Clinical Courcey’s finally go the distance

COURCEY ROVERS survived a late rally from Youghal to win the Cork Premier IHC final by 0-15 to 1-10 at Páirc Ui Rinn yesterday — an inspirational display from centre-back and man-of-the-match Vince Hurley going a long way to helping them gain senior status.

Ultimately, it all boiled down to Youghal’s lack of penetration after Bill Cooper’s 57th minute score reduced a five point deficit to a manageable two before he lost possession out on the wing. Courceys, boosted by a Daire Lordan free a minute later, were then three points ahead instead of possibly just one.

But, an admirably sporting game still had one last act of drama — when Courceys goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan was bundled over the line in possession by substitute Ken Dempsey. However, referee John Sexton signalled a free out and when Youghal despairingly failed to score from their next attack, the game was all over when Brendan Coleman pointed for them just before the final whistle.

Losers in 2008 and 2004 and put out by Ballymartle in the semi-final last year (following which John Meyler came on board as coach), Courceys can now look forward to senior status.

At the outset of the Cork IFC,Kinsale were not seen by many as contenders for the title, but at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday they were deserving 1-9 to 0-8 victors overCastletownbere.

Promoted to the intermediate grade as a result of restructuring at the end of 2005, Kinsale’s progress has been incremental – they lost toCastletownbere in a quarter-final in their first season up – and with a relatively young core to their side, they will be hopeful of competing at the premier grade next year.

Only trailing after Alan O’Regan gave the Beara side a third-minute lead here, Kinsale were on top in most sectors, pushing ahead to lead 0-5 to 0-3 at half-time before a goal from Barry Gray early in the second half gave them a cushion that would not be relinquished.

Meanwhile, the identity of the side that drops from the Cork Premier IFC remains unknown after Carrigaline and Grenagh drew their relegation play-off for a second time at Blarney on Saturday, 1-13 to 0-16 after-extra time.

Grenagh looked to have seizedvictory after scoring seven unanswered points to overturn a six-point deficit in the final 20 minutes of normal time only for Carrigaline to level, and then in extra-time the mid-Cork side had a two-point cushion but were again pegged back.

David Drake had the Carrigaline goal in the 16th minute.

Smashing hurling and all outcommitment in Saturday’s Cork JHCsemi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh gave the large crowd plenty to cheer about as Mayfield, thanks to three cracking goals, booked a final date with a hard earned 3-12 to 0-15 victory over battling Dungourney.

In the end it was Patrick Duggan’s two goals that proved the difference as Mayfield reached their first final since beating Carrigtwohill in 1978.

Terry Lotty’s third goal in the 50th minute wasn’t bad either, threehammer blows from which a game Dungourney side never recovered.

An inspired first-half saw Charleville lead 2-7 to 0-5 by the interval in the second JAHC semi-final against Kilbrin at Buttevant on Saturday and despite a spirited fightback by their North Cork rivals, Charleville had too much class and ran out easy winners, 2-17 to 0-12.

The Charleville celebrations were rather muted at full-time as centre-back Dessie Fitzgerald was removed by ambulance after acollision with his goalkeeper Cirion Curtin at the end of the first-half.

Andrew Cagney and John O’Brien scored the Charleville goals.

There was no shortage ofentertainment in Ballygarvan onSaturday with Bandon and St Finbarr’s serving up an enjoyable Cork JAFC quarter-final, the 1-10 apiece draw meaning Kanturk will have to wait a week to find out their semi-final opponents.

St Finbarr’s, who finished with 14 men after midfielder Aidan O’Shea received a second yellow card eightminutes from time, settled with an early goal from Tadhg Guiheen after excellent approach work from Fionán Murray. The experienced Murray proved to be a handful as the Barr’s went in search of goals. But resolute defending coupled with assuredkicking from Mark Sugrue kept Bandon in close contention.

Midleton served notice at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday they intend following up last year’s minor success with U21 honours, as they outplayed Blackrock 2-15 to 0-15 with some clinical, fast moving hurling

The Magpies, backboned by most of the senior side that lost toCarrigtwohill, were red-hot in this semi-final, particularly in the first-half, as they swept past theRockies. Seamus O’Farrell and Paudie O’Keeffe were sublime in the centre of the park. Only Pat Deasy’s accuracy from placed balls kept the city champions in touch.

In the minor deciders at the CIT grounds yesterday, Ballincollig won the replayed Premier 1 final by beating Douglas 1-15 to 0-13 after extra-time, while in the Premier 2 final Valley Rovers beat Glanmire 1-14 to 0-2.



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