An extra-time tally of five points proved just enough for Charleville to claim a 0-20 to 0-19 victory over Éire Óg in this enthralling Cork IHC at Mallow.
There was added drama at the death as shouts of joy from the Éire Óg supporters turned to cries of despair when they realised referee Derek Carroll had blown his final whistle seconds before Cathal Murphy rattled the Charleville net with what appeared to be the match-winning score after Kevin Hallissey’s free had been blocked.
This game seemed destined for extra-time throughout as the sides were level five times over the hour. However, some magnificent scores in the extra period from Mervyn and Paul Gammell did just enough to see Charleville over the line. Meanwhile Argideen Rangers shocked a fancied Kanturk, 3-9 to 1-9, in a thrilling first round clash at Coachford on Saturday.
Kanturk, with county players, Lorcan McLoughlin, Anthony Nash and Aidan Walsh in their ranks, were blown away by Argideen’s intensity. Rangers started brilliantly and points by Mikey Walsh and Brian Hennessy settled them before McLoughlin opened the Kanturk account after eight minutes. But Argideen quickly went on the offensive. In the 15th minute Joe Murphy found Walsh who fired to the net.
A shell-shocked Kanturk managed two late points to trail by seven at the interval (1-7 to 0-3) and there was no way back from there.
Fermoy withstood a strong second-half challenge from Aghada to emerge with a 4-9 to 1-15 win over Aghada at Ballynoe on Saturday. They were dominant for a lot of the game but an Aghada fightback ensured a tight finale.
The north Cork side got off to a fantastic start, knocking in a brace of goals and going six points clear inside the first five minutes. However, Aghada – wind-assisted – brought the margin back to two points coming up to half-time and were far more competitive in the closing 30 minutes.
After the restart Fermoy continued to press on. The two O’Sullivans at midfield, James and Brian, and the back six were tight. However, improved play from Aghada resulted in a much-needed goal from O’Neill in the 40th minute, which narrowed the arrears. But their momentum was broken straight away when Shanahan hit back with a brilliant goal from his knees, giving breathing space to Fermoy.
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