Sars have no answer as rampant Cloyneadvance with ease

Cloyne 6-9 Sarsfields 0-8

In what was possibly the most one-sided contest in the competition in recent times, Cloyne rode roughshod over their hapless opponents and thus maintained their marvellous consistency by qualifying for their third successive semi-final appearance.

A well chastened Sarsfields team had no answer to the vastly superior physical strength and hurling expertise of their East Cork rivals, and with the concession of four goals in the first-half they were left with an Everest to climb - one they never remotely looked like scaling.

This was a one-horse race if ever there was one, after Cloyne hit the ground running with two early points from Donal O’Sullivan and his brother Pádraig, who converted a free. Although Sars clawed their way back when Cork senior Kieran Murphy got his name on the scoresheet in the sixth minute it became clearer with every passing moment that this was one occasion Sarsfields were not going to enjoy.

And, as events transpired, once Conor Cusack opened the floodgates with a goal, after being set up by Pádraig O’Sullivan in the 10th minute, it turned out to be a real night of disaster for the famous Riverstown club.

Three minutes after Cusack’s opening strike, Sars received a great opportunity of hauling themselves back into contention when they were awarded a penalty after full-forward Mick Cussen was pulled down within the square. Sadly for Sars, Pat Ryan’s conversion attempt went over for a point and there and then this game ended as a meaningful contest.

Sars failed to score again for the remainder of the first half while, with the rain cascading down in monsoon-like fashion, Cloyne went from strength to strength as their totally outclassed and disillusioned opponents fell badly by the wayside.

Indeed, try as they might, Sars could make no impression on the total superiority enjoyed by Cloyne in all facets of play. Receiving from Philip Cahill, wing-forward Colm O’Sullivan hit Cloyne’s second goal in the 20th minute and two more just before half-time from Conor Cusack and his brother Victor set the funeral march in train for Sarsfields.

Leading 4-4 to 0-2 at half-time and in control, Cloyne stretched their lead to 16 points after the resumption, before Sars, with three scores in rapid succession from Pat Ryan, Neil O’Sullivan and John Murphy, managed for a brief period to win some respectability.

With Maurice Cahill rarely giving Kieran Murphy a look-in, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, excelling at right half back, after being yellow-carded in the opening minute, and Donal O’Sullivan and Michael Naughton in control at midfield, Cloyne wrote Sars’ obituary in the most telling manner imaginable.

Following Sars’ brief resurgence, Philip Cahill scored a magnificent individual goal - Cloyne’s fifth in the 47th minute - and with the Sars defence at sixes and sevens and beaten to a pulp by a most imaginative and masterful Cloyne forward sextet, the losers can consider themselves fortunate that the margin of defeat did not assume even greater proportions.

The impressive Colm O’Sullivan scored Cloyne’s sixth goal a minute from the end of normal time and brought the curtain gloriously down on his side’s runaway 19-points triumph.

Scorers: Cloyne: C. O’Sullivan 2-2, C. Cusack 2-1, V. Cusack, P. Cahill 1-0 each, P. O’Sullivan 0-2 (both frees), Donal O’Sullivan, J. Nyhan, J. Cotter, Diarmuid O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Sarsfields: P. Ryan 0-2 (0-1 free), K. Murphy, T. Óg Murphy, N. O’Sullivan, P. O’Flynn, M. Cussen, J. Murphy (free) 0-1 each.

CLOYNE: D. Óg Cusack; E. O’Sullivan, K. Cronin, D. Motherway; Diarmuid O’Sullivan, M. Cahill, M. Naughton; Donal O’Sullivan, John Cotter; C. O’Sullivan, V. Cusack, I. Quinlan; P. O’Sullivan, P. Cahill, C. Cusack.

Subs: S. Motherway for Donal O’Sullivan, L. O’Driscoll for V. Cusack, D. Ring for P. Cahill, A. O’Brien for Cotter, B. Fleming for D. Motherway.

SARSFIELDS: P. Gahan; T. Feeney, P. Roche, J. Barry; R. Duggan, R. Ryan, B. McCarthy; P. Ryan, T. Óg Murphy; G. O’Loughlin, K. Murphy, N. O’Sullivan; J. Murphy, M. Cussen, C. Duggan.

Subs: J. O’Connor for Duggan, P. O’Flynn for O’Sullivan.

Referee: D. Kirwan (Éire Óg).

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