Bandon 1-13 Kilworth 0-11: Victory for Bandon in this Premier Cork IHC, Round three clash, the men from west Cork proving too smooth and accomplished for a game Kilworth outfit in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
Bandon were the more balanced team and deserved their win, but Kilworth pressed to the end and lost nothing in defeat.
Aided in the first half by the wind blowing into the scoreboard end, Kilworth began brightly but Bandon were clearly determined not to let them build a lead.
Early points from Noel McNamara and Jeremy Saich for Kilworth were matched by Bandon scores by Mark Sugrue and Paul Murphy, and two Ronan Crowley points, one a long-range free, put Bandon in the lead by the tenth minute.
Significantly, Bandon also scored the only goal of the game, on 16 minutes. The impressive Ronan Crowley made ground up the middle before passing inside to Sugrue, who in turn found Jason Hickey wide of the goal.
Hickey had a tight angle and plenty of Kilworth attention to deal with, but he defied the odds and found the net - 1-4 to 0-4 for Bandon and a huge psychological boost.
Credit Kilworth, Noel McNamara powered through straight from the puck-out to try to find a goal in response but his shot was turned aside, though he converted the resultant 65 to cut the lead to two.
The scoring dried up somewhat then, with Sugrue and Kilworth’s Will Condon swapping points before McNamara’s second 65 made it 0-6 to 1-5. Kilworth also had four wides in the closing stages of the first half, however, while Ronan Crowley’s fine striking yielded two late points for Bandon to push them 1-7 to 0-6 at the break.
Bandon were well worthy of their half-time lead - their defence was tight and kept their opponents under pressure, while their forwards were efficient and interchanged effectively; Kilworth needed a second-half bounce if they were to have any chance of a win.
Condon provided some encouragement - as soon as play resumed he hit a good point, followed soon after by a McNamara free, but Bandon took control soon afterwards.
Sugrue and Crowley, operating as wing-forwards, were very influential around the middle of the field and Kilworth never got to grips with them. In the third quarter those two players helped themselves to five points with some impressive shooting from long range, with Condon and McNamara (free) responding for Kilworth.
With just over ten minutes left the floodlights came on in a gloomy Pairc Ui Rinn it was 1-13 to 0-10 and Bandon very much in control.
Sugrue could have settled the game on 49 minutes when he availed of a defensive mix-up to go through on goal, but Kieran Walsh in the Kilworth goal stood up well and saved bravely.
McNamara cut the lead to five with another free, but in the time remaining Kilworth couldn’t contrive the goal chance which might have given them a lifeline, though Bandon were forced to defend in numbers as the clock wound down.
With two minutes left Kilworth won a free dangerously close to the Bandon goal, but they didn’t test their opponents; the free was overturned by the referee following an off-the-ball incident, and when Bandon lifted the siege Kilworth’s last chance was gone.
Bandon march on in good heart, then, while Kilworth must get ready now to face the losers of the Inniscarra-Valley Rovers clash.
Scorers for Bandon:
R. Crowley (0-6, 3 frees), M. Sugrue (0-5); J. Hickey (1-1); A. Murphy (0-1).
Scorers for Kilworth:
N. McNamara (0-6, 2 65s, 2 frees); W. Condon (0-3); J. Saich, P. Lynch (0-1 each).
J. McSweeney; P. Crowley, J. Walsh, M. McNamara; C. Dullea, D. Lucey, J. Harrington; E. O’Donovan, Peter Murphy; R. Crowley, P. Crowley, M. Sugrue; A. Murphy, J. Hickey, Philip Murphy.
J. Mulcahy for Philip Murphy (41).
K. Walsh; M. McNamara, A. O’Hara, S. Keane; J. McCarthy, K. Lane, M. O’Connor; J. Saich, P. Moakley; B. Tobin, N. O’Brien, N. McNamara; J. Cahill, W. Condon, P. Lynch.
T. Twomey for O’Brien (28); B. Sheehan for Saich (37); N. O’Brien for T. Twomey (52).
C. Egan (Glen Rovers)
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