It was a fiercely determined west Cork side that came to Páirc Uí Rinn for the second semi-final on Saturday. It mattered little they were up against an in-form Youghal who had contested last season’s final. Bandon won by 13 points, restricting the sea-siders to one point from play. The fairytale continues.
Pádraig Crowley has seen it all both as a hurler and selector and said this is big achievement for the club.
“This is a big win for us. It is the first time in 38 years to be in this e final. We won it in 1974. when we beat Midleton. It is great for the town.
“I don’t think we were outstanding. We played well enough and were quietly confident. We have a good forward line, our backs played well too but I’m sure Ballinhassig will have something to say about that as well. Overall we are very pleased.
“In the end we were very comfortable winners. We have a good blend. We worked very hard for this game. We were very convincing winners against Carrigaline last week. I partly guessed coming up here tonight we were in with a big shout. The fact we had the game last week was a big help to us.”
One of the contrasting features was the free-taking. Brendan Ring had a rare off night for Youghal whereas Ronan Crowley converted with more ease.
Youghal started out with the wind, but it was Bandon’s Mark Sugrue, Ronan Crowley and Michael Cahalane who were moving better, pushing Bandon 0-5 to 0-2 to the front.
Bandon could have had two goals. The first effort skimmed over the bar from Sugrue and the second was a brilliant point blank save by Ritchie Cunningham from Ronan Crowley. Yet, Bandon finished out the half 0-9 to 0-5 ahead.
The second 30 minutes was one-way traffic as Bandon didn’t let up. All six backs and midfield brought their A game.
They hurled with incredible passion and pace and their lively forward line will take some stopping. Ronan Crowley notched five more points. Then, came the defining moment when Payne’s perseverance paid dividends.
Cahalane sent in a long delivery and Payne did well to win possession before finding the net. Game over, 1-15 to 0-6 and it was a Payne point that brought the curtain down on a memorable evening for Bandon and their coach Teddy McCarthy.
Crowley added: “We have a great manager. Teddy is after doing a mighty job. The first year he came on board  it took the lads a while to get used to Teddy’s style of coaching. We bought into him big time. He is a great motivator,” added Crowley.
Their attention will turn to local football championship next weekend. Then, it will be full steam ahead for the county hurling final.
Amazingly, the Bandon line out was not listed on the official match programme on Saturday. It was the Glen Rovers senior hurling team instead!
Scorers for Bandon: R Crowley 0-8 (6fs), R Payne 1-2, M Sugrue 0-4, M Cahalane 0-2.
Scorers for Youghal: B Ring 0-5fs, J O’Mahony 0-1.
BANDON: J McSweeney; J O’Donovan, J Burke, P Crowley; E O’Donovan, D Lucey, J Walsh; J Harrington, C Dullea; N O’Rourke, M Sugrue, D Crowley; M Cahalane, R Payne, R Crowley.
Subs: J McCarthy for N O’Rourke (42), K Hurley for J Harrington, J Hickey for R Payne (both 57), A Johnson for M Sugrue (60).
YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; Barry Ring, J Grace, S Twomey; B Goggin, C Spillane, D Ring; N Roche, J O’Mahony; A Curtin, B Coleman, B Maloney; J Ormonde, A Frahill O’Connor, Brendan Ring.
Subs: M O Croinin for J Ormonde (44).
Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).