Duhallow blow Muskerry away
County SFC Preliminary 1: Duhallow 3-20 Muskerry 0-9
The scoreline tells the story of Duhallow cutting loose to dominate this opening round to the County Senior Football Championship over a disappointing Muskerry challenge in Kanturk on Easter Monday.
Quite simply, Duhallow were in a different class, never a doubt about the outcome, the victors imposing their authority on the proceedings from an early stage.
Meeting for the fifth occasion over the past decade, close encounters had become the norm and honours shared from the previous four clashes.
From a neutral perspective, another eagerly awaited clash looked on the cards, but failed to materialise, a severely depleted Muskerry side operated second fiddle and their overall performance was well down on what would be expected from the famous Mid Cork division.
Again the mantra of a key fixture for a divisional side soon after club games surfaced, injuries to players saw Muskerry forced to bring in seven different players from the side listed on the match programme.
That compared to a Duhallow line-up, fielding accurately as to the programme, producing a performance right out of the top drawer with a potent mix of crisp attacking football, defiant defending and intelligent midfield work very evident. Possessing no obvious weak links, their energy and drive was confirmed on 3-19 coming from play with eleven players on the scoreboard.
Duhallow were quickly into their stride, sweeping moves yielded early points from the O'Connor trio, Jerry, Donncha and Anthony. The one way traffic continued, an attractive brand of football evident from a sweet move, Kevin Crowley, Aidan Walsh and Jerry O'Connor setting up Mark Healy for a peach of a point.
Muskerry waited to the 10th minute to open their account from a long range point by Daniel Goulding. Duhallow answered, points to Barry O'Connor and Seamus Hickey saw all six forwards on the scoreboard just past the half way mark in the opening half.
Overall, Duhallow ruled supreme, shining facets was the consistent tenacity of Dermot Hickey, John McLoughlin, Bart Daly and Crowley in defence, while Walsh and Alan Ryan dominated midfield to supply fodder to an enterprising attack.
Driving forward at every opportunity, Duhallow breached the Mid Cork cover, Walsh setting up Healy for a goal. Muskerry were clearly second best though a point from Dan O'Connor just on the call of the break offered a degree of encouragement to trail 1-12 to 0-2 at the break.
However, Duhallow mirrored their earlier start to the game on grasping the initiative on the restart, Jerry O'Connor and Hickey combining to hand Healy, the easiest of tasks to bag his second goal. Indeed matters continued on a similar vein, a trio of points stretched their grip 2-15 to 0-3 as an air of inevitability had wafted over the proceedings.
Thereafter, the tempo dropped a gear and in fairness, Muskerry never threw in the towel, taking encouragement from the play of Olaimh Ó Loingsigh, Goulding, Dave McCarthy and Fintan Gould. Winning more possession allowed the visitors double their tally thanks to David Horgan, Darren Dineen and Chris Óg Jones bisecting the uprights.
As Duhallow emptied the bench, replacements got into the scoring act with Michael Vaughan and Paul Walsh adding to the tally.
From a long way, only one result was on the cards, Duhallow applied the icing on the cake, Hickey placing another substitute Eoghan McSweeney for a third goal in the last piece of action.
Duhallow: B O'Connor (Cullen); L O'Neill (Kanturk) 0-1, E O'Callaghan (Rockchapel), D Hickey (Cullen); J McLoughlin (Kanturk), B Daly (Newmarket), K Crowley (Millstreet); A Walsh (Kanturk) 0-1, A Ryan (Newmarket); B O'Connor (Newmarket) 0-4, D O'Connor (Ballydesmond) 0-4, 1f, A O'Connor (Knocknagree) 0-2; J O'Connor (Boherbue) 0-2, M Healy (Kanturk) 2-2, S Hickey (Rockchapel) 0-2 Subs: A Browne (Newmarket) for A O'Connor (36), J Corkery (Boherbue) for A Walsh (38), E McSweeney (Knocknagree) 1-0 for Crowley (41), D Moynihan (Knocknagree) for D O'Connor (45), M Vaughan (Millstreet) 0-1 for Healy (53), P Walsh 0-1 for McLoughlin (55)
Muskerry: C Kelly (Éire Óg); L Wall (Kilmurry), O Ó Loinsigh (Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh, K Manning (Iveleary); D O'Connor (Éire Óg) 0-1, C de hÍde (Naomh Abán), C Cotter (Kilmichael); F Goold (Macroom), D Horgan (Macroom) 0-2; D Goold (Macroom), J Corkery (Aghabullogue) 0-1, D McCarthy (Kilmurry); B Seartáin (Béal Athan Ghaorthaidh), D Goulding (Éire Og) 0-2, D Seartáin (Béal Athan Ghaorthaidh) Subs: B Cronin (Iveleary) 0-1 for Wall (ht inj), D Dineen (Clondrohid) 0-1 for D Seartáin (37), C Óg Jones (Iveleary) 0-1 for Cotter (42 bc), J Buckley (Aghabullogue) for Kelly (54)
Referee: C Dineen (Douglas)