Randal Óg 1-12
KEVIN O’BRIEN REPORTS
RANDAL Óg’s dominant first-half display laid the platform for their victory in the Carbery U21 C football championship final at a sun-kissed Church Cross.
By the break Randals led by 1-8 to 0-3 and that cushion was never threatened during the second half.
Goleen started well and they opened up a two-point lead after five minutes thanks to points from Tadgh Cullinane (free) and captain Padraig Reidy.
Randals were up and running with a Conor O’Neill effort before Jake Coughlan restored Goleen’s two-point lead with the next attack on 12 minutes – but this was Goleen’s last score of the first half while Randals found their rhythm.
The 12-a-side competition allows a lot of open space to run in to and Randals utilised the space well. Conor O’Neill’s pace was key when he created a goal chance for Eoin O’Sullivan, who fisted the ball into the top left corner. Randals now led by a point, 1-1 to 0-3.
A ten-minute spell before half time saw Randals kick scores from Eoin O’Sullivan, Darragh Hayes, Seamus Crowley, Donnacha Collins, Cathal Duggan and Cian O’Neill, as they opened up an eight-point lead going by half time, 1-8 to 0-3.
Goleen knew they needed to up their game in the second half – and they did, to be fair. Tadgh Cullinane, like in the first half, opened the scoring from a free before Donnacha Collins responded with a point for Randals.
After Cullinane got his third point of the game, Goleen struck for a goal. At the three-quarter mark sub Mark O’Reilly was put through by Padraig Reidy, and on his weaker left side buried his effort high into the roof of the net beyond the on-rushing Randal Óg goalkeeper Ciarán Murray. There were four points between the teams now, 1-9 to 1-5.
Randals had goal chances of their own but Goleen shot-stopper Padraig Downey made three outstanding saves throughout the contest to keep his side in the game.
Despite the Goleen goal, Randals remained composed. Points from Cathal Duggan and Conor O’Neill saw them stay firmly in control.
Tadgh Cullinane kept rallying his Goleen troops but they never got within striking distance as Randals were good value for this win.
Randal Óg: E O’Sullivan 1-1, D Collins, C Duggan, D Hayes, Conor O’Neill 0-2 each, S Crowley, Cian O’Neill 0-1 each.
Goleen: Mark O’Reilly 1-1, T Cullinane 0-4 (2f), P Reidy, J Coughlan 0-1 each.
Randal Óg: Ciarán Murray, Conor O’Connell, Peter Collins, Padraig Galvin, Seamus Crowley, Cian O’Neill, Eoin O’Sullivan, Donnacha Collins, Cathal Duggan, Ronan Daly, Conor O’Neill, Darragh Hayes.
Subs: Diarmuid Hayes for D Hayes (39), Daniel O’Sullivan for R Daly (56), D Hayes for E O’Sullivan (60, back card).
Goleen: Padraig Downey, Tom Fitzgerald, Tadgh Reidy, Paul Collins, Finnian Healy, Jack O’Driscoll, Padraig Reidy, Michael Sheehan, Tadgh Cullinane, Sam Coughlan, Jake Coughlan
Subs: Mark O’Reilly for M O’Reilly (ht), Issac Solomen for S Coughlan (55).
Referee: Dave Harnon (Ilen Rovers).