Mallow 2-15 It TOOK extra-time to separate the outcome of this Tom Creedon Cup semi final between Macroom and Mallow on Monday night at Mallow with the Mid Cork side progressing to the final by the narrowest of margins. As the scoreline suggests very little separated the teams with the issue in doubt right until the final whistle.
The opening half saw Macroom make the better start with their forwards linking up very well as a unit in particular Andrew Hegarty, Olan Murphy and Pa Lucey and by the 17th minute they were full value for their 0-7 to 0-2 lead the pick of these scores being a defence splitting pass by Sean Kiely who set up Pa Lucey to score a marvellous point.
As the half progressed Mallow came more into the equation. Donal Relihan set up Cian O'riordan for a point in the 21st minute while moments later they were right back in the hunt when Kevin Sheehan, Donal Relihan and Denis Hayes linked up well for Eoin Murphy for a well taken goal 0-7 to 1-3.
However, Macroom's response was instant and from their next attack Pa Lucey released the inrushing Olan Murphy who made no mistake from close range that helped them hold a 1-7 to 1-4 lead at the interval.
On the resumption the Mallow challenge grew in stature. Cian O'riordan (2), Fintan Goold and Sean Kiely traded points before the Avondhu outfit hit the front for the first time when a well worked movement started by Billy Sheahan at corner back eventually saw Denis Hayes punch to the net to make it 2-7 to 1-9.
In an entertaining contest points were exchanged between Rory Downey and Olan Murphy before Macroom regained the lead in the 50th minute when a delivery out near the sideline was broken down on the edge of the square with John Ryan quick to react to find the net 2-10 to 2-8.
With a place in the final at stake Mallow shaded matters from here to the final whistle. Cian O'riordan narrowed the deficit to a slender margin before he was on hand to kick over the equalising score at the end of normal time after Eoin Stanton intercepted a Macroom clearance that ensured the game went to extra time when tied at 2-10 apiece.
Extra-time was again closely contested with Hurl Dockery, Fintan Goold, John Ryan and Cian O'riordan swapping minors as the break approached. However, in the closing moments Macroom took the lead they would not relinquish when John Ryan pointed a free before a goal by Sean Kiely in injury time helped them put a bit of daylight between the teams at the break 3-13 to 2-12.
This proved to be Macroom's last score of the evening with Mallow throwing caution to the wind on the changeover with Cian O'riordan (2) and Hurl Dockery chipping in with points but try as they might they were unable to force parity with Macroom holding on for a close win and a meeting against Valley Rovers or Mayfield in the Tom Creedon Cup final.
MACROOM: D Dineen, P Lynch, R Buckley, M O'donnell, M Cahill, F Goold 0-2 (0-1f), G England, E O'mahony, S. D Quinlan 0-1, O Murphy 1-1, S Kiely 1-1, T Dineen, A Hegarty 0-2, P Lucey 0-4, J Ryan 1-2 (0-2f), Subs: D Kelly for T Dineen (inj), C O'sullivan for M O'donnell, D Quinlan for P Lucey, T Dineen for E O'mahony (et)
MALLOW: C Sheehan, T O'keeffe, J Culloty, M Murphy, D Kerrisk, C Kerrisk, E Stanton, H Dockery 0-3 (0-1f), D Hayes 1-0, C O'neill, C O'riordan 0-8 (05f), K Sheehan 0-1, E Murphy 1-2, D Relihan, C Stanton, Subs: B Sheahan for T O'keeffe, R Downey 0-1 for C O'neill, F O'neill for C Kerrisk (et)
REFEREE: James Bermingham (Bride Rovers)