Midleton CBS were crowned Dr O’Callaghan Cup champions following a hard-earned win over St Colman’s Fermoy at Páirc Ui Rinn last night.
In conditions better suited to ducks than hurlers, both teams struggled to cope with the torrential rain that teemed down over the hour.
In the opening exchanges the free taking of Liam Gosnell was superb as he drilled over the first point following a free in the fifth minute.
Colman’s, after a sluggish start, eventually got up and running two minutes later following a sublime James Sheehan strike.
The sides were level at two points apiece but the striking of Gosnell continued to punish Midleton with three unanswered points.
The Fermoy College responded and reduced the deficit but in added time Midleton finished stronger with a brace of points from Gosnell and Sean O’Meara that gave them a 0-8 to 0-4 interval lead.
On the restart Colman’s increased the tempo and they were rewarded when Shane O’Connor and Diarmuid Lenihan raised white flags.
To be fair the refereeing of Diarmuid Kirwan ensured no player was hurt in these conditions as he was forced to throw the ball in on a number of occasions.
As the half matured Colman’s sensed the brave Midleton side were fatiguing and when Lenihan struck over a free with three minutes remaining it reduced the deficit to the minimum.
Try as they did, Colman’s threw the kitchen sink at Midleton but some superb defending kept them at bay.
Midleton did have a chance in the final puck of the evening but Brian Roche’s attempt went wide of the right post.
The sound of the final whistle was greeted with elation by the Midleton players but this was a night when both teams were winners for playing in these horrendous conditions.
L Gosnell 0-8 (0-6f), S O’Meara 0-2, L O’Shea 0-1.
D Lenihan 0-5 (f), J Sheehan, N O’Leary, A Creed, S O’Connor, B Murphy (0-1 each).
R Walsh (St Colman’s); A Daly (Midleton), S O’Leary- Hayes (Midleton), E O’Sullivan (St Colman’s); R McConville (Midleton), A Walsh-Barry (Carrigtwohill), J McDonnell (Aghada); B Twomey (Carrigtwohill), C Coughlan (Killeagh); L O’Shea (Lisgoold), C Terry (Aghada), S O’Meara (Midleton); G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s), J Stack (Kiltha Og), L Gosnell (Carrigtwohill).
P O’Brien (Midleton) for B Twomey (50).
E Davis (St Catherine’s); E Roche (Bride Rovers), J O’Leary (Castlelyons), E Wallace (St Catherine’s); S McCarthy (Fermoy), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), K Neville (St Catherine’s); S O’Connor (Bride Rovers), S Kenny (Ballygunner Upper); B Roche (St Catherine’s), D Lenihan (Ballyhooly), J Sheehan (Kilworth); F Hickey (Ballygunner Upper), B Murphy (Castlelyons), A Creed (Fermoy).
J Mehigan (Ballyhooly) for S Kenny (h-t), R O’Sullivan (Fermoy) for K Neville (46).
Diarmuid Kirwan (Éire Óg).