Knocknagree may have cruised past Aghabullogue at Banteer on Saturday to set up a Cork IFC semi-final with Millstreet but winning manager John Fintan Daly saw plenty of room for improvement.
“It won’t be good enough against Millstreet, its town v country, Millstreet is six times our population, and they won’t have any fear of us.
“We didn’t finish very well here, it is a work in progress and preparations for that semi-final begin immediately.
“Aghabullogue are a dual club with a hurling championship coming up whereas we are single-minded and our football teams have played over 50 games this season,” said Daly.
Daly noted their poor finish — his charges failed to score for the closing 20 minutes but by that stage they led 2-13 to 0-1 after a devastating display of attacking football built on a solid defensive structure with Michael Doyle, Gary O’Connor, Danny Cooper along with Michael Mahoney catching the eye.
The opening two attacks yielded points from brothers Anthony and Fintan O’Connor while it took Aghabullogue 23 minutes to open their account via midfielder Seán O’Connell.
Knocknagree continued to boss this quarter-final and their hard work was rewarded when U20 star, Mahoney set up John Fintan Daly Junior for the game’s opening goal and a 1-11 to 0-1 interval lead.
Knocknagree picked up where they had left off on the restart as Denis O’Connor forced a turnover to set up cousin Anthony for a second goal.
As the tempo dropped, Aghabullogue plugged away and their efforts were rewarded with a well taken Luke Casey goal. The losers outscored their opponents 1-5 to 0-0 during the closing quarter but Knocknagree’s hurricane had done its damage by then.
Scorers for Knocknagree: A O’Connor 1-4 (0-2f), J F Daly (1-1), E McSweeney (0-3), F O’Connor (0-2), M Mahoney, J Dennehy, G Looney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Aghabullogue: L Casey 1-2 (0-1f, 0-1’ 45), S O’Connell, B Casey, E O’Sullivan (f), D Quinlan 0-1 each.
KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; D O’Mahony, M Doyle, G O’Connor; D Cooper, K Buckley, M Mahoney; P Collins, D Moynihan; J Dennehy, E McSweeney, F O’Connor; Denis O’Connor, J F Daly, A O’Connor.
Subs. G Looney for F O’Connor (41), M Dilworth for Denis O’Connor (43), David O’Connor for P Collins (44), S Daly for D O’Mahony (53), N O’Connor for A O’Connor (56), P O’Connor for E McSweeney (59).
AGHABULLOGUE: D Moynihan; P Dilworth, C Smith, P Twomey; S Tarrant, P Ring, B Casey; S O’Sullivan, S O’Connell; J Murphy, I Barry Murphy, N Barry Murphy; L Casey; E O’Sullivan, D Thompson.
Subs: A Hogan for J Murphy (ht), M O’Regan for N Barry Murphy (ht), A Barry Murphy for S O’Connell (34), D Quinlan for S Tarrant (39), T Bradley for D Thompson (56), M O’Sullivan for P Twomey (57).
Referee: M Sheehan (Liscarroll).