Pow­er­ful dis­play sees Knock over the line against De­laneys

The Corkman - - SPORT - JOHN TARRANT Banteer

KNOCK­NA­GREE hit win­ning ways to ward off the in­ten­tions of De­laneys in the open­ing round to the County JAFC at an in­clement Banteer on Sun­day.

Hav­ing re­lin­quished their Duhal­low ti­tle eleven days pre­vi­ously, Knock­na­gree held the craft and the skill to get back on track in de­mand­ing con­di­tions with wind and rain prov­ing a ma­jor bur­den on the pro­ceed­ings.

In­deed, Knock­na­gree rode out an early storm from the city cham­pi­ons and favoured by the el­e­ments dur­ing the sec­ond half, they set­tled into a rhythm and rou­tine to pull away for a com­pre­hen­sive win.

Knock­na­gree got off to a flyer, Eoghan McSweeney point­ing di­rect from the start yet the Duhal­low side were thank­ful to ‘keeper Pa Doyle on thwart­ing Roy Downey on a ter­rific save.

Af­ter team cap­tain Matthew Dil­worth dou­bled Knock­na­gree’s ad­van­tage, De­laneys favoured by the el­e­ments came more into the pic­ture, points to Vin­cent Keat­ing, Calvin Healy and Downey claimed par­ity.

Though Fin­tan O’Con­nor an­swered with a Knock­na­gree flag, De­laneys held their own from the in­put of Keat­ing, Gary Gould, Ro­nan Fo­ley and Downey. Mas­sive points from Mark O’Driscoll and Ciarán McCarthy gave De­laneys a brief lead 0-5 to 0-4.

A nip and tuck fare con­tin­ued, Knock­na­gree re­gained the up­per­hand, the highly ef­fec­tive Dil­worth de­liv­ered a pair. Though De­laneys an­swered per Danny Ah­ern to tie up mat­ters for the fourth oc­ca­sion, Knock­na­gree en­joyed a pos­i­tive fin­ish, An­thony O’Con­nor and James Dennehy on tar­get for a 0-8 to 0-6 lead.

Now aided by the wind, Knock­nagee upped the pace on the restart, some po­si­tional moves worked well, Danny Cooper shifted from mid­field to wing­back, lend­ing solid sup­port to Seán Daly and Michael Ma­honey. Sub­sti­tute Paul O’Con­nor fit­ted in well with Padraig Collins at mid­field to al­low reg­u­lar ball into at­tack for Fin­tan and An­thony O’Con­nor to reap pos­ses­sion and add points.

De­laneys threat­ened a re­vival, Gould left unat­tended to solo for­ward and a well struck shot was again saved by Doyle be­tween the Knock­na­gree up­rights. In­deed, De­laneys weren’t pre­pared to re­lent too eas­ily, points to McCarthy and Downey nar­rowed the ar­rears.

That was short­lived, Knock­na­gree re­ceived an all im­por­tant shot in the arm in the 39th minute, Fin­tan O’con­nor’s ef­fort blocked only for the per­fectly po­si­tioned Cooper have the eas­i­est of tasks to net from the re­bound. And a fol­low up pointed free from An­thony O’Con­noe helped Knock­na­gree en­joy a 1-13 to 0-8 ad­van­tage.

As con­di­tions wors­ened, the tempo dropped, Knock­na­gree con­sol­i­dated their po­si­tion from points to Ma­honey and O’Con­nor to se­cure a ticket into a quar­ter fi­nal.

KNOCK­NA­GREE: P Doyle; A Shee­han, Daly, G O’Con­nor; M Ma­honey, K Buck­ley, K Daly; D Cooper 1-1, P Collins; J Dennehy 0-1, M Daly 0-4, E McSweeney 0-1; F O’Con­nor 0-2, A O’Con­nor 0-7 (6f), J F Daly Subs: P O’Con­nor for K Daly(ht), D Moyni­han for Shee­han (49), C White for Dil­worth (52), T Long for F O’Con­nor (52), T Cooper for Collins (58), J Car­roll for S Daly (59)

DELANYS: N Fo­ley; D Car­roll, J Mulc­ahy, E O’Brien; V Keat­ing 0-2, P Cough­lan, G Gould; R Fo­ley, K Hos­ford; K Fo­ley, R Downey 0-4(0-2f), D Ah­ern; C Healy 0-1, M O’Driscoll 0-1f, C McCarthy 0-2 Subs: G Spriggs for Car­roll (ht), E Cul­li­nane for O’Driscoll (40), C Fo­ley for K Fo­ley (40), A Caf­fer­key for Cough­lan (46), R McGinn for McCarthy (51)

REF­EREE: M Shee­han (Lis­car­roll)

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