They may have been trailing by only three points, but they were not in the game and only for some poor Macroom finishing it would have been a lot worse.
Macroom were dominating all over the pitch, their defence was on top, and with Fintan and David Goold causing problems at the other end they looked as if they were going to win with ease. But right from the restart, it was like a different Fermoy team that took to the pitch.
They were far sharper, more intense and took the game to Macroom. Selector Noel Crowley alluded to recently deceased stalwart John Fenton afterwards when he said that win was for him, that they spoke about him at half-time and how they wanted to win in his memory.
But words need to be backed up by actions and corner- forward, Ruairí O’Hagan led by example. Such was his influence he got all their second-half scores (1-5) to see them victorious by two points.
Ronan O’Callaghan did open the scoring after five minutes for Fermoy, but for the rest of the half it was all Macroom. Fintan Goold levelled it and the impressive Kieran Murphy put them in front. A defensive mistake by Fermoy let in Sean Kiely for Macroom’s third point, who were now well in control.
Fintan Goold added a fourth, with Fermoy missing an easy free to reduce the gap. Another Goold free put his side 0-5 to 0-1 up with 20 minutes gone. It took a last-ditch tackle from Jeffrey Daly to deny Macroom a goal, when he got a touch to a pass from Kiely to David Horgan, who would have had a simple task of tapping home but for his intervention.
Fermoy pulled a point back in injury-time, an O’Hagan free, to give them some hope for the second-half. They got the perfect start after the break, when Darragh O’Carroll played a long ball into O’Hagan and he found the back of the net to level it.
David Goold put Macroom back in front, with O’Hagan on target again, to make it 1-3 to 0-6 with 37 minutes played.
Fintan Goold got Macroom’s seventh point, after 42 minutes – the last time they led.
Two O’Hagan frees put Fermoy in front, with David Goold levelling it again, with 48 minutes gone.
But this proved to be their last score, with Fermoy finishing strongly to secure the win.
O’Hagan pointed in the 52nd minute and he rounded off the scoring in injury-time as they thoroughly deserved the win on their second-half showing.
It was a setback for Macroom, one of the title favourites, and they won’t have to be told their overall display was not good enough.
R O’Hagan (1-6, 4 frees), R O’Callaghan (0-1 free)
F Goold (0-4, 2 frees), D Goold (0-2 , 1 free), K Murphy, S Kiely (0-1 each)
L Coleman; J Daly, S Shanahan, A Baragry; P Clancy, B O’Sullivan, P Murphy; K Morrison, J Hutchings; M Brennan, T Clancy, D O’Carroll; R O’Hagan, R O’Callaghan, A O’Connor.
J Pyne for A Baragry, S Aherne for B O’Sullivan, K Dorgan for R O’Callaghan.
D Kiely; R Buckleym, O O’Mahony, M O’Donnell; A Quinn, M Cahill; K O’Dwyer; S Kiely, P Corrigan; M Cronin, K Murphy, T Dineen: F Goold, D Horgan, D Goold.
P Lucey for T Dineen, J Murphy for M O’Donnell, G Angland v M Cronin
Cathal O Murchu, Brian Dillons.