Late Cronin points earn Kiskeam a replay

THE incessant rain made for difficult playing conditions at Macroom yesterday in this Cork Premier IFC fourth round clash and, as a result, there will be no complaints that the two sides must square up again.

Having said that, Naomh Abán will be the more disappointed as they wasted far too many gilt edged opportunities, especially in the opening half. And while Kiskeam almost threw their chances away too, free taker Niall Cronin demonstrated a cool head to slot over the equaliser from distance in the third minute of injury time.

Naomh Abán lined out minus the suspended Seannachain MacCarthaigh and the injured Donnchu Ó Ceochain, nonetheless they held their own during the first quarter and then they began to assert themselves around the breaking ball. Amhlaoibh Ó Loinsigh and Michael Ó Cróinín points were dissected by two Michael Herlihy points.

But, in spite of their excellent work rate, the Ballyvourney men’s number of wides got bigger as opportunities were missed.

The hard-working Arthur Hankus’ effort went across the face of goal, and shortly afterwards Donal Linehan blocked another pile-driver from Shane MacCarthaigh to send it out for a 45m. With first half injury time approaching Naomh Abán came good and pushed ahead with three points on the trot from Dáire Ó Súilleabháin, Ó Cróinín (although he will be frustrated with some that got away) and Shane MacCarthaigh.

Crucially, Kiskeam’s Billy Dennehy landed a critical point right on the half to leave them in the hunt, 0-5 to 0-3.

A David O’Leary point settled Kiskeam a minute into the restart, but they were hauled back straight away by Shane Mac Carthaigh following a superb four man move. Midfield player Eamonn O’Mahony made sure Naomh Abán did not get too far ahead, 0-6 to 0-5. And while the Muskerry side did maintain the initiative, Billy Dennehy pointed after an excellent steal. And when Herlihy linked with Dennehy to level matters on 48 minutes, we were in for an exciting finish.

Hankus raced through the middle for the Ballyvourney lead once more and when Daire Ó Súilleabháin added another point with five minutes remaining, the day it seemed belonged to Naomh Abán. Especially, since Kiskeam had lots of the play but fruitless shots at the posts were all they had to show for their exertions. They looked set to pay the price but a Cronin free on the 60th minute made it a one point game. And with the clock in added time, Cronin kicked a huge free out of the hand from right of centre for a share of the spoils.

Scorers for Naomh Abán: Shane MacCarthaigh 0-3 (0-1 free), M Ó Croinín (0-1 free) and D Ó Suilleabháin 0-2 each, A Hankus and Amhlaoigh Ó Loinsigh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kiskeam: M Herlihy 0-3, B Dennehy and N Cronin (frees) 0-2 each, D O’Leary and E O’Mahony 0-1 each.

KISKEAM: D Cronin; P Cronin, J Dennehy, M Casey; A J O’Connor, D Linehan, S Linehan; E O’Mahony, P O’Leary; D O’Leary, B Dennehy, D Fitzgerald; D Scannell, N Cronin, M Herlihy.

Subs: D J Casey for P Cronin (36 mins), R Carroll for D Fitzgerald (42), G Casey for D O’Leary (56).

NAOMH ABÁN: S Ó hUidhir; L MacSuibhne, T Ó Scanaill, S Ó Mathuna; C de hIde, Antaine Ó Loinsigh, S Ó Riada; A Hankus, M Ó Laoghaire; Amhlaoibh Ó Loinsigh, M Ó Croinín, S Ó Laoire; D Ó Suilleabháin, E Ó Scanaill, Shane MacCarthaigh .

Subs: Sean A MacCarthaigh for L MacSuibhne (49), A Ó Croinín for E Ó Scanaill (56).

Referee: D White (St Mary’s).

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