Imokilly back in Cork SHC final after seven-point victory against Sarsfields

Imokilly back in Cork SHC final after seven-point victory against Sarsfields
Imokilly manager Fergal Condon

Imokilly 4-17 Sarsfields 4-10

Imokilly advanced to the Cork SHC final for the first time in 16 years as they saw off Sarsfields in a thriller at Páirc Uí Rinn tonight.

A blistering start to the second half proved crucial for the East Cork division, as a 1-8 to 1-7 interval deficit was turned into a 3-9 to 1-8 advantage within seven minutes of the resumption. Marquee players Paudie O’Sullivan and Séamus Harnedy shone for Imokilly, both scoring 2-3, while Brian Lawton was the game’s dominant figure in the second half.

However, while goals from O’Sullivan and Harnedy helped to open up that seven-point advantage in the second half, Sars responded and sub Liam Healy netted with his first tough.

Harnedy got his second goal on 44, following Lawton’s great catch and Lawton’s point made it 4-11 to 2-10, but within three minutes the gap was down to three points.

Sars’ Eoin O’Sullivan got their third goal, pulling a ground shot to the net after his initial effort was blocked, and then, after O’Sullivan’s point, Sars goalkeeper Alan Kennedy netted, his delivery to the goalmouth eluding everybody.

Twelve minutes remained, but that proved to be Sars’ last score as Imokilly pushed on. Lawton, Mark O’Keeffe, Harnedy, O’Sullivan and goalkeeper Declan Dalton, from a 65, all had points in the closing stages as they secured a final meeting with Blackrock on October 22.

The game came to life early, O’Sullivan goaling in the second minute for Imokilly, but Sars had the lead on 11 minutes as Imokilly full-back Colm Barry’s handpass back to Dalton looped over the goalkeeper.

They held the advantage from there until half-time but Imokilly never let them open up a lead of more than two points and then seized the initiative after the restart.

Scorers for Imokilly: P O’Sullivan, S Harnedy 2-3 each, B Lawton, W Leahy (two frees) 0-3, J Cronin, M O’Keeffe, G Millerick, D Dalton (65), D Mangan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Sarsfields: A Myers 0-4 (frees), E O’Sullivan, A Kennedy, L Healy, own goal 1-0 each, T Óg Murphy, J O’Connor 0-2 each, D Roche, G O’Loughlin, 0-1 each.

IMOKILLY: D Dalton (Fr O’Neills); B Ó Tuama (Castlemartyr), C Barry (Castlelyons), K Histon (Cobh); C O’Brien (St Ita’s), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), J Cronin (Lisgood); M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neills), B Lawton (Castlemartyr); W Leahy (Aghada), G Millerick (Fr O'Neills), S Harnedy (St Ita’s); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), I Cahill (Cloyne), C Fleming (Aghada).

Subs: L O’Shea (Lisgood) for Ó Tuama (13-21, blood), D Mangan (St Catherine’s) for Cahill (half-time), B Mulcahy (St Catherine’s) for Leahy (51).

SARSFIELDS: A Kennedy; W Kearney, C Leahy, C O’Sullivan; E Murphy, P Leopold, G Grey; E O’Sullivan, D Kearney; T Óg Murphy, D Roche, E Quigley; A Myers, G O’Loughlin, J O’Connor.

Subs: L Healy for O’Connor (40, blood), L Hackett for Roche (45), R Ryan for Grey (49), C Duggan for E O’Sullivan (54), J Sweeney for Quigley (60).

Referee: D Kirwan (Éire Óg).

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