Clonakilty are through to the last eight in the Cork SFC thanks to 1-point victory over West Cork rivals O’Donovan Rossa in Castlehaven this afternoon.
The second West Cork derby of the Cork SFC third round delivered plenty of thrills, turning points and a Clon side that needed all their experience to see off a dogged Rossa’s outfit.
Whilst not matching the quality of the Carbery Rangers and Castlehaven clash, Clonakilty survived a missed penalty, black card and late Skibbereen onslaught to win by the narrowest of margins.
Whatever this derby lacked in quality, it more than made up for in effort, heart and some terrific individual scores.
Clonakilty were in pole position and leading 1-6 to 0-4 thanks to a marvellous Martin Scally goal at the end of a scrappy first half.
Then, O'Donovan Rossa's Elliot Connolly raised a green flag before Dylan Hourihane and Rory Byrne added further scores to leave the bare minimum between the teams.
Byrne was the game's standout player but powerless to prevent Ross Mannix from finding the net and re-establishing Clon’s advantage.
Admirably, Skibbereen dominated the closing stages and, led by the inspirational Kevin Davis who finished with 11 points, kicked the last four scores to deservedly force extra-time.
Jack O’Mahony failed to convert a penalty at the beginning of extra-time but Clon managed to edge 2-13 to 1-15 ahead when substitute Dave O’Regan finished to the net shortly before the second half time whistle.
The experienced O’Regan, Donal Lyons, Fionn Coughlan, Timmy Anglin and Denis Murphy were critical to Clonakilty during a second period of additional time dominated by O’Donovan Rossa.
Refusing to accept defeat, Kevin Davis remained ice-cool from frees and reduced the deficit to a single point deep into injury-time.
Clonakilty managed to retain possession and hung on to take their place in this year’s Cork SFC quarter-finals after coming through the toughest of tests.