TWO goals midway through the second half proved crucial in helping Bantry Blues secure their PIFC county final berth following this thrilling win against Iveleary on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues were trailing by one point before two goals from Dara McCarthy and Arthur Coakley in 60 seconds moved them five points clear after 42 minutes.
Iveleary who displayed great character and contributed hugely to a pulsating game struck four successive points to reduce the deficit to one point by the 56th minute.
Bantry finished strongly however and secured victory when Arthur Coakley netted his second goal in the 57th minute after a great run by Ruairi Deane.
Both sides deserve praise for serving up a brilliant game that was rich in quality and contained top performers on both teams.
Bantry largely inspired by their captain Ruairi Deane who struck five points from play in the first half were rocked in the third minute when Sean O’Riordan struck a great goal for Iveleary. Both sides continued to trade scores and they were level at the break 1-6 to 0-9.
The second half started in a similar vein, but the two goals from McCarthy and Coakley in the space of a minute proved crucial in propelling the Blues to victory.
Bantry Blues will now play Kanturk in the county final.
A Coakley 2-3 (2f), R Deane 0-5, D McCarthy 1-1, P Cronin 0-3 (1f), S O’Leary 0-1.
C Og Jones 0-4 (1f), S O’Riordan 1-0, C O’Leary 0-3 (1f), L Kearney, B O’Leary 0-2 each, B Cronin 0-1 f, S O’Leary 0–1 mark, C Galvin 0-1, T Roberts, D O’Donovan 0-1 each.
S Murray; S Thornton, T Cronin, C O’Brien; E Minihane, B Foley, E O’Shea; S O’Leary, D McCarthy; S Keevers, K Coakley, D Murray; P Cronin, R Deane, A Coakley.
C Power for E O’Shea (inj 7), K Casey for D Murray (30), D Daly for K Coakley (50).
J Creedon; D O’Donovan, C O’Riordan, D O’Riordan; K Manning, C Galvin, T Roberts; S O’Leary, S O’Riordan; C O’Leary, C Og Jones, B Cronin, B O’Leary, I Jones, L Kearney.
J O’Donovan for I Jones (50), A O’Donovan for L Kearney (55), S Lehane for D O’Donovan (60), L O’Sullivan for T Roberts (60), D O’Sullivan for B O’Leary (60).
Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).