Cloughduv 2-13 Dungourney 1-16: THE Cloughduv supporters thought they had it, because it was going to be difficult for Dungourney to come from five points down with just four minutes to play in the Cork JAHC final at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday. But, they dug it out, hitting 1-2.
Shane Hegarty started the revival with a point in the 58th minute. From the next passage the experienced Kenneth Kelleher pounced for a goal after Hegarty made the initial run, and with the clock in added time Jack Griffin’s point earned Dungourney a second chance. A thrilling and fitting finale to a marvellous game in the perfect spirit.
Dungourney opened strong and were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 20 minutes with Hegarty shooting some splendid points and Ryan Denny starting to dominate at midfield. It was taking Cloughduv that bit more time to get into their stride but the dead ball accuracy of Jerry Lucey made sure they weren’t too far behind.
Bill Ahern nudged Dungourney two clear five minutes from the break, but when Cloughduv corner-forward Joseph Ryan rattled the net the mid Cork champions took over the lead - full back Aidan Ahern cleared a great ball as far as midfielder Denis O’Sullivan and his delivery was brilliantly plucked from the air by the aforementioned Ryan.
Then, on the verge of half-time, came a defining moment when Dungourney’s Kevin Rohan was fouled going through on goal but Hegarty’s penalty was saved and eventually poked out for a wide. The short whistle saw Cloughduv hold a narrow 1-7 to 0-9 advantage.
They enhanced their lead when Joseph Ryan landed a marvellous point from the right corner to go three points clear five minutes after the change of ends. The margin stayed at three as Lucey and Griffin exchanged points (1-10 to 0-10). Sean O’Connor then pushed it out to four.
Joseph Ryan, who had a tremendous game, was narrowly wide on goal for Cloughduv and, as if spurred by the let off, Dungourney responded with a pair of Denny frees and a Kenneth Kelleher white flag to trail by one point at the end of the third quarter. And when Hegarty split the posts after being picked out by Denny, the Imokilly representatives had achieved parity.
Lucey then came out field to rifle out a huge point, ironically he was called ashore soon after in what appeared to be a strange decision given his value as a free-taker and there was still over 10 minutes to go, and especially as they missed the next free.
Still, as a unit, the Cloughduv performance was solid. Ger Ahern moved them two points clear and when Brian Ahern volleyed to the net after Colm Ryan’s effort was originally parried they were in pole position, 2-13 to 0-14. Aidan Ahern, Andrew Cronin and Aidan Murphy were leading from the back and they looked like they might succeed with time running out.
The Dungourney crowd must have been fearful of the worst. But, there was no need to panic as the comeback was on its way. Hegarty was at the heart of it all as he registered his sixth point. Then came the score that brought the fans to their feet as Hegarty again raced through the centre and although his effort was saved, Kenneth Kelleher got on to the break and manage to squeeze the sliotar past a couple of defenders into the net.
One point in it now, could they salvage a draw? Wing-back James McCarthy in his Player Profile interview in the match programme said the best advice he ever got was ‘never give up’. Well, they didn’t. Jack Griffin pointed in the first minute of stoppage time to force a replay.
Scorers for Cloughduv:
J Lucey (0-7, five frees, one 65m), J Ryan (1-2), B Ahern (1-0), D Corkery, G Ahern, E Clifford and S O’Connor (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dungourney:
S Hegarty (0-6), Kenneth Kelleher (1-1), R Denny (0-4, three frees), J Griffin (0-3), J McCarthy and B Ahern (0-1 each).
C O’Driscoll; A Ahern, P O’Sullivan, L Long; J McCarthy, A Cronin, A Murphy; E Clifford, D O’Sullivan; D Corkery, B Ahern, S O’Connor; J Ryan, J Lucey, J Moynihan.
M Walsh for D O’Sullivan (36), C Ryan for J Lucey (49), G Ahern for E Clifford (50).
D Hennessy; M Wall, M Hegarty, E Ahern; J Ronayne, J Leahy, J McCarthy; N Motherway, R Denny; B Ahern, S Hegarty, Kenneth Kelleher; K Rohan, S Casey, J Griffin.
P Harney for J Leahy (42), Kevin Kelleher for K Rohan (52), S Hickey for E Ahern (53).
Mark Maher (St Finbarr’s).
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