Avondhu 1-15 Carbery 2-12
An odd game in Cloughduv on Saturday evening.
For 51 minutes, Avondhu’s progression to the last 16 of the Cork SHC proper looked to be a fairly hassle-free affair, and when Peter O’Brien hit his 11th point they led by 1-15 to 1-8.
Carbery’s race looked run, and a pair of Eoin Kelly points appeared to be little more than consolation scores.
When sub Alan Hayes tapped in after Rory O’Sullivan’s shot was blocked, however, all of a sudden there were just two points between the teams and then Ryan cut the deficit to the minimum with a 65.
Avondhu were reeling, and when possession from the puckout could not be secured, a free was conceded just outside the 65, Kelly’s conversion of same never in doubt. The West Cork division could even have seized victory but time was called and, after brief uncertainty over extra-time, a replay was the decision.
It was an outcome Carbery manager Noel Crowley was willing to accept.
“It was a great comeback, we thought it was all over,” he said.
“Our fellas have great heart and they showed it, they never died and in the end we had a chance when the whistle was blown, Maurice Sexton had the ball and he’d have put it over with his eyes closed.
“We were missing a lot of fellas tonight, we had a weak panel.”
Too often, failure to get good ball into Michael Cahalane and Rory O’Sullivan cost Carbery dearly, but midfielder Eoghan O’Donovan and wing-back Pádraig Butler stood firm in the face of Avondhu pressure.
Cork panellist O’Brien was in unerring form for the North Cork side, only missing an early 20m free where he went for goal, while right half-back Darragh Carroll and Eoin Dillon at midfield did well and Adrian Mannix showed flashes in attack.
Cahalane thought he had procured a second-minute goal for Carbery as his shot was deemed by the umpires to have crossed the line before James O’Sullivan cleared it, but following consultation with referee Derek Carroll the flags were crossed.
While Carbery led 0-2 to 0-1 after the first 10 minutes, five consecutive O’Brien points gave Avondhu a cushion, and the lead was 0-8 to 0-4 before first-half injury time provided a goal, Mannix winning a Carroll delivery and firing home.
The early stages of the second half followed a similar pattern, Carbery doing their cause no help with some poor wides from placed balls before Kelly was given the duty, and Noel McNamara and O’Brien pushed Avondhu nine points clear.
In the 40th minute, though, Carbery got some hope as O’Sullivan netted and John Sheehan and Kelly followed with points to leave it 1-11 to 1-7.
Avondhu looked to have weathered that storm as Danny O’Flynn and O’Brien scored, and had McNamara made the most of a half-chance of a goal then they surely would have been out of sight.
As it was, they were pegged back but still remain alive, and manager Johnny Keane was not going to lament his lot too much.
“We started very poorly in the first 10 minutes,” he said, “but we were in cruise control after that, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
“They started winning all the puckouts though and got 1-4, no defence can deal with that, and they were in the ascendancy at the end, luckily for us the referee blew the whistle and we live to fight another day.
“We probably should have won the day, but we’re still lucky to be in the competition.”
Scorers for Avondhu: P O’Brien 0-11 (9fs), A Mannix 1-0, A Watson, A Cagney, N McNamara, D O’Flynn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carbery: E Kelly 0-6 (4fs, 1 65), R O’Sullivan 1-1, A Hayes 1-0, J Wall (frees), M Cahalane 0-2 each, J Sheehan 0-1.
AVONDHU: K Walsh (Kilworth); C O’Flynn (Charleville), J Hennessy (Ballyhea), J O’Sullivan (Fermoy); D Carroll (Fermoy), M Walsh (Kildorrery), J Hayes (Mallow); E Dillon (Milford), D O’Flynn (Charleville); S Beston (Ballygiblin), P O’Brien (Kildorrery), A Watson (Milford); N McNamara (Kilworth), A Cagney (Charleville), A Mannix (Kilworth).
Subs: H O’Gorman (Milford) for Beston (5, injured), D Pyne for O’Gorman (44).
CARBERY: J McSweeney (Bandon); P Crowley (Bandon), J Murphy (Kilbrittain), C Hickey (Kilbrittain); P Butler (Argideen Rangers), C O’Driscoll (St Oliver Plunkett’s), J Walsh (Bandon); D Crowley (Bandon), E O’Donovan (Bandon); M Sexton (Kilbrittain), R O’Sullivan (Argideen Rangers), J Sheehan (Argideen Rangers); E Kelly (Newcestown), M Cahalane (Bandon), J Wall (Kilbrittain).
Subs: D Hickey (Kilbrittain) for D Crowley (51), A Hayes (Kilbrittain) for Sheehan (53).
Referee: D Carroll (Kanturk).
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