A powerful first-half performance gave Bandon the platform for a comprehensive win over Clyda Rovers in this entertaining Cork SFC first-round clash in Ballyanly.
The west Cork men took control of the game early, built a commanding lead and absorbed Clyda’s best efforts in the second half without ever looking to be in trouble.
In powerful full-forward Mark Sugrue Bandon had the top performer on view. Sugrue saw off several markers, was his side’s top scorer and had a vital hand in the key score in the game.
Clyda opened with a couple of enterprising attacks, but Mark O’Regan and Sugrue (free) soon had Bandon on the scoreboard. Ronan Crowley stretched their lead to three points to no score with a high effort and Sugrue hit his second, from play, in the twelfth minute.
Clyda were struggling to penetrate a Bandon rearguard which was expertly marshalled by Peter Murphy, a driving presence at centre-back. The men from north Cork were forced to drop back but they couldn’t stop the supply going in to Sugrue at full-forward, where he caused untold problems for the Clyda rearguard.
On the quarter-hour Sugrue won another high ball and a free about forty yards from goal - his attempt for a point dipped sharply but Mark O’Regan swung a fist and flicked the ball to the net: 1-4 to no score as the sides took a water break.
Clyda’s cause wasn’t helped when defender Kenneth Fitzgerald was sin-binned, and Bandon didn’t spare them when they had an extra man. O’Regan resumed the scoring with a fine point and Sugrue pointed a long-range free.
Clyda finally got off the mark with a good Conor Flanagan point from play on 23 minutes, but there was still time for Sugrue to drive over a long-range point from play and another free.
Late in the half Clyda put together a promising move but Bandon keeper Pat Prendergast saved well from Darragh Buckley. Play was called back for a free Conor Corbett pointed, but Bandon wing-back Rob O’Driscoll added another point in injury-time: 1-9 to 0-2 at the break.
The westerners put the game to bed early in the second half. Ronan Crowley swung over an early point and Sugrue added a free. Corbett responded with a free of his own but Sugrue boomed over a fine point in response.
That was to be Bandon’s last point, giving them a final scoreline of 1-12.
Clyda pressed them hard and produced a late rally of sorts - in the closing stages Paul Cronin and Cian O’Sullivan came upfield for good scores, and Corbett had their last shout with a fine point from play, but they needed a goal to make a game of it, and with Murphy barring the way for Bandon at number six, that never looked likely.
Bandon will know they have stern tests ahead, but in Sugrue and Murphy they have a powerful axis and in O’Regan and Crowley the kind of clever corner-forwards who can trouble any side.
For Clyda it was an evening that posed more questions than answers. Conor Corbett’s evening summed up their issues - last year’s Cork minor star showed some classy touches but was isolated all too often by a disciplined, well-organised Bandon defence.
Clyda won’t need telling that they’ll need to up their scoring rate, however, or their championship aspirations won’t last too long.
C. Corbett (2 fs)(0-3); C Flanagan, P. Cronin, C. O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
M. Sugrue (4 fs)(0-7); M. O’Regan (1-2); R. Crowley (0-2); R. O’Driscoll (0-1).
C. Conway, A. Walsh, R. Carey, C. Kenny, K. Fitzgerald, F. O'Shea, C. O’Sullivan, D. Walsh, T. Buckley, R. Flanagan, P Kissane, N. Hanley, P. Cronin, C. Corbett, C. Flanagan.
Subs: D. Buckley and S. Ronayne for R. Flanagan and N. Hanley (28); A. Kelly for K. Fitzgerald (45).
P. Prendergast, J. O’Mahony, J. O’Donovan (c), B. Crowley, R. O’Driscoll, P. Murphy, D. O’Donovan, R. Long, David Crowley, C. O’Mahony, J. Mulcahy, Darren Crowley, R. Crowley, M. Sugrue, R. Crowley.
Subs: A O’Mahony for Mulcahy (inj, 33); E. McSweeney for O’Mahony (inj, 35)
Referee: T. Hayes (Eire Og).