In the process, it crushed Kildorrery hopes of making amends for their two-point defeat by Macroom in last year’s decider.
However, despite a huge effort to redeem a worsening situation, it never looked like materialising when they only added a point to their interval tally.
Jubilant manager Gearóid Condon celebrated the fact they won all five games en route and didn’t concede one goal. “We knew they had great forwards. We had to limit the ball going in which we did,” he commented.
“It’s been a long wait since the junior final in 2001. We came up in 2006 with an ageing team and had to rebuild. For the last two or three years we had great minor and U21 teams. It was only a matter of time when the older guys blended together. We know we will be underdogs against Castletownbere, but if we perform, we’ll see what the result is at the end of the day.”
Kinsale were boosted by a 12th minute goal, following a mix-up in the Kildorrery defence after Gearóid Finn hit in a low free and keeper Brendan Hannon seemed to drop the ball over the line. That was a double blow, because Tom Monaghan looked certain to put the ball in the net earlier, until Jeremy Keohane got in a timely tackle.
Monaghan, who was to emerge their best forward, saw a lot of hard work coming to nought in the opening quarter, but his luck was to change. After Peter O’Brien got their opening score in the 13th minute and midfielder Shane Fitzgerald then pointed, the Kildorrery captain kicked three points in a four-minute spell to lift them.
With Andrew O’Brien playing a key role at midfield, they were on top in the second quarter, except their 0-7 to 1-1 lead at the break looked inadequate in the conditions.
And so it proved against a more organised Kinsale side which utilised possession more effectively, helped by Finn’s accuracy from frees. They were very solid in defence, David Coughlan and Derry O’Callaghan did great work around midfield and up front Niall Stanley, Brian Coughlan and Lyndon Kiely threatened regularly.
They were level by the 38th minute and back in front three minutes later when Brian Coughlan pointed, then following a Finn free, hit the all-important goal. However, as they increased their grip, they were decidedly lucky when keeper Craig Hackett deprived Tom Monaghan in the 47th minute and also saved from Mike Monaghan shortly afterwards. And to add to the Kildorrery tale of woe, Tom Monaghan hit the crossbar in the closing minutes.
Scorers for Kinsale: G, Finn 0-6 (4fs, 1 45), B Coughlan 1-2, B Hannon 1-0 (og), M Coughlan, D O’Callaghan, L Kiely 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildorrery: T Monaghan 0-3, A O’Brien 0-2 (1 45), S Fitzgerald, P O’Brien, D White 0-1 each.
KINSALE: C Hackett; R O’Sullivan, M O’Sullivan, N McCarthy; C McCarthy, J Keohane, C Quigley; D Coughlan, D O’Callaghan (capt); M Coughlan, B Coughlan, N Stanley; J Gould, L Kiely, G Finn.
Subs: D Murphy for M Coughlan (51), M Eaton for Kiely (63).
KILDORRERY: B Hannon; TP Murphy, S Kelly, J Cremin; F Stapleton, R McEniry, E O’Connor; S Fitzgerald, A O’Brien; J McCarthy, D White, D Kelly; T Monaghan (capt), M Monaghan, P O’Brien.
Sub: L Kelly for McCarthy (42).
Referee: James Dorgan (Nemo Rangers).