But they had to withstand an anxious few moments at the end as Kiskeam went in search of the equalising score. It wasn’t to be for the Duhallow side and they will now have to contend with Kinsale in the back door.
Duhallow started brighter with Niall Cronin and Micky Herlihy helping them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead. And as St Michael’s were dealing with losing midfielder Shane O’Sullivan to injury, Robert Carroll hit the net for Kiskeam. The scoreboard was not good reading for the Blackrock men. However, they soon gained a foothold around the middle especially through the high fielding of William Kennedy and began to run at Kiskeam forcing them to foul. And with free-takers Eric Hegarty and Paul Cronin landing a couple of points each they were soon only one behind. Credit too custodian Brian Kavanagh who made a point-blank save from Billy Dennehy to ensure the margin remained at the minimum on the short whistle, 1-3 to 0-5 in Kiskeam’s favour.
Worrying for Kiskeam was the fact they hadn’t scored since the 17th minute and this continued to be a concern as St Michael’s piled on the pressure. Eoghan Buckley was causing problems and they nearly raised a green flag only for the awareness of Daniel Cronin. They took the lead on 40 minutes and despite stalemate on two occasions St Michael’s held a slight advantage in general play.
At the three-quarter mark wingback Conor Kilcoyne and Mark Ryan pushed St Michael’s into a 0-10 to 1-5 lead but Kiskeam were never too far away and once more closed the arrears with a Micky Herlihy point. Mark Drummond’s effort had goal written all over it but it flew over the bar and a classy Kennedy point put St Michael’s in the ascendancy again, 0-12 to 1-6. Kiskeam were trying hard at this late stage and made St Michael’s sweat to the end as Seanie Lenihan sailed over a point and a minute into injury time Cronin kicked a free. However, and much to the relief of St Michael’s, as Kiskeam pressed forward time ran out.
Scorers for St Michael’s: P Cronin 0-3fs, E Hegarty (2fs), E Buckley 0-2 each, C Kilcoyne, M Ryan, W Kennedy, S McCarthy, M Drummond 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kiskeam: N Cronin 0-4fs, R Carroll 1-0, M Herlihy 0-2, D Fitzgerald, S Lenihan 0-1 each.
ST MICHAEL’S: B Kavanagh; C O’Shaughnessy, R Dineen (capt), D Crowley; L Conway, A O’Driscoll, C Kilcoyne; S O’Sullivan, W Kennedy; P Cronin, E Hegarty, D Cremin; E Buckley, M Ryan, S McCarthy.
Subs: A Murphy for O’Sullivan (inj. 12), M Drummond for McCarthy (45), M Mulconry for Cremin (53), A Nolan for Cronin (56).
KISKEAM: D Cronin; P Cronin, J Dennehy (capt), D J Casey; M Casey, D Lenihan, S Lenihan; E O’Mahony, P O’Leary; A J O’Connor, B Dennehy, D Fitzgerald; R Carroll, N Cronin, M Herlihy.
Subs: S O’Leary for Carroll (56).
Referee: J Ryan (Macroom).