St Finbarr’s 0-6
IN A game they dominated for long periods, Mallow got the better of the Barrs in their Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC clash at Mourneabbey last night.
For most of the tie they were the better side and were deserving winners as they beat a fancied Barrs team. And on last night’s display it’s going to take a very good team to beat them.
They defended in numbers when they had to and broke at pace to set up attacks of their own.
Defensively, they were very strong led by centre-back Daniel Sheehan. He had the tough task of marking Kevin Hodgins and to his credit he did so, keeping the Barrs dangerman scoreless, no easy feat.
At midfield Ryan Harkin and Tom Kennedy were in top form and up front Liam Attridge and Pat Herlihy were prominent. Herlihy was by far the best player on the pitch and his pace was a constant threat to the Barrs defence.
He scored a point, but was involved in most of their scores and is going to worry plenty more defences before this championship is over.
The goals were the difference between the two sides and the first helped Mallow to a two point lead at half-time, having played against the wind.
In fairness to the Barrs, they upped their game and played better against the wind than with it, with the likes of Eoin Comyns, Ian Maguire, Enda Dennehy and Dara Comyns the pick of their side.
Eoin Comyns put the Barrs in front, with Michael O’Rourke equalising,
Attridge put Mallow in front and with 20 minutes gone, O’Rourke played a one-two with Aaron Sheehan to see the former get their first goal. Points from Dara Comyns and Eoin Hill made it 1-2 to 0-3 at half time.
Dara and Eoin Comyns were both on target early in the second-half to level it and it looked like the Barrs were going to drive on from here. But Mallow had other ideas with Killian O’Connor and Herlihy pointing to restore their lead.
With 43 minutes gone a long ball from Jack O’Hanlon found O’Rourke, who ran at the Barrs defence. His pass found Aaron Sheehan who gave Colm Keane no chance in the Barrs goal to see them lead by 2-4 to 0-5.
Cathal O’Sullivan pulled a point back for the Barrs, with Attridge replying for Mallow to make it 2-5 to 0-6 with eight minutes left to play.
A minute later and Mallow keeper, Padraig Buckley, made sure there would be no late surge by the Barrs when he saved superbly from Eoin Comyns as Mallow ran out deserving winners of a top-class game.
Scorers for Mallow: M O’Rourke 1-1, A Sheehan 1-0, L Attridge 0-2, K O’Connor, P Herlihy 0-1 each.
St Finbarr’s: E Comyns, D Comyns (f) 0-2 each, E Hill, C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
MALLOW: P Buckley; M Dineen, J Murphy, J O’Hanlon; H Cosgrove, D Sheehan, P Buckley; R Harkin, T Kennedy; P Herlihy, L Attridge, D Sheehan; M O’Rourke, K O’Connor, A Sheehan.
Sub: R Mills for M O’Rourke.
St FINBARR’S: C Keane; D Quinn, P Kelleher, A Lyne; E Dennehy, S Ryan, L Arslan; E Comyns, I Maguire; J Goulding, K Hodgins, D Comyns; D Scannell, C O’Sullivan, E Hill. G McCann for C O’Sullivan, M Twomey for D Scannell.
Referee: Pat O’Leary (Kilmurry).