Knocknagree 3-9 Fermoy 1-5
KNOCKNAGREE powered their way to the knockout stages of the Bon Secours SAFC on Saturday night, leaving Fermoy and Bishopstown to rue what might have been.
The Duhallow men finished like a side with huge levels of self-belief despite starting slowly and gifting their opponents, Fermoy, the best of starts, a goal inside four minutes on a near-perfect Glantane pitch.
Led in the scoring stakes by corner-forward Denis O’Connor, John Fintan Daly’s charges fought back from a poor start to take the spoils setting up a last-six clash with Beál Áthan Ghaorthaidh.
Michael Doyle at number two, Daniel O’Mahoney in the middle third and Fintan O’Connor at 10 also shone throughout with huge inputs from Danny Cooper and Mathew Dilworth also worthy of note.
For Fermoy, a goal in the opening minutes proved to be the highlight of their evening as former Cork inter-county star Tómas Clancy’s side, despite putting in the effort, failed to get going in any meaningful way.
From the off Fermoy looked like they were under pressure as Knocknagree held most of the possession on what was a perfect pitch for championship football.
John Fintan Daly’s side pushed hard in the opening exchanges yet missed the target on three occasions in the opening few minutes and were heavily punished when Ben Twomey ducked and dived before finishing to the corner of the Knocknagree net.
The Duhallow side continued to waste good chances however their opponents were wasteful themselves - defenders running up blind alleys their vice in the opening half.
Knocknagree, despite racking up eight wides in the first 30 hit back with three points from Fintan O’Connor and Dilworth (2) before scores from Daniel O’Flynn and Twomey settled the Avondhu side.
Knocknagree didn’t panic and took control of the game for the last 10 minutes before the break with a point from Dilworth and a free from Fintan O’Connor leading up to a superb goal scored by Denis O’Connor – that major coming in the 28th minute.
Neither side would have been pleased with their first-half display – Knocknagree obviously a little happier.
The second half was dominated by the victors with a goal from Doyle and Denis O’Connor’s second green flag ending this one on a high note for the Duhallow men.
Huge disappointment for Fermoy, who were fighting in the Senior A grade in both codes.
D O’Connor 2-1, F O’Connor 0-4 (0-2 f), M Doyle 1-0, M Dilworth 0-2, N O’Connor, M Mahoney 0-1 each.
B Twomey 1-1, P de Róiste 0-2 (0-1 f), S Aherne, D O’Flynn 0-1 each.
P Doyle; M Doyle, K Buckley, G O’Connor; M Mahony, D Cooper, D O’Mahony; D Moynihan, David O’Connor; F O’Connor, M Dilworth, M McSweeney, Denis O’Connor, G Looney, N O’Connor.
T O’Connor for David O’Connor (50, inj), J Dennehy for M Mahoney (58), D Twomey for N O’Connor (58), K Barry for Denis O’Connor (61), S Daly for M Doyle (62).
L Coleman; J Scannell, A Creed, E Clancy; D O’Carroll, P Murphy; G Lardner, T Clancy; M Brennan, P de Róiste, D Dawson; B Twomey, S Aherne, D O’Flynn.
D Daly for D Dawson (35), A Aherne for J Molloy (40), G O’Callaghan for D O’Flynn (45).
C Walsh (Nemo Rangers)