It was an exciting final and they were deserved winners but their mounting tally of wides over the hour (17/5) almost cost them. A goal in injury-time from Kilworth captain Brian Sheehan came too late to deny the East Cork team.
Watergrasshill were full value for their 0-7 to 0-3 half-time lead. Kilworth rued two goal chances — one brilliantly saved by ‘Hill captain Aidan Foley. Meanwhile, Watergrasshill picked off some fine scores from standout players Shane O’Regan and Ben Halbert. Kilworth were reliant on skipper Sheehan for three first-half points, all from frees.
Watergrasshill extended their lead to 0-9 to 0-5 soon after the restart. But, Kilworth spurred on by wing-back Eoin McGrath, came to within a point after scores by Sheehan, Cormac Donnellan and James McCarthy.
However, the ‘Hill found their rhythm once again, especially with Aaron Ricken and Kevin O’Neill dominant in defence and four unanswered points from O’Regan (2), Halbert and Kyle Cronin put them 0-13 to 0-8 in front with three minutes remaining.
They had one hand on the Gene Fitzgerald Cup but Sheehan’s late goal made for a nervy finish. O’Regan’s sixth free was the icing on the cake.
S O’Regan (0-6 frees), B Halbert (0-5), K Cronin, D O’Callaghan and D O’Farrell (0-1 each).
B Sheehan (1-5 frees), No 8 J McCarthy, M Wade and C Donnellan (0-1 each).
A Foley (Capt); T Dinan, A Ricken, N Griffin; D O’Donovan, K O’Neill, B Fenton; S O’Regan, A Collins; D O’Callaghan, D O’Farrell, B Maloney; S O’Riordan, C Fenton, B Halbert.
K Cronin for S O’Riordan (half-time), D McCarthy for C Fenton (55).
A O’Brien; James McCarthy, G McCarthy, D O’Regan; E McGrath, D Twomey, K Condon; James McCarthy, Jason McCarthy; C Donnellan, M Dunne, B Sheehan (Capt); J Kenneally, M Wade, C Gowen.
T Dunne for No 2 J McCarthy (53), S Motherway for M Dunne (55).
Dave Daly (Brian Dillons).