Cork SAHC Group A: Fermoy 0-15 Mallow 0-13
Fermoy’s first game as senior hurlers ended in success on Sunday afternoon as the Avondhu side beat north Cork neighbours Mallow in Castletownroche.
In near perfect conditions for hurling, Denis Ring’s charges fought back from a disappointing middle third of the game to take the spoils which puts them in a good position to make the knockout stages of this season’s Senior A Hurling championship.
David Lardner, Kieran Morrison, and Shane Aherne impressed up-front for the victors with Padraig de Roiste and Michael Brennan doing well near the middle third. Roving wing-back Brian O’Sullivan was also hugely significant with four brilliant points from play when his side needed them most.
For Mallow, Ronan Sheehan, Jack O’Hanlon, and Pa Healy did well with Darragh Moynihan also impressing. Alec Luttrell and Fionn O’Neill were another pair on form however on this day the spoils went to Fermoy.
Mallow got the opening score of this one with a free from Aaron Sheehan however it was Fermoy that took control of the proceedings early with the next three scores – points from Larder, Morrisson, and Aherne getting the boys in black off to a solid start.
Aaron Sheehan stopped the rot early with his second placed-ball effort however Lardner reopened a two-point gap with his second free.
Mallow may have been down by two but things got an awful lot worse for the men in red as Sean Hayes saw a straight red for an off the ball incident just before the quarter-hour mark.
Fermoy struggled to take advantage of the extra man as Mallow responded with two more Sheehan frees to tie things up at four apiece at the first water break.
On the restart, it was all Mallow for 10 minutes as first Paul Lyons landed a tasty score before former Cork star Murphy bagged a pair of brilliant points as Mallow looked to power their way to the half-time interval.
Lardner cut the gap to four before the break with a free from a tight angle however a host of poor efforts at the posts, from Fermoy in particular, saw the first half end tamely.
Mallow were first to trouble the scoreboard on the resumption with Sheehan again on the mark but a brace of brilliant scores from wing back O’Sullivan raised the temperature inside and outside the wire.
The sides traded scores to the three-quarter mark with Fermoy cutting the gap to the minimum before another O’Sullivan effort tied things it with just six minutes left on the clock.
Fermoy hit four points without response late on to deservedly take the win in what was a big day for the club’s hurling fans.
Both sides will be disappointed with their success stats in front of the posts as 25 wides between the pair in ideal conditions for point scoring is far from acceptable at this grade.
Fermoy won’t care about that for now though as they prepare for a serious step-up as they take on a Bandon side hurting from their loss to Charleville.
For Mallow, another poor start to a championships campaign will need to be put to one side for next week as high flying Charleville look to end the Blackwater Valley side’s campaign before it really gets going.
Scorers for Fermoy: D Lardner 0-6 (5 frees, 1 65); B O’Sullivan 0-4; S Aherne 0-3, K Morrisson, J Scannell 0-1 each.
Mallow: A Sheehan 0-8 (7 frees, 1 65); C Murphy 0-2; D Moynihan, P Lyons, P Hayes 0-1 each.
FERMOY: C Quinn; S Shanahan, A Creed, E Clancy; B O’Sullivan, D O’Carroll, J Scannell; M Brennan, P Murphy; K Morrisson, P de Roiste, S Aherne; J Ring, D Lardner, J Molloy.
Subs: J Carr for J Molloy (ht), D Daly for J Ring (46).
MALLOW: P Buckley; J O’Hanlon, F O’Neill, R Sheehan; P Healy, A Luttrell, D Moynihan; N O’Riordan, K Sheehan; C Murphy, S Hayes, P Lyons; D Hayes, P Herlihy, A Sheehan.
Subs: D Buckley for D Hayes (46), C Carroll for P Herlihy (55).
Referee: D Copps (Ballyhea)