Tied 1-12 apiece at the end of normal time in Coachford, and grateful to outstanding free-taker Darren Crowley, who nailed 10 points, it was his brother Ronan’s goal in the first minute of extra-time that enabled the victors to open up a commanding lead.
Good use of their bench paid dividends too, in particular the introduction of the aforementioned Ronan Crowley, James O’Donovan, Roy Payne, and Rory Fogarty.
Clearly Bandon manager Niall O’Halloran was satisfied with the outcome. “Bandon have been looking for a performance like this for a few years,” he said.
“I am very lucky to come in and coach the team and to be here on the day they produce a really good performance. We want to win championship games. We are not going to rest on our laurels, we have a lot of work to do. I am delighted for the players and for the other selectors as well — Niall Geary, Paddy Cahalane, and Don McCarthy.
“They have put massive work in and it is great to reap the benefit of that work.”
There was nothing between the sides over the 60 minutes. Charleville — the 2015 IHC champions — looked sharp at the outset, but a knee injury to young star Darragh Fitzgibbon, and his subsequent departure before the interval, affected their momentum. They struck early, Andrew Cagney’s superb goal, set up by Fitzgibbon.
However, trailing 0-6 to 1-7 at half-time, Bandon stormed into the contest with Mark Sugrue shooting his side into the lead with a blistering goal minutes after the restart. An Adam Murphy point drew them level. And only for the fact they had a penalty goal ruled out from Darren Crowley (for players breaking the line), they would have been further ahead.
Free-takers Crowley and Mark Kavanagh left the game delicately poised 1-9 each with 10 minutes remaining. It was similarly tight after Donough Lucey traded a great point with the hard-working Kavanagh. Darren Crowley then sent over a massive free for the lead but a 63rd-minute Kavanagh point from play forced an additional 20 minutes.
Bandon pushed for home from the throw-in, hitting 1-3 in the first five minutes — Ronan Crowley’s major, from a Payne delivery, a significant moment. A Kavanagh free was the only Charleville reply. The Carbery side added another pair of points after the change of ends and with their back six never panicking under pressure, the late scores ensured a next-round meeting with the winners of Blarney versus Watergrasshill. Charleville face the losers of that game.
D Crowley (0-10, six frees, two 65s), R Crowley (1-2), M Sugrue (1-1), A Murphy (0-2), D Lucey and J Hickey (0-1 each).
M Kavanagh (0-8, seven frees), A Cagney (1-2), D Fitzgibbon (0-2 frees), J Doyle (0-1).
P Prendergast; E Ryan, J Walsh, P Crowley; D Lucey, P Murphy, C Dullea; E O’Donovan, J Harrington; J Hickey, T O’Donoghue, D Crowley; C O’Mahony, M Sugrue, A Murphy.
R Crowley for T O’Donoghue, J O’Donovan for J Harrington (both half-time), R Payne for C O’Mahony (54), R Fogarty for J Hickey (56), M McNamara for C Dullea (70), J Hickey for A Murphy (75).
C Collins; M O’Flynn, J Buckley, F Cagney; A Dennehy, G Kelleher, B Dennehy; J Barry, M Kavanagh; D Casey, D Murphy, A O’Connor; J Doyle, A Cagney, D Fitzgibbon.
D Butler for D Fitzgibbon (28 inj), D O’Flynn for J Doyle (61), J Doyle for D Butler (70).
Brian Murphy (Carrigtwohill).