An outstanding performance at centre back by Ciarán Sheehan and Daniel Goulding’s ruthless show, which saw him fire 1-5, will have encouraged on-looking Conor Counihan.
Physical dominance was clearly at the forefront of Cloyne’s game plan as Paudie and Diarmuid O’Sullivan imposed themselves. But their overzealous tackling handed Éire Óg the impetus, with Goulding and John Dineen giving an exhibition of free taking. Éire Óg’s attacking prowess was evident inside the first minute when Kevin Hallissey pointed. Conor Lomasney levelled, but Cloyne failed to register another score for 31 minutes due to wasteful shooting.
Frustratingly for Cloyne, Éire Óg pulled away without producing brilliant football through Dineen and Goulding’s frees.
A moment of class from Goulding produced the game’s first goal in first-half injury time. Excellent work from Dermot O’Herlihy presented Goulding with a chance but the full-forward faked a shot before cutting through the Cloyne defence and burying the ball past Oosthuizen.
Having taken a 1-6 to 0-1 lead into the break, Éire Óg looked to kill the game off early when Dineen and Goulding stretched the lead to 11 before James Nyhan finally registered Cloyne’s second score.
With quarter of an hour remaining Cloyne finally found their groove, hitting 1-4 in 11 minutes reducing the deficit to five points. But Éire Óg never looked like throwing this away and Sheehan swept up everything around the middle. Fittingly Goulding and Dineen registered the game’s final scores with two well-struck frees.
Scorers for Eire Óg: D Goulding 1-5 (4fs), J Dineen 0-5 (4fs), C Sheehan, K Hallissey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cloyne: P O’Sullivan 1-0, D O’Sullivan (2fs), J Nyhan (1f) 0-2 each, C Lomasney 0-1.
ÉIRE ÓG: C Hallissey; C O’Mahony; T Dineen; S McCarthy; E Lowney; C Sheehan; D O’Herlihy; A O’Mahony; L Murphy; M O’Shea; D O’Connor; P McDonagh; K Hallissey; D Goulding; J Dineen.
Subs: B Corkery for Murphy (24).
CLOYNE: M Oosthuizen; J Cotter; D O’Sullivan; G Fleming; E O’Sullivan; B McCarthy; K Dennehy; P O’Sullivan; B Fleming; D O’Sullivan; C O’Sullivan; P O’Sullivan; M Walsh; C Lomasney; J Nyhan.
Subs: R McCarthy for E O’Sullivan (29), D Jermyn for Fleming (46).
Referee: J Larkin (Douglas).