On a perfect evening for hurling, this north Cork derby never reached any heights as Kilworth outplayed their opponents and were full value for their nine-point win.
Fermoy were on target with the opening two points, but a fifth minute Paudie Lynch goal laid down a marker. When the same player netted midway through the second-half there was really only one team in contention.
While Kilworth operated more efficiently, Fermoy shot a total of 17 wides which contributed largely to their downfall. They fought well at the back but their inconsistency cost them dearly. Credit though, they battled to the bitter end, rewarded with top-scorer Geary cracking home a fine goal from a close-in free three minutes from time.
It was a three-point game at the break, 1-6 to 0-6 in favour of Kilworth, but upon the restart their greater array of scoring talent came into play. Points from Mannix, Michael Wade, Joe Cahill helped them into a six-point advantage before Wade parted to Lynch who shot low into the Fermoy net. They led 2-10 to 0-7.
Now, as their experienced back line came to the fore – especially Austin O’Hara, Will Twomey and Maurice McNamara – Kilworth had greater options in attack. Mannix was accurate from both placed balls and play as they increased their lead 2-13 to 0-7.
With the match almost up, Geary stood up to a 30m free, the resultant goal, albeit a consolation did put a healthier complexion on the scoreboard.
Scorers for Kilworth: A Mannix 0-9 (0-6 frees), P Lynch 2-1, L Whelan 0-2, J Cahill, N McNamara and M Wade 0-1 each.
Scorers for Fermoy: D Geary 1-3 (1-2 frees), T Grumbridge 0-2, B O’Sullivan, J Hutchings, A O’Connor and P Shanahan 0-1 each.
KILWORTH: K Walsh; M McNamara, W Twomey, A O’Hara; K Lane, M O’Connor, D McNamara; D Cahill, L Whelan; B Tobin, J Cahill, M Wade; N McNamara, A Mannix, P Lynch.
Subs: N Byrne for J Cahill (48), W Condon for M Wade, P Moakley for N McNamara (both 56).
FERMOY: C Quinn; P Clancy, J Daly, E Clancy; R O’Callaghan, D O’Carroll, L Coleman; B O’Sullivan, J O’Sullivan; T Grumbridge, P Shanahan, K Morrison A O’Connor; D Geary, J Hutchings, A O’Connor.
Subs: R O’Hagan for J O’Sullivan (bs 12-14).
Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).