Eight points from Kerry native Dara Ó Sé helped Clonakilty to a winning start in Group A of the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC at Bandon on Saturday afternoon.
Clon had seven points to spare over Carrigaline in the end, but only thanks to a late flurry as two Ó Sé points were followed by a goal from sub David O’Regan.
Prior to that, Carrigaline had whittled a six-point half-time deficit down to just two as they enjoyed much of the play. However, an overall tally of 13 wides was costly for the south-east side.
While they scored the first five points of the second half, they will nevertheless reflect on a 41st-minute goal chance – when Mark White’s save denied Olin Barry – as a pivotal moment.
Clonakilty will know, too, that there is work to be done ahead of a meeting with Ballincollig in three weeks’ time. Some of their first-half play was excellent as they won all of their restarts and kept possession well, with Ó Sé contributing five points in that period. Maurice Shanley at full-back, left half-back Cian O’Donoghue, and number 12 Brian White – younger brother of Seán and Mark – stood out as well.
By the time of the first-half drinks break, they were 0-6 to 0-2 to the good and they could have had an even healthier interval lead than 0-9 to 0-3 but, after Joe Grimes did well to win a Carrigaline kick-out in injury time, Seán White just pulled his goal effort wide.
On the resumption, the pattern of play was completely different. With Clon midfielder Martin Scally having had to depart just before the break, they were forced to bring Ó Sé deeper and his absence was felt in attack. Kevin Kavanagh and David Griffin helped to assert Carrigaline’s dominance in the middle for a spell and wing-back Stephen Dwane and Naythan Coleman both forced turnovers from Clon kick-outs.
Jack McCarthy had a pair of Carrig points in the 36th and 42nd minutes – sandwiching Olin Barry’s goal chance – to leave it 0-9 to 0-6. While Ó Sé interrupted the one-way flow with a Clon free just before the break, Kieran Kavanagh and Éanna Desmond (free) brought Carrigaline to within two, 0-10 to 0-8, with ten minutes left.
Unfortunately for them, it was to be their final score. Ó Sé scored a fine point to give Clon breathing space again and then added a free after the impressive Grimes was fouled as he shot.
The victory was wrapped up as Grimes and Seán McEvoy combined to open up the defence, giving O’Regan a tap-in.
D Ó Sé 0-8 (0-2f), D O’Regan 1-0, J Grimes, B White, B Ridgeway, S White 0-1 each.
J McCarthy 0-2, Kieran Kavanagh, D Griffin, Kevin Kavanagh, D Greene, O Barry, É Desmond (0-1f) 0-1 each.
M White; E Deasy, M Shanley, D Lowney; D Murphy, T Clancy, C O’Donoghue; J Grimes, M Scally; R Mannix, S McEvoy, B White; S White, D Ó Sé, B Ridgeway.
J O’Mahony for Scally (27, injured), D O’Regan for Ridgeway (41), G Barry for B White (51), S Nagle for Mannix (59).
S Mellett; N Quirke, P Ronayne, C Murphy; S Dwane, C Barry, Kieran Kavanagh; D Griffin, Kevin Kavanagh; D Greene, J McCarthy, N Coleman; O Barry, L Boyle, É Desmond.
C Barrett for Boyle (53), K O’Reilly for O Barry (53, injured).
P O’Driscoll (Bride Rovers).