By Derek Kiely
Bandon 1-16, Youghal 0-06
YOUGHAL would have been slight favourites for this one ahead of Saturday nights throw in at Pairc Ui Rinn against the newly promoted Bandon who have been turning heads all year in the Cork County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.
Youghal finished their last two games against Tracton and Blarney by half time, so their confidence was extremely high going in to this one, but sadly on a night when Youghal did not play even close to their potential, the favourites tag was well and truly torn up as Bandon played impeccable hurling from start to finish to book their place in the 2012 Cork County Championship Final after a dominant second half performance where they restricted Youghal to just on solitary pointed free.
Youghal started brightly with two quick scores from Brendan Ring and James O'Mahony but back came Bandon with five scores without reply from Cahalane, Sugru and Crowley and the warning signs were loud and clear, even at this early stage of the match that Bandon were a very good side indeed.
Ring replied for Youghal, but in return Bandon struck over three points to further extend their lead to five points. The sides exchanged scores and Brendan Ring pointed on the stroke of half time to leave four points between the sides at the break and still plenty there for Youghal to play for.
Youghal started the second half well with a couple of chances going close, but Bandon scored first. Eventually on the 36th minute Brendan Ring pointed to leave just four points between the sides, but this is where Bandon just took off and left everyone for dead, with score after score.
Teddy McCarthy's side had a fluency to their play finding passes out wide, left and right, Youghal just didn't fire and nothing went right for them in pocession, whereas Bandon were very accurate with their shooting and played a blemish free second half.
Ronan Crowley sent of four second half points and Roy Payne struck the net on the 50th minute, plus he added two pointed scores from play to complete his sides second half tally of 1-07 off these two players.
Bandon were worthy winners on the night, nobody could argue with that and now they face the challenge of Ballinhassig in the final.
On a final note from a Youghal perspective, in my opinion a lot of teams could implode or fall asunder after losing a County Final, but the Youghal players rallied this year and Peter Queally, his selectors, back room staff should be praised and compliments to put themselves to within just 60 minutes of making it back to the final again this year.
Peter and the boys have worked hard all year to bring joy and pride to the club and when you consider that just seven days prior to this game ten of our hurlers had to play an extremely tough Cork County Football Championship quarter final against Adrigole in Carrigadrohid, it tells you the commitment of our players.
It must be remembered and sometimes in these strange commercial days of sport it gets forgotten, that the players, the manager and his selectors and back room staff are the most important people in the club at any age level or any grade.
I hope that as many people who travel for hurling will travel to support the lads in their bid to beat Adrigole in the County quarter final, after all its more or less the same players in our club isn't it?
Scorers for Bandon: R Crowley 0-8 (5f) R Payne 1-2, R Sugru 0-4, M Cahalane 0-2.
Scorers for Youghal: Brendan Ring 0-5f, J Omahony 0-1.
BANDON: J McSweeney; P Crowley, J Burke, J O'Donovan (Cpt); E O'Donovan, D Lucey, J Walsh; I Harrington, D Crowley; N O'Rourke, M Sugru, C Dullea; M Cahalane, R Payne, R Crowley.
Subs: J McCarthy for N O'Rourke (50) A Johnston for M Sugru (56)
YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; Barry Ring, J Grace, S Twomey; B Goggin, C Spillane, D Ring; N Roche, J O'Mahony; A Curtin, B Coleman, B Moloney; J Ormonde, Brendan Ring, A Frahill-O'Connor.
Subs: M Ó Croinin for J Ormonde (52) K Walsh for S Twomey (54)
Referee: Kevin Murphy (Nemo Rangers)