The incessant rain continued to make life difficult for both Imokilly and Sarsfields in the second Cork senior hurling championship quarter final at Páirc Uí Rinn tonight. However, it was three-in-a-row seeking Imokilly, and favourites for the title, who are through to meet St Finbarr’s in the last four.
With conditions deteriorating rapidly, scores were at a premium in the opening half, after which Imokilly led by two points. Sarsfields, meanwhile, who were competing well, were left to rue their wayward shooting with 10 wides alone in the first 30 minutes. They struck 13 overall – twice as many as Imokilly – and also finished the hour with 13 men after referee Colm Lyons issued second yellow cards to William Kearney and James Sweeney in the closing stages.
Sarsfields started with unanswered points on the board inside the first 10 minutes from Daniel Kearney, Luke Hackett and Sweeney. But when Declan Dalton was hauled down, he made no mistake from the resultant penalty to get the divisional side up and running.
A Shane Hegarty point replied to one from Jack O’Connor, and on the approach to half-time, Imokilly went two in front thanks to two pointed frees from Dalton. They led at the break, 1-4 to 0-5.
Imokilly restarted the second half purposely with Seamus Harnedy firing over from the restart. They went on to hit five unanswered points from three different players, 1-10 to 0-5.
It took Sarsfields until the 44th minute to open their scoring, a point from William Kearney but they rallied and closed the gap to six points with 10 minutes remaining. While they battled gamely, there was no denying Imokilly who tacked on four more points – three of these from Dalton who brought his tally to 1-10.
Scorers for Imokilly: D Dalton (1-10, 1-0 pen, 0-9 frees), W Leahy and S Harnedy (0-2 each), M O’Keeffe, S Hegarty and B Lawton (0-1 each).
Scorers for Sarsfields: J O’Connor (0-3), D Kearney and J Sweeney (0-2 each), W Kearney, L Hackett, E O’Sullivan (free) (0-1 each).
Imokilly: D O’Callaghan (Watergrasshill); K Histon (Cobh), C Barry (Castlelyons), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s); S Hegarty (Dungourney), M Russell (Aghada), J Cronin (Lisgoold); B Cooper (Youghal), M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neil’s); B Lawton (Castlemartyr), S Harnedy (St Ita’s), W Leahy (Aghada); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), D Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s), A Spillane (Castlelyons).
Subs: S O’Regan Óg (Watergrasshill) for M O’Keeffe (48), B Ó Tuama for G Millerick (54), D Harrington (Fr O’Neill’s) for C Barry (58).
Sarsfields: A Kennedy; D Kenneally, C Leahy, D English; E Murphy, C O’Sullivan, G Grey; W Kearney, D Kearney; A Myers, T Óg Murphy (Capt), L Healy; L Hackett, J Sweeney, J O’Connor.
Subs: E O’Sullivan for A Myers (37).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).