Despite losing the services of players from Carbery Rangers and Ilen Rovers, the 2004 county champions fielded a very useful side, including two members of the county Under-21 team, Alan O’Connor and Cathrach Keane, and both made significant contributions.
Carbery made the early running and led after three minutes through a Daniel O’Donovan point. Imokilly were level a minute later when Paul Moylan pointed, and it sparked off a tremendous period of pressure by the east Cork divisional side, which yielded a goal by Brendan O’Callaghan after six minutes.
Paul Moylan placed a quick free into the onrushing O’Callaghan and the Glanmire player billowed the Carbery net from close range. Inexplicably Imokilly completely faded from the scene after that, and Carbery, inspired by Alan O’Connor and Daniel O’Donovan at midfield and Cathrach Keane on the 40, took complete control, and the scores began to flow.
Frank Arundel began the rush when he pointed a close-in free before a marvellous passing movement from their own half put Vincent O’Brien in for a goal in the 12th minute. It was a great recovery by the west Cork divisional side and playing some great free flowing football, they kicked six points without reply, all from play, to lead 1-8 to 1-1 after 25 minutes.
Imokilly were hardly out of their own half in that period as O’Connor and lively forwards, Cathrach Keane, Tadhg Twomey and Arundel kept the pressure on. On the odd occasion they did manage to attack but Eoin Sexton and Ciaran O’Leary were unbeatable in Carbery’s defence and Imokilly went 26 minutes scoreless before Noel O’Riordan managed a point which left the west Cork side comfortably in front at the break, 1-8 to 1-2.
Any notions Carbery may have had that they were going to have matters all their own way were dispelled two minutes into the second half when Noel Furlong was on the end of a great Imokilly move to rattle the net, and that goal lifted the game considerably.
Carbery were back in the grove when John O’Connell finished another great passing movement to the Imokilly net to lead 2-11 to 2-3 at the end of the third quarter.
Imokilly refused to cave in and three points in a row, two by the impressive Paudie Cahill, had the deficit reduced but they needed a goal if they were to pull the game out of the fire. That never looked likely as Sexton, Stephen Keohane and Cian O’Leary defended stoutly.
In the end it was the west Cork side which came closest to a third goal, Cathrach Keane running on the Daniel O’Donovan’s pass but Keane’s momentum took over the end line and wide.
Scorers for Carbery: F. Arundel 0-5 (0-4 frees); J. O’Connell 1-1; V. O’Brien 1-0; D. O’Donovan, A. O’Connor 0-2 each; C. O’Leary, C. Keane 0-1 each.
Imokilly scorers: B. O’Callaghan, N. Furlong 1-0 each; P. Cahill (0-1 free) 0-2; P. Moylan, P. Fitzgerald, K. Coakley, N. O’Riordan 0-1 each.
P. Prendergast (Bandon); B. O’Brien (Barryroe), E. Sexton (Kilbrittain), G. O’Sullivan (St. Colms); M. Fehily (O’Mathunas), S. Keohane (St. Marys), C. O’Leary (Kilbrittain); A. O’Connor (St. Colms), D. O’Donovan (Kilmacabea); C. O’Driscoll (Tadgh MacCarthaighs), C. Keane (Newcestown), F. Arundel (Muintir Bhaire); T. Twomey (Newcestown), V. O’Brien (Kilbrittain), J. O’Connell (Bandon).
D. O’Shea (Fr. O’Neills); J. Lyons (Erins Own), K. Coleman (Youghal), D. O’Connell (Glanmire); P. Fitzgerald (Erins Own), N. Furlong (Carrigtwohill), R. Ryan (Glanmire); D. Ryan (Glenville), B. O’Callaghan (Glanmire); D. Kelleher (Glenbower Rovers), N. O’Riordan (Glenville), M. O’Riordan (Carrigtwohill); P. Moylan (Youghal), R. Hennessy (Castlemartyr), P. Cahill (Glenville).
Subs. K. Coakley (Glenville) for M. O’Riordan; D. Dennehy (Erins Own) for R. Ryan; D. Molden (Glanmire) for Hennessy; A. Bowes (Castlemartyr) for Fitzgerald.
J. Dorgan (Nemo Rangers).