Brogan’s back on glory trail

St Brogan’s, Bandon 0-11Clonakilty CC 1-5

Bandon laid the foundations for their victory in the first half, storming into an 0-8 to 0-2 interval lead, and then soaked up the pressure in the second.

Clearly strung by the defeat at the hands of Clonakilty in the preliminary round, St Brogan’s set about gaining revenge from the throw in.

Ronan McCarthy and Chris O’Donovan gave them a firm grip at midfield and, with Darren Crowley and Danny O’Callaghan sparkling in attack, the scores began to flow.

Ten minutes in Brogan’s led three points to nil, having kicked five wides. Clon, who lost last year’s junior All-Ireland final, were clearly rattled by the tenacity of their opponents, and 12 minutes elapsed before Gearoid Holland kicked their first point.

It was only a token score however as Brogan’s laid siege to the Clon defence, and only a great save by ’keeper Cathal O’Sullivan denied Darragh Crowley a goal. Maurice Sexton fired the rebound over the bar.

Brogan’s use of the long ball had the Clon defence in trouble and their rampant forwards, particularly Crowley and O’Callaghan, went on a scoring spree, kicking five points in a row for a 0-8 to 0-2 half-time lead.

On the restart Clon employed the Brogan’s tactic of using the long ball and it paid the perfect dividend a minutes after the resumption when James O’Driscoll’s delivery was touched home by team captain Ciaran Calnan. This final developed into a tremendous battle for supremacy as the Brogan’s defence was forced to soak up the pressure. Clon, driven on by outstanding centre-back Darragh Lynch and midfielders Eugene McCarthy and Gearoid Holland, had the deficit down to two points by the end of the third quarter - Calnan adding two points to his earlier goal. Brogan’s, without a score for 23 minutes, finally managed a point by the excellent Eoin O’Donovan, who curled over a free from out near the touch line to lift the siege on his overworked defence.

However Clon weren’t quite ready to roll over and, in a magnificent passing movement from their own defence, Ivan Evans blazed over the bar with a goal chance on.

It was a let-off for Brogans who battened down the hatches for the remainder of the game. Fionan Keane, Gavin O’Riordan and Pat Hartnett dealt well with what Clon threw at them, and it was fitting that Danny O’Callaghan, a county minor hurler, kicked the insurance point on the stroke of full-time.

St Brogan’s, who won the senior All-Ireland two years ago, are back on the glory trail again and, on the evidence of this display, will make a bold bid for national honours.

Scorers: St. Brogan’s: D. O’Callaghan 0-3; J. Moynihan (0-1 45), E. O’Donovan (0-1 free), M. Sexton 0-2 each; R. McCarthy, D. Crowley 0-1 each. Clonakilty: C. Calnan 1-3 (0-3 frees); G. Holland, I. Evans 0-1 each.

ST.BROGAN’S: R. Brennan; F. Keane, N. Deasy, D. Twomey; G. O’Riordan, D. Lynch, P. Hartnett; R. McCarthy, C. O’Donovan; E. O’Donovan, J. Moynihan, M. Sexton; D. Crowley, D. O’Callaghan, O. Keane.

CLONAKILTY: C. O’Sullivan; David O’Sullivan, K. O’Driscoll, E. O’Gorman; B. O’Donoghue, D. Lynch, Denis O’Sullivan; E. McCarthy,. G. Holland; J. O’Driscoll, I. Evans, C. Lynch; P. Ryan, L. Callanan, C. Calnan.

Subs: M. Evans, O. Hayes, G. O’Donovan for E. O’Gorman, K. O’Driscoll, C. Lynch.

Referee: N. Barrett (Carrigtwohill).

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