Muintir Bhaire 2-7
Ilen Rovers 1-9
FRANKIE Arundel’s injury-time goal ripped the 2018 West Cork Rowa-Rowex Pharma junior D football trophy from Ilen Rovers’ grasp following a dramatic final in Ballydehob.
Rovers comfortably led Muintir Bháire 1-8 to 0-6 with nine minutes remaining. Muintir had played catch-up for the majority of a final dominated by Ilen but refused to accept defeat and somehow clawed their way back into contention.
Corner-forward Kieran O’Donovan bundled the ball over the goal-line to offer his side hope before thundering over a glorious point to leave the bare minimum between the teams.
Ilen Rovers hit back instantly. Adam Hayes took his personal total to 1-6 with a converted free at the 60-minute mark.
Five minutes of injury time offered Muintir Bháire a glimmer of hope but it wasn’t until the very last moments of that additional period that their talisman, Frankie Arundel, gained possession.
Fifteen yards from Ilen’s goal, Arundel shifted the ball on to his left side before planting a shot into the bottom corner past four defenders and a goalkeeper. That was the winner.
‘You couldn’t write that script but it was a fantastic team effort to win out at the end,’ Muintir manager James O’Donovan commented.
‘It is a terrific club and we are going into a new pitch next year. Things are on the up and we spoke about the importance of winning this final, as a boost, beforehand.’
Muintir Bhaire got off the mark inside two minutes when Arundel hooked a shot over his shoulder from a tight angle.
Rovers soon worked the ball the length of the field where Adam Hayes collected possession and split the posts after seven minutes. Encouraged by that score, Ilen Rovers’ Alex Whooley gained possession from a kick-out and began a move that ended with Adam Hayes finding the net to make it 1-1 to 0-1 in Rovers’ favour.
The remainder of a scrappy first half turned into a personal shootout between Hayes and Frankie Arundel. Ilen changed ends 1-3 to 0-2 ahead with all of their scores coming from the boot of their full-forward and Arundel accounting for both of Muintir points.
The third quarter proved the most entertaining period of the final. Kieran Daly edged Ilen Rovers five points clear before Jason Griffin and a converted Frankie Arundel free brought Muintir Bháire back to within a goal.
Once again Rovers responded. Adam Hayes and Edward Casey fired over two excellent scores but their opponents refused to go away as Frankie Arundel (free) and Kieran O’Donovan efforts made it 1-6 to 0-6 heading into the closing stages.
Adam Hayes and Donie Duggan pushed Rovers five clear before Muintir sub Sean Levis saw his shot tipped onto the crossbar by a diving Oisin Coakley.
From the rebound, a scramble ended with Kieran O’Donovan’s shot deflected into the net to give his side hope. O’Donovan and Adam Hayes (free) exchanged scores but not even five minutes of injury time looked enough to help a Muintir Bháire team defy the odds and conjure up a goal.
Arundel had other ideas, using all his class and guile to find the bottom corner with virtually the last kick of the final.
Muintir Bháire: Frankie Arundel 1-4 (3f), Kieran O’Donovan 1-2, Jason Griffin 0-1.
Ilen Rovers: Adam Hayes 1-6 (2f), Kieran Daly, Edward Casey, Donie Duggan 0-1 each.
Muintir Bháire: Colm Wiseman; Sean Coughlan, David Ward, Donal O’Donovan; Cormac Whooley, Sean Tobin, Stephen Pyburn; Richard Lynch, Darren Shannon; Kevin Pyburn, Niall O’Donovan, Szymon Walcak; Kieran O’Donovan, Frank Arundel, Tadgh O’Sullivan (captain).
Subs: John O’Sullivan for D O’Donovan (10, inj), Jason Griffin for T O’Sullivan (22, inj), Sean Levis for S Walcak (43).
Ilen Rovers: Oisín Coakley, Andrew Collins, Kieran Keohane, David Leonard; Kevin Minihane, Paddy Hickey, Michael Keohane; Peadar O’Driscoll, Kieran Daly; Conor O’Driscoll, Kieran Cotter, Gary Coakley; Alex Whooley, Adam Hayes (captain), Donie Duggan.
Subs: Conor Minihane for K Keohane (27), Ryan Herlihy for G Coakley (27), Darragh Casey for A Whooley (29), Edward Sheehy for K Daly (37), Pat Whooley for C Minihane (44, inj), Fachtna Collins for D Leonard (55).
Referee: Gerdie O’Donovan (Gabriel Rangers).