Muskerry squeeze through by a point

Muskerry 2-6 Dohenys 1-8

A devastating start to the second-half yielded two spectacular goals from Pat Dunlea and Donal Keane in the space of six minutes and laid the foundations for Muskerry’s success.

Dohenys, who recovered well from the body-blows, could well have snatched it at the end, but three wayward kicks from scoreable positions, when Muskerry were under severe pressure, cost them the ultimate price.

Apart from Muskerry’s match winning strikes, precious little separated the sides in a semi-final that failed to produce a high level of skill and will be remembered chiefly for the sub-standard nature of the football.

The slippery surface made life uncomfortable and scores were at a premium, particularly in the opening sequences when neither side succeeded in scoring from play.

Two pointed frees each from Pat Dunlea and Ger McCarthy had the sides level after the first quarter but points from Denis Healy and Michael O’Donovan powered the west Cork contenders in front.

Muskerry never allowed their opponents to build on their lead and levelled the game for the third time in the 26th minute with snap points from DD Dorgan and Peadar Concannon.

Ger McCarthy nudged Dohenys 0-5 to 0-4 ahead in first-half injury time as the contest remained on a knife-edge.

A brief flare-up involving several players on the way to the dressing rooms was nipped in the bud and it was Muskerry, pressing the accelerator to the floor, who lit up proceedings with flashes of brilliance following the change of ends.

Tom Kenny set up Pat Dunlea for a peach of a goal 60 seconds after the re-start and five minutes later Muskerry struck again when Donal Keane billowed the Dohenys net from close range.

When Concannon stretched Muskerry’s lead to six points in the 38th minute it looked all over for Dohenys.

But a point from Pat Collins threw Dohenys a lifeline and they were right back in the game in the 43rd minute when, after the Muskerry defence failed to clear a high-lobbing kick from Collins, Denis Healy steered the ball to the net.

Now just two points to the good, it was Muskerry’s turn to live on their nerves.

DD Dorgan gave them a little breathing space with a point in the 47th minute but this proved to be the divisional side’s last score.

In a tense closing period Dohenys managed to come within a point of the victors, but time ran out and Muskerry squeezed through to set up a final meeting with Nemo Rangers at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday next.

Scorers: Muskerry: P Dunlea 1-2 (0-2 frees); D Keane 1-0; P Concannon 0-2; D D Dorgan 0-2. Dohenys: D Healy 1-1; G McCarthy 0-5 (0-3 from frees); M O’Donovan and P Collins 0-1 each.

MUSKERRY: J O’Connell (Macroom); C Murphy (do), E O’Mahony (do), C McSweeney (Cill na Martra); T Kenny (Grenagh), N O’Leary (Cill na Martra), C Lucey (do); P Concannon (Ballingeary), D Keane (Éire Óg); N Buckley (Aghabullogue), J Russell (Grenagh), M O’Connor (Cill na Martra); D D Dorgan, (Grenagh), G O’Halloran (Ballinora), P Dunlea (Canovee).

Subs: C O’Leary (Cill na Martra) for Murray, D O’Connell (Inniscarra) for O’Connor, C Sheehan (Ballinora) for O’Connell, J Hurley (Blarney) for O’Leary, N Twomey (Macroom) for Keane.

DOHENYS: D Farr; C Collins, P Deane, A Murray; T O’Donovan, D Lyons, N Collins; M Farr, P Collins; J Collins, M O’Donovan, R O’Sullivan; D Healy, D O’Donovan, G McCarthy.

Subs: S Farr for J Collins; P McCarthy for D O’Donovan, N Hurley for N Collions.

Referee: G Sweeney (Glenville).

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