Kiskeam 2-12 Fermoy 0-14: Founded in November 1945, Kiskeam are a relatively young club, but that didn’t mean that the joy of reaching senior football for the first time was any less sweet.
At Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, two first-quarter goals by David Scannell and Tomás Dennehy were effectively the difference between the sides, with Fermoy never coming closer than two points thereafter.
The massed ranks of white shirts – Kiskeam’s alternative, with both forced to switch from black – proved difficult for the North Cork side to plot a path through, but even when they did they found goalkeeper Anthony Casey in irrepressible form.
Scannell, Gene Casey and Tom O’Sullivan kicked some wonderful points, especially in the second half, when Fermoy’s hopes would get a boost only for the momentum to be quelled each time.
The goals, in the 11th and 13th minutes, were hammer blows to Fermoy – defeated in the Premier IHC final by Bandon a fortnight previously – who had elected to play with the wind after winning the toss.
Kiskeam made light of the perceived disadvantage and were three to the good as Michael Casey opened the scoring before two by Gene Casey.
Though a good Ronan O’Callaghan point got Fermoy off the mark and Ruairí O’Hagan added a free, they were rocked as Kiskeam got in for their first goal.
Gene Casey fed the ball wide to Scannell, whose superb handpass for Michael Herlihy allowed him to drive at the Fermoy defence.
While he was doing that, Scannell was making up ground towards the middle and, when Herlihy showed good awareness to square the ball, the corner-forward had a tap-in.
Fermoy responded as O’Callaghan profited from good work by Jeffrey Daly and Kieran Morrison to point, but Kiskeam were about to strike again.
When O’Sullivan picked up possession, he was allowed to carry the ball deep into Fermoy territory and, like Herlihy before him, he found a willing runner in midfielder Dennehy, who finished nicely after possession was handed off to him.
Credit to Fermoy, Kiskeam would only be allowed one more score, Scannell rounding off a lovely move involving Seán Linehan and Adrian Carroll on 28, but at the other end there was frustration.
The wides tally began to mount worryingly – in contrast, their opponents wouldn’t kick their first until the third minute of first-half injury time and only had three in all – though some of that was down to good pressure by Kiskeam.
The score stood at 2-4 to 0-5 after Scannell’s point when Fermoy created what might have been a turning point. O’Hagan’s lovely reverse handpass was perfect for midfielder Pádraig de Róiste to run on to. He was right to go for goal with a ground shot, but Casey spread himself brilliantly to save at the expense of a 45.
Casey’s opposite number, Fermoy goalkeeper Liam Coleman, sent that over and there was time for O’Hagan from a free and Alan O’Connor from a tight angle to reduce the arrears by half-time, Kiskeam 2-4 to 0-8 in front.
A super point by Scannell extended the margin again on the resumption and the opening stages were even, though Anthony Casey again had to deny de Róiste on 40, doing well to hold onto his low shot.
Taking inspiration from that, they pushed clear once more, Tom O’Sullivan with a pair of beauties, the latter heavily assisted by centre-back Joseph Dennehy.
After another Anthony Casey intervention, diving bravely at the feet of martin Brennan, Scannell put five between the teams after Herlihy again set him up.
It was slipping away from Fermoy but a trio of O’Hagan frees again had them back to two, 2-9 to 0-13, with 11 minutes left.
Herlihy, provider of so much, got his first point in response and, as the clock ticked down, the defence remained resolute as Fermoy struggled to find a way through. Goalkeeper Coleman did convert another 45 but Gene Casey replied with his third.
The white wall couldn’t be breached in injury time and, on a breakaway, two of its prime exponents, secured the win, with corner-back Den Joe Casey setting up full-back and captain AJ O’Connor for the clinching score. It was all over bar the shouting, but there was a lot of shouting.
Scorers for Kiskeam:
D Scannell (1-4, 1 free); G Casey (0-3); T Dennehy (1-0); T O’Sullivan (0-2); M Herlihy, AJ O’Connor, M Casey (0-1 each).
Scorers for Fermoy:
R O’Hagan (0-7, 6 frees); R O’Callaghan (0-3); L Coleman (0-2 45); T Clancy, A O’Connor (0-1 each).
A Casey; K O’Connor, AJ O’Connor, DJ Casey; M Casey, J Dennehy, S Linehan; T Dennehy, P O’Leary; G Casey, M Herlihy, A Carroll; D Scannell, D Fitzgerald, T O’Sullivan.
S O’Sullivan for Carroll (50).
L Coleman; A Baragry, S Shanahan, J Daly; B O’Sullivan, T Clancy, P Murphy; S Aherne, P de Róiste; K Morrison, R O’Callaghan, P Clancy; M Brennan, R O’Hagan, A O’Connor.
D O’Carroll for S Aherne (18), J Hutchings for O’Connor (half-time), K Dorgan for Morrison (49), A Aherne for Brennan (57).
M Collins (Clonakilty).
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