Walking a tight-rope when they trailed by five points coming up to the closing quarter, St Colman’s unleashed an explosive finishing burst to win the match.
St Colman’s were forced to fight every inch of the way by a terrier-like St Clement’s side who, at one stage, looked to be on the verge of causing a major upset.
With the aid of a bitterly cold wind St Clement’s gave their opponents more than they bargained for in the first half. The sides were level at two-points apiece following the opening quarter.
Then, after edging their way into the lead with a point from corner-forward Aidan Scanlon, St Clement’s were awarded a penalty when corner-back Michael Hegarty was yellow-carded for an off-the-ball challenge on Scanlon.
However, full-forward Eoin O’Sullivan’s attempt to billow the St Colman’s net was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Colm O’Keeffe. But, undeterred by this setback, St Clement’s opened up a 0-4 to 0-2 interval lead.
St Colman’s, despite dominating territorially, missed a number of gilt-edged point scoring opportunities after the resumption to gain parity. Taking full advantage of the Fermoy forwards inability to score, St Clement’s, doggedly holding on to their two points lead, shocked their opponents in the 43rd minute when Aidan Scanlon hit home a goal after his first attempt had come back off the crossbar.
A daunting challenge confronted St Colman’s but their response was magnificent. Full-back Jer O’Connor, centre-back Mark O’Connor, midfield players Padraigh Cotter and Padraigh Lynch, centre-forward Paul Hoye and full-forward Adrian Mannix proceeding to play out of their skin.
A goal from a ground strike by corner-forward Ronan Coakley sparked St Colman’s comeback. Hoye, with two great strikes levelled the game in the 50th minute. St Colman’s were on a roll.
A fortuitous goal by substitute Luke McCarthy in the 51st minute, followed by three points on-the-trot from Mannix, sealed St Colman’s triumph.
Scorers for St Colman’s: R Coakley 1-0; L McCarthy 1-0; A Mannix 0-4 (0-2 from frees); P Hoye 0-3.
St Clement’s: A Scanlon 1-1; M Wilkinson 0-2 (0-2 from frees); T Sheehan 0-1.
ST COLMAN’S: C O’Keeffe; M Hegarty, J O’Connor, K Kearney; M Barry, M O’Connor, C Aherne; P Cotter, P Lynch; A O’Connor, P Hoye, J Kearney; R Coakley, A Mannix, S Cotter. Sub: L McCarthy for Cotter.
ST CLEMENT’S: M Conway; J Murphy, D Buston, A O’Mahony; P Mann, B O’Meara, D O’Neill; W McNamara, J Mann; E McNamara, O Nolan, T Sheahan; M Wilkinson, E O’Sullivan, A Scanlon. Subs: B O’Mahony for Nolan (injured); Nolan for E McNamara.
Referee: J Sexton.