St Finbarr’s 3-14
Denis Hurley reports form Pairc Ui Chaoimh
ST FINBARR’S BRIDGED a 33-year gap to claim the Cork senior football title by beating Duhallow at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.
Since overcoming Clonakilty in the final, the Barrs had lost deciders in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 2009, 2010 and 2017, but the joyous scenes at the end made up for all of that heartache.
The Togher side had to earn the victory though, twice trailing by five points in the first half and going in a goal down at half-time. They were stronger in the second half though and impressively surged on.
Duhallow had begun well with early points from Fintan O’Connor and Donncha O’Connor and, while two Stephen Sherlock frees had the Barrs level, Donncha O’Connor made it 0-3 to 0-2 on 11 minutes before the divisional side struck for a goal on 15.
When Aidan Walsh picked out Jerry O’Connor with a great pass, he got past Dylan Quinn and though his shot was saved by John Kerins, Séamus Hickey was on hand to knock the rebound in.
Eoghan McSweeney’s fine score opened up a five-point lead only for the Barrs to reply with a goal, a great move ending with Eoin McGreevey putting Eoin Comyns in the clear and he laid off to Sherlock for a close-range finish.
They were back to within a point after another Sherlock free, but Duhallow won a penalty in the 21st minute, Dylan Quinn harshly adjudged to have blocked a Donncha O’Connor shot with his foot. Nevertheless, the former Cork man sent his spot-kick beyond Kerins’ dive and the five-point lead was re-established as Paul Walsh got on the scoresheet on 24.
While Sherlock remained the Barrs’ primary scoring source, corner-back Conor Dennehy did get forward to fist over an effort and in injury time Denis O’Brien was on hand to make it a goal game again, Duhallow retiring with a 2-7 to 1-7 lead.
Within two minutes of the second half, that levelling goal arrived, Michael Shields’ pass allowing wing-back Colin Lyons to surge through and fire home. Duhallow did re-take the lead with Jerry O’Connor’s free but four points in a row by the Barrs – three from Sherlock and one by Colm Keane – had them in front for the first time.
However, just as it looked as if Duhallow’s exertions in the three-game semi-final series with Castlehaven had caught up with them, they managed to claw their way level again, thanks to Aidan Walsh and frees by Jerry O’Connor and Donncha O’Connor.
It was to be the Barrs’ day, though. When a loose Duhallow clearance found sub Eoghan Finn, he exchanged passes with Denis O’Brien and slotted past Patrick Doyle with Enda Dennehy adding another point immediately after.
Again, Duhallow responded and were back to within one thanks to Anthony O’Connor, Kevin Crowley and Jerry O’Connor, but they couldn’t force an equaliser. With victory in their sights, the Barrs finished well as Colm Barrett and Eoghan Finn added late points.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: Stephen Sherlock 1-8 (0-8 frees), Eoghan Finn 1-1, Colin Lyons 1-0, Conor Dennehy, Enda Dennehy, Denis O’Brien, Colm Barrett, Colm Keane 0-1 each.
Scorers for Duhallow: Donncha O’Connor 1-5 (1-0 penalty, 0-3 frees), Jerry O’Connor 0-3 (0-2 frees), Séamus Hickey 1-0, Eoghan McSweeney 0-2, Paul Walsh, Aidan Walsh, Anthony O’Connor, Kevin Crowley 0-1 each.
1. John Kerins
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18. Jamie Burns
4. Dylan Quinn
2. Conor Dennehy
5. Colin Lyons
6. Alan O’Connor
7. Colm Scully
of the team
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8. Ian Maguire
9. Eoin Comyns
10. Denis O’Brien
11. Michael Shields
12. Enda Dennehy
14. Eoin McGreevey
25. Colm Keane
15. Stephen Sherlock
3. Glen O’Connor for Burns (half-time)
24. Eoghan Finn for Keane (42)
13. Colm Barrett for McGreevey (48)
17. Ross O’Dwyer for Quinn (50)
22. Robert O’Mahony for Enda Dennehy (64)
1. Patrick Doyle (Knocknagree)
3. John McLoughlin (Kiskeam)
5. Lorcan O’Neill (Kanturk)
2. Bart Daly (Newmarket)
4. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet)
6. Keelan Buckley (Knocknagree)
7. Lorcán McLoughlin (Kanturk)
9. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)
14. Séamus Hickey (Rockchapel)
10. Fintan O’Connor (Knocknagree)
12. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree)
8. Paul Walsh (Kanturk)
17. Anthony O’Connor (Knocknagree)
11. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond)
15. Michael Vaughan (Millstreet)
13. Jerry O’Connor (Boherbue) for Vaughan (29)
22. Kevin Cremin (Boherbue) for Fintan O’Connor (42)
18. Darragh Moynihan for McSweeney (58)
Referee: David Murnane (Macroom)
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