Tompkins’ Town just one step from glory

FORMER Cork senior football boss Larry Tompkins is one game away from claiming his first county title as a manager after his Mitchelstown side overcame Courcey Rovers 1-4 to 0-6 in dramatic fashion in the Cork JAFC semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

Tompkins, who returned to management when he took charge of the North Cork club at the start of this year, saw his side claim victory when midfielder David Dineen pounced to drive home an injury-time goal.

Mitchelstown advance to the Cork JFC final on Friday November 11, the match deferred to facilitate opponents Kanturk as their star man Aidan Walsh is currently in Australia with the Irish International Rules squad.

Tompkins was delighted with the success. “It’s fantastic for a club like Mitchelstown to be in a county final. That was shown with the colour out there tonight and all the kids watching it. It’s been a long time waiting for Mitchelstown to be back at a stage like this and I’m delighted for everyone involved. Personally it’s great to be involved in a county final and I’ve really enjoyed training these guys this year.

“They’re a largely young team but very enthusiastic and have plenty potential. Tonight was a battle and we had to show a lot of character and guts. We were lucky to get the goal but the conditions were very difficult.”

Dineen’s late strike stole the spoils away from Courcey Rovers, who were crowned Cork Premier IHC champions last month and were narrowly defeated by Kerry outfit Ballyduff in the quarter-final of the Munster IHC last Sunday.

Courcey Rovers, only relegated from the Cork IFC grade last year, led 0-3 to 0-2 at the interval, Brian Hayes, Gavin Moloney and Shane Moloney all on target. They could have been further ahead but a David Hayes ninth minute effort which looked to be over the bar was controversially waved wide.

During a low-scoring second-half, as conditions worsened, Courcey Rovers continued to hold the upper hand and looked on course for victory. But Mitchelstown, spearheaded by Shane Beston who lines out for UCC in the Munster Club SFC next Sunday, and Laurence O’Flynn, kept battling and were rewarded.

Scorers for Mitchelstown: D Dineen 1-0, L Keane, M Walsh (0-1f), S Beston, J Sheehan (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Courcey Rovers: J Duggan 0-2 (0-2f), S Moloney, G Moloney, D Hayes, O Cronin 0-1 each.

MITCHELSTOWN: L Hanna; M Maher, F Herlihy, D Lynch; O Burke, S Fox, P Magee; L O’Flynn, D Dineen; K Carroll, S Beston, L Keane; J Sheehan, S Cahill, P Donegan.

Subs: M Walsh for Carroll (32), D Nugent for Donegan (34), J Finn for Fox (inj) (39), J Cott for Sheehan (50), A O’Brien for Nugent (55)

COURCEY ROVERS: S Nyhan; C Duggan, K Moloney, J O’Regan; Dan Lordan, S Hayes, D Hayes; T Collins, C Ryan; Gavin Moloney, B Hayes, J Duggan; S Holland, Daire Lordan, S Moloney.

Subs: O Gately for Daire Lordan (half-time), S Lordan for S Moloney (38), Gary Moloney for Gavin Moloney (47), O Cronin for Holland (53), J O’Reilly for D Hayes (57)

Referee: Denis O’Leary (Watergrasshill)

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