Having won their own county title on Friday night, defeating Dunhill, Lismore might have feared they wouldn’t be ready for the Cork champions. But goals in the eighth and 11th minutes from Shanahan – he finished with 2-10 – put them into a commanding lead which they didn’t relinquish. Manager Dave Barry was delighted with the focus shown.
“The county final win in Waterford was the most important thing at the start of the year because we wanted to go back up senior,” he said, “but the lads decided on Friday night that they were going to give this everything that was in them.”
Bandon, winners of the Premier IHC and IFC in Cork, suffered due to the absence of key defenders James O’Donovan, on honeymoon, and the injured Eoghan Ryan, while Donough Lucey, who had been a doubt, started but only lasted 10 minutes.
From the off, it was clear Maurice Shanahan and his older brother Dan would be difficult to contain. After the younger sibling had put Lismore 0-3 to 0-2 ahead, he then did well to win Eoin Bennett’s sideline before cutting through the cover and firing to the net.
Soon after, sub Brian Bennett’s first involvement played in Maurice again, same result. Bandon responded as Ronan Crowley slung over a long-range free from the left sideline and they were right back in it as Joe Harrington’s nice delivery was won by Michael Cahalane, who showed good awareness to offload to Mattie McNamara allowing him to finish smartly. They couldn’t get within that four-point margin, however, as any scores by the Lilywhites were responded to by Maurice Shanahan. When Cahalane did get a half sight of goal, Lismore full-back David Prendergast did well to block him, and a 2-10 to 1-6 half-time lead was commanding for Lismore.
Lismore had four of the first five points of the second-half, with midfielders Stevie Barry and John Prendergast getting on the scoresheet, to ease further clear and though Bandon captain Darren Crowley and his brother Ronan did get fine points, a goal was needed. They might have had it on 45 when Ronan Crowley centred for Mark Sugrue but Seánie Barry saved well. From there, Lismore pushed on to see out the game, centre-back Ray Barry adding three frees after Maurice Shanahan’s departure. Newport of Tipperary are next up and manager Barry hopes the wealth of options in attack continues to be an asset.
“Maurice stepped up today. A key thing in hurling is having forwards that the other team have to worry about. We have more than one so that gives us options.”
While Bandon’s year is over, one loss wasn’t going to overshadow things, according to selector Don McCarthy.
“We’re so proud of those lads, you couldn’t spoil it today,” he said. “They gave us phenomenal commitment all year.
M Shanahan (2-10, 3 frees, 1 65); R Barry (0-3, frees); D Shanahan (0-2); S Barry, J Prendergast, B Landers, J Prendergast, P O’Keeffe (0-1 each).
R Crowley (0-8, 6 frees, 2 65); M McNamara 1-0, J Harrington, E O’Donovan, D Crowley, A Murphy 0-1 each.
S Barry; P Hennessy, D Prendergast, M Fitzgerald; E Bennett, R Barry, P Prendergast; S Barry, J Prendergast; B Landers, J Prendergast, J Shanahan; M Shanahan, D Shanahan, P O’Keeffe.
B Bennett for J Shanahan (10, injured), S Reaney for R Barry (35, injured), R Landers for M Shanahan (51), O Lineen for O’Keeffe (57).
P Prendergast; J Harrington, J Walsh, C Dullea; P Murphy, P Crowley, D Lucey; M McNamara, E O’Donovan; D Crowley, J Hickey, R Crowley; A Murphy, M Sugrue, M Cahalane.
C O’Mahony for Lucey (10, injured), R Fogarty for Hickey (39), R Long for O’Mahony (60).
F Horgan (Tipperary).