Carrigaline dig deep to claim title with late points

Carrigaline captain Eoin O'Connor lifts the cup after victory over St Finbarr's in the Premier MFC final in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Carrigaline 0-9 St Finbarr’s 0-7
It wasn’t a classic, but that mattered little to Carrigaline as they claimed a first-ever Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC in defeating St Finbarr’s at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

Having seen a six-point lead evaporate as the Barr’s bettered them in the second half, Carrigaline came good when it mattered at the end as points from Billy Pope and Barry Ryan secured victory.

For the opening 15 minutes, the only question seemed to be how much Carrigaline would win by, as they dominated in all sectors. The dominance at midfield of Brian Coakley and Barry Ryan was their power source and, though Stephen Sherlock had given the Barr’s the lead with an early free, soon Carrig were in control.

Coakley kicked three good points with Ryan adding two and when Caleb O’Connell sent over a free on the quarter-hour mark they led by 0-6 to 0-1. Instead of driving on, however, they would not score again until the 35th minute and the Barr’s upped the ante in response.

Captain Cian Walsh profited from Alan McCarthy’s pass to end the Togher side’s drought and Sherlock sent over a free in the 23rd minute to bring them to within three. But for a good Kealan Daly save from Seán Dennehy, the sides might have been level at half-time but a good Barr’s start to the second half almost eradicated the lead. Sherlock had really found his range by now and nailed another free before Corey Buckley landed a huge effort.

Though O’Connell finally added to Carrig’s tally, all of the momentum was with the Barr’s as their opponents suffered the loss of Coakley to a black card.

Sherlock held his nerve with another long-range effort and then repeated the feat to level, despite the Barr’s having lost corner-back Olan Murphy to a red card.

With the game in the melting pot, both sides had their chances. Eventually, Pope kept his composure to put Carrig in front once more and Ryan gave them breathing space. Scorers for Carrigaline: B Coakley (one free), B Ryan 0-3 each, C O’Connell 0-2 (frees), B Pope 0-1.

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 0-5 (four frees), C Walsh, C Buckley 0-2.

CARRIGALINE: K Daly; S Williamson, N Quirke, D Kirk; E O’Connor, D Griffin, K Kavanagh; B Coakley, B Ryan; E Kadi-Harrington, E Ryle, D O’Reilly; C O’Connell, M O’Reilly, B Pope.

Subs: A Coughlan for Coakley (37, black card), C Maguire for Williamson (47).

ST FINBARR’S: J Foley; C Dennehy, B Hennessy, D Byrne; C Buckley, O Murphy, A McCarthy; S O’Brien, I O’Callaghan; B Kerins, C Walsh, C Buckley; S Dennehy, S Cox, S Sherlock.

Subs: S Hannigan for Kerins (half-time), F O’Shea for Dennehy (59), D Cox for O’Callaghan (60, injured).

Referee: E Sheedy (Newcestown).


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