Daniel Goulding contributed 0-4 including three scores in open play as Harry O’Reilly’s men moved one step closer to attaining PIFC status.
Fermoy managed just 1-1 from play and had two scorers, midfielder Kieran Dorgan who raised a green flag on three minutes and Ruairí O’Hagan, scorer of 0-3, 0-2 from frees.
However, it was Goulding and corner-forward John Dineen, who notched 0-3, that made the telling differences.
Afterwards, O’Neill highlighted the impact of Fionn O’Rourke and Liam Murphy.
“Semi-finals are all about winning. It was all about getting over the line for us. And now we are into a final and that is all we wanted.
“This is a final now that we will have to win though. I want to give a particular mention to our midfielders, who I thought were brilliant, Fionn [O’Rourke] and Liam [Murphy], both outstanding.
“The whole team is better balanced now overall, even though we were missing the likes of Kevin Hallissey [broken bone in his wrist], among others, who we hope to have back for the final.”
Goulding pointed Éire Óg in front on two minutes, however, Dorgan rocked Chris Kelly’s net seconds later to give Fermoy a 1-0 to 0-1 lead.
Ivan O’Callaghan subsequently saved from Goulding before O’Hagan fired over for Fermoy. Goulding (free) and Dineen cut the deficit and after 19 minutes, Fermoy were 1-1 to 0-3 to the good.
Fermoy were denied a second goal as Gary O’Callaghan’s effort was cancelled a hand deemed to have touched the ball on the ground on 26 minutes.
Dineen and Goulding, with late scores, ensured Éire Óg were 0-5 to 1-1 ahead at the interval. Fermoy, playing against 14 men from the 46th minute onwards, following Daniel O’Connor’s dismissal for a second bookable offence, failed to score in open play in the second half.
O’Hagan’s two pointed frees on 33 and 56 minutes respectively was their second half lot. However, Goulding, Ronan O’Toole, Dineen and Liam Sheehan, secured Éire Óg’s victory in between.
Scorers for Éire Óg: D Goulding (0-4, 0-1f), J Dineen (0-3), R O’Toole, L Sheehan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Fermoy: K Dorgan (1-0), R O’Hagan (0-3, 2fs).
ÉIRE ÓG: C Kelly; R Dennehy, J Mullins, C O’Mahony; D Herlihy (capt), A O’Mahony, M O’Shea; F O’Rourke, L Murphy; R O’Toole, L Sheehan, D O’Connor; A O’Connor, D Goulding, J Dineen.
FERMOY: I O’Callaghan; P Clancy, J Daly, A Baragry; P Murphy, D O’Carroll, S Shanahan; K Dorgan, B O’Sullivan; T Clancy (capt), G O’Callaghan, P de Roisté; M Brennan, R O’Hagan, K Morrison.
Subs: R O’Callaghan for Dorgan (35), A O’Connor for Brennan (50), E Clancy for P Clancy (53).
Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).