Under-21 Football Championship Final Report   05/04/2017

Pic 29

Iveleary who defeated Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh in the Muskerry u21C Football Championship Final © Lee Valley Outlook

Mid Cork U21 C Football Championship Final

Iveleary 5 – 8 Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh 1 – 19
Only a single point separated the two teams from the parish of Uibh Laoire at the finish of an epic Macroom Motors Mid Cork U21 football ‘C’ championship final at Páirc Íosagáin, Baile Mhuirne and few would have complained if the teams had finished level. Iveleary won, and the contribution of their corner forward Chris Óg Jones of a massive 4-7 towards that victory cannot be overstated. Last year’s Cork minor was in devastating form and used the space that 13-a-side football allows, to severely punish a Béal Átha side that was simply magnificent in defeat. Despite suffering the hammer blows of conceding goals, four in the second half when they also faced into the strong wind, the Gaeltacht men never lost heart and fought back time and time again to be only a point in arrears with five minutes remaining. Then a goal from a Chris Óg Jones penalty in the 58th minute seemed to finally end the uncertainty but back came Béal Átha again, inspired by the heroics of midfielder Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh and as the game went into injury time they had fired over three points to narrow the gap once again to the minimum and in a final attack could have secured the levelling point.
Iveleary faced the strong wind in the first half and had the boost of a fifth minute goal from Jones after midfielder Ciarán Galvin had won possession from a kick out. Béal Átha did not draw level until the end of the opening quarter when Donagh Seartan’s third successive point made it 0-5 to 1-2 and two further points from Seartan and one from Con Ó Loinsuigh had them three clear by the 20th minute. Iveleary points from Jones and Shane O’Dea were answered by another point from Seartan and a brace from Shane Ó Críodáin but Béal Átha then suffered a blow when centre back Dara Ó Tuama was black carded to add to the misfortune of having already lost midfielder Séamus Ó Tuama, severely hampered by a pre-match injury. Chris Óg Jones pointed a late Iveleary free to leave his side only two points, 0-11 to 1-6, in arrears at the break and this was a very satisfactory position for Iveleary who would have the benefit of the wind in the second half.
Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh had a Béal Átha point early in the second half, a declaration of intent that there would be no easy submission, but Chris Óg Jones struck for his second goal in the 34th minute after the persistence of Ciarán Riordan had won Iveleary possession in defence. Two minutes later Conor O’Leary fired over a centre to Shane O’Dea which the defence failed to cut off and the latter billowed the Béal Átha net again to give Iveleary the lead and Jones added a point to put Iveleary four points clear.
Béal Átha were not long in showing that they were up for the challenge as a Donagh Seartan point was followed by a goal from the lion hearted Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh in the 43rd minute which levelled matters once again and set the scene for a hectic final quarter. Béal Átha went in front by two points but another goal from Jones gave Iveleary a one point lead in the 52nd minute. Béal Átha had a ‘goal’ disallowed before Jones was fouled at the other end under a Barry O’Leary delivery and slammed in his fourth goal from the resultant penalty shot. A point from Shane Ó Críodáin and two from Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh frees rewarded the loser’s unceasing pressure in the closing minutes but they were still a point short when the final whistle sounded.
It was a wonderful final, a credit to two sporting teams and very well refereed by Ger Aherne. Iveleary captain Finbarr McSweeney, outstanding in defence for the winners, received the cup from Muskerry Board Runaí John Feeney, who complimented both sides and the referee for providing spectators with such an outstanding final.

Scorers: Iveleary: Chris Óg Jones 4-7 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Shane O’Dea 1-1. Béal Átha: Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh 1-5 (0-2f), Donagh Seartan 0-8 (0-2f), Shane Ó Críodáin 0-4, Seán Ó Muineacháin 0-1, Dara Ó Ceallacháin 0-1.

Iveleary: Josh Pickering: Finbarr McSweeney, Liam Cotter: Tim O’Dea, Ciarán O’Riordan, Christopher O’Donovan: Ciarán Galvin, Barry O’Leary: James O’Donovan, Conor O’Leary, Eoghan Clancy: Chris Óg Jones, Shane O’Dea. Subs: Mickey Cummins 45, Seán Horgan 58.

Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh: Barra Ó Súilleabháin: Seán Ó Riordáin, Enda Ó Luasa; Shane Ó Críodáin, Dara Ó Tuama, Dara Ó Ceallacháin; Conchuir Ó Loinsuigh, Barra Ó Buachalla: Criostóir Ó Rinn, Séamas Ó Tuama, Jack Ó hUrdail: Ronán Ó Loinsuigh, Donagh Seartan. Subs; Seán Ó Muineacháin 20, Ciarán Ó Laoire 29.

Referee: Ger Aherne, Canovee.

(Match Report & Image courtesy of Lee Valley Outlook)

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