Anglin on the mark as clinical Clon cruise on

IT was a match largely devoid of quality but that won’t perturb Clonakilty as they opened the defence of their Evening Echo Cork SFC on a successful note in yesterday afternoon’s first round clash in Rossmore.

Bereft of six of the starting line-up that swept to title success in last autumn’s decider, including key figures in that drive for honours like Denis Murphy and Colm Callanan, this match looked like an awkward proposition for Clonakilty against the 2006 beaten finalists.

It was a beautiful day for football and the pitch was in pristine condition, yet this was more a war of attrition than anything resembling a flowing spectacle. But ultimately Clonakilty had the necessary grit and endeavour to trump a low-scoring affair.

They coped admirably without some of last year’s stars as the role of leadership was assumed by others. Full-back Tony Anglin dominated his sector to blot out the threat of Dohenys dangerman Gerard McCarthy, Cork minor Thomas Clancy was a model of assurance at half-back on his senior championship debut while Noel Griffin anchored their challenge at centre-back.

Between them Sean Nagle and Timmy Anglin ensured Clonakilty shaded the duel at midfield, while up front Conor McManus and Colin O’Donovan supplied the neat scoring touches when required.

All over the pitch Clonakilty’s ferocious work rate proved key in frustrating Dohenys attempts at getting their game together and when the Dunmanway team trimmed the gap to two points with five minutes remaining, Clonakilty upped the tempo again.

They were rewarded for their adventure when Howard Kenny lobbed in a cross from the right wing, Ian O’Driscoll palmed the ball down and Timmy Anglin burst through to finish emphatically to the net past the despairing dive of Darragh Farr in the Dohenys goal.

That strike sealed Clonakilty’s progress and left their new manager Sean Cowhig immensely pleased at the final whistle.

“This was always going to be a slippery one,’’ he said. “We were the ones to beat coming in here as county champions. It was always going to be a tough local derby but we said we’d match them like for like, and thankfully we came out on top. We were missing a lot and we’ve young lads after coming in here. But we’ve a chance now to blood them and hopefully we’ll strengthen the panel as the year goes on.”

Clonakilty controlled the first-half exchanges to lead 0-6 to 0-2 at the interval but the primary source of disappointment for the sizeable crowd present was the dreadful standard of football being exhibited. Both teams struggled to construct proper moves, passes were frequently wayward in all sections of the pitch and in the respective attacks, a lack of creativity proved the undoing in registering scores. By the 21st-minute Clonakilty lead 0-4 to 0-1, thanks to a brace from McManus, an accurate free by Colin O’Donovan and a booming long-range effort by Martin O’Brien.

They were full value for that lead as Dohenys relied on a solitary Ger McCarthy free to keep them in touch. Dohenys found it hard to penetrate the Clonakilty rearguard but they obstructed themselves by persisting in raining high balls forward despite the supreme aerial dominance of full-back Tony Anglin.

The first accurate low pass that McCarthy received in the 24th minute, he capitalised on by popping the ball between the posts but Clonakilty responded effectively before the break. A McManus free in the 28th minute and a tremendous placed ball from the wing by O’Donovan two minutes later, sent Clonakilty into the dressing-rooms with the cushion of a four point advantage.

The fare dipped drastically in the second-half yet that suited Clonakilty given their position of ascendancy.

Dohenys sought to redress the situation through two pointed frees by McCarthy, a neat effort by substitute Daniel O’Donovan and a beauty from distance by Michael O’Donovan. But sandwiched in between those points, Clonakilty hit back on rare sorties forward through O’Donovan and Kenny. Anglin’s 57th minute strike clinched their win and they ran down the clock until the final whistle from there.

Scorers for Clonakilty: Timmy Anglin 1-0, C McManus, C O’Donovan 0-3 (0-2f) each, M O’Brien, H Kenny 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dohenys: G McCarthy 0-4 (0-3f), M O’Donovan, D O’Donovan 0-1 each.

CLONAKILTY: J O’Brien; D O’Brien, Tony Anglin, T O’Sullivan; T Clancy, N Griffin, M Sheehy; S Nagle, Timmy Anglin; D Lyons, M O’Brien, C O’Donovan; S Quirke, C McManus, I O’Driscoll. Subs: H Kenny for Quirke (40)

DOHENYS: D Farr; K Crowley, C Collins, A Murray; N Collins, M O’Donovan, D Collins; T O’Donovan, M Milner; P Collins, P McCarthy, D O’Sullivan; D Healy, G McCarthy, A Sheehan. Subs: M Farr for Milner (45), D O’Donovan for O’Sullivan (47).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).

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