WEST CORK GAEL REPORTS
UNLIKE its counterpart in the double-decker programme at Enniskeane on Monday afternoon, this Kinetica South West junior A hurling championship first-round tussle between Kilbrittain’s second team and Kilbree was in doubt until the dying moments of an exciting game.
Ironically, it was two substitutes, James Hurley and Eamon Lyons, who teamed up superbly, as Declan Harrington powered home the crucial third Kilbrittain goal in the 58th minute. Even then the Seasiders could not relax as gallant Kilbree surged forward from the puckout, in one last desperate foray. However, a pointed free by one of their long-serving stalwart Kevin O’Donovan was their only reward, as fine defending by the Kilbrittain defence, in particular Nick O’Donovan and Dave Hayes, thwarted the Blues for a final time.
It was that kind of game, close, reasonably exciting, honest endeavour from both teams, but on mature reflection the knowhow sprinkled amongst the Kilbrittain team, in the shape of several players who had intermediate experience under their belts, stood them in good stead and was of paramount importance to the result.Another factor to be considered is that on glancing at the scoreboard, the spread of scores by the Kilbrittain personnel was much more comprehensive than that of Kilbree, who had Kevin
O’Donovan accounting for 0-9, while Liam Daly had 0-3 and Darragh Coakley scored 1-1.
Sharing In marked contrast, the Black and Amber had five players sharing the spoils, with the scoring return of Des Deasy, a personal tally of 0-7, being particularly noteworthy.
The octane scoring, in an overall context, ensured that the interest level never waned at any stage, with the sides being level on four occasions in an exciting opening 20 minutes. Liam Daly, who worked very hard in the Kilbree cause, opened proceedings in the very first minute, before Des Deasy began his scoring crusade with points from play and a dead ball.
Then in a whirlwind of frenetic action, both sides raised green flags inside a minute. A Nigel Quinlan free was touched home by Kilbrittain’s Seamus O’Brien. Almost from
the restart, Kilbree broke downfield, Daniel O’Leary found the impressive Darragh Coakley and from close range he flicked the ball high into the Kilbrittain rigging past Terry O’Regan.It set the tone for a flurry of activity with Quinlan, Deasy, Paudie Hurley, Fintan O’Connell, Declan Harrington and Owen Sexton motoring well for the winners. While Damien Bennett, Dave O’Donovan, Ray Collins, Daly, Kevin O’Donovan and Coakley were prominent for Kilbree at this stage as first one team, then the other, had periods of supremacy.
Then just on the blow of half time with the match poised on a knife’s edge, 1-8 to 1-7, and Kilbree just in the ascendancy, Kilbrittain struck for a crucial second major. Declan Harrington won possession, parted to captain Denis Murphy and when alert Kilbree keeper Denis Dullea parried his drive, the lurking Paudie Hurley swept the rebound home. A cruel blow to Kilbree, it was to get worse before it improved as Declan Harrington rattled over another point on the second half resumption, 2-8 to 1-8.
However, Kilbree refused to go away and with Kevin O’- Donovan faultless from frees and Liam Daly, Coakley and Shane O’Donovan still battling away, they chipped at the Kilbrittain lead. But the ability of the Black and Amber to match like-with-like, and with Deasy proving an ace in the scoring pack, it was nip and tuck until Harrington sealed it at the death.
Kilbrittain have jumped a tricky obstacle, while Kilbree have possible redemption against Bandon in round two.
Scorers Kilbrittain: Des Deasy 0-7 (4f), Declan Harrington 1-2, Paudie Hurley 1-0, Seamus O’Brien 1-0, Nigel
Kilbree:Kevin O’Donovan 0-9 (6f, 1 65), Darragh Coakley 1-1, Liam Daly 0-3.
Kilbrittain; Terry O’Regan; Seán Crowley, Ivan Burke, Seán Mc-Carthy; John Kearney, Nick O’Donovan, Dave Hayes; Owen Sexton,Nigel Quinlan; Fintan O’Connell,
Paudie Hurley, Des Deasy; Declan Harrington, Seamus O’Brien, Denis Murphy.
Subs used: Eamon Lyons, JamesHurley.
Kilbree: Denis Dullea; Dave O’Donovan, Brian O’Donovan, Liam O’Brien; Damien Bennett, Danny Kelly, Timmy
O’Donovan; Ray Collins, Shane O’Donovan; Daniel O’Leary, John Clancy, Darragh Coakley; Thomas McCarthy, Liam Daly, Kevin O’Donovan.