Trailing by five points at half-time, the city side fell further behind as Kevin Davis and Rob Long got frees for O’Donovan Rossa early in the second half. However, deprived of the injured Donal Óg Hodnett at half-time, the men from Skibbereen would only manage 1-1 for the remainder.
In contrast, Bishopstown finally got going, Fiachra Ó Deasúnaigh finishing with 1-6 and Sam Oakes getting five points. Their first-half tally of six points was probably an unfair reflection as Skibb goalkeeper Ryan Price made a number of fine saves, but there was never any panic.
“We should have had four goals in the first half,” said ‘Town manager Leo Jones, “and I just felt that if we kept to our pattern we’d be okay. We’re very happy with the outcome.
“There were scores in the full-forward line, you could see that in the first half.
“Being in the fourth round gives the hurlers a chance to prepare for Bride Rovers. It’s a challenge for a dual senior club, so winning the first round and maintaining the senior status is vital.”
Skibb will be left to wonder how they might have done had they not lost Hodnett, as they gave an excellent account of themselves in the first half. The Cork panellist got their first goal in the fifth minute, dribbling a loose ball soccer-style past two men and finishing well past Ken O’Halloran.
That made it 1-1 to 0-1 and soon after that midfielder Shane Crowley was unlucky to see O’Halloran palm his shot over the bar. With Kevin Davis adding frees, they were 1-6 to 0-3 in front after the first quarter and then Hodnett was on the end of a flowing move involving Daniel Hazel, Davis and John O’Sullivan to put seven in it.
Bishopstown weren’t being totally over-run, it must be said. Oakes had only been denied an early goal by Alan Tanner’s goal-line clearance early on and the corner-forward scored twice in quick succession to leave it 1-7 to 0-5 on 20 minutes.
While a long-range Davis free pushed Skibb further ahead again, Bishopstown had a great chance to level when Ó Deasúnaigh was fouled for a penalty. Price guessed the right way to keep out Dorman’s effort.
Ó Deasúnaigh put a free over immediately after that but before the half was out Price would be called on again, denying Jack O’Shea and then Oakes to ensure that the five-point cushion remained intact.
Davis and Long extended it – with Price making another save, from Daniel O’Donovan, in between – but that was as good as it got for them.
Ó Deasúnaigh got two points, and tested Price further, with O’Shea pointing before Dorman netted. Wearing 7 but starting at corner-forward, the Cork star had been given a roving brief and he was perfectly placed to take Ó Deasúnaigh’s pass and slot home to finally break Price’s resistance.
Incredibly, another goal followed immediately afterwards. This time it was Dorman’s intercounty colleague Jamie O’Sullivan who was at its genesis as he surged forward and used the ball intelligently, his handpass giving Ó Deasúnaigh an easy task.
When Ó Deasúnaigh followed that with another point, it was the culmination of a 10-point swing, 2-10 to 1-10, but there was time for more drama as Skibb managed to get an equalising goal with their next attack.
Subs Richie Hodnett and Davis linked well on the left to find Tanner, whose pass allowed David Shannon space to drill a low shot to the corner and tie matters. Instead of that creating a grandstand final 10 minutes, though, Bishopstown regrouped and settled.
Ó Deasúnaigh, Oakes, Diarmuid Lester and Oakes again all pointed. Davis’s seventh point, from a free, left a goal in it, but they couldn’t create a chance, O’Halloran doing well to win the final high ball in. A west Cork derby with Clonakilty awaits Skibb in the second round.
F Ó Deasúnaigh 1-6 (three frees), S Oakes 0-5, C Dorman 1-0, D O’Donovan, D Lester, J O’Shea 0-1 each.
K Davis 0-7 (six frees), D Óg Hodnett 1-1, D Shannon 1-0, R Long 0-2 (one free), S Crowley 0-1.
K O’Halloran; E Byrne, R Ryan, J O’Sullivan; K Davin, M Power, D Lester; D O’Donovan, M Driscoll; D O’Connor, J O’Shea, J McLoughlin; S Oakes, F Ó Deasúnaigh, C Dorman.
B Coffey for O’Connor (12), E Costelloe for Driscoll (57), N O’Donovan for D O’Donovan (59).
R Price; E Nealon, P Nealon, A Tanner; M Collins, P Crowley, D Hazel; J O’Sullivan, S Carmody; R Long, S Crowley, T Hegarty; D Óg Hodnett, D Shannon, K Davis.
S O’Brien for E Nealon (27), C Crowley for D Óg Hodnett (half-time, injured), R Hodnett for Tanner (47), S Fitzgeralf for S Crowley (55).
D Murnane (Macroom).