Junior C’s win West Cork Final!!
On Saturday afternoon last, the 16th November, our Junior C Footballers finished the season on a high note with a marvellous 0-14 to 1-10 victory over Clonakilty in the Junior C Football Championship Final in Ardfield. Having fielded a team in Division 3 of the Carbery football league and reached the final of that competition only to suffered defeat to Kilbrittain, this was redemption for this group of players.
On a crisp cold day in Ardfield, without a puff of wind, both teams put in a tremendous hours entertainment and it was the Kilmacs who started the brighter. Three scoring chances were created before Clon opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. The winning of any game, can be the midfield battle and with two stalwarts in Ruairi Hourihane and Tom Sheahan starting to come to grips around the middle third, gave the Kilmacs to spingboard to pressurise the Clonakilty defence. Keith Whelton and Liam Thompson were causing problems for the Clon rearguard and it was Keith who opened the Kilmacs account in the 4th minute. Clon pointed a free almost immediately and it was a defence splitting pass that saw the Kilmac defence cut open and the Clon centre forward billowed the back of the net. That goal seemed to awaken the Kilmacs and for the next 10 minutes they dominated proceedings, kicking five unanswered points to push the Kilmacs two points clear with half time approaching. Another two Clonakilty points, answered by a Liam Thompson point saw the Leap lads head to the dressing room at half time leading by 0-8 to 1-4.
The second half begun with the men from the Brewery town kicking the equalizing score, but the harsh dismissal of experienced centre back Ciaran O Donovan only six minutes in put the Kilmacs position into doubt. But huge credit has to go to the lads, who rolled up their sleeves and dug in to deny the Clon forwards time and space. Another purple patch for our lads, saw them kick five superb scores to push the team four points clear with ten minutes to go. Tired legs and almost constant pressure from the Clonakilty men now saw them reel off three quick fire points to cut the gap to a single point. Inspirational full back line of Diarmuid O Donovan, captain Niall McCarthy and Thomas Jennings, turned over some crucial possessions in the final ten minutes and a quick Kilmac break, found Liam Thompson in space and he fired the Kilmacs final score of the game over the black spot with time almost up. Another Clonakilty attacked yielded another point and this once again cut the gap to the bare minimum with injury time approaching. Despite the referee adding on three minutes, it was a sweet moment when ref Shane Scanlon blew the final whistle and the celebrations could begin.
It was a delighted captain Niall McCarthy, who accepted the Dullea Cup from Carbery board chairman Tommy Lyons, on behalf of our victorious Junior C Footballers.
As the celebrations continued, a special word of mention for the mangement team of Karl McCarthy, Peadar O Leary and manager Donie O Donovan who put in a huge effort this season and everyone within the club thanks them for the huge contribution they put in to this victory.
The team that won the Junior C Football Championship was as follows:
Tim Donovan, Diarmuid O Donovan, Niall McCarthy, Thomas Jennings, Dara Tobin, Ciaran O Donovan, Tom French, Ruairi Hourihane, Tom Sheahan, Ellis Wilson, Eoin O Sullivan, Myles Tobin, Liam Thompson, Keith Whelton, David Collins.
Subs used: Aidan Glavin, Jamie Ronan, Odhran Kerrisk.
Other panel members: Christy Wilson, Jack Connolly, Liam Wolfe, Kevin O Donovan, Eoghan Burns, Brian O Donovan
Scorers: Keith Whelton (0-5), Liam Thompson (0-4), Ellis Wilson, David Collins, Tom Sheahan, Myles Tobin, Ruairi Hourihane (0-1 a piece)