Cobh brush off Cullen to book JAFC semi final
COBH became meaningful contenders for the Bon Secours Co JAFC after seeing-off Cullen in the quarter-final at a rain-lashed Mourneabbey.
Not the best football on an inclement day, yet Cobh ticked all the required boxes to emerge on top.
The Imokilly champions demonstrated the greater will to win compared to a Cullen outfit that after a bright start went 50 minutes without a score. In fairness, Cullen did produce a late rally but over the extended hour, they lacked the consistency of a Cobh side clearly intent on a championship last won in 1954.
Cullen flattered to deceive early on, helped by a swirling wind, they were quickly into their stride, boosted by a pair of points from Luke Murphy inside the opening five minutes. From a greasy ball, handling errors and turn overs surfaced, no surprise that both defences dictated the agenda.
Short three of their divisional winning side owing to work commitments abroad, Cobh were ever improving, Cian Spriggs broke their duck on back to back points. Cullen shaded possession, taking encouragement from the play of Darragh Twomey and Conor Kerins only to forfeit a number of chances.
With Cobh clearly up for the game, they took the lead from a Darragh Heelan point, Cullen thankful to keeper Fachtna O’Connor on a fine save from Diarmuid Kearney. Holding a 0-3 to 0-2 interval advantage, Cobh dominated key areas in the third quarter, prompted by the strong input of Pa Carey, Seán Cummins, Spriggs and Kearney.
Indeed, Cobh were in the driving seat, availing of a mix up in the Cullen defence for Kearney to lob custodian O’Connor for an opportunist goal. Cullen battled to get back into the fray, a glorious chance lost when key man Luke Murphy won a penalty only for Cobh keeper Edward Walsh to produce a stunning save to deny Colin Walsh.
And to rub further salt into Cullen’s wounds, a sweeping Cobh move down field yielded Cummins a smashing point.
A disappointing Cullen broke the barren 50 minute spell for Murphy to register late points, all too late as Cobh emerged as deserved victors and progress to a semi final against Buttevant.