The first game of the league was always going to be a good indicator for how well players minded themselves over the winter. A sun-drenched Wolfe Tone Park provided the setting for an encounter against Bantry, which would see Garnish loosing out narrowly.
All-Ireland schools winner, Tuan Millem, and Cormac McNally were named at wing-forward indicating management intent to freshen things . Garnish got off to a great start, converting 4 unanswered points, with John O’Driscoll feeding ball to the on-running forwards.
Bantry came back-into it with an excellently taken goal after 20 minutes. And this was to be the story of the game. Garnish played some good football in attack but ultimately Bantry’s scores came way too easily . Seth Thornton and Stephen Coughlan were very effective at mid-field for Bantry, fustrating Ross Murphy’s kickout and kicking long and direct up the middle into the forwards.
Jack Andy’s half-time intro had an immediate impact as he got on the end of a nice move, bringing Garnish back to within three. But as Brian and Sean Terry tacked on the points, Bantry responded with goals.
Ronan Sheehan’s debut almost yielded dividends. Twice he lost his marker, only to hit narrowly wide. After a long lay-off from injury, Gary O’Sullivan returned to wing-back. He was the catalyst for a Garnish goal, which came from Brian Terry, winning dirty ball on the square and toe-poking it to the corner. Cathraigh O’Driscoll, Traelach O’Connor and Jamie O’Driscoll replaced tired legs in the last 15 minutes.
Although there were some positives to be taken from the game, still some dusting-off of the cobwebs ahead if Garnish are to come up to speed for championship in five weeks time.
Ross Murphy, Matthew O’Leary, Rory O’Driscoll, Tommy O’Sullivan, Darragh Henshaw, Paul O’Neill, Gary O’Sullivan, Brian Terry (1-3), Éanna Murphy, Cormac McNally, Sean Terry (0-6), Tuan Millem (0-1), Jerome Dwyer (0-1), John O’Driscoll, Dylan Henshaw (0-1), Subs: Ronan Sheehan, Danny Harrington, Jamie O’Driscoll, Traelach O’Connor, Jack Andy (0-1), Cathraigh O’Driscoll.