Cool hand Luke strikes and Midleton deliver

Midleton 1-11 Killeagh 0-12

Killeagh now face a backdoor game with Castlelyons to stay alive, but they can have few complaints about this result. Midleton, despite some poor shooting, were just that little tastier and but for Joe Deane, might well have been further behind at the finish.

Midleton manager Terence McCarthy was relieved afterwards: “Look, we knew this game was going to be tough, facing Deano alone a handful, especially in a derby. We had a few very young lads playing tonight and we were pleased with them. Sure, they were raw and some of our finishing was disappointing, but it’s all about getting the job done. I’m pleased.”

In a very uninspiring opening half Midleton made most of the running, highlighted by all their forwards finding the target from play. Indeed, had the Magpies taken their chances they would have been well ahead, the ever-reliable Deane keeping Killeagh in business from placed balls.

Despite Midleton opening the scoring with an Aenghus Cotter point, Mark Landers soon equalised and, with Deane adding two frees, it was Killeagh who led after the opening quarter 0-3 to 0-1, though Luke O’Farrell, Hurley and Mickey O’Connell know they should have done better for Midleton.

But with O’Connell beginning to exert more control around midfield, the Magpies clicked into gear as points from Aidan Ryan, O’Connell and Luke O’Farrell put them clear. However, mainly through the accuracy of Deane and late, late point from Michael Byrne, Killeagh were level at the break at 0-6 apiece and this derby was still up for grabs.

A bit more passion in the second-half and far more bite to the game as the classy Deane, showed what a big game player he is. The Cork sharpshooter fired some exquisite points to put his side 0-10 to 0-8 clear entering the final quarter, with O’Connell and Sean Hennessey keeping Midleton in touch. Killeagh, with Andy Walsh doing fine work on the left flank, then missed a golden chance to put the Magpies away — Brendan Barry putting Padraig McGrath clear but he shot weakly and the chance was lost.

Barry did stretch Killeagh’s lead to two, but that’s as good as it got with Midleton, who amassed 13 wides overall, finally delivering. First Hennessey got his second point, after O’Connell again futilely elected to go for goal from a 21. Then, five minutes from time, the killer blow, O’Connell setting up Luke O’Farrell for the only goal. And it was a lethal one.

Scorers for Midleton: L. O’Farrell 1-1, M. O’Connell 0-4 (0-2 frees), S. Hennessey 0-2 (0-1 free), A. Cotter, A. Ryan, C. Hurley, W. O’Brien 0-1 each.

Killeagh: J. Deane 0-8 (0-4 frees, 0-2 65s), M. Byrne 0-2, M. Landers, B. Barry 0-1 each.

MIDLETON: B. Behan; P. Cahill, A. Kearney, A. Cahill; P. Smith, O. Cotter, D. Ryan; M. O’Connell, S. Hennessey; A. Cotter, A. Ryan, S. O’Farrell; L. O’Farrell, C. Hurley, W. O’Brien.

Sub: K. Ryan for O. Cotter (45 mins).

KILLEAGH: B. Rochford; C. Fogarty, K. Scully P. McCarthy; K. Lane, J. Fitzgerald, B. Collins; D. Kelleher, M. Landers; M. Byrne, P. McGrath, L. Collins; B. Barry, J. Deane, A. Walsh.

Sub: J. Budds for McGrath (50 mins).

Referee: J. Sexton (Ballyhea).

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