There was added drama at the death as shouts of joy from the Éire Óg supporters turned to cries of despair when they realised referee Derek Carroll had blown his final whistle seconds before Cathal Murphy rattled the Charleville net with what appeared to be the match-winning score after Kevin Hallissey’s free had been blocked.
This game seemed destined for extra-time throughout as the sides were level five times over the hour. However, some magnificent scores in the extra period from Mervyn and Paul Gammell did just enough to see Charleville over the line.
Éire Óg will look back at two Ciarán Sheehan frees at the end of regulation time, which the Cork football star failed to convert, as key moments but Charleville could just as easily point to two outstanding Paul Ryan saves in the first half which kept Éire Óg in the game.
The decision to play Daniel Goulding as a third midfielder seemed to backfire on Éire Óg in the opening exchanges as Charleville got the upper hand in midfield. The teams traded points in the opening quarter before Charleville settled into their rhythm and scores from Andrew Cagney and James Casey opened up a two-point lead.
But frees from Sheehan kept Éire Óg in touch and it took a late Danny O’Flynn point to give Charleville a 0-7 to 0-6 lead at the break.
Five points in quick succession handed the impetus to Éire Óg in the second-half and they looked certain to hold on but Charleville showed their spirit with three unanswered points in the final three minutes to force extra-time.
Having dominated extra time, Charleville opened up a three-point lead with just four minutes to go but there was still life in Éire Óg and John Dineen struck two late points to reduce the gap to a point.
Everyone expected Hallissey to knock over the last-gasp free and leave the sides level but he opted for goal and his shot was kept out earning Charleville the spoils.
Scorers for Charleville: A Cagney 0-5 (4fs), M Gammell, P Gammell 0-4 each, D O’Flynn 0-3, M Kavanagh (f), B Dennehy (f), J Casey, A O’Connor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Éire Óg: K Hallissey 0-6 (1f), C Sheehan 0-4fs, T Dineen 0-3 (2fs, 1 65), J Dineen 0-3, D Herlihy 0-2, C Murphy 0-1.
CHARLEVILLE: C Curtin; M O’Flynn, C Fitzgerald, S Butler; N O’Keeffe, B McCarthy, B Dennehy; D O’Flynn, A Dennehy; D Murphy, J Casey, M Gammell; A Cagney, A O’Connor; P Gammell.
Subs: C O’Flynn for Butler (ht), M Kavanagh for McCarthy (51).
ÉIRE ÓG: P Ryan; S McCarthy, A O’Mahony, C O’Mahony; B Corkery, T Dineen, E Lowney; D Herlihy, J Dineen; F O’Rourke, T O’Leary, P McDonogh; K Hallissey, C Sheehan, D Goulding.
Subs: C Murphy for McDonogh (ht), M O’Shea for O’Rourke (56), E Murphy for O’Leary (69), L Murphy for Corkery (70).
Referee: D Carroll (Kanturk).