Out-gunned and out-muscled Clyda need rethink
County SFC Round 1: St Finbarrs 3-12 Clyda Rovers 0-6
Few thought before last Saturday that Clyda Rovers were going to be in for an easy ride, facing up to the county champions St Finbarrs straight out of the gate, but less would have thought that there would be such a gulf in class as became apparent right from the off.
Both sides came into the game with new managers as the Barr's Paul O'Keeffe faced up to Clyda's Martin Crummey in what was a big game for both the management and playing teams.
Clyda have been struggling at senior in recent years and would have preferred any other draw outside of the reigning champions and while the Avondhu side gave it their all on the night at Pairc Uí Rinn they were just out-gunned, out-muscled and out played by what has to be described as a superior football side.
From the champions perspective all eyes were on Ian Maguire as he returned from injury an injury sustained with the inter-county side, while for Clyda Ray Carey and Paudie Kissane always cause problems, regardless of the mileage on the clock.
From the first whistle the Mourneabbey side were on the back foot as Colin Lyons put his team in the lead before the clock hit 10 seconds. Lyons' early intervention was a sign of what was to follow as the boys in blue just kept attacking what was an over worked and struggling Clyda defensive pack.
Points from Lyons, Stephen Sherlock, Maguire, Enda Dennehy and Eoghan McGreevy followed as the Barr's took the game by the scruff and just wouldn't let go.
Things went from bad to worse for the side destined to lose as they lost their midfield general Dan O'Callaghan inside three minutes to what at the time looked like a nasty leg injury.
It almost took 20 minutes for Clyda to trouble the scoreboard operator when Ronan Flanagan eventually raised a white flag, but it was to be just a little light relief as the blue train upped a gear and hit back with a point from Sherlock and the game's first goal.
While all goals conceded are like belts to the solar-plexus this one was particularly hard to take as a poor attempt at a clever kick-out from the Clyda keeper Elliot Sheehan went straight to McGreevy and the corner-forward made no mistake with a brilliant finish to the Clyda net.
Sherlock kept the pressure up with a couple of more points and the county champions were well on their way to victory as they led by 1-8 to 0-2 as the sides headed for the tunnel.
Clyda responded well in the opening minutes of the second half with another point from Flanagan. Soon after a brilliant save from Sheehan kept the score-line respectable, but the Barr's smelled blood in the water and they raised their second green flag within minutes when Colm Keane finished in style.
The sides traded scores as the game entered borrowed time with Clyda bagging the final two points of the game to put some respectability on the board.
This tough day at the office for Clyda will need to be revisited on the training ground but to be fair to the boys in black and amber there are few sides in Cork that could handle St Finbarrs right now.
Round 2 will be a big test for the Avondhu side as they look to bounce back in the best way possible - with a win.
ST FINBARRS: P. O'Neill; S. Ryan, J. Burns, A. O'Connor 1-0; C. Lyons 0-1, G. O'Connor; D. Quinn; I. Maguire 0-1, E. Comyns 0-1; C. Keane 1-0, S. Sherlock 0-7 (4F), E. Dennehy; E. McGreevy 1-0, R. O'Mahony, C. Dennehy 0-1 Subs: D. O'Brien 0-1 for C Keane (BS 9), C. Scully for A O'Connor (ht), D. O'Brien for R O'Mahony (38), O'Connor for E Comyns (53)
CLYDA ROVERS: E. Sheehan; S. Ronayne, R. Carey, C. Kenny; J. Buckley, P. Kissane, M. Forde; C. Flanagan 0-3 (2F), D. O'Callaghan; D. Buckley, C. Kelly, D. Walsh; S. Ronayne, P. Cronin 0-1, R. Flanagan 0-2 (1f) Subs: R. Willis for D O'Callaghan (2), C. Buckley for J. Buckley (38), B. O'Connor for S Ronayne (38)
Referee: B. Coniry (Crosshaven)