A strong Avondhu side had a big win over Kiskeam in the first round of the Cork SFC at Banteer yesterday. The divisional side, who lost to eventual winners Carbery Rangers in the 2016 semi-final, had too much firepower for the Duhallow men.
Still, it was a historic day for the Kiskeam club as last season’s Premier intermediate champions were playing their first match in senior grade. And while they shipped a heavy defeat, their tally of 2-11 will provide encouragement as they move ahead.
So, a good start for Avondhu and a routine victory in the end.
They were slow enough to emerge from the blocks, but once Cork star Colm O’Neill billowed the net on 22 minutes, the result became inevitable, and when wing-back Pádraig Clancy nailed a second goal, they were nine points clear at the break.
“We had six lads missing from last year so we introduced a number of guys who hadn’t been with Avondhu for a few years,” manager Martin Crummey said afterwards.
“It is a fantastic panel, it is definitely a stronger squad than last year. We have good momentum now.
“We are into 2A and we play UCC or Aghada which will be another big challenge for us.
“For divisions, it is a matter of getting the group together. They will be training hard with their clubs so it is about getting the balance right. It worked today but the last 10 minutes we switched off. The lads are experienced, so we will work on that.”
Avondhu led 2-7 to 0-4 at the interval. It was five points to three after quarter of an hour. But, Avondhu produced a strong finish to the half bagging 2-2 in an eighth minute spell. They could have been further ahead but timely interventions from two Kiskeam defenders denied Tomás Clancy and O’Neill further goals.
Avondhu restarted with four quickfire points from Ryan Harkin (2), Tomás Clancy and Cian O’Riordan. Three more on the spin from O’Neill, Jeffrey Daly and Shane Beston put the game well and truly beyond Kiskeam. The score read 2-18 to 0-7 entering the final 10 minutes.
However, and much to Kiskeam’s credit, their attitude was good and they kept fighting.
Backed by players like Tomás Dennehy and Michael Herlihy, they were rewarded with a late brace of goals. Herlihy netted from the penalty spot while Gene Casey’s effort was from open play.
Avondhu also closed with a major from sub Sean Walsh.
C O’Neill (1-7, 0-1 45m), S Walsh (1-1), P Clancy (1-0), M Sheehan (0-3, 0-1 free), R Harkin, C O’Riordan and K O’Connor (0-2 each), T Clancy, S Beston and J Daly (0-1 each).
G Casey (1-3, 0-2 frees), M Herlihy (1-1, 1-0 pen), S O’Sullivan (0-3, 0-1 free), B Dennehy and Daniel Fitzgerald (0-1 free) (0-2 each).
J Condon (Fermoy); J Daly (Fermoy), A Cashman (Mallow), S Shanahan (Fermoy); T Clancy (Fermoy), J Loughrey (Mallow), P Clancy (Fermoy); R Murphy (Glanworth), P De Róiste (Fermoy); M Sheehan (Glanworth), S Beston (Mitchelstown), R Harkin (Mallow); C O’Neill (Ballyclough), C O’Riordan (Mallow), C O’Connell (Killavullen).
K O’Connor (Mallow) for R Murphy (37), S Walsh (Mitchelstown) for C O’Connell (39), A Finnegan (Ballyclough) for S Shanahan (50), T McEvoy (Mallow) for C O’Riordan (50 inj), B Myers (Mallow) for J Daly (57), S O’Sullivan (Mitchelstown) for C O’Neill (62).
A Casey; Diarmuid Fitzgerald; J Dennehy, A J O’Connor; M Casey, P O’Leary, S Linehan; T Dennehy, A Carroll; R Carroll, M Herlihy, G Casey; B Dennehy, Daniel Fitzgerald, T O’Sullivan.
S Meehan for M Casey (32), D Scannell for B Dennehy (36), S O’Sullivan for R Carroll (36), K O’Connor for Diarmuid Fitzgerald (40), D O’Connor for S Linehan (49).
James Bermingham (Bride Rovers).
*A minute’s silence was observed before throw-in in remembrance of Liam Ware.