The final whistle sparked wild celebrations and while the all-important goals were the clinching scores, there was never any doubt Sam Maguires were the better side.
They opened with intent, points from Brendan McCarthy and Declan Coughlan setting them on their way. However, Clonakilty captain Barry O’Mahony registered his side’s first score on 15 minutes with a magnificent effort. Scott Sheehan levelled matters but then Sam Maguires broke through for a goal one minute into injury time from Jack O’Connell.
O’Mahony notched a vital point for Clonakilty to narrow the gap to a goal after the break but Sam Maguires kept the pressure on. Clon’s Gearoid Barry did well to take the ball off the line and shortly afterwards they were thrown a lifeline when John Leahy was taken down in the square in the 40th minute. Leahy stepped up to the penalty but his effort was brilliantly saved by keeper Aidan O’Sullivan. With that, went Clonakilty’s best chance of a goal. Thomas Clancy did manage a point but further scores were short on supply.
Kevin O’Connell put the game beyond Clonakilty’s reach linking up with his brother at full forward before blasting to the net. Sam Maguires could have bagged a couple of more goals but for the bravery of the Clonakilty defence. Jack O’Connell signed off with the final point of the game to mark a significant victory for the south west side.
Scorers for Sam Maguires: J O’Connell 1-1, K O’Connell 1-0, B McCarthy 0-2, D Coughlan, D McSweeney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clonakilty: B O’Mahony 0-2, S Sheehan, T Clancy and J Leahy (free) 0-1 each.
SAM MAGUIRES: A O’Sullivan; D O’Brien, K Cotter (Capt), D Rice; R Crowley, D Sweetman, M Murphy; B Dullea, M Sanderson; B McCarthy, K O’Connell, D Coughlan; D McSweeney, J O’Connell, M Quinn.
Subs: R Doyle for D Coughlan (58 mins).
CLONAKILTY: A Collins; A O’Sullivan, K Cormican, J Barrett; E Jennings, G Barry, E Hartnett; T Clancy, S Sheehy; F O’Connell, B O’Mahony (Capt), S Sheehan; S White, J Leahy, J O’Mahony.
Subs: I Falvey for E Jennings (ht), G Murray for F O’Connell (50), E Downey for B O’Mahony (57 inj).
Referee: O Webb (Tracton).