Four-star Quins see off Bandon

BANDON will be glad to see the back of Cork Harlequins after the Farmers’ Cross outfit handed them final heartbreak for the second time this season at Garryduff yesterday.

A single Dan Hobbs goal separated the sides in the Peard Cup final on St Stephen’s Day, and it was another holiday to remember for the young centre-back as he hit three more to claim the Munster Senior Cup for Quins, their first in three seasons.

Bandon continue to close the gap between them and the “big two”, but lacked the volume of possession or penetration required to cause an upset.

Bandon keeper Ian Hosford had already pulled off neat saves from Eddie Dore and David Egner before Hobbs broke the deadlock with a pinpoint low drag-flick on nine minutes.

Another Hobbs effort was taken off the line by Bandon skipper Mark Deane soon after, and when the Ashton schoolboy rocketed another to the backboard on 20 minutes, it seemed a procession was on the cards.

Bandon didn’t cave in. One length-of-the-field move involving Deane, Fionn O’Leary and Ricky Roycroft found Graham Kingston all alone in the circle, forcing a smart save from Quins netminder Chris Daunt on 37 minutes. Kingston was even unluckier minutes later. Andrew Kingston played him in but the mercurial forward’s unstoppable effort from the top of the circle flew just wide of the top corner.

But the chances were few for Bandon, who missed the pace of dislocated shoulder victim Ali Smith up front. With Mark Black orchestrating things for Quins as usual, Stephen Dale’s side hardly felt the loss of Sean Nicholson, who missed out with a back problem.

Egner really should have made it three when he blasted high and wide after Lee d’Alton’s ball from the end-line had taken Hosford out of the equation. But Paul Lombard forced home Black’s crash ball to put the result beyond doubt on 51 minutes.

Hobbs completed his hat-trick three minutes later to complete his day’s work, and Jason Black was unlucky not to make it five when he pinged a flick off the upright late on.

CORK HARLEQUINS: C Daunt (GK); L d’Alton, P O’Driscoll, D Hobbs, J Black; M Black, D Lombard, C Ross; P Lombard (capt), E Dore, D Egner.

Rolling subs: P Murray, D Farrell, R Hobbs, S White (GK).

BANDON: I Hosford (GK); M Deane (capt), N Martin (vice-capt), C Wood, C Sweetnam; A Kingston, D Beamish, D Smith; F O’Leary, G Kingston, D Sweetnam.

Rolling subs: R Roycroft, S McIlroy, E Rice, R Smith, A Beamish.

Umpires: B Attridge & S McAllister.

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