Just a few months ago, in the same competition, Delanys were on the receiving end of a sound trashing from the champions. However, showing skill and graft in abundance, they pushed the Rockies all the way in this third round contest and the Cork kingpins knew they had been in a match when Denis O’Flynn’s final whistle sounded.
In the final analysis Adrian Coughlan’s lucky 47th minute goal was to prove the turning point, the ball shooting past Delanys goalkeeper Vincent O’Brien from long range.
After the game Blackrock coach Timmy Murphy was realistic and, while praising Delanys, felt his side were the better team and deserved to win. “Yes we’re delighted to be over this one,” he said. “We caught them cold the last day and knew this would be a totally different test. They certainly put it up to us. However, I still feel we were the better team and deserved our victory. Believe me, you haven’t seen the best of Blackrock yet. We’ll be back training on Tuesday and we’ll sort out what went wrong. We’ll be sharper for Midleton the next day.”
Delanys upped their game 100% and, despite falling behind to two quick points from a Coughlan free and Paul Tierney from play, they were soon in the lead when George Healy put Mark McIlhenney in for a third minute goal.
Blackrock led 1-4 to 1-3 after the opening quarter, Brian O’Keeffe showing a clean pair of heels to the Delanys rearguard after taking a clearance from Noel Keane before rifling home a ninth minute goal. Indeed, O’Keeffe was in dazzling from, the lone Blackrock threat up front, forcing Delanys to move Ronan Foley back to marshall him, a job he did to reasonably good effect.
Delanys played some fine hurling in the second quarter. Kevin Egan and John O’Driscoll were in control at midfield and, despite playing two in the full-forward line, Trevor Barry was who was the busier of the two keepers with the Blackrock defence often looking ragged. However, when the opportunities came their way Blackrock were able to take them. Tierney, O’Keeffe, Derek Gosnell and another Coughlan free added to their tally, with the Egans replying for Delanys. However, Delanys were a little sloppy with their chances and might well have led at the interval instead of trailing 1-8 to 1-6.
Alan Cummins, who never got into the game, moved to midfield, for the second-half, with Tierney filling the centre-back role and they quickly stretched their lead with another Coughlan free and O’Keeffe from play. But again they were stung by Delanys in the 35th minute when James Egan’s low-struck free was finished to the net by George Healy.
Blackrock’s response was swift and telling with Barry Hennebry, Coughlan with a ’65 and David Cashman all pointing to negate the damage.
There were still only two points between the sides entering the final quarter, 1-13 to 2-8, after Kevin Foley and Kevin Egan with a free again hit back for Delanys.
Then came Coughlan’s fortuitous goal and it was the turning point in the game. Coughlan was to prove a real menace to Delanys, his accuracy from placed balls doing serious damage, as the champions powered into a 2-15 to 2-8 lead late in the game. Still there was time for a third Delanys goal and, after great work by the Egans, Mcllhenney rammed home his second goal. It came too late though, Gosnell getting the final score of the game for Blackrock. There will be no more talk of ‘going back down’ around the Dublin Hill region now. Delanys, even without Barry Egan and James Cooney, gave a mighty show. The champions looked ordinary.
Scorers for Blackrock: A. Coughlan 1-7 (0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65), B. O’Keeffe 1-3, P. Tierney, D. Gosnell 0-2 each, B. Hennebry, D. Cashman 0-1 each.
Delanys; M. McIlhenney 2-0, G. Healy 1-2, J. Egan 0-3 (0-2 frees), K. Egan 0-2 (0-1 free), K. Foley 0-1.
BLACKROCK: T. Barry; W. Sherlock, N. Keane, J. Browne; C. Connery, A. Cummins, F. Ryan; A. Coughlan, P. Tierney; B. Hennebry, L. Meaney, D. Gosnell; B. O’Keeffe, A. Browne, D. Cashman.
DELANYS: V. O’Brien; K. O’Sullivan, R. O’Mahony, D. Collins; E. O’Brien, P, Finnegan, R. Foley; K. Egan, J. O’Driscoll; G. Healy, M. O’Driscoll, K. Foley; J. Egan, C, Foley, M. McIlhenney. Sub: T. Kiely for Collins.
Referee: D. O’Flynn (Fr. O’Neill’s).