De La Salle leave it late to reach Corn Ui Mhuiri final
DLS Macroom withstood all that a determined St Fachtna's could throw at them in this pulsating Corn Ui Mhuiri all Cork semi-final and when needed, found an extra strength of character that put them on the road to the Munster Final.
The weather conditions at Ballineen made it impossible for both sides to play their usual brand of free flowing football and instead what materialised was a game of chess as both sides battled each other and the difficult crosswinds that prevailed for the duration of the game that saw both sides level at full time.
DLS Macroom who battled the stiff wind in the first half, made the better early running, and were 0-2 up inside the first 4 minutes through the assured free kicking of Cian Healy.
The Skibbereen side were near dominant with possession but a wasteful first quarter saw them kick eight wides but they had the lead back in their hands by the 22nd minute.
Patrick Bohane added to an early brace of Michael Hurley points but it was to be a frustrating day for the St Fachtna's danger man and Cork minor who was well marshalled throughout by Kevin O'Dwyer.
DLS Macroom's James Moynihan levelled matters on the 24th minute but it could well have been so different if Colm O'Driscoll had not brought off a fine point blank save from Moynihan a few minutes later. It was a great move that saw Moynihan get on the end of a William Coakley delivery after a fine catch by stand out midfielder Peter Kelleher.
Facthna's were to have the last say of the half with Sean O'Donovan tapping over a 21M free after his "advantage" for an earlier foul saw him blaze wide.
St. Fachtna's, who were looking to reach their first final in 23 years, moved to remedy their midfield woes early in the second half with the introduction of Liam Coombes. He certainly helped to nullify the Macroom threat and despite an early brace from Healy, Coombes levelled matters for the fourth time at 0-5 apiece.
Healy and O'Callaghan swapped points and the sides were level for a fifth time heading into the final quarter as the patrons were already thinking ahead for extra time. However a 57th minute goal by Michael Hurley almost seemed to be the perfect score at the perfect time as the Skibbereen men could see the final in their sights. It looked certain that in a game with so few goal chances they would close it out. However, Macroom forced a dramatic goalmouth struggle a minute later with Joe Ryan toe poking a shot to the net to send the game to extra time.
Macroom seemed buoyed by their late late escape and made all the running in the extra periods. John Murphy and Ryan had points inside the first 3 minutes of the first period and despite a late reply from Hurley, it seemed the life was draining from the West Cork challenge. As the conditions deteriorated even further, Macroom's Sean Kelleher had the only point of the second period of the extra time and even though it put only 2 points between them, it was a score deserving of reaching a Corn Ui mhuire Final.
DLS Macroom: A Duggan, B McMahon, S Kelleher 0-1, J Cronin, D O'Callaghan, K Dwyer, J Murphy 0-1, P Kelleher, D Cahalane, W Coakley, B O'Leary, J Moynihan 0-1, F McSweeney, J Ryan 1-1, C Healy 0-5 (4F). Subs: D Creedon for W Coakley (52), D Murphy for D Cahalane (78) S Foley for B O'Leary (79)
St Fachtna's: C O'Driscoll, D Whelton, R Walsh, D O'Driscoll, D O'Callaghan 0-1, A Hasset, T Bushe, D McCarthy, C Newman, D Casey, P Bohane 0-1, C Nolan, S Leonard, S O'Donovan 0-1, M Hurley 1-3 (0-2F). Subs: L Coombes 0-1, for C Newman (H/T) E O'Driscoll for P Bohane (48) C O'Sullivan for S Leonard (65) P Bohane for D Casey (74), D Hoyrihane for E O'Driscoll (78)
Referee: Eddie Walsh (Kerry)