Vaughan rowed in with eight points while Sheehan registered five, as they secured a hard-fought win over Carrigdhoun in Coachford yesterday.
This was a ding-dong battle from the start. Duhallow edged it in the opening 30 minutes, but Carrigdhoun fought back. The sides were level for the fifth time with four minutes remaining. Duhallow, however, saw out the action courtesy of a brace of white flags from Vaughan and an injury time goal from Gareth Linehan.
Duhallow coach Donal Burke, while acknowledging the importance of the win, believes they have work to do if they harbour ambitions of beating Blackrock.
“We would be happy enough overall but it was not a great performance. At various stages we pulled away but we left Carrigdhoun back into it. I was disappointed with their goal. We need to improve. We really will have to up our game for Blackrock. The players are there. It is just to get them play as a unit.
“We have very little done, not near as much as last year. We only had three of four sessions. It is difficult with the inter-county guys and we have three on the U21 team as well, so it is very hard to get them together. To be honest with you, this is the first time they all played together.”
Duhallow led at the interval, 0-12 to 0-10. Millstreet’s Vaughan in fine form firing six outstanding points, all scored from distance and from different angles. They opened up a five-point lead by the 20th minute, 0-9 to 0-4. However Carrigdhoun came back strongly with a run of six scores on the approach to half-time.Four of these came from play from Ronan Walsh, Kevin Canty, Mark Kennefick and Fintan O’Leary. Tony Murphy too, at the edge of the square, when he got on the ball, was a threat. Carrigdhoun went to the dressing-room in a much healthier state two behind.
A Donal Hannon free put Duhallow three points clear at the beginning of the second-half. Carrigdhoun tied things up again on 40 minutes. Duhallow, then, had their period of dominance, reeling off the next five points. Mark Ellis twice setting up Sheehan, who demonstrated some wonderful point-taking, and with the sliotar worked confidently out from the backs, Darren Browne picked out Hannon for another.
Fifty-two minutes on the clock and Carrigdhoun hit their purple patch. A pair of points from free-taker Donncha O’Donovan and a goal from sub David O’Callaghan (fed by Murphy) had the teams deadlocked, 1-16 to 0-19. As the minutes ticked down, there was very little to suggest who might succeed.
But, it was Duhallow, boasting many experienced players on their side, that prevailed. Linehan’s major in the 62nd minute putting the game beyond the reach of Carrigdhoun - their season continuing with a round 2B clash against Newcestown.
M Vaughan (0-8), D Hannon (0-6, four frees), K Sheehan (0-5), G Linehan (1-1), A Walsh (0-1).
D Lordan (0-4, three frees), D O’Callaghan (1-0), F O’Leary (0-3), T Murphy (one free), R Walsh (one free), D O’Donovan (one 65m, one free) and K Canty (0-2 each), M Kennefick (0-1).
A Nash (Kanturk); D Browne (Kanturk), J Browne (Kanturk), L O’Neill (Kanturk); B Weathers (Banteer), W Egan (Kilbrin), L McLoughlin (Kanturk); M Ellis (Millstreet), A Walsh (Kanturk); G Linehan (Kilbrin), D Hannon Newmarket), M Vaughan (Millstreet); L O’Keeffe (Kanturk), K Sheehan (Kilbrin), DJ O’Sullivan (Meelin).
J Forrest (Meelin) for DJ O’Sulli van (38), W Murphy (Meelin) for L O’Keeffe (49).
M Coleman (Ballinhassig); N O’Donovan (Valley Rovers), E Finn (Ballinhassig), M Desmond (Ballinhassig); M Ahern (Ballinhassig), D Lynch (Valley Rovers), D O’Donovan (Ballinhassig); S McCarthy (Ballinhassig), R Walsh (Tracton); D Lordan (Courcey Rovers), T Murphy (Carrigaline), K Canty (Valley Rovers); D Drake (Carrigaline), F O’Leary (Ballinhassig), M Kennefick Ballygarvan).
J Cottrell (Valley Rovers) for D Drake (42), D Murphy (Valley Rovers) for R Walsh (45), D O’Callaghan (Tracton) for D Lordan (50).
David Copps (Ballyhea).