Imokilly serve notice with easy win over Sarsfields

IMOKILLY became one of the favourites to win the Evening Echo Cork Co SHC title following a superb six-point victory over Sarsfields in the third round at Fermoy on Saturday.

After a subdued first-half performance, the east Cork divisional side exploded into action on the changeover and left Sars reeling in disbelief as they grabbed complete control with a superb exhibition of point scoring.

Trailing by three points at the interval, Imokilly hit top gear immediately after the re-start and with Niall McCarthy, team captain Jason Barrett, Robert White, Paudie Cahill, Sean O’Callaghan and Sean O’Farrell finding the target with pinpoint accuracy, they coasted to the quarter-final stage.

Imokilly scored 15 points from play in a devastating second half display and although Sarsfields hung on doggedly thanks to an opportunist goal from Tadgh Óg Murphy, there was no doubting Imokilly’s right of progression.

Scorers: Imokilly: R. White 1-3; N. McCarthy 0-8 (0-5 from frees; 0-1 from 65); J. Barrett 0-5; P. Cahill 0-3; S. O’Callaghan 0-2; S. O’Farrell 0-2; S. O’Leary 0-1. Sarsfields: T. Óg Murphy 1-1; P. Barry 1-1; P. Ryan 0-6 (0-5 from frees); K. Murphy 0-2; D. Kearney, M. Cussen, R. Murphy, J. Murphy and G. O’Loughlin 0-1 each.

SARSFIELDS: A. Kennedy; J. Barry, P. Roche, K. Goggin; C. Kennedy, D. Kenneally, R. Ryan; P. Ryan, K. Murphy; J. Murphy, R. Murphy, P. Barry; T. Óg Murphy, M. Cussen, D. Kearney.

Subs: G. O’Loughlin for Kearney.

Referee: D. O’Leary (Cloughduv).

IMOKILLY: M. Fitzgerald (Carrigtwohill); S. Flannery (do), M. Galvin (Aghada), B. O’Driscoll (Fr. O’Neill’s); J. P. O’Connor (Aghada), B. Coleman (Youghal), S. O’Leary (Watergrasshill); P. O’Regan (do), J. Barrett (Carrigtwohill); S. O’Callaghan (Watergrasshill), N. McCarthy (Carrigtwohill), R. White (do); P. Cahill (Watergrasshill), S. O’Farrell (Carrigtwohill), T. O’Keeffe (Aghada).

Subs: B. Murphy (Fr. O’Neill’s) for Galvin; S. O’Farrell (Carrigtwohill) for O’Connor.

* BALLYHEA, after this 1-13 to 0-13 win over Ballincollig, will be hoping to put two winning performances back to back as they are due into action again in five days time against Watergrasshill in the Evening Echo Cork Co Premier IHC quarter-final.

It’s a gap of 16 weeks since their first round match, but coach Jack Russell isn’t complaining: “Not having hurled for four months, we are delighted to get over tonight,” he revealed. “It was hard on the two teams not playing any championship games for such a long time, and it showed in the first-half. We weren’t happy at half time with our display, but there was a marked improvement in the second-half.”

It was a disappointing 0-6 to 0-3 at the break, but, thankfully, the pace picked up greatly for the second half. Overall, Ballyhea played well enough, despite accumulating 11 wides, and they had to work hard when Ballincollig came at them in the closing stages. And they were able to go from being two points down to three points up.

* In the Mid Cork JHC final, Dripsey looked to have victory wrapped up, but Grenagh struck with two late points to leave the score Grenagh 2-12 Dripsey 1-15.

* Rathluirc are North Cork JAHC kingpins. After losing last year’s final they came back well to take the Hibernian Hotel title at Churchtown yesterday with a 1-19 to 0-12 win over Castletownroche.

* In a dramatic finish to this Shreelawn Oil JAHC final at Churchtown yesterday, Mallow came from four points down with six minutes remaining to beat Ballyclough 2-11 to 0-13

Scorers: Ballyhea: N Ronan 0-8 (0-5 frees, 0-1 65m), T Shanahan 1-0, A O’Connor, G Morrissey, E Morrissey, M O’Sullivan and D Ronan 0-1 each. Ballincollig: J Dwyer 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65m), R O’Doherty and R O’Driscoll 0-2 each, D Bowen, D Murphy (free) and J Miskella 0-1 each.

BALLYHEA: O Morrissey; L O’Connor, S Dennehy, O O’Sullivan; H O’Leary, B Coleman, M Morrissey; A O’Connor, A Crowley; G Morrissey, E Morrissey, I Ronan; M O’Sullivan, N Ronan, D Ronan.

Subs: I Curtin for E Morrissey (38 mins), T Shanahan for G Morrissey (44).

BALLINCOLLIG: T Galvin; D Twomey, M O’Brien, E O’Sullivan; B Moylan, D Murphy, C O’Sullivan; J Miskella, J O’Brien; D Bowen, J O’Driscoll, R O’Driscoll; D Beale, R O’Doherty, J Dwyer.

Subs: E Hegarty for J O’Driscoll (h/t), S O’Donoghue for D Murphy, C Cronin for D Beale (both 53).

Referee: G O’Connell (Lisgoold).

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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