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Goleen dominate local derby to top group en route to county quarter-finals

June 3rd, 2024 7:45 AM

By Tom Lyons

Goleen dominate local derby to top group en route to county quarter-finals Image
Goleen's Jake Coughlan is challenged by Alex Young of Muintir Bhaire. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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Goleen 2-18

Muintir Bháire 1-2


IT is hard to find something positive to write about this local derby game in the McCarthy Insurance county junior B football championship in rain-soaked Ballydehob, except Goleen’s impressive display.

Usually, a clash between these neighbours provides great competition and plenty of excitement, and this was a Group 2 top-of-the-table clash between the two unbeaten teams, but this match was as one-sided on the pitch as it was on the scoreboard.

Physicality, experience, conditioning, maturity, Goleen had all the advantages and used them fully on the pitch. Many of their players have played four county finals during the past five years and they are reigning Carbery junior B champions.

Goleen's Paidi O'Regan and Muintir Bhaire's Joe Egan in a race for possession during the McCarthy Insurance Confined JBFC tie at Ballydehob. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

‘We really got stuck in from the start, with the strong breeze, and drove on,’ said a pleased Goleen manager Shane O’Neill. ‘Our worry coming into this game was the weather and the rain – that would usually suit the underdog but the lads got their heads into the game straight away.’

Goleen forwards Paidí O’Regan, Darren O’Donovan and Michael O’Reilly tormented Muintir all day long, accounting for 1-18 between them. There was just no stopping this trio, with the plentiful supply of ball they received from strong midfielders, Cian Bowen and Adam Sheehan. Add in the experienced Tadhg Cullinane, who orchestrated much of the play from centre forward, along with Jack O’Driscoll and Patrick Sheehan, who backboned a defence that was never under too much pressure, and all signs are that Goleen are in a strong position to win that elusive county title this season.

To their credit, the under-strength Muintir lads never threw in the towel and played their best football in the closing quarter as Goleen emptied their bench. Alex Young and Joe Egan gave their all in an overworked defence, while David O’Mahony, Fionn Doonan and Michael Gingell covered a lot of ground in the middle third and the strong Teddy O’Donovan and Calvin Cronin tried hard in a forward line that saw little possession until the closing stages. Muintir had already won two games before this and qualified for the knockout stages despite this heavy defeat.

Within ten minutes, Goleen were five points ahead, with O’Reilly raising three white flags and O’Regan kicking two points. By the end of the first quarter, they had doubled that lead, O’Reilly and O’Regan a free each, and a goal in the 13th minute from Patrick Scully. O’Regan added two more to open the second quarter, with Darren O’Donovan also getting on the score sheet from a mark.

Goleen's Adam Sheehan under pressure from Muintir Bhaire's Fionn Doonan and David O'Mahony during the McCarthy Insurance Confined JBFC tie at Ballydehob. (Photo: Paddy Feen)


Muintir finally got off the mark in the 25th minute when a high ball into the goal area by Ray O’Sullivan was palmed to the net by the inrushing Teddy O’Donovan. However, it was back to defending again as O’Donovan and Tadh Cullinane kicked points, O’Donovan shot wide across the goalmouth but in the 30th minute made no mistake from a great pass from Patrick Sheehan. It was 2-11 to 1-0 at half time and Muintir’s faint hopes with the breeze weren’t helped when the rain started to fall in the second half.

The second period was more competitive that the first as Muintir set about redeeming themselves on the scoreboard. However, lack of real scoring power saw them limited to two points midway through the half, from a Jack O’Driscoll free and Ben Egan.

Goleen were finding it more difficult to score, too, against the wind and rain but O’Reilly, O’Donovan, Cullinane and O’Regan all added to their tallies as they led by 2-15 to 1-2 into the final quarter. Muintir did a lot more attacking near the end but were closed out by the alert Goleen defence and that period belonged to Michael O’Reilly, who kicked three Goleen points in a row.

Our Star: Full marks to all three top scorers for Goleen, Paidí O’Regan, Darren O’Donovan and Michael O’Reilly, but the man who seemed to make it all tick and come together was Tadhg Cullinane, who also kicked a pair of points.



Goleen: Michael O’Reilly 0-8 (3f); Darren O’Donovan 1-3 (1m); Paidí O’Regan 0-5 (2f); Patrick Scully 1-0; Tadhg Cullinane 0-2.

Muintir Bháire: Teddy O’Donovan 1-0; Ben Egan, Jack O’Driscoll (1f) 0-1 each.


Goleen: Ronan Kennedy; Michael Sheehan, Jack O’Driscoll, Paul Collins; Patrick Sheehan, Padraig Reidy, Jake Coughlan; Cian Bowen, Adam Sheehan; Paidí O’Regan, Tadhg Cullinane, Patrick Scully; Daniel O’Driscoll, Darren O’Donovan, Michael O’Reilly.

Subs: Michael O’Donovan for P Scully (40), David Farrell for P Collins (48), Tadhg Reidy for P O’Regan (48), Flor O’Sullivan for T Cullinane (50).

Muintir Bháire: Brendan O’Dwyer; Michael Burke, Alex Young, Conor Bingell; Joe Egan, James Mallon, Brian Johnston; David O’Mahony, Fionn Doonan; Michael Gingell, Ben Egan, Calvin Cronin; Jack O’Driscoll, Teddy O’Donovan, Ray O’Sullivan.

Subs: Will Carroll for M Burke (29), Colm Hegarty for J Mallon (36), Darragh O’Brien for C Cronin (45), Peter Ozubko for R O’Sullivan (50), David Ward for B Johnston (53).

Referee: Brian Crowley (Castlehaven).

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