A perilous third round awaits Kilworth (the draws are made tomorrow night) but, like their opponents, they survived this route 12 months ago to progress in the championship.
Trailing at the interval by three points, Tracton went on to boss proceedings after that, guaranteeing their place in the knockout stage. There is plenty of experience in this team that pulled them, but on their introduction a couple of younger names also stood out. County minor from 2014 John Good and Adam Gleasure deserve to be name-checked.
“In some respects you could argue we are punching above our weight,” said selector Tim Lombard. “We have a very small pick. Literally it is down to 15 or 16 players. Today we had the opportunity to use 18 players which is unique for us as a club. The few changes made a fierce difference. It is a great occasion for the young fellas. I’d have to mention John Good and Adam Gleasure who is only 18.”
The second half makes for grim reading for the north Cork men as they failed to score from play. Overall they had only two contributors - a hefty 1-7 from sharpshooter Noel McNamara and three points from Paudie Lynch. Yet, they led from the off with McNamara rattling the net on 17 minutes and with the influential Will Condon hugely involved they moved 1-5 to 0-3 ahead.
Losing prominent wing-back Mark O’Connor to injury had an unsettling effect on Kilworth and although Tracton didn’t get off the mark until the sixth minute, they worked their way back into contention through the accuracy of Ronan Walsh and Joe Kingston. By half-time they were 1-8 to 0-8 in arrears but significantly they also had averted a couple of Kilworth goal opportunities.
While patrons were treated to quality free-taking from both Walsh and Noel McNamara, the Tracton defence gradually got on top. Marshalled by Seán O’Sullivan – back from suspension – they managed to close down the Kilworth attack. Good and Kieran Lynch worked tirelessly around the midfield area while Shane Brick, who lined out following his recovery from a groin injury, rifled over four great points.
Between the 34th and the 47th minute Tracton notched seven points on the bounce while at the other end George Jagoe made an important interception on a goal bound shot and then Kieran Lyons saved from Paudie Lynch. Tracton raised their game to another level and were playing with much more freedom.
A prime example was Brick’s first white flag which came as a result of a flowing move involving Frank Lynch, Michael O’Sullivan and David O’Callaghan. The Minane Bridge side edged 0-15 to 1-9 to the good entering the final 10 minutes as McNamara put over another free but that was to be Kilworth’s final flag. Brick and Walsh stretched the lead to five.
R Walsh (0-9, 8 frees), S Brick (0-4), J Kingston (0-3), M O’Sullivan and J Good (0-1 each).
N McNamara (1-7, 5 frees, 2 65s), P Lynch (0-3).
K Lyons; G Jagoe, M Barry, C McGuinness; B Lynch, S O’Sullivan, K Healy; T McGuinness, M O’Sullivan; J Kingston, K Lynch, D O’Callaghan; S Brick, F Lynch, R Walsh.
J Good for B Lynch (34), A Gleasure for C McGuinness (39), G Kingston for F Lynch (50), B Lynch for K Lynch (bs 52-55).
K Walsh; M McNamara, A O’Hara, S Keane; J McCarthy, K Lane, M O’Connor; J Saich, B Tobin; J Cahill, W Condon, N O’Brien; B Sheehan, P Lynch, N McNamara.
D McNamara for M O’Connor (15 inj), P Moakley for N O’Brien (38), T Twomey for J Saich (42), L Whelan for W Condon (57 inj).
Joe Larkin (Douglas).