O’Connor pulls the strings for Ballydesmond

Ballydesmond 0-12 Kildorrery 0-10

Cork senior footballer Donncha O’Connor was the star for the victors, bagging six points (three frees) despite coming under heavy scrutiny from the opposition.

O’Connor’s influence on this game was immense. When he had the ball he was making things happen and when he didn’t have it he was creating space for his team mates.

Ballydesmond opened up much the brighter, with O’Connor showing his full array of talents right from the off – slotting over five points (two frees) during a sustained period of domination.

Ballydesmond wing-backs John O’Keeffe and Jerry Healy also impressed in the opening 30 as they continuously attacked from deep and were rewarded with a point a piece for their efforts.

Kildorrery’s James McEniry was the main threat for Kildorrery, slotting over a clever point before the interval which sent his side in just trailing by four (0-9 to 0-5).

The game went up several notches after the break as Kildorrery ratcheted up the pressure on their opponents with five of the first six points to take the lead on the three quarter mark by 0-10 — to 0-9. This turnaround was thanks in part to a higher work rate and also due to the sending off of Ballydesmond’s O’Keffee, who received a straight red for an off-the-ball incident with James O’Sullivan.

However, Ballydesmond were not to be denied and they rallied impressively, firing the next three points from Brendan Fleming, Donncha O’Connor and substitute Nicky O’Leary which were enough to deservedly see them through to face the winners of Grenagh and Fermoy in the last eight.

Scorers for Ballydesmond: Donncha O’Connor 0-6 (0-3 frees); N Fleming, J Healy, J O’Keeffe, B Fanning, Donal O’Connor, N O’Leary 0-1 each.

Kildorrery: W Fouhy, P O’Brien, A O’Brien (one free) 0-2 each, D Kelly (one free), J O’Sullivan, E O’Connor, S Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

BALLYDESMOND: F O’Sullivan; T Howard, S Murphy, D Kelly; J Healy, D Kelly, J O’Keeffe; B O’Callaghan, S Kelleher; S Kelly, D O’Connor, N Fleming; D O’Connor, P Breen, B Fleming.

Subs: J O’Leary for T Howard (inj)(10), N O’Leary for P Breen (50).

KILDORRERY: D Roche; S Kelly, F Daly, R McEniry; J McCarthy, M Walsh, E O’Connor; S Fitzgerald, A O’Brien; F Stapleton, P O’Brien, D Kelly; J O’Sullivan, D White, W Fouhy.

Subs: J McEniry for E O’Connor (half-time), TP Murphy for F Daly (inj) (35), T Monaghan for D White (47), E O’Connor for J McCarthy (57).

Referee: D O’Leary (Watergrasshill).

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