Shane O’Duinnín’s 37th-minute goal proved the decisive score in this Cork PIFC first round tie.
Today’s clash, played in damp and difficult conditions, brought together last year’s premier intermediate semi-finalists, Éire Óg, and the 2018 intermediate champions, Cill na Martra. Having been relatively close to the door of senior football in recent years, Éire Óg were fancied to take this first round fixture, but the truth of the matter is they trailed their opponents from the second minute onwards, managed only two first-half points from play, and were far too reliant on Daniel Goulding to tally the bulk of their scores.
For Cill na Martra, this four-point win stretches their unbeaten run in championship football to seven games. Playing with the wind in the opening half, they opened brightly to establish a lead of four points. That they then found themselves in front by just the minimum at the break would have been a concern for manager Caoimhín Ó Súilleabháin, but it was their endeavours in the seven minutes after the restart - during which they kicked 1-2 without reply - which ensured a most positive and promising start to life at premier intermediate level.
Ciarán Ó Duinnín and Danny Ó Conaill slotted over points inside the opening two minutes to quickly get Cill na Martra into their stride and while Eoin O’Shea subsequently put Éire Óg on the board, Cill na Martra almost nabbed a 13th-minute goal but for a fine Chris Kelly save.
Micheál Ó Deasúna threw over his first free to re-establish the premier intermediate newcomers’ two-point advantage. Down the other end, meanwhile, the pressure being applied by defenders in blue and white meant Éire Óg were finding it extremely difficult to mine score. Anthony Doherty and O’Shea registered successive wides, both men put off by the sheer number of opposition jerseys in close proximity to them as they took aim at the opposition posts.
Ó Conaill and Ó Deasúna (free) had the scoreboard reading 0-5 to 0-1 in favour of Cill na Martra after 22 minutes, but last year’s premier intermediate semi-finalists, to their credit, finished the half strongly, with two sweet placed-ball kicks by Daniel Goulding sandwiching O’Shea’s second. Tellingly, Goulding’s opening free ended a 23-minute barren spell for his side.
Éire Óg, with the elements in their favour at the change of ends, failed to drive on and restore parity, and were then unable to recover when falling six behind.
No more than the beginning of the first-half, Cill na Martra quickly raised a pair of white flags, this time through Daniel Ó Duinnín and Ó Deasúna. Moreover, on this occasion, successive points were followed by a goal, captain Shane Ó Duinnín finishing to the net a sweeping move which he began. Ó Deasúna’s long ball into the danger area was knocked away from Éire Óg ‘keeper Chris Kelly by Gearóid Ó Goillidhe, Ó Duinnín picked up the breaking ball and calmly slotted home. 1-7 to 0-4 now read the scoreboard.
Éire Óg depended on the dead-ball accuracy of Goulding to keep them in touch, but a comeback never appeared likely. Ó Deasúna landed a superb free from the sideline to keep Cill na Martra tails up. Sub Maidhicí Ó Duinnín landed the insurance score three minutes from the end.
Cork senior Ronan O’Toole finished out the game’s scoring with a fine effort from play, the midfielder becoming just the third Éire Óg player to write their name on the scoresheet. Irrespective of weather and underfoot conditions, three scorers over the hour will never get you too far. And so it proved here.
M Ó Deasúna (0-4, 0-3 frees); S Ó Duinnín (1-0); D Ó Conaill (0-2); M Ó Duinnín, C Ó Duinnín, D Ó Duinnín (0-1 each).
D Goulding (0-5, 0-4 frees); E O’Shea (0-2); R O’Toole (0-1).
A Ó Conaill; D Mac Lochlainn, G Ó Mocháin, E Ó Loingsigh; S Ó Fóirréidh, N Ó Laoire, S Ó Céilleachair; G Ó Goillidhe, F Ó hÉalaithe; S Ó Duinnín, M Ó Deasúna, D Ó hUrdail; D Ó Conaill, D Ó Duinnín, C Ó Duinnín.
S Ó Loingsigh for Mac Lochlainn (12 mins); M Ó Duinnín for Ó Céilleachair (42); G Ó Faoláin for Ó hUrdail (52); C Ó Laoire for C Ó Duinnín (58).
C Kelly; M Corkery, D O’Herlihy, J Mullins; L Sheehan, J Cooper, M O’Shea; A O’Mahony, R O’Toole; D O’Connor, A Doherty, D Murphy; J Murphy, D Goulding, E O’Shea.
J Kelleher for O’Mahony (52 mins); D Kelly for Doherty (55).
T O’Donovan (Douglas).