Youghal 3-10 Cloyne 0-10.
Players and mentors celebrated at the full time whistle in Killeagh on Saturday night as if the county had just been won, and rightly so, as there was huge pressure on everyone to perform in this third round game as the consequences of losing could have been catastrophic. A loss here and they were out of the championship and then had the daunting task of facing Glanworth, knowing that defeat in that game would see them relegated to Junior ranks, from where the Sean Hayes coached team had been elevated from way back in 1999 after a lapse of many many years and to where nobody wanted to return to.
Where I noted last week that our senior hurlers will have to work on pace and cuteness before they entertain Na Piarsaigh in the next round, it was both those traits that worked the oracle against Cloyne, especially cuteness, as a quickly taken free midway through the first half, saw the ever alert Lee Desmond, who had a massive input in the outcome of this game scoring 1-05 all from play, show huge composure and coolness as could be slotted the ball along the ground and into the net to give Youghal a 1-04 to 0-2 lead at a vital time in the game when Diarmuid O' Sullivan was again keeping Cloyne ticking over on the scoreboard with some great scores from placed balls and ended the game with 0-8 on the scoreboard from 0-10. At half time Youghal led by 1-05 to 0-04, and they had tremendous performances from every one of the starting 15 from (the out of retirement) goalkeeper Pat Mackey right up to corner forward Paul Moylan, who again showed right throughout the game that " class is permanent" scoring 1-04.
From the restart Cloyne closed the gap to 2 points with two well stuck points from The Rock himself, but the Youghal backline dug deep and their pace out of defence, from Brendan Sullivan, Paul O Driscoll, Arron Kenny, Barry Goggin, Micheal Cronin, and another gigantic display from superb minor Matthew Farrell, saw Cloyne finding it hard to break through, even though Cloyne can have genuine grievances when similar to our first quickly taken free to score the goal, they were called back by the referee when it looked as if they were about to get a similar score. Conor Sullivan was strong at midfield and do I have to say anything more that I have not said already this year about Nigel Roche, a gladiator in his own right. The selectors introduced Barry Ring, Ross Desmond Rory Walsh and Adrian Curtin and we got massive contributions from these four players including a superb goal at the death to finish off the game from Curtin and prior to that, a wonderful piece of play from Micheal O' Laochdha saw him jink around a few players, pass to Moylan who finished superbly to the net. The evergreen Brendan Coleman's contribution to this victory was immense as was Paul Kelly's not stop runs up field and it was great to see the return of one of Youghal's great sportsmen Ken Dempsey to the team. They now go into the hat for the 4th round draw while Cloyne play Glanworth in the relegation play off, a game I would think Cloyne could and I hope will win.
So overall a defining moment in the clubs football fortunes and I take my hat off to the management team of Tony (BA) Barrett. John Parker, Pat Mackey, and Phillip Monaghan for the preparation they put into this squad since the last game to produce a great performance on the night.
Team; P Mackey, B Sullivan P O Driscoll A Kenny, M Farrell M Cronin B Goggin, C Sullivan (0-1) N Roche, P Kelly B Coleman K Dempsey, L Desmond(1-5) M O Laochdha P Moylan (1-4).
Subs Used; Barry Ring, Ross Desmond, Rory Walsh and Aidrian Curtin (1-0)