Cork dominated the Munster U15 Football Tournament providing optimism for the future after Cork Reds won the Humphrey Kelleher Memorial Cup with a comfortable victory over Cork Whites in Millstreet on Saturday.
Eight teams from across the province competed and it speaks volume for the work of the Rebel Óg development squad that the county provided the two finalists.
Cork coach James McCarthy said: “We had the work undertaken, our objective was to win one game at a time, the lads showing great heart and togetherness. At management level, we’ve got former Cork players such as Noel O’Leary involved. It’s been a great day’s work to overcome stiff tests. The development squads are working a treat, clubs are committed and importantly, the players are coming through the system.”
Greasy conditions made this game difficult for the players, with inconsistency from frees and play causing the wides tally to build before a point from captain Mark Keane helped Cork Reds lead 0-3 to 0-2 at the interval. The standard of play improved significantly after the resumption, and with Cork Reds driven on by Keane, Jack Murphy and Charlie Lyons, they enjoyed a productive passage with points from Blake Murphy, Mark Cronin and Conor Russell.
Cork Whites rallied and flags risen by Seán Desmond and Liam Twohig helped cut the gap to the minimum. The Reds kept their heads to wrestle back the initiative, Murphy and Cronin points put daylight between the teams. But their opponents refused to surrender and were rewarded with a Niall Murphy goal. The Reds response proved calm and effective, James O’Mullane and Keane split the uprights before Darragh McElhinney found O’Mullane to blast to the net to complete a rewarding afternoon for Rebel sides.
In the Shield Final, Clare boosted by a key goal from Gearóid Cahill, overcame Tipperary 1-6 to 0-5.
M Cronin: 0-5(0-2f), J O’Mullane (1-2), M Keane (0-2), B Murphy (0-2), C Lyons, C Russell 0-1 each.
N Murphy (1-0), A Hennessey, C Crowley, S Desmond, L Twohig, D McElhinney(f) 0-1 each.
J O’Keeffe (Newmarket); O Carroll(Douglas), D Twomey(Éire Óg), J Corcoran(Nemo Rangers); J Murphy(Éire Óg), C Lyons(Valley Rovers), C Crowley(Aghinagh); M Keane(Mitchelstown), B Murphy(Na Piarsaigh); M Bushe(Ilen Rovers), M Cronin(Nemo Rangers), C Walsh(Cullen); K Murphy(Glanmire), C Russell(Douglas), R Dalton(Nemo Rangers).
F Herlihy(Sam Maguires), D Lardner(Fermoy), P O’Shea(Granard Gaels), B Murphy(Boherbue), D O’Neill(Castlehaven); J O’Mullane(Kilmurry), G Lardner(Fermoy), R O’Driscoll(Bandon), C McManus(Kilshannig).
S Masterson(Glanworth); D O’Mahony(Knocknagree), O Carroll(Mallow), J Kelleher(Glanmire); J Collins(Ilen Rovers), S Desmond(Clondrohid), N Murphy(Nemo Rangers); N O’Sullivan(Adrigole), C Crowley(Glanmire); A Hennessey(St. Michaels), T Downes(Mallow), D McElhinney(Glengarriffe); S Curtin(Croke Rovers), G O’Connell(Bandon), L Twohig(Aghinagh).
C O’Donoughue(Clonakilty), C Harrington(Kildorrery), C O’Brien(Glanmire), J O’Neill(Urhan), R O’Sullivan(Adrigole), C Lankford(Killavullen), E Connolly(O’Donovan Rossa), M O’Riordan(Grenagh), C Smith(Aghabullogue).