Saturday 19 January 2019

Duhallow have the ability to advance

County SFC Round 3, Duhallow v St Nicks, Saturday, September 8, Macroom 7pm

John Tarrant

More than 23 weeks without a competitive game, Duhallow face up again to city opponents.

It was all too easy for Duhallow in the opening round, encountering few problems on overcoming Seandún.

That put Duhallow into the next phase where put in an impressive performance to defeat UCC.

For the best part, Duhallow emerged the more probable winners because of the manner in which they controlled possession to deliver a workmanlike performance.

Having had matters all their own way against Seandún seven days previous, Duhallow expected a tougher test yet apart from a brief spell, the divisional representatives had matters pretty their own way.

Indeed Duhallow bossed the game, a subdued College, short quite a number of their regulars seldom performed near the performance of a side that claimed a thrilling one point triumph over Carbery a week earlier

Indeed Duhallow held the answers, defensively, Duhallow were secure, Bart Daly, Dermot Hickey, Kevin Crowley and TJ Brosnan contributed wholesomely to a solid performance, Fintan O'Connor and Paul Walsh received good support to create an impact in the centre. And in attack, no surprise Donncha O'Connor and Seamus Hickey in the thick of the action.

From that side, a number of players have picked up injuries most notably Dermot Hickey, Brosnan, Walsh and Anthony O'Connor.

A dominant St Nicks were made to sweat by a below par Kiskeam in the opening round. The Duhallow side had the margin pared back to only two points and came in search of a reprieve only for their hopes to fade.

In truth, the honours went where they belonged, outsiders St Nicks made a bold statement, raising their game to levels where Kiskeam failed to reach. Giving a fine account of themselves, the Nick's will try to build on that performance

Duhallow go into the tussle, probably unaware until the weekend before they know who is available given club championship games at both county and division. For a division to have no game for close on six months, this is a potential banana skin and in St Nicks, they will be wary.

On paper, Duhallow will be favourites but given the scenario of little collective preparation, club involvement and injuries, there should be no complacency.

This could be a lot closer that some envisage yet its a Duhallow vote to book a place in round 4 against Clyda Rovers or Valley Rovers.

Verdict: Duhallow