Killeagh shocked mighty Blackrock 2-16 to 1-14. And there was no fluke about it as acknowledged in a boisterous winner’s dressing-room afterwards by gracious Blackrock coach Timmy Murphy.
It was a win built on skill and fitness by a well-prepared, finely-balanced and talented hurling side, a win that was fully deserved.
Killeagh have their big names, the likes of former Cork All-Ireland-winning captain Mark Landers, his erstwhile teammate on that team, multiple Allstar Joe Deane; there’s Michael Byrne, latest addition to the Cork senior ranks, the magnificent Bernard Rochford between the sticks (a couple of truly magnificent saves), former Waterford senior star Johnny Brenner. But they also have a plethora of other top performers.
This was more than just a win, more than just a passport straight through to the third round of the championship.
This was a triumph, another vindication of the right to believe for even the smallest of clubs in the biggest county hurling championship in the country.
How was it done? Simple really. Killeagh came out swinging, and never stopped.
: Killeagh: J. Deane 0-9 (0-6 frees); M. Landers 1-1 (frees); J. O’Connor 1-0; Brendan Barry 0-3; J. Fitzgerald 0-2; B. Walsh 0-1. Blackrock: A. Browne 1-2 (0-1 free); A. Coughlan 0-5 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65); J. Young 0-3; B. O’Keeffe 0-2; B. Hennebry, D. Cashman, 0-1 each.
Former winners St. Finbarr’s and Midleton were involved in one of the games of the round at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, the city side edging home 2-14 to 1-15.
The Barr’s made a terrific second-half recovery from a six point deficit to fashion a thrilling victory. With both clubs out of the limelight for what must seem an eternity, there was a bit more at stake than just a place in round three.
Midleton’s pace, stickwork and commitment had the Barr’s in all sorts of trouble, particularly in the first-half. as the East Cork side led 0-11 to 0-6 at the break. However, in a gripping second-half the Barrs upped the ante.
: St. Finbarrs: I. O’Mahony 1-1; R. Curran 1-0 (free); K. Murray 0-3 (0-2 frees), B. O’Driscoll (0-1 free, 0-1 65), C. McCarthy 0-3 each; R. O’Mahony 0-2; M. Ryan, A. Kelly 0-1 each. Midleton: L. Walsh 0-7 (0-4 frees); M. O’Connell 0-4 (0-3 frees); P. Smith 1-0; J. Moynihan, G. Manley, M. Keohane, W. O’Brien 0-1 each.
Battle-hardened Cloyne fought back from a two-point deficit to squeeze out a deserved 1-13 to 1-12 win over Glen Rovers at Midleton.
Lining out without injury-struck full-back Killian Cronin, Cloyne were soon in bigger trouble when free-taker Ian Quinlan suffered a bad blow across the ankle almost from the throw-in, hobbled on for almost half an hour, but was eventually forced to retire.
Quinlan was replaced by Donal O’Sullivan which meant that all five brothers of that famous clan were on the field at the end, youngest Paudie, just gone 15, a late-named starter at corner-forward.
All five played their part, none more prominent than Diarmuid, most famous of them all.
: Cloyne: M. Naughton 0-5 (0-4 frees); C. Cusack 1-1; C. O’Lomasney 0-3; P. Cahill, P. O’Sullivan, C. O’Sullivan, I. Quinlan, 0-1 each. Glen Rovers: J. Anderson 0-9 (0-4 frees 0-1 65); G. Moylan 1-1; D. Dorris, B. Corcoran, 0-1 each.
Joy for Sarsfields, agony for Douglas following a sensational game at Páirc Uí Rinn last night. A pointed free in stoppage time from corner-forward John Murphy elevated Sars to a 0-18 to 2-11 victory but Douglas, who staged a remarkable second-half comeback, deserved a kinder fate for their herculean endeavours.
Trailing by 13 points at half-time, Douglas looked to be in for a crushing defeat, but lifting their game to trojan heights after the change of ends, the city side gave their opponents the fright of their lives.
: Sarsfields: J. Murphy 0-7 (0-5 frees), K. Murphy 0-3, G. McCarthy 0-3, P. Ryan 0-3 (0-2 65s, 0-1 free), R. Ryan, R. Murphy 0-1 each. Douglas: G. Wade 1-5 (1-5 frees), G. McLoughlin 1-1, J. Moylan 0-2, P. Barry 0-2 (0-1 free), B. Horgan 0-1.
At Fermoy, Na Piarsaigh, supremely led by Sean Óg Ó hAilpín, scraped through their contest with Bride Rovers on Saturday 1-12 to 2-7.
A storming second-half performance unsettled Na Piarsaigh’s first-half dominance to such an extent that had last year’s intermediate champions an extra few minutes, they could well have overhauled their opponents.
Tough certainly was one word that could be used to describe this uncompromising encounter where referee Ken Healy brandished eight yellow cards and one red late in the game to Mark Prendergast.
: Na Piarsaigh: J. Gardiner 0-5 (0-3 frees); A. O hAilpin 1-0; S. O’Sullivan (o) and D. Walsh 0-2 each; D. Gardiner (free), R. McGregor and C. Connery 0-1 each. Bride Rovers: B. Murphy 1-1; B. Johnson 0-3 (0-2 frees; 0-1 65’); D. Fitzgerald 1-0 (pen); T. Broderick, B. Walsh and R. Cahill 0-1 each.
The scoring feats of the Fitzgerald brothers, Eoin and Eamonn inspired Castlelyons to a sweet 0-14 to 1-8 victory over Delanys at Riverstown.
Outstanding team captain Eoin scored nine points, six from frees, two from play and one from a 65, while Eamonn hit three beauties from play in the second-half as Castlelyons held Delanys at bay in a closely-fought encounter.
: Castlelyons. Eoin Fitzgerald 0-9 (0-6 from frees, 0-1 from 65); Eamonn Fitzgerald 0-3; T. McCarthy and C. McGann (free) 0-1 each. Delanys. J. Egan 1-4 (0-2 from frees); D. McElhinny 0-2; L. Lynch and K. Egan (free) 0-1 each.