Dominant Dromina advance

FR. O’NEILL’S got a dose of what life will be like in the higher grade when going under to Dromina in the opening round of the Evening Echo Cork Co IHC at Shanballymore on Saturday.

After trailing by just two points at half-time, last year’s All-Ireland junior champions were hit by two goals in a 10 minutes spell in the second-half which won the game for the Avondhu side and forced O’Neills into a second round clash against the losers of the Glen Rovers/Nemo Rangers tie.

Dromina rocked the East Cork side with the toughness of their play and were full value for their seven point win. Ger Buckley was flawless in goal while defenders Donal O’Shaughnessy, Liam Hayes, John Delee and James O’Shaughnessy gave nothing away. Paul Gould sparkled at midfield while in attack Andrew O’Shaughnessy and Ray Crowley gave the O’Neill’s defence a torrid time.

Fr. O’Neill’s struggled to cope and only Dick O’Neill, Brian O’Driscoll, Ger O’Leary, Eddie Holland and Eoin Conway measured up.

Surprisingly, they got the perfect start with three points inside the opening five minutes. However, they were rocked by a fortuitous Dromina goal two minutes later when O’Shaughnessy’s long range free ended up in the net.

That goal settled the North Cork side and the O’Neill’s half backline was under constant pressure as O’Shaughnessy ran at their defence at ever opportunity, although he wasted a lot of good work with poor finishing. The sides were level on two further occasions before Ger Healy pointed twice in succession to leave Dromina 1-4 to 0-5 in front at the interval.

The game then came to life two minutes into the resumption after Pat Hayes batted home a second Dromina goal from Jason Finn great sideline cut. O’Neill’s now began to struggle and a third goal followed in the 45th minute when the bustling Ray Crowley finished Jason Finn’s delivery to the net.

Dromina came forward in waves and it took a magnificent save by keeper Ger Buckley to deny Ray Crowley at the expense of a point.

From a position of being six points in front and in control, Dromina were never going to be caught, although two points from excellent free taker Ger O’Leary gave Fr O’Neill’s hope. The closing minutes were played entirely in the Dromina half as O’Neill’s threw everything at them. The North Cork side were forced to endure some anxious moments as Liam Hayes took the ball off his goal-line and substitute Kieran Wall drove wide when it looked easier to score.

Scorers: Dromina: A. O’Shaugnessy (1-1 frees), R. Crowley 1-2 each; P. Hayes 1-0; G. Healy 0-2; P. Gould, J. O’Shaughnessy 0-1 each. Fr. O’Neill’s: G. O’Leary 0-4 (frees); E. Conway 0-2; R. Murphy, E. Holland, G. Holland (65), K. Wall 0-1 each.

DROMINA: G. Buckley; D. O’Shaughnessy, L. Hayes, D. Buckley; J. Delee, J. O’Shaughnessy, R. Morrissey; D. Morrissey, P. Gould; G. Healy, A. O’Shaughnessy, J. Finn; P. Hayes, R. Crowley, K. Hayes.

Sub:M. Buckley for P. Hayes.

FR. O’NEILL’S: D. Dorgan; B. O’Driscoll, D. O’Neill, J. O’Mahony; E. Griffin, G. Holland, B. Murphy; P. Irwin, G. O’Leary; R. Murphy, C. Buckley, E. Holland; Q. Higgins, E. Conway, P. Butler.

Subs: K. Wall for Murphy; J. Terry for Griffin; N. Griffin for O’Leary.

Referee: R. Murphy (Banteer).

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