In­nis­carra doom Kilworth in play-off

The Corkman - - SPORT -

on the wall for Kilworth even at that early junc­ture, not least be­cause of the dom­i­nance en­joyed by In­nis­carra at the back where Conor Buck­ley was par­tic­u­larly com­mand­ing in the piv­otal berth.

It’s a mea­sure of Kilworth’s lim­i­ta­tions in at­tack that Paudie Lynch bagged their en­tire first half tally, all but a point of which came from frees. Trail­ing by 2-8 to 0-4 at the in­ter­val, Kilworth made a promis­ing start on the re­sump­tion, with Noel McNa­mara chip­ping in with a brace of points from play as they cut the gap to eight, 2-9 to 0-7, by the 35th minute.

They strug­gled to make fur­ther in­roads on the deficit, how­ever, as In­nis­carra, aided by the unerring marks­man­ship of Ai­dan O’Ma­hony from placed balls, re­mained firmly in the driv­ing seat for the rest of a lively en­counter.

Kilworth never gave up the fight, and their hopes were still flickering af­ter McNa­mara, from a free, and Will Con­don shared a brace of points to leave them 2-13 to 0-12 adrift at the three-quar­ter stage.

It was ob­vi­ous they needed a goal quickly in or­der to get back into se­ri­ous con­tention, and it never looked like com­ing against an In­nis­carra de­fence in which, be­sides Conor Buck­ley, Ger­ard Burke, John O’Cal­laghan and Kevin Burke stood-out.

John Casey regularly caught the eye for the win­ners as well at mid­field, while the ever-men­ac­ing Dan O’Con­nell had able ac­com­plices up front in Colm Casey, Ai­dan O’Ma­hony and Thomas O’Con­nor.

The bot­tom line was that In­nis­carra held most of the aces, and they were by no means flat­tered by their even­tual win­ning mar­gin, given that O’Con­nell was de­nied two more goals in the sec­ond half by the hero­ics of Kilworth ‘keeper Kieran Walsh.

Paudie Lynch fi­nally pulled a goal back for Kilworth in stop­page time, but that served merely to put a more re­spectable ap­pear­ance on the score­board at the fin­ish.

Kieran Lane, Nathan Byrne and Alan O’Con­nor at the back, and Paudie Lynch and Noel McNa­mara in at­tack achieved most over­all for the out-gunned losers, who must now re­turn to in­ter­me­di­ate ranks from where they emerged in 2012.

Mean­while, In­nis­carra will head into 2016 with a new back­room team, as Ger Man­ley re­vealed that he and his co-men­tors won’t be in­volved next year.

“We have been there for the past three years, reach­ing two semi fi­nals, so I think the time has come for oth­ers to take the process a bit fur­ther. We have a great bunch of play­ers, they are very com­mit­ted, and it was un­for­tu­nate that things didn’t go as well as we’d hoped this year.

“We played well in our first two games against Mallow and Cloyne, but we didn’t see ei­ther of them out, and the ham­mer­ing we took from Val­ley Rovers in Round 3 was just a freak,” he re­marked

Man­ley felt the play­ers’ at­ti­tude was right go­ing into this match, so he wasn’t sur­prised that they got the job done in such im­pres­sive fash­ion.

“We were ex­cel­lent tonight, but the most im­por­tant thing was we were con­sis­tent over the hour, and I thought we were well over Kilworth, to be hon­est,” said the for­mer In­nis­carra and Cork star.

Matthew Dil­worth on the move for Knock­na­gree against Fr. O’Neills in the Co. JAFC quar­ter fi­nal in Mallow

Photo by John Tar­rant

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