A 63rd minute Darren Casey goal secured Charleville victory in this Munster club intermediate hurling final, the North Cork side having overturned a 10-point interval deficit to take the verdict.
The situation looked ominous for Charleville at the break, Feakle enjoying a 1-13 to 0-6 lead.
Having clipped the opening two points of the game, Mark Kavanagh (free) and Kevin O’Connor the providers, Charleville were then outscored by 1-10 to 0-1 in the subsequent 17 minutes. Raymond Bane delivered the Feakle goal on nine minutes, with the Clare champions reeling off seven unanswered points thereafter.
Oisin Donnellan, who’d finish the half with four points from play, was proving a particular thorn in the side of the Charleville defence. Gary Guilfoyle and midfielder Shane McGrath, the latter threw over five frees and one from play in the opening period, were also making life very difficult for the North Cork side.
Mark Kavanagh’s point for Charleville on 21 minutes was their first in 14 minutes, leaving the scoreboard reading 1-10 to 0-4. Points subsequently from Donnellan and two McGrath frees had the gap at 10 come the call for half-time.
Of the first seven second-half points, six were struck by men in a red shirt. The comeback was on.
Having reduced the deficit to five on four occasions, Charleville were struggling to get any closer of their opponents, but three-in-a-row from Darragh Fitzgibbon (free and ‘65) and Andrew Cagney cut the margin to three, 1-19 to 0-19, on 56 minutes.
The sides were level when Jack Doyle rattled the Feakle net on 59 minutes and Charleville hit the front thanks to a Darragh Fitzgibbon point in the subsequent action. The All-Star hurler was colossal in the second period.
Oisin Donnellan’s sixth white flag in the second minute of second-half stoppages suggested extra-time was inevitable, but in the third minute of injury-time, a blocked Conor Buckley point attempt fell into the path of sub Darren Casey and he stroked the sliotar past Eibhear Quilligan to complete both a famous comeback and win for Charleville.
Scorers for Charleville: D Fitzgibbon (0-9, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ’65); J Doyle, D Casey (1-1 each); M Kavanagh (0-1 free), K O’Connor (0-2 each); C Buckley (0-1), D O’Flynn (0-1 each).
Scorers for Feakle: S McGrath (0-9, 0-7 frees); O Donnellan (0-6); G Guilfoyle (0-3); R Bane (1-0); S Conway, M Daly (0-1 each).
Charleville: C Collins; D Butler, J Meade, F Cagney; A Dennehy, J Buckley, C Carroll; J O’Callaghan, K O’Connor; D Fitzgibbon, J Doyle, M Kavanagh; C Buckley, A Cagney, T Hawe.
Subs: D Casey for Kavanagh, D O'Flynn for Hawe (both 26); G Hanrahan for S Conway (51).
Feakle: E Quilligan; J Nelson, E McMahon, J Noonan; E Conway, E Tuohy, K Bane; S McGrath, C Smyth; O Donnellan, E Noonan, S Conway; R Bane, M Daly, G Guilfoyle
Subs: A McMahon for E Noonan (56); C Naughton for R Bane (60).
Referee: K Jordan (Tipperary).