Debutants Dromtariffe did the business over neighbours Millstreet, fashioning a fully deserved five-point victory in the opening round to the Co. IFC at a windswept Cullen yesterday.
Played in front of a big crowd, this local derby certainly lived up to expectations and produced a sporting contest where every ball was challenged for, but at the end it was the much sharper 2018 Co. JAFC winners that prevailed.
Better composure under pressure, Dromtariffe produced a performance brimful of commitment and resolve, not least during the closing quarter when Millstreet had the deficit down to a single point. However Dromtariffe emerged a class apart, their teamwork and ability to break at pace proved decisive to yield a brace of goals from full-forward Shane Collins.
Team captain Adam Buckley had fired home a morale boosting first-half goal to separate the sides at the interval and the skipper applauded the efforts of his colleagues.
“Weather conditions didn’t help either team, thankfully, we came out on the right side by putting our shoulder to the wheel in the second half, standing up to get the goals against the wind. There is a great rivalry between the two sides, Millstreet were always going to come back at us, our defence were immense and the team grew up in front of everybody”, beamed a delighted Buckley.
At times, the howling wind and drizzle made producing quality play difficult yet Dromtariffe looked the better balanced outfit at the outset, the effective Daniel O’Keeffe placed Buckley for a cracking goal. Millstreet answered with a trio of points from Cathal Crowley, Donough Murphy and James Linehan only for back to back points from O’Keeffe helped Dromtariffe secure a 1-6 to 0-6 advantage at the break.
With the strong elements favouring Millstreet for the restart, the latter exerted strong pressure but just two points proved a poor return for possession enjoyed with Dromtariffe ‘keeper Dan Mann saving superbly from Murphy. Still it remained character testing time for Dromtariffe, thankful to Conor Cremin and Seán Howard to emerge an unbeatable presence in defence.
A barren scoring spell for Dromtariffe was broken when midfielder Conor O’Callaghan posted a sublime point. That score switched over the initiative in favour of Dromtariffe again, their hungrier foragers mopped up ball that yielded quick fire goals from Collins to put clear daylight between the sides.
Those strikes effectively ended the game, Millstreet battled to the finish to grab a consolation goal from substitute Kevin Crowley and a point by county colleague Mark Ellis.
S Collins (2-1), D O’Keeffe 0-7(0-3f), A Buckley (1-0), C O’Callaghan (0-1).
C Crowley 0-6(0-5f), K Crowley (1-0), D Murphy, J Linehan, M Murphy, M Ellis 0-1 each.
D Mann; C O’Mahony, C Cremin, S Howard; T Howard, J Murphy, B O’Keeffe; A Buckley, C O’Callaghan; E Murphy, D O’Donoughue, M Healy; M O’Connor, S Collins, D O’Keeffe.
E Mernagh for C O’Mahony (23), D O’Connor for M Healy (28, inj), M Lynes for M O’Connor (59).
D O’Leary; B O’Connor, O Murphy, C O’Leary; D Kiely, P Sheehan, D Buckley; S Hickey, M Ellis; N Flahive, A Murphy, M Murphy; C Crowley, D Murphy, J Lenihan.
T Sheehan for D Murphy (42), K Crowley for M Murphy (42), P Moynihan for J Linehan (46).
J Ryan (Macroom).