Six Dylan Twomey points helped Macroom get their Bon Secours Cork Premier IFC campaign back on track following victory over Gabriel Rangers in Dunmanway on Friday evening.
They made hard work of it but Macroom just about deserved their win by the manner in which they withstood a second-half Gabriel Rangers fightback, with Twomey proving the difference at the conclusion of a free-flowing encounter.
Rangers contributed much to the evening’s entertainment but were guilty of having their defence opened up far too easily and being over-reliant on Ger O’Callaghan for scores.
Macroom began in confident fashion, eager to bounce back from a narrow one-point loss at the hands of Kanturk in their previous outing. Their opponents were equally intent on recovering from defeat to Nemo Rangers and opened the scoring courtesy of James O’Regan.
Yet, that effort and another from O’Callaghan would be the Carbery club’s only scores of a fitful opening quarter. During that time, Macroom’s Tony Dineen sliced through the heart of Rangers’ defence and thundered an unstoppable shot to the net.
Twomey proved a handful whenever fed possession and kicked three points in a row prior to Don Creedon making it 1-5 to 0-2 in Macroom’s favour at the first water break.
Fintan Goold extended the Muskerry side’s advantage but Gabriel Rangers’ attacking endeavour was rewarded with a superb Liam Hegarty goal after 20 minutes.
Their opponents responded positively, however, as Twomey (free), David Horgan, Dineen, and Conor O’Sullivan (free) scores handed Macroom a 1-9 to 1-3 interval lead.
The third quarter belonged to Macroom. Sasha Walden reduced the deficit for Rangers but O’Sullivan (two, one free), Horgan, and Twomey white flags extended Macroom’s lead to eight points.
Things were beginning to look bleak for Gabriels until Killian O’Sullivan’s introduction gave the Ballydehob club hope. O’Sullivan gained possession deep in Macroom territory, cut inside, and expertly found the bottom corner for a super individual goal. O’Callaghan added a point shortly after and suddenly, Rangers were only a goal behind.
It took a converted Twomey free to allay Macroom nerves with the score at 1-14 to 2-7 with five minutes remaining.
Then, Gabriel’s standout player, O’Callaghan reeled off two frees in a row to leave two points between the sides.
It took a fisted Ethan O’Gorman point to edge Macroom three ahead and they held on for victory despite O’Callaghan landing another free shortly before the end.
The winners must now turn their attention towards a final Group C outing against Nemo Rangers where a victory is required to be in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
As for Gabriel Rangers, nothing but a win will suffice against Kanturk if they are to avoid the possibility of a relegation play-off.
D Twomey (0-6, 2 frees), T Dineen (1-1), C O’Sullivan (0-3, 2 frees), D Horgan (0-2), E O’Gorman, D Creedon, F Goold (0-1 each).
G O’Callaghan (0-7, 3 frees, 1 45), L Hegarty, K O’Sullivan (1-0 each), C Moynihan (0-2), J O’Regan (0-1).
B O’Connell; G Angland, R Buckley, J Murphy; E O’Leary, T Dineen, M Corrigan; A Quinn, D Horgan (captain); S Kiely, F Goold, D Creedon; C O’Sullivan, D Twomey, E O’Gorman.
I Cronin for F O’Leary (41), B O’Gorman for G Angland (44), C Dineen for C O’Sullivan (57).
D O’Mahony; K O’Callaghan, L Hodnett, D Roycroft; R Moynihan, C O’Brien, D McSweeney; K Roycroft, G O’Callaghan (captain); S Walden, L Hegarty, J O’Brien; J O’Regan, M Cronin, K O’Driscoll.
C Moynihan for L Hegarty (28), P Nolan for R Moynihan (40), F Hurley for S Walden (44), C O’Sullivan for M Cronin (45), R O’Neill for K O’Driscoll (58).
A Whelton (Clonakilty).