The east Cork outfit were the better team in a poor game but their winning margin was harsh on their opponents.
Cloyne had the key performer in Paudie O’Sullivan, who had a hand in three of those goals and was the best player on view.
Cloyne defended the city end goal to start, and we soon saw proof that dropping back a sweeper is the hurling tactic of the moment, with former Cork star Diarmuid O’Sullivan moving deep into midfield and beyond from his starting berth of centre-forward. His brother Paudie roved outfield as well to good effect for the east Cork club, showing some fine touches.
Neither side looked comfortable with a tricky wind, though Diarmuid (free) and Paudie O’Sullivan got Cloyne off the mark early. Carrigaline responded with two Rob O’Shea frees, but the men in blue and gold found it hard going up front and would rely on O’Shea’s free-taking to keep them in touch.
A scrappy game didn’t fire in the first quarter and the proceedings certainly needed a goal to liven things up, and it was Cloyne who supplied it on 15 minutes. The score was three points each when Paudie O’Sullivan showed lovely control to win possession and play a good pass to Ashley Walsh on the Carrigaline 20 metre line; Walsh then found Keith Dennehy powering through the middle, and he rifled the ball to the net.
Another Diarmuid O’Sullivan free made it 1-4 to 0-3 but midfielder Wesley O’Brien began to make inroads then for Carrigaline, hitting two points in a row. Cloyne were playing a measured passing game, however, and had an Ian Cahill point before O’Shea hit a late Carrigaline point. On the stroke of half-time Diarmuid O’Sullivan pointed a free from halfway to make it 1-7 to 0-6 at the break, a lead Cloyne fully deserved.
There was more energy to the game on the resumption, with O’Shea hitting another free, but three quick Cloyne points, from Dennehy, Walsh and Paudie O’Sullivan, had them six up after 37 minutes.
Carrigaline’s task was made harder by three wides in a row before Wesley O’Brien narrowed the gap on 45 minutes. O’Shea and David Drake cut the lead to four points before Cloyne managed a second goal; Paudie O’Sullivan again made the initial incision and when the ball spilled in the square Ian Cahill was on hand to force it home: 2-11 to 0-10 with ten minutes left.
Carrigaline tried to force a goal but were hit by a sucker punch in the dying minutes when Paudie O’Sullivan soloed through for a fine individual goal. Almost from the puck-out a Maurice Lynch effort dropped back in the square and was forced home by Dennehy for his second goal of the game.
K. Dennehy 2-1; D. O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-4 fs, 0-1 65), P. O’Sullivan 1-2; I. Cahill 1-1; D. Cahill, A. Walsh 0-1 each.
R. O’Shea 0-7 (0-6 fs); W. O’Brien 0-3; K. Kavanagh, D. Drake, 0-1 each.
D. Óg Cusack, K. Cronin, S. Beausang, B. Fleming, B. Minihane, E. O’Sullivan, C. Smith, Domhnall O’Sullivan, D. Cahill, M. Lynch, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, I. Cahill, K. Dennehy, P. O’Sullivan (c), A. Walsh.
D. Ring for Dennehy (bs) 16-17; C. Mullins for P. O’Sullivan, 59.
R. Foster, C. McSweeney, P. Murphy, C. McGovern, C. Barry, K. Kavanagh, K. O’Connell, M. O’Sullivan, W. O’Brien, R. O’Shea, S. O’Brien, P. Ronayne, C. Maguire, D. Drake, T. Murphy (c) Subs: S. Williamson for Barry (bs) 24-26; B. Coakley for Ronayne, HT; P. Mullane for O’Sullivan and S. Corcoran for Maguire, 40.
Referee; M. Maher (St Finbarr’s).