Patrician Academy Mallow 2-16 St Francis College Rochestown 2-10
Academy created their own slice of history by winning the Simcox Cup (Cork Colleges Senior ‘A’ Football Championship) for the first time at Pairc Ui Chaoimh’s 4G pitch today.
It’s already a memorable month for the north Cork school, who are in the All-Ireland ‘C’ final the weekend after next, bidding to complete a remarkable treble, having bagged Munster, too.
Rochestown’s concentration on hurling in recent weeks became evident early on as they readjusted to the big ball game on the artificial surface, though they would have been happy enough at half-time.
Roco, who played against the wind, turned around level at 0-6 apiece and yet should have been in front given they registered eight wides and went closest to a goal, as well.
That came in the 27th minute, when Stephen Fenton’s determined run carried him clear of the defence only for his strong shot to just carry the crossbar.
But, there was no living with Academy on the resumption as their well-balanced team dominated for the most part and finished many promising moves with unerring accuracy.
They rocked Roco with a 1-2 four-minute blast on the resumption, the goal coming in the 34th minute following inter-play between Ciaran O’Sullivan and the impressive Conor Corbett, who just managed to squeeze the ball inside the upright for a 1-8 to 0-6 lead.
Roco, who reached the Corn Ui Mhuiri semi-final, replied with three pointed frees from Conor Russell though their goal lived a charmed existence in a fierce scramble, which yielded Academy’s lone wide of the second-half.
It was a two-point game entering the closing quarter with the outcome in the balance, or so it seemed, until Academy held other ideas because they regained control with Colm O’Shea and Kieran Twomey leading the way.
Three quick-fire points were followed by a crucial second goal after 48 minutes following a flowing move instigated by Eanna O’Hanlon and carried on by Corbett for Eoin Kelleher to finish in style.
At 2-12 to 0-9 with only nine minutes’ regulation time remaining, it looked like Academy would ease to the title, but credit Roco for not giving up without a fight.
Within a minute, Russell created the opportunity for Alan O’Hare to pull a goal back and leave two goals between them.
Yet, there was no hint of panic from Academy, who were quite to content to play patiently, retaining possession and waiting for the opportunity to plant points.
Corbett and Twomey, from a free, made it 2-14 to 1-9 after 55 minutes, though Roco netted for the second time, a couple of minutes later.
Adam Cantwell was fouled in the area and Russell duly made no mistake with the resulting penalty, firing low and hard past keeper John Murphy, who dived in vain to his right.
It was still a big ask of Roco to reel in a five-point deficit with time running out and Academy answered with scores from the O’Sheas, Barry and Colm, to seal a memorable victory.
Scorers for Academy: C Corbett 1-2, B O’Shea 0-4, E Kelleher 1-1, J Dillon, K Twomey 0-3f, B O’Sullivan, C O’Shea, E O’Hanlon 0-1 each
Scorers for Rochestown: C Russell 1-7, 1-0 pen, 4f, A O’Hare 1-1, 1f, S Fenton, A Sheehy 0-1 each
TEAMS: PATRICIAN ACADEMY: J Murphy (Mallow); O Carroll (do), N O’Riordan (do), B O’Sullivan (Castlemagner); J Hadden (Mallow), C O’Shea (Kilshannig), S Meritt (Mallow); K Twomey (Kilshannig), captain, E O’Hanlon (do); J Dillon (Mallow), B O’Shea (Kilshannig), E Kelleher (Mallow); C O’Sullivan (Kilshannig), C Carroll (Mallow), C Corbett (Clyda Rovers). Subs: D Walsh (Clyda Rovers) for C O’Sullivan 38, B O’Connor (do) for Carroll 55, K O’Mahony (Mallow) for Hadden 60
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: M White (Douglas); M Harrington (Nemo Rangers), B O’Neill (Douglas), T Murphy (St Michael’s); S Downey (Shamrocks), captain, N O’Connell (Cobh), S Andrews (Shamrock); P O’Halloran (Ballygarvan), S Harrington (Passage); S Fenton (Ballygarvan), A O’Hare (Douglas), P Vaughan (Carrigaline); A Sheehy (Douglas), C Russell (do), A Cantwell (do). Subs: S Aherne (Douglas) for S Harrington half-time, R O’Halloran (Ballygarvan) for Vaughan 40, A Hennessy (St Michael’s) for Sheehy 45, F Sheehan (Douglas) for Fenton and D Fenton (do) for Downey 56.
Referee: S Stokes (Tullylease)