon Secours Cork Senior A Football Championship clash at Watergrasshill.

The opening exchanges were played at a fast and furious pace with both sides intent on playing open, running football.

After three minutes the boot of Eric Hegarty but two minutes later the sides were back on parity following a monstrous placed ball from Ben Twomey.

That was the score that Fermoy needed as they starved the city side of possession and further points from Martin Brennan and Robbie Cotter edged them ahead 0-3 to 0-1.

Fermoy had a great opportunity to raise the opening green flag in the 13th minute when a fabulous Brennan run saw his assist a pinpoint pass to Shane Aherne and with a goal at his mercy he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Michael’s after their brief lull responded and three unanswered points saw them lead by the minimum with 10 minutes remaining to the interval.

The Fermoy captain Padraig De Roiste wasted a good goal opportunity in the 21st minute when his tame shot was off target.

The game exploded in the 23rd minute when a magnificent through ball from Tom Lenihan found Keith Hegarty unmarked as he billowed the back of the net from close range.

Indeed Fermoy were now on the ropes and they almost allowed the city side in for a second goal but somehow Rory O’Shaughnessy failed to hit the target from close range.

St Michael’s finished the half in style with a Cotter free as they looked comfortable at the break when commanding a six point lead 1-8 to 0-5.

On the resumption St Michael’s played with the same intensity and Cotter opened their scoring with a point three minutes into the restart.

It was clear Fermoy players had got a rollicking at the break as they looked a side more up for battle in the early period of the second half.

Indeed the Fermoy captain Padraig De Roiste who barely had possession in the first half kicked over their opening two points.

Incidentally the same player registered five unanswered points and was his teams sole scorer up to the 50th minute.

The problem for De Roiste and the majority of his teammates was their tendency in drifting in and out of the game in comparison to their opponents who were at it from start to finish.

The scoring average of the Blackrock outfit dropped in the second half but they consistently produced points when they needed them.

There were many heroes in the Michael’s team but Peter Cunningham epitomised everything that’s good about this team. The new Cork coach John Cleary should have a look at Cunningham, as his physical presence in defence is frightening and he also possesses serious pace going forward.

As the half matured Fermoy lacked ideas how to score and the introduction of five substitutions didn’t dampen St Michael’s fire.

The game should have been over as a contest when Rory O’Shaughnessy broke through the Fermoy defence but his final pass to an unmarked Dan Lenihan left him down.

Fermoy's Dale Dawson breaks away from St Michael's Andrew Murphy. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Fermoy's Dale Dawson breaks away from St Michael's Andrew Murphy. Picture: Howard Crowdy

This was a serious statement of intent from last year’s runners-up as they complete their group stage with a city derby against Bishopstown.

Fermoy will know that a much-improved performance will be needed against Knocknagree for them to progress.

Scorers for St Michael’s: K Hegarty 1-3, R Cotter 0-6 (0-4 f), E Hegarty, A Hennessy, L O’Sullivan 0-2 each, P Cunningham, D Linehan 0-1 each.

Fermoy: P De Roiste 0-5 (0-2 f), B Twomey 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 45), M Brennan, D O’Flynn 0-1 each.

St MICAEL'S: M Burke; D Corkery, J Golden, S Keating; T Lenihan, A O’Callaghan, P Cunningham; A Murphy, D Meaney; D Lenihan, K Hegarty, R O’Shaughnessy; R Cotter, R Hegarty, A Hennessy.

Subs: L O’Sullivan for R O’Shaughnessy (48), R Kavanagh for D Corkery (50), E O’Donovan for A Hennessy (54), E Hickey for A Murphy (54), R Coleman for J Golden (55).

FERMOY: L Coleman; J Scannell, A Creed, A Bargary; J Molloy, D O’Carroll, D Daly; G O’Callaghan, T Clancy; M Brennan, P De Roiste, D Dawson; B Twomey, S , D O’Flynn.

Subs: D Daly for G O’Callaghan (45), D Lardner for D Dawson (50), A Aherne for D O’Flynn (45).

Referee: Brian Coniry (Crosshaven).

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