A stunning eight-point contribution from Ronan Crowley ensured Bandon saw off Fermoy in a gripping Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC clash at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
In a game that could have gone either way, the class of Crowley eventually sealed a crucial win for the West Cork outfit.
Bandon looked impressive going forward and three unanswered points from Ronan Crowley, Michael Cahalane, and Darren Crowley increased their lead to four in the eighth minute.
Credit to Fermoy, they responded a minute later when David Lardner drilled a 60-yard free straight between the posts.
Suddenly Fermoy found a spring in their step and two further points were registered in the space of a minute from Paudie de Roiste and Martin Brennan.
The intensity of the game increased, with Fermoy building in confidence and Martin Aherne should have done better in the 20th minute when he blasted the ball over the bar just as guiding it to the empty net looked an easier option.
Ronan Crowley finished the half in style for Bandon with his fifth point that ensured they went in commanding a two-point lead, 0-10 to 0-8.
Bandon were quickest out of the blocks on the restart with three unanswered points from Charlie Long, Conor Calnan, and Jason Hickey in the opening four minutes.
The Fermoy full-back Adam Creed scored a magnificent individual point in the first half with a solo run and sublime strike, and he repeated it in the 35th minute with a similar move.
The game was finely balanced deep into the final quarter and Fermoy reduced it to the minimum when Jake Carr struck over a point following a free in the 51st minute.
Five minutes later, Carr was replaced by Cork senior football star Tomás Clancy who was making a return from injury.
Crowley executed crucial points in the 56th and 58th minutes but Clancy showed his dual skill when he nailed his second free three minutes into added time that reduced the deficit to the minimum.
Ironically, the same player could have levelled proceedings when Fermoy were awarded a free with practically the last puck of the game but his attempted shot didn’t find the target as Bandon held out for a hard-earned win.
The mood in the Bandon camp was naturally one of elation as this win brings them right back into contention in this group following their opening day defeat to Charleville as manager Don McCarthy reflected on the win.
“It was a dogfight to the end but, for me, my team stood up to be counted and the performance from Ronan Crowley was right from the top drawer on a day we needed inspiration.”
R Crowley (0-8), M Sugrue, C Calnan, C Long (0-2 each), D Crowley, A Murphy, M Cahalane (free) (0-1 each).
P de Roiste, J Carr (frees) (0-3 each), D Lardner (frees), T Clancy (frees), M Brennan, A Creed, A Aherne (0-2 each).
P Prendergast; A O’Connell, P Murphy, J O’Donovan; D Lucey, J Hickey, T Twohig; C Dullea, C Calnan; D Crowley, M Cahalane, A Murphy; M Sugrue, R Crowley, C Long.
C O’Mahony for C Dullea (56).
C Quinn; S Shanahan, A Creed, J Scannell; B O’Sullivan, D O’Carroll, P Murphy; E Clancy, M Brennan; A Aherne, K Morrisson, P de Roiste; D Lardner, S Aherne, J Carr.
D Daly for A Aherne (40), J Ring for D Lardner (40), T Clancy for J Carr (56).
Dave Daly (Brian Dillons).