THERE were no issues with the playability of pitches this time but Firies might well have hoped for some external intervention early in the second half as they found themselves on the end of a 10-point defeat to Cordal in Currow last Saturday with the victors fully deserving of their win from start to finish.
The previous week's game had to be abandoned because of a flash flood in the Currow area prior to the start of the original fixture and it also follows a pretty graphic video posted on YouTube of the condition of Cordal's own pitch following a recent County League game against Glenbeigh/Glencar.
While Cordal dominated the first half there were only in front by 0-4 to 0-3 after 25 minutes. Phillip O'Connor had scored all of their total up to that point but they were guilty of being a bit wasteful in converting some of their other chances as Firies battled hard to stay in the game, two Colm O'Shea frees and a point from Sean Burke keeping them in touch.
The game changed drastically in the remaining five first half minutes however, Cordal hitting a total of 1-4 without reply before the half-time whistle in what in an overall context would be an impressive 10 minutes of playing time from their perspective. Phillip Griffin and two points from Tommy O'Mahony along with O'Connor's fifth point were soon followed by a goal for Griffin right on the 30th minute mark.
O'Mahony was the provider for the Cordal centre-forward to make the half-time score a commanding 1-8 to 0-3 in favour of the designated home side. Matters didn't get any better for Firies upon the restart, a further 1-2 making it a total of 2-6 without reply until they stopped the rot in the 36th minute.
Padraig Dignam might well have been attempting a point in the 34th minute but his effort snuck under the post and into the net to put Cordal 2-10 to 0-3 in front at that stage.
Firies did get three unanswered points from O'Shea, Edward Kerrisk and Sean O'Sullivan in what was a rare purple patch but the game was really starting to peter out as a contest around the three quarter-mark.
Phillip O'Connor finished with seven points in what was a Man-of-the-Match performance by the Cordal corner-forward, Pierce Brosnan scored two from full-forward but Cordal can be very happy with the performances of Cian Fitzgerald and Jamie Cahill in defences. Eamon John O'Donoghue held station at midfield with the Cordal forwards looking to have the measure of their Firies markers throughout the entire 60 minutes.
Colm O'Shea finished with four points for the away side but really it was a case of who was missing for them more than anything else as they had to make do with Jack Sherwood, John O'Mahony and Mike Daly amongst others. There was no score in the final nine minutes of the match as Cordal used the full complement of substitutes available to them.
Firies' Sean O'Sullivan did miss a chance to put a better gloss of the final scoreline from their point of view but his effort at goal was pretty comfortable for Sean Og O Ciardubhain in the Cordal net.
Time was called on proceedings with the final scoreline 2-12 to 0-8 in Cordal's favour and they now head to Duagh in a repeat of the 2011 semi-final in the last eight with a decent degree of confidence following last Saturday's 12-point victory.
Cordal: Sean Og O Ciardubhain, John Mannix, Cian Fitzgerald, Jamie Cahill, Johnny O'Connor, Micheal Cahill, Dan O'Connor, Eamon John O'Donoghue, Donal McCarthy, Billy Cronin, Phillip Griffin (1-1), Padraig Dignam (1-0), Phillip O'Connor (0-7, 2f), Pierce Brosnan (0-2), Tommy O'Mahony (0-2) Subs: Tomas Reidy for Cronin, James O'Donoghue for O'Mahony, John Culloty for EJ O'Donoghue, Seamus O'Leary for Jamie Cahill and Niall O Ciardubhain for Brosnan.
Firies: Paul Murphy, Donagh O'Donoghue, John Hayes, Josh Flynn, Daniel O'Shea, Steven Foley, Shane Reidy, Daniel O'Connor, Sean O'Sullivan (0-1), Padraig De Brun, Colm O'Shea (0-4, 3f) Edward Kerrisk (0-2, 2f), Con O'Mahony, Billy O'Rourke, Sean Burke (0-1) Subs: Ger Fitzgerald for Burke and Donal O'Donoghue for Flynn.
Referee: Stephen Mulvihill (Ballylongford)