Goals do the trick for Dromtariffe
County IFC: Dromtariffe 3-9 Millstreet 1-10
Dromtariffe earned the bragging rights by comfortably overcoming near neighbours Millstreet.
When it mattered, the 2018 Junior champions Dromtariffe looked the more complete side, their teamwork and understanding produced cohesive football in windy conditions. Defensively, Dromtariffe were superb, holding the tightest of reins on the opposing attack and provided the launchpad for numerous attacks. And at various stages, the Dromtariffe full forward line delivered telling scores, consistent talisman Daniel O'Keeffe posted 0-7 and colleague Shane Collins matched the sum with a 2-1 tally.
Played in front of a decent crowd, this local derby certainly lived up to expectations and produced a sporting contest where every ball was challenged for, but at the end the much sharper JAFC winners prevailed.
Better composure under pressure, Dromtariffe produced a performance brimful of commitment and resolve, not least during the closing quarter when Millstreet had the deficit down to a single point. However Dromtariffe emerged a class apart, their teamwork and ability to break at pace proved decisive to yield a brace of goals from full forward Collins.
Team captain Adam Buckley had fired home a morale boosting first half goal to separate the sides at the interval and the skipper applauded the efforts of his colleagues .
"Weather conditions didn't help neither team, thankfully, we came out on the right side by putting our shoulder to the wheel in the second half, standing up to get the goals against the wind. There is a great rivalry between the two sides, Millstreet were always going to come back at us, our defence were immense and the team grew up in front of everybody", beamed a delighted Buckley.
Prompted by the key play of Buckley and Conor O'Callaghan at midfield, Dromtariffe established an early foothold that allowed O'Keeffe point from both frees and play. Though Millstreet answered with Cathal Crowley pointed frees, an important score surfaced on 17 minutes at the opposite end, Buckley gathered a pass from O'Keeffe and applied a clinical finish to the roof of the Millstreet net.
At times, the howling wind and drizzle made producing quality play difficult yet from the entertaining proceedings, Millstreet answered with a trio of points from Crowley, Donough Murphy and James Linehan that effective cancelled out the concession of the goal.
The impetus returned to Dromtariffe, back to back points from O'Keeffe earned 1-6 to 0-6 advantage at the short whistle. Millstreet looked well positioned on resuming with the strong elements at their back, though exerting strong pressure from the input of Mark Ellis, Paul Sheehan and Shane Hickey, two points from Crowley and Michael Murphy proved a poor return for ample possession.
A chance of a goal fell to Donough Murphy only to be thwarted by a terrific block from Dromtariffe 'keeper Dan Mann. Indeed Millstreet were unable to take advantage as a compact Dromtariffe defence under Conor Cremin, Seán Howard and Brian O'Keeffe snuffed out the attacking threat.
For much of the third quarter, Dromtariffe found it difficult to breach the half way line but a barren scoring spell for Dromtariffe was broken when O'Callaghan posted a sublime point against the elements. That score switched over the initiative to Dromtariffe again, rewarded on defence splitting moves with O'Keeffe pointing.
Not the flag of surrender for Dromtariffe remained a dominant force, wrestling back the initiative, Evan Murphy and Denis O'Donoughue combined for Shane Collins to goal his number one. Indeed, Dromtariffe tightened the screw, this time, O'Keeffe, the provider for Collins to rattle the the net.
At this stage, the game was beyond doubt, Millstreet fought to the finish, a consolation goal from substitute Kevin Crowley and a point Mark Ellis eased the pain somewhat. Plenty of homework for Millstreet to consider in the weeks ahead if they are to bounce back and obtain a place to the business end of a competitive championship.
DROMTARIFFE: D Mann; C O'Mahony, C Cremin, S Howard; T Howard, J Murphy, B O'Keeffe; A Buckley 1-0, C O'Callaghan 0-1; E Murphy, D O'Donoughue, M Healy; M O'Connor, S Collins 2-1, D O'Keeffe (0-7, 3f). Subs: E Mernagh for C O'Mahony (23), D O'Connor for M Healy (28 inj), M Lynes for M O'Connor(59).
MILLSTREET: D O'Leary; B O'Connor, O Murphy, C O'Leary; D Kiely, P Sheehan, D Buckley; S Hickey, M Ellis 0-1f; N Flahive, A Murphy, M Murphy 0-1; C Crowley 0-6 (5f), D Murphy 0-1, J Lenihan 0-1. Subs: T Sheehan for D Murphy (42), K Crowley 1-0 for M Murphy(42), P Moynihan for J Linehan(46).
Referee: J Ryan(Macroom)