At the end of what was a first half that never rose above the pedestrian, Kinsale held a three-point cushion, 0-5 to 0-2, as Fermoy struggled to find any sort of fluency in attack.
When Cian Quigley then got on the end of a Conor O’Brien delivery to punch past Fermoy goalkeeper Liam Coleman four minutes into the second half, it was 1-5 to 0-3 and the north Cork side faced an uphill task.
However, they responded positively, driven on by the industry of Jack Hutchings at midfield, and three quick points, from Hutchings, Brian O’Sullivan and Alan O’Connor wiped out any advantage accruing from the goal.
Then, in the 43rd minute, a good pass from O’Connor found Ronan O’Callaghan through on goal and when his progress was halted with a foot-block, Fermoy were awarded a penalty, with which O’Sullivan gave Thomas Douglas no chance as he shot into the corner of the goal.
That made it 1-6 to 1-5 for Fermoy as they led for the first time and though Brian Coughlan levelled for Kinsale soon after, Fermoy did look the more likely to win.
Had Quigley not been denied a second goal by a fine Coleman save on 47, things might have turned out differently, but as it was, points from Ian Brennan and a Hutchings free gave them a two-point winning margin.
From the off, Kinsale had the upper hand, two to the good early on. The Carrigdhoun side were raining high balls down on the Fermoy square, and from one of these goalkeeper Coleman came off worst from a clash with David Shortall, with the result that his kicking was impeded.
Mark Flynn finally opened Fermoy’s account nine minutes before the break and a Hutchings free made it 0-4 to 0-2, but another good point from O’Brien restored the gap to three right on half-time.
Scorers for Fermoy: B O’Sullivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), J Hutchings 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 45), A O’Connor, R O’Hagen, I Brennan, M Flynn 0-1 each.
Kinsale: C O’Brien 0-3 (0-1 sideline), C Quigley 1-1, B Coughlan 0-2f.
FERMOY: L Coleman; P Pratt, B O’Callaghan, N Crowley; E Clancy, J O’Sullivan, A Baragry; J Hutchings, T Clancy; A O’Connor, M Hennessy, B O’Sullivan; R O’Callaghan, R O’Hagen, M Flynn.
Subs: T Grumbridge for Hennessy, I Brennan for Flynn (both half-time), P Shanahan for O’Hagen (53), J Campion for O’Connor (60)
KINSALE: T Douglas; G O’Callaghan, M O’Sullivan, D Ward; G O’Leary, R O’Sullivan, M Coughlan; J Keohane, D O’Callaghan; C McCarthy, B Coughlan, P Fitzgerald; C O’Brien, D Shortall, C Quigley.
Subs: A Gould for Shortall (half-time), C Stallard for O’Leary (52), P Buckley for Fitzgerald (56).
Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).