Midleton swoop late to snatch League silverware

Midleton 3-11 Blackrock 1-14: Midleton produced a powerful finish to win the RedFM Cork SHL decider at Riverstown on Saturday.
Midleton swoop late to snatch League silverware

Blackrock, who contributed to a high-quality clash, surged two points clear with three minutes remaining but the Magpies’ perseverance paid off, closing out with goals from Patrick White and their captain Peter Dowling.

“We have a lot of work done since the start of the year and it stood to us,” explained winning manager Jerry Wallace. “Like any club in Cork we were hoping to get to the county final and build on the 2013 success. The two big competitions in Cork are championship and league and it is great to have silverware. We stuck to our guns tonight and we kept hurling to our system. I thought the lads played very intelligent, very smart at the end.”

Once they settled into their stride, Midleton played some good hurling in the first-half. Trailing 0-3 to 0-1, James Nagle shot them into the lead with a 16th minute goal following a diagonal ball from Aidan Ryan. A string of impressive point taking from Padraig O’Keeffe, Patrick White, Luke O’Farrell and Cormac Walsh saw them pull steadily clear, and to lead at the interval 1-7 to 0-5.

After struggling somewhat in the first-half, Blackrock needed to improve, especially as all five points came from the stick of Kevin O’Keeffe. And it was the corner-forward who restarted with another three points while Aidan Ryan raised a pair of white flags for Midleton. However, eight minutes after the resumption Shane O’Keeffe ignited the Rockies challenge when he finished a long Alan O’Callaghan delivery to the net.

They went on to dominate, striking the next three points with young John O’Sullivan heavily involved. Stepping it up considerably, they regained a lead (1-11 to 1-10) they last held 13 minutes in. Their defence grew stronger as well as the match wore on, especially brothers Niall and John Cashman. However, Walsh knocked over a free and the sides were level once more, setting up a grandstand finish.

But when O’Sullivan and Stephen Murphy nudged Blackrock two in front as the clock ran down, it looked like they might hold out. It was then Midleton’s experience showed.

White’s strong run and clinically taken goal was quickly followed by another from Dowling. Suddenly, there was daylight between the sides and no way back for a gallant Blackrock.

“We didn’t win but this is a great game for us,” said their coach Eddie Murphy.

“We conceded two late goals which killed us. But I couldn’t fault their effort. They are a good bunch up against a good Midleton team. I thought in the second-half we played tremendously well.”

Scorers for Midleton:

P White (1-1), C Walsh (0-4, three frees), P Dowling and J Nagle (1-0 each), P O’Keeffe, A Ryan and L O’Farrell (0-2)

Scorers for Blackrock:

K O’Keeffe (0-10, seven frees), S O’Keeffe (1-0), J O’Sullivan (0-2), S Murphy and M O’Halloran (0-1 each).

MIDLETON:

T Wallace; C Hurley, A Kearney, P O’Mahony; D Ryan, F O’Mahony, S O’Farrell; C Walsh, P O’Farrell; P O’Keeffe, A Ryan, J Nagle; L O’Farrell, P Dowling, P White.

Subs:

S Smith for C Hurley, L Coughlan for P O’Keeffe (both 53).

BLACKROCK:

G Connolly; J Cashman, B Ahern, J Ryan; A O’Callaghan, N Cashman, A Murphy; S Murphy, G Norberg; E O’Farrell, G O’Regan, C Kilcoyne; M O’Halloran, S O’Keeffe, K O’Keeffe.

Subs:

A Nolan for E O’Farrell (half-time), E Cantwell for A O’Callaghan (40 inj), J O’Sullivan for C Kilcoyne (44), D O’Farrell for G Norberg (46).

Referee:

Joe Larkin (Douglas).

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