Having held the half-time advantage, Bandon were pegged back and the sides were level at the threequarter stage and again with five minutes left. It was that close, and that interesting for fans and neutrals in the large crowd.
While Ronan Crowley was Bandon’s scoring hero on day one with a succession of perfectly executed frees, he had to play second fiddle yesterday to the dynamic Ronan Walsh who knocked over 10 points to keep battling Tracton on course for this crucial victory.
Admittedly Walsh missed three fairly straight forward attempts in the opening minutes of the second half, but it was Bandon who missed the better chances and they will look back ruefully on the fact that they had ten wides after the break and 15 overall. In a two point game, that statistic was crucial.
The action was fast and furious from the off and Tracton had to work hard to build up a 1-4 to 0-5 lead by the halfway stage of the opening half, the brilliantly created and executed goal from Michael O’Sullivan a crucial score.
But while Walsh kept the challenge ticking over, Bandon hit a purple patch and grabbed two smashing goals from Mark Sugrue and Alan Johnson to establish a 2-8 to 1-8 lead at the break.
Tracton were fastest out of the blocks in the second-half and drew level with four points to one from Bandon’s Sugrue by the 15th minute.
The battle continued unabated as the game moved towards its conclusion but Tracton found the reserves of strength to make it through.
Kieran Lynch and Michael Cahalane exchanged points but Walsh from a free and Kieran Lynch produced the last two vital points to seal the deal.
Scorers for Tracton: M O’Sullivan (1-0), R Walsh (0-10, all frees), G Kingston, G O’Sullivan, K. Lynch (0-2 each), T McGuinness, F Lynch (0-1 each).
Scorers for Bandon: M Sugrue (1-5), A Johnson (1-0), R Crowley 0-5 (0-4 frees), M Cahalane (0-2), K Hurley (0-1).
TRACTON: D Walsh, T McGuinness, M Barry, G Jagoe, F Lynch, S O’Sullivan, K Corrigan, K Lynch, D Sheehan, G Kingston, B Lynch, M Desmond, R Walsh, M O’Sullivan, J Kingston.
Subs: J Good for D Sheerhan (40), D O’Callaghan for M Desmond (53)
BANDON: J McSweeney, P Crowley, J O’Donovan, J Burke, E O’Donovan, D Lucey, J Walsh, K Hurley, D Crowley, M Sugrue, P Murphy, J Hickey, M Cahalane, A Johnson, R Crowley.
Subs: C Dullea for P Murphy (54), J Harrington for K Hurley (55).
Referee: J Dorgan (Nemo Rangers)