Despite a remarkable personal tally of 0-15, Johnny English came out on the losing side as Castletownroche secured a first Cork JBHC title in 21 years in Pairc Ui Rinn.
Lough Rovers, who were reliant on English’s accuracy from placed balls, kept pace with their opponents for most of this county final until late goals from Dane O’Neill and Niall Hazlewood sealed the win for the north Cork side.
After a dramatic semi-final victory against Freemount, Castletownroche coach Seanie Browne knew his players wouldn’t be found wanting when the chips were down late on.
“For a bunch of young fellas, a bunch of fellas who trained since last January you can’t ask for anything more,” he said.
Despite playing all the hurling in the first half, the winners only led by four points at the change of ends.
An early score from Mark O’Callaghan settled Castletown, levelling the game at 0-2 apiece before Johnathan O’Callaghan got the game’s first goal.
A long, seemingly harmless ball was played into the full-forward line but two Lough defenders mis-judged the flight of the sliotar leaving the two-time All-Ireland medallist in behind where he provided the cool finish.
Further white flags from Dane O’Neill and Muiris Browne helped extend the lead but discipline was costing them - the accuracy from placed balls from English keeping the city club in this contest.
Lough Rovers got a lifeline in the 26th minute when the men in red got a goal of their own.
Paul Cumming finished superbly to give his side some momentum heading into the break where they trailed 1-11 to 1-7.
A host of frees from English kept the Lough in the game in the second stanza before a well-taken goal from Kiely reduced the deficit to just one with less than 10 minutes to play.
Points from Mark and Johnathan O’Callaghan ensured the winners didn’t fall behind late on before the pair of injury-time goals secured the well-deserved victory.
Scorers for Castletownroche: M. O’Callaghan 0-9 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65); D. O’Neill 1-4; J. O’Callaghan 1-2; D O’Connor 0-4; N. Hazlewood 1-1; M. Browne, J. Butterbarry 0-1 each.
Scorers for Lough Rovers: J English 0-15 (10f, 0-1 ’65); P. Cumming, D Kiely 1-0 each; T O’Keeffe 0-2.
CASTLETOWNROCHE: D Relihan; JP Ryan, T. Barrett, W. Madden; J. Browne, M. Browne, D. Relihan; D. O’Connor, S Skinner; J. Relihan, M. O’Callaghan, N. Hazlewood; D O’Neill; J. Batterberry, J. O’Callaghan.
Subs: P. Murphy for M Browne (48 mins); H. Farrell for JP Ryan (59 mins); P. Madden for J. Butterbarry (60 mins).
LOUGH ROVERS: G. Aherne; C. Crowley, S. Keane, J. Lee; C. Oliver, P. Foy, C. Keane; K. Kenneally, E O’Keeffe; J. O’Connor, J. English, P.Cunning; D.Cummins, T. O’Keeffe, A. O’Sullivan.
Subs: D. Kiely for A. O’Sullivan (29 mins).
REFEREE: Brendan Barry-Murphy (Aghabullogue).