Four goals from the Gorman brothers, three from full-forward Mark and one from centre-forward John, went a long way to winning this final for St Augustine’s. They moved the ball with style and precision in the blustery conditions, constantly opening up an outclassed Spioraid Naoimh defence. And once John scored their third goal in the 42nd minute the writing was on the wall for the Cork City side.
And coach Ger Murphy was a happy man. “Football wise, we really didn’t have a lot done, concentrating our efforts on the hurling. So I’m really delighted at the way the lads put it together, they were terrific. We’ll give it a good go now against Portlaoise in the All Ireland semi-final in Clonmel next Sunday.”
It was 0-2 apiece 14 minutes into the action, Willie John Kiely with a couple for the Friary and the elusive Dara O’Dwyer with a brace for Spioraid Naoimh. But had St Augustine’s taken their chances, they would have been well ahead. It took O’Gorman’s first goal in the 15th minute, after being set-up by Mark Fives, to earn his side a 1-2 to 0-2 lead after the opening quarter.
But Spioraid Naoimh, lacking the physical power of the Dungarvan boys, were well up for the contest. Despite being outplayed at midfield, where Peter Phelan and Tom O’Brien ruled the roost, they foraged away mightily. Dara O’Dwyer was on fire, pointing again in the 16th minute and finding the net a minute later after good work by Ken O’Halloran. It got even better for Spioraid Naoimh when O’Halloran kicked a great point. But, then, disaster for the Cork boys, and goalkeeper Declan Murphy in particular, in the 25th minute. Murphy, who earlier made a terrific save from John O’Keeffe, allowed himself to be robbed by Gorman when in complete control and the St Augustine’s full-forward gleefully accepted his second goal to earn his side a 2-2 to 1-4 interval lead.
St Augustine’s lost Peter Phelan through injury but Fives proved an able deputy at midfield. However, it was Spioraid Naoimh, and Ricky Kenny, in particular, who came out all guns blazing. Kenny kicked two frees, then a beauty from play, and suddenly it looked like a Cork victory.
But again halfbacks Joey Mullen, Simon Hanrahan and Conor Phelan upped their games and, well supported up front by the O’Gormans and substitute Brian Bannon, began to open up the Cork defence at will. Now in control all over the park, once John Gorman got that third goal in the 44th minute the outcome was inevitable.
Mark Gorman tacked on two more frees in the third quarter and he capped a man of the match display with his third goal in the 53rd minute to leave Spioraid Naoimh floundering. Denis Crowley did have a late Spioraid Naoimh goal, but it mattered little. St Augustine’s were worthy champions.
: St. Augustine’s: M.O’Gorman 3-3 (0-3 frees), J.O’Gorman 1-0, WJ Kiely 0-3 (0-3 frees), P. Hurley 0-1. Coláiste An Spioraid Naoimh: D.O’Dwyer 1-4 (0- 2 frees), D. Crowley 1-0, R. Kenny 0-3 (0-2 frees), K. O’Halloran 0-1.
: D. Byrne; T. Murray, J. Kindergan, C. Walsh; J. Mullen, S. Hanrahan, C. Phelan; P. Phelan, T. O’Brien; P. Hurney, J. Gorman, WJ Kiely; J. O’Keeffe, M. Fives, M. Gorman. Sub: B. Bannon for P. Phelan.
D. Murphy; B. Murphy, T. O’Donoghue, R. Pratt; R. O’Dwyer, M. O’Donoghue, N. Collins; D. Crowley, M. Aherne; R. Kenny, D. O’Dwyer, P. O’Sullivan; T. Creed, K. O’Halloran, E. McCann. Subs: M. Power for Pratt, J. Twomey for Creed.
: B. White (Clonmel).