Powerful display sees Knock over the line against Delaneys
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)