But it did little to distract two combative teams from making it a West Cork derby to savour. In truth though, had O’Donovan Rossa taken even half their chances, this opening round contest would never have seen extra-time.
Indeed Martin O’Brien’s last-gasp equaliser must have been a real kick in the teeth to Donal McCarthy and his selectors.
O’Donovan Rossa kicked 16 wides to Clon’s four over the 60 minutes, their frustration palpable at the end of normal time. But they did finish the job in those extra 20 minutes, two terrific points from Donal Óg Hodnett and one from the hard-working Tom Hegarty in the second working the oracle.
The game finished in a melee, resulting in referee Conor Lane showing Clon’s Nigel Hayes a straight red and Skibb’s Kevin Cotter a second yellow.
Clon flew out of the traps. Down seven key players from their 2009 Andy Scannell winning side, Barry O’Mahony gave them a quick lead and when Tony Anglin took full advantage of sloppy defensive play by Kevin Cotter and Eddie Nealon, the full-forward burst through for a fifth minute goal.
But Skibb were always lively and menacing. Corner-back Donal Hazel was solid, Gee Minihane was raiding down the flanks and with Conor McCarthy now buzzing around midfield, they were always on the go.
McCarthy fired home a 13th minute penalty following a foot block on Colin Crowley, to push them 1-3 to 1-2 ahead after the opening quarter.
Donal Lyons restored parity in the 17th minute but some poor shooting spoiled Skibb’s swashbuckling support play and Clon punished them as late points from Howard Kenny and Colin O’Donovan earned a flattering 1-4 to 1-3 interval lead.
Some inspired shooting by Eoin Hodnett made sure Skibb were kingpins in the third quarter. Colin Crowley had a shot taken off the line for a 45’ which goalkeeper Ryan Price converted. And, leading 1-10 to 1-5 entering the final quarter, it looked game over.
But Clon’s battled back Colin O’Donovan converted a free and then Howard Kenny got on the end of O’Donovan’s free in the 51st minute for an opportunist goal. And they weren’t finished yet as another O’Mahony point levelled it up in the 55th minute.
Skibb threw the kitchen sink at Clon in the closing minutes and Crowley’s late point looked a winner. But Martin O’Brien had other ideas, his last-gasp effort pushing it to extra-time.
But Skibb’s overall exuberance came out on top in extra-time.
Scorers for O’Donovan Rossa: C McCarthy 1-1 (1-0p, 1f), E Hodnett 0-4, D Óg Hodnett 0-3, C Crowley 0-2, R Long, R Price (45), G Minihane, T Hegarty 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clonakilty: H Kenny 1-1, T Anglin 1-0, B O’Mahony and C O’Donovan (2f) 0-3 each, D Lyons, M O’Brien 0-1 each.
O’DONOVAN ROSSA: R Price; D Hazel, K Cotter, E Nealon; P Nealon, J O’Sullivan, G Minihane; P Gilmore, R Long; E Hodnett, C McCarthy, C Crowley; T Hegarty, D Óg Hodnett, R McCarthy.
Subs: A Tanner for E Nealon (ht), P Crowley for Gilmore (58), S O’Brien for P Nealon (75).
CLONAKILTY: J O’Brien; M Sheehy, D O’Brien, T O’Sullivan; D O’Regan, T Clancy, N Hayes; S Nagle, H Kenny; D Lyons, M O’Brien, C Murphy; B O’Mahony, T Anglin, C O’Donovan.
Subs: D Murphy for O’Regan (ht), D Horan for Hayes (39), L Cahill for Clancy (47), A Murphy for C Murphy (49), G Barry for Kenny (65), N Hayes for S Nagle (68).
Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer).