Reigning back-to-back Cork senior hurling champions Imokilly saw off the challenge of Carrigdhoun in round one of the Colleges/Divisions section of the championship at Páirc Uí Rinn last night. Leading by seven points at the interval, they eventually emerged with a comfortable 15-point victory that will pit them against the winners of Avondhu and Carbery in round two next week.
Starting with the majority of last year’s winning team (Colm Spillane and William Leahy are injured while Niall O’Leary is with UCC), Imokilly started to pull away before the break, and with a plentiful supply to their forwards they kicked on again in the second-half. The Carrigdhoun goal came two minutes from time, a delivery from out the field by Jerry O’Neill that found the net.
To be fair to Carrigdhoun — who are out of the championship now — they were better than the losing margin suggests, but Fergal Condon’s Imokilly, with the exception of the first quarter, were the superior side, while the substitutes also impacted. They led 0-6 to 0-4 after a quarter of an hour, then the industrious play of the likes of Paudie O’Sullivan and Dan Mangan up front began to show. They had a couple of goal opportunities too, however, they fired some excellent points to lead at the half-way stage, 0-15 to 0-8.
Tadgh O’Sullivan converted five points for Carrigdhoun (seven overall), but they had it all to do as the East Cork division continued to hold the upper hand. Ten minutes after the restart, the gap was still seven. However, five points without reply between the 42nd and 45th minute, stretched the advantage to 12 points.
Imokilly’s back line, headed up by Bill Cooper at centre-back, weren’t giving much away although they will be disappointed to have conceded such a soft goal. Another run of unanswered points ensured the titleholders remained well on top. There were good scores in particular from substitute Declan Dalton, Seamus Harnedy, and Barry Lawton.
Scorers for Imokilly: P O’Sullivan (0-7, 0-3 frees), Barry Lawton (0-6), D Dalton (0-2 65s, 0-1 free) and D Mangan (0-5 each), S Harnedy (0-4 each), Brian Lawton (0-2), C Broderick and M O’Keeffe (0-1 each).
Scorers for Carrigdhoun: T O’Sullivan (0-7, 0-5 frees), J O’Neill (1-1), C Butler (0-2), D Andrews, M Kennefick and M O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
D O’Callaghan (Watergrasshill); M Russell (Aghada), C Barry (Castlelyons), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s); C O’Brien (St Ita’s), B Cooper (Youghal), J Cronin (Lisgoold); S Hegarty (Dungourney), M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neill’s); Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr), S Harnedy (St Ita’s, Capt), Barry Lawton (Castlemartyr); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), D Mangan (St Catherine’s), A Spillane (Castlelyons).
Subs: D Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s) for A Spillane (22 inj), C Broderick (Fr O’Neill’s) for M O’Keeffe (48), S O’Regan Óg (Watergrasshill) for P O’Sullivan (50), K Histon (Cobh) for C Barry (52), S O’Regan (Watergrasshill) for S Harnedy (54).
S Nyhan (Courcey Rovers); G O’Riordan (Belgooly), B Collins (Courcey Rovers), C Desmond (Ballinhassig); D Andrews (Shamrocks), K Kavanagh (Carrigaline), D Lordan (Courcey Rovers, Capt); D Looney (Valley Rovers), M O’Sullivan (Tracton); D O’Sullivan (Ballygarvan), J O’Neill (Courcey Rovers), D O’Flaherty (Tracton); T O’Sullivan (Courcey Rovers), M Kennefick (Ballygarvan), C Butler (Valley Rovers).
Subs: T Collins (Courcey Rovers) for C Desmond (39 inj), K Fitzgerald (Belgooly) for D O’Sullivan (50), D O’Connor (Ballygarvan) for T O’Sullivan (54).
Referee: Joe Larkin (Ballinora).