Gritty Cill Na Martra fought their way past Kildorrery in a closely contested opening round to the Cork IFC at Kilbrin on Saturday.
With the teams deadlocked on six occasions for close on 45 minutes, Cill Na Martra displayed admirable resolve to pull out a little extra when the crunch came.
A brave Kildorrery went all out to rescue the game but Cill na Martra had defenders queuing up to deny their opponents during the closing stages.
There was little between the teams in a lively opening quarter where both defences held sway. However, Cill Na Martra turned the screw with a neatly taken goal via the crossbar from Danny O’Connell in the 15th minute.
That gave the winners extra confidence, and points from Martin O’Connor and Michael Dineen fired them 1-4 to 0-2 ahead. A breeze assisted but wasteful Kildorrery managed to arrest the slide through the work-rate of Michael Walsh, Eamon O’Connor, Andrew and Peter O’Brien. Their efforts were rewarded with a 24th minute goal when Cill na Martra’s Eoin Dineen brilliantly parried a David White shot only for Dave Kelly to blast the rebound to the net. Follow up points to Kelly, White and Andrew O’Brien had the sides level (1-5 apiece) by the interval.
It was score for score on the resumption, a pair of O’Connor points for Cill na Martra sandwiched by O’Brien and Kelly frees at the opposite end. Delicately balanced, Cill na Martra cranked up their performance with Noel O’Leary, Tim Dineen, Kelleher and Charlie McSweeney exerting a significant influence before points from Kevin Hoare, Darragh McLoughlin and Michael Dineen confirmed their growing supremacy. Kildorrery attempted a recovery, O’Brien’s pointed free cancelled out by a magnificent outfield effort from Kelleher.
Late on, Kildorrery came raiding for a goal but the Cill na Martra rearguard stood firm to deservedly land the spoils.
Scorers for Cill na Martra: M Ó Conchúir 0-4(0-3f), D Ó Conaill 1-0, C Ó Suilleabháin 0-2(0-1f), M Ó Duinnín 0-2, C Ó hUidhir, D MacLochlainn and S Ó Cealleachair 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildorrery: D Kelly 1-2(0-1f), A O’Brien 0-4(0-3f), P O’Brien and D White 0-1 each.
CILL NA MARTRA: E Ó Duinnín; T Mac Suibhne; C Ó Laoire, M Ó Goillí; A Ó Mocháin, N Ó Laoire, T Ó Duinnín; C Mac Suibhne, S Ó Ceallachair; C Ó hUidhir, C Ó Suilleabháin, M Ó Conchúir; D MacLochlainn, M Ó Duinnín, D Ó Conaill.
KILDORRERY: D Roche; S Kelly, R McEniry, T P Murphy; C Baoil, M Walsh, E O’Connor; A O’Brien, S Fitzgerald; D White, P O’Brien, F Stapleton; J McEniry, D Kelly, J O’Sullivan.
Subs: D McCarthy for O’Baoil(41), F Daly for Stapleton(53).
Referee: D Carroll (Kanturk).