Super sub Gearoid Cronin grabs injury-time winner
Cork West 0-11
Cork Mid 1-7
CORK West left it late to make the decisive move as they won the Rebel Óg U15 Inter Regional Football final at Pá'irc Uí Chaoimh's 4G pitch.
From being five points down in the early stages of the second half, Cork West battled back to level the game, and despite slipping one point behind late on, they rolled off two more points to win by a single point.
Sub Gearoid Cronin was the Cork West hero as he scored the winning point off his weaker foot in injury-time.
It was a welcome win for the team coached by Diarmuid Duggan (Ilen Rovers), Colm Sheehy (Clonakilty), Paudie Hurley (Castlehaven) and Seamus Hayes (Carbery Rangers), but they didn’t have it all their own way against an impressive Cork Mid side that will rue their total of eight wides, compared to Cork West’s solitary wide.
In fact, it’s Cork West’s accuracy that was one of the big differences in the final – they scored 11 points from their 12 shots, while Cork Mid had eight scores from their 17 shots. Newcestown’s Niall Kelly was also unerring from placed balls and returned six from six for Cork West.
There’s plenty for both management teams to take from this one – the Cork West backs all played well with Daire Kingston strong in the first half while St Colum’s Alan Kelleher at centre back carried the ball well. The midfield pairing of Oisin O’Sullivan and Dylan Crowley were very strong and effective in the air while Niall Kelly was a nuisance in the attack.
For Cork Mid, Mark Hunt, Shane Hughes and Robert Lucey were strong in the backs, Conor Kelleher made his presence felt at midfield and Ryan Leahy was a livewire in the full-forward line.
Cork West were quickest out of the blocks and jumped into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after 20 minutes with points from Lorcan O’Brien (2), Niall Daly and a Niall Kelly free. Cork Mid then settled and found their feet with Ryan Leahy’s goal bringing them back into the contest. Points for Cork Mid before half time from Danny Kelly and Tadhg O’Connell saw them lead 1-2 to 0-4 at the break.
Cork Mid kept up the momentum in the opening ten minutes of the second half as they rattled off four points in a row to move into a strong 1-6 to 0-4 lead. James Murphy (free), Ted Twomey, David Casey and Ryan Leahy all scored as they led by five points now.
But Cork West held their nerve and played some superb football to work their way back into this game. They held Cork Mid scoreless for 16 minutes and scored five points of their own in that time to level the game, 1-6 to 0-9. Four frees from Niall Kelly as well as a Niall Daly effort meant this game was level with six minutes to go.
Kilmurry’s Conor Kelleher edged Cork Mid back in front but two late scores from Cork West, including another free from Niall Kelly and that winning point from Gearoid Cronin, saw the western lads come from behind to snatch the victory.
Cork West: Niall Kelly 0-6 (6f); Niall Daly, Lorcan O’Brien 0-2 each; Gearoid Cronin 0-1.
Cork Mid: Ryan Leahy 1-1; David Casey, Tadhg O’Connell, Conor Kelleher, Danny Kelly, Ted Twomey, James Murphy (f) 0-1 each.
Cork West: Eoin McSweeney (Newcestown); Shane Carey (Ilen Rovers), Owen Tobin (Kilmacabea), Killian O’Brien (Bantry Blues); Daire Kingston (Bantry Blues), Alan Kelleher (St Colum’s), Cathal Hegarty (Tadhg MacCarthaigh); Oisin O’Sullivan (Kilmeen), Dylan Crowley (Urhan); Jack O’Neill (Castlehaven), Niall Kelly (Newcestown), Niall Daly (Ilen Rovers); Olan Corcoran (Ahán Gaels), Aaron O’Reilly (Bandon), Lorcan O’Brien (Gabriel Rangers).
Subs: John O’Donovan (Clann na nGael), Gearoid Cronin (St Colum’s), Paddy Cronin (Bantry Blues), Adam Crawford (Ibane Gaels), Finian Hogan (Gabriel Rangers).
Cork Mid: Charlie Sewell (Blarney); Robert Lucey (Macroom), Shane Hughes (Canovee), Sean Broderick (Lee Gaels); Mark Hunt (Macroom), Barry Kelleher (Carrigaline), Paul Graham (Sliabh Rua); Conor Kelleher (Kilmurry), Tadhg O’Connell (Ballincollig); Adam Casey (Valley Rovers), David Casey (Eire Óg), Kian O’Callaghan (Kinsale); Jason Kelleher (Valley Rovers), John Neary (Valley Eovers), Ryan Leahy (Kilmurry).
Subs: Danny Kelly (Carrigaline), Ted Twomey (Grenagh), James Murphy (Kinsale).