However, Éire Óg deserve great credit because on a very hot day for football they kept battling and closed out the game with 2-2 to Kildorrery’s 0-1 in the final 10 minutes.
Six times the teams were level in a pulsating encounter. But, Kildorrery’s undoing was their poor shooting. A couple of goal chances escaped them in the opening 30 minutes and, despite being on the front foot after the resumption, they just couldn’t find the target. It eventually wore them down, as two of Éire Óg’s standout performers, John Dineen and Kevin Hallissey, got through for vital goals at the other end.
The O’Brien brothers, Andrew and Peter, along with Will Fouhy, had Kildorrery points cancelled by Dermot O’Herlihy, Dineen, and Hallissey. Dave Roche too was called into action in the Kildorrery goal before Eamonn O’Connor impacted with a pair of points to give the north Cork side a slight edge.
However, soon after Éire Óg’s Joseph Kelleher saved off his own line, O’Herlihy had the ball in the net. Superb fielding by Liam Murphy initiated a move helped on by Paul McDonagh and finished confidently by O’Herlihy. Éire Óg held that goal lead at the break, 1-7 to 0-7.
Kildorrery resumed with lots of positional switches and one personnel change and the new format seemed to be working. O’Connor was much to the fore but their return was a solitary point. Meanwhile, Eire Óg centre-back Ciarán Sheehan made a run upfield, was fouled, and Goulding converted.
After an impressive move, Peter O’Brien eventually raised a green flag and the teams were tied, 1-9 apiece, with 10 minutes remaining.
Hallissey notched a fine point under pressure to put Éire Óg ahead but a minute later Dineen landed the first blow with his 50th minute goal.
As tempers frayed red cards were issued to Éire Óg sub Barry Corkery and Dave White of Kildorrery. Up front, though, Éire Óg were beginning to click. Goulding pointed and then the knockout punch was delivered when Hallissey cut through the defence for goal number three, ensuring a quarter-final place against Ballydesmond next weekend.
Scorers for Éire Óg: J Dineen 1-3 (0-1 free), D Herlihy and K Hallissey 1-2 each, D Goulding 0-3 (0-1 free), A O’Mahony 0-1.
Scorers for Kildorrery: P O’Brien 1-1, E O’Connor 0-3, T Monaghan (frees) and W Fouhy (0-1 free) 0-2 each, A O’Brien and D Kelly 0-1 each.
ÉIRE ÓG: J Kelleher; F Landers, C O’Mahony, S McCarthy; M O’Shea, C Sheehan, T O’Leary; L Murphy, A O’Mahony; A O’Connor, K Hallissey, P McDonagh; D Goulding, D O’Herlihy, J Dineen.
Subs: B Corkery for F Landers (40), B Darcy for P McDonagh (45), D O’Connor for T O’Leary (50).
KILDORRERY: D Roche; S Kelly, T P Murphy, R McEniry; C Ó Baoil, J McCarthy, S Fitzgerald; D White, E O’Connor; J O’Sullivan, P O’Brien, D Kelly; T Monaghan, A O’Brien, W Fouhy.
Subs: S Coughlan for T P Murphy (ht), F Stapleton for D Kelly (36), J McCarthy for J O’Sullivan (45), J McEniry for J McCarthy (58), J Cremin for S Kelly (60).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).