Cork SAFC: Concession of first-half goals disrupts Knocknagri as St Michaels win

Bon Secures County SAFC

St. Michaels 2-12

Knocknagri 2-9

St Michael’s dominated Knocknagri by registering a three-point victory in the first round of Bon Secours Company SAFC (Group C) at Carrigadrohid on Saturday evening.

A repeat from the previous season where a faster City side also posted a narrow win, St Michael’s only had the class to deliver tell-tale scores to advance to a decider to lose to Mallow. On occasion, with a rough wind and intermittent rain, playing conditions were difficult, although both sides offered a clear path of football.

St Michael’s actually made use of the elements in the opening half and two quick-fire goals left Knocknagri chasing the contest. A perfect start for City’s men, the throw allowed Rory O’Shaughnessy to win possession.

With both sides taking time to adapt to conditions, St Michael’s threw off the shackles, with Andrew Murphy adding a second point before the contest, insisting St Michael’s score two goals in rapid succession in a certain swing.

The Knocknagri restart resulted in a double strike from high press, with corner forward Adam Hennessy penalizing defensive errors with a goal and taking a 2–3 0–1 advantage by the end of the opening quarter.

Credit Knocknagri for lifting the siege, his confidence was restored when Finton O’Connor pointed a pair of hard freezes with a follow up play. In fact Knocknagri struggled strongly with his game of catch-up, and he was back in the hunt after a teasing delivery from Egan McSweeney, allowing O’Connor to clear the dues at the break, 2-5 to 1. Expert is eliminated over the net to reduce to -4.

And when O’Connor added a point free straight on the resume, Knocknagri, now favored by the elements, looked well equipped to erase the deficit. However, St Michael’s had other ideals and continued to advance with a point free with Eric Hegarty on the scoresheets of defenders Peter Cunningham and Tom Lenihan.

And it took a smart intervention from Knocknagree’s keeper Patrick Doyle to deny O’Shaughnessy of a certain target. The momentum kept up with St Michael’s, Hennessy and he added a point to extend his side’s advantage to seven.

Knocknagri had a lot of work to do to find his way back into the competition, with his hopes raised by a pair of Finton O’Connors and third from Gyroyd Looney. Still St Michael’s held a hold, with Eric Hegarty resting 2–12 for the South players in a 1–8 position.

Knocknagri refused to wither, Michael Mahoney moved from one corner to the next, and in time, Eogan McSweeney teamed up with his cousin Michael to net the former county minor.

With the margin cut to three points, Knocknagri had left himself with little to do and his valiant effort was time-out. St Michael’s win allowed last season’s runners-up to pick up momentum in Group C, while Knocknagri would seek a return from engagement with Bishopstown in two weeks to revive their campaign.

St. Michaels: M Burke; L. Carroll, J. Golden, S. Keating; T Lenihan 0-1, A O’Callaghan, P Cunningham 0-1; A. Murphy 0-1, D. Meaney; De Lenihan 0-1, L O’Herlihy, R O’Shaughnessy 0-1; K Hegarty, E Hegarty 0-5 (1f), A Hennessy 2-2 Membership: K to E. O’Donovan Hegarty (58)

Knocknagri: P Doyle; M Mahoney 0-1, M Doyle, G O’Connor; D. Cooper, K. Buckley, G. Looney 0-1; De Moynihan, David O’Connor; J Dennehy, E McSweeney, F O’Connor 1-6 (5f); Dennis O’Connor 0-1, JF Daly, Ann O’Connor Membership: T O’Connor for Dee Moynihan (43), M Dilworth (50) for D O’Connor, M McSweeney 1-0 (50) for N O’Connor

Referee: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan)