Second-half effort seals it for Carbery

Carbery Rangers (Cork) 1-14 Pomeroy Plunketts (Tyrone)1-8

From an uncertain situation at half-time, the west Cork side lifted their standard to open up a gap of seven points before Pomeroy Plunketts responded, but by then nothing was going to stop Carbery.

Their only disappointment was to learn afterwards of the death of goalkeeper Kevin Santry's father earlier in the day. He was remembered by team captain Johnny Murphy in his victory speech, when he dedicated their victory to the memory of the club's best-known player Tony Murphy, who died last year.

Their success had an added significance in that in the semi-final Pomeroy had beaten Meath side Wolfe Tones, who had beaten Carbery in the All-Ireland junior decider last year.

"It would have been nice to meet them again," said Micheal O'Sullivan.

"At half-time we were not happy but we put them under more pressure in the second half and it worked out very well for us."

Coach Michael Paul Hicks praised his players for the character they had shown all through the campaign, saying: "It was a great performance.

"It was everybody's day!" The two teams produced a cracking opening quarter and Laois referee Maurice Deegan, who had a fine game, awarded two penalties in the opening seven minutes.

Midfielder Ciaran Slane expertly converted one for Pomeroy in the fourth minute, while Maurice Moore who made a massive contribution overall scored with an even better kick three minutes later.

By the 13th minute the scores were level, 1-2 each, and would be again on three further occasions over the next 13 minutes, indicating the closeness of the exchanges. During this time Seamus Hayes promised a second goal for Carbery Rangers until 'keeper Martin McCreesh beat him to a ball.

Interestingly, Carbery Rangers were forcing the pace, helped by the greater return from Cork panelists Micheal O'Sullivan and Kevin McMahon at midfield and inspired by the play of Moore on the right flank and John Hayes in the centre. In addition, Declan Hayes put in a huge effort at full-forward.

In contrast, the Tyrone side didn't pose the same type of threat, despite the best efforts of Ciaran Slane and the work done by Cathal and Kieran McKenna and Christopher Colhoun.

At half-time Carbery Rangers led by a point, 1-6 to 1-5, and they got the next score through John Hayes within two minutes of the resumption.

However, they came close to losing their lead when Oliver McCreesh created a good opening only to have his shot smothered by centre-back Sean Hayes. After that, Pomeroy never threatened to score the goal they needed so badly to reinvigorate their challenge.

Maurice Moore came nearest to another goal for the winners in the 38th minute, when put through by Johnny Murphy, but his shot went over the bar. Notably, Rangers were able to maintain their strength in attack even though Declan Hayes often dropped back deep in defence to win vital possession.

John Hayes in particular kicked scores from a variety of angles and Plunketts had nobody to match his skill. They were also unable to limit the O'Sullivan/McMahon partnership when it was enabling Rangers to sustain their effort.

Their success in this regard was indicated by the fact that Pomeroy didn't add to their interval tally until eight minutes from the end of normal time and, while they added two more in the next five minutes, there was never the slightest possibility of Carbery Rangers losing their grip on the trophy.

Scorers: Carbery Rangers M. Moore 1-4 (1-0 pen); J. Hayes 0-6 (0-1 free); D. Hayes 0-2; S. Hayes and M. O'Sullivan 0-1 each.

Pomeroy: C. Slane 1-2 (1-1 frees); A. McCreesh 0-3 frees; K. McKenna 0-2; O. McCreesh 0-1.

CARBERY RANGERS: K. Santry; G. Ryan, A. Roche, E. Murphy; J. Murphy (c), S. Hayes, S. Murray; M. O'Sullivan, K. McMahon; M. Ronan, J. Hayes, N. Hayes; D. Hayes, S. Hayes, M. Moore. Subs: A. Ronan for E. Murphy (51st minute); M. Maloney for Ronan and D. Creedon for Moore (64th).

POMEROY: M. McCreesh; D. Hart, D. Nugent, B. Flanagan; M. Corr, A. Nugent, C. Cunningham; J. Quinn, C. Slane; M. McCourt, C. McKenna, C. Colhoun; O. McCreesh, K. McKenna (c), A. McCreesh. Subs: M. Quinn for McCourt (41st minute); S. Nugent for Hart (44th); G. Duffin for Nugent (injured, 58th).

REFEREE: M. Deegan (Laois).

*GAA President Sean Kelly, who presented the trophies to both captains, promised a higher profile for the competitions in the future, with Croke Park being utilised and live television coverage.

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