Fr O’Neill’s 5-14 Fermoy 2-13
A devastating ten minute period after half-time propelled Fr O’Neill’s into the quarter-finals of the Cork PIHC as they saw off the challenge of Fermoy at Ballynoe yesterday.
They plundered 3-4 to Fermoy’s 0-2 in that spell, as the promise of their forward division delivered in style, turning a one point half-time deficit into an unassailable ten-point advantage.
Key to Fr O’Neill’s burst was the form of their talisman, Deccie Dalton, who thundered into the game after a quiet first-half. He slotted two frees on the resumption, one from inside his own ’45, to put his side in front before Billy Dunne, who was excellent throughout, skinned his man for a wonderful goal.
Brian O’Sullivan and Shane Aherne got two back for Fermoy but Dalton was in the mood now and struck for 1-1 in three minutes with Kevin O’Sullivan also finding the target before captain Mark O’Keeffe compounded Fermoy’s misery with O’Neill’s fifth goal to give his side a 5-9 to 1-11 advantage and leave their rivals from Avondhu wondering what had gone wrong.
O’Neill’s did what they needed to do after that, as they kept the scoreboard ticking over with three more Dalton points and further scores from Dunne and O’Keeffe while Fermoy matched them with points from O’Sullivan and Liam Coleman while Jack Hutchings struck for a late goal.
Fr O’Neill’s joint manager, Dave Colbert, was thrilled with how his side answered the questions asked of them by Fermoy in the opening half.
“We definitely came into it (after half-time). We were coming into cold, as Fermoy were. It’s grand having challenge matches but you don’t really know where you are after four or five challenge games. You can say you’re going well but when the ball is thrown-in in championship, it’s a different story.
“We’re glad to come out of today and the way we raised it a bit to match Fermoy in the second-half.”
The Imokilly side were a bit slower out of the blocks as Fermoy had the better of the first-half and deservedly led at the break, though their ten wides must have been weighing heavy on their minds during their half-time huddle. O’Neill’s led early on through Dunne and Dalton but Jack Scannell and the dangerous Pádraig de Róiste soon had Fermoy level. Dunne then had his second point before setting up Paudie McMahon for the game’s first goal.
Fermoy responded with their best spell of the game, hitting 1-4 without reply to lead by 1-6 to 1-3 after 25 minutes, the goal coming from Cork football star Tomás Clancy following good work from de Róiste. Rob Cullinane and Jason Hankard then made it a one-point game before a long range effort from McMahon went all the way to the net to put O’Neill’s back in front.
Fermoy finished the half strongly, however, with points from Aherne, Coleman and Clancy to lead by one at the break. But they had no answer to O’Neill’s post-interval salvo and lost Darragh O’Carroll to a second yellow card late on. It was a statement of intent from Fr O’Neill’s and they will take plenty of confidence into their quarter-final clash against divisional rivals, Watergrasshill, on Sunday.
Scorers for Fr O’Neill’s: D Dalton 1-7 (0-5 frees, 0-1 ’65), P McMahon 2-0, B Dunne 1-3, M O’Keeffe 1-1, R Cullinane, J Hankard and K O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Fermoy: T Clancy and J Hutchings 1-1 each, B O’Sullivan (0-1 free) and B O’Sullivan (0-1 free) 0-3 each, S Aherne 0-2, K Morrison, J Scannell and P de Róiste 0-1 each.
FR O’NEILLS: C Sloane, M Millerick, A Kenneally, J Barry, T Millerick, D Harrington, G Millerick, J Millerick, K O’Sullivan, M O’Keeffe, D Dalton, R Cullinane, L O’Driscoll, P McMahon, B Dunne.
Subs: J Hankard for O’Driscoll (16 mins, inj), A Kenneally for J Millerick (47), P Butler for T Millerick (52).
FERMOY: C Quinn, P Clancy, R O’Callaghan, E Clancy, J Scannell, D O’Carroll, A Creed, M Brennan, T Clancy, B O’Sullivan, S Aherne, J Hutchings, K Morrisson, P de Róiste, L Coleman.
Subs: S Shanahan for P Clancy (40), P Murphy for Scannell (45), J Daly for E Clancy (47), J Molloy for Morrison (51), P Shanahan for Coleman (55).
Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).