Gore hits 2-6 as Kilmacabea add Carbery league title to championship crown
St James’ 4-4
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
KILMACABEA bounced back from their Cork JAFC semi-final heartbreak the previous weekend by completing the Carbery league and championship double at sunny Clonakilty last Sunday morning.
Already crowned Carbery JAFC champions in September, Kilmacabea added the Carbery-Beara Division 1 Football League title to their collection as they saw off St James’, who had gone 14 weeks without a game at this level ahead of the final.
Late points by impressive subs Richie O’Sullivan and Niall Bowkett, and another fine score from star performer Damien Gore helped the Kilmacs over the line
‘We conceded four goals, a team that does that usually loses but in fairness our lads ran up a good score of 2-13 and that stood to us at the end,’ Kilmacabea selector James O’Donovan said.
‘We created a good few chances today, it would have been disappointing to lose, but that was a distinct possibility.
‘We have been training and playing high intensity games but while St James’ have been idle quite a while, they put up an excellent performance.’
St James’ had beaten Kilmacabea in the league back in February and they raced into an early lead in this league decider, surging 1-2 to no score ahead after eight minutes, including a Sean O’Reilly goal after the hard-working Micheál McCarthy (B) had diverted a peach of a cross into his path.
Kilmacabea didn’t panic and points from Diarmuid O’Callaghan and a brace from the now influential Damien Gore cut the margin to just two points, 1-2 to 0-3, at the close of the opening quarter.
Then following a superb five-man movement, Donnacha McCarthy placed Gore with a pin-point cross and the Kilmacabea forward deftly placed the ball past the advancing Diarmuid O’Donovan and into the right corner of the net in the 16th minute.
Five minutes later came a reprise as Liam Thompson began a move that finished with Gore crashing the ball home from close range for his and Kilmacabea’s second goal.
Paul O’Sullivan and the dominant Martin Collins swapped white flags but with Gore, Donie O’Donovan, O’Callaghan, McCarthy, the Collins duo and Liam Thompson impressing, Kilmacabea experienced a purple path, leading by double scores, 2-6 to 1-3, as half-time beckoned.
However, in the 36th minute they were rocked back on their heels as the impressive Aaron Hayes unleashed a pile-driver from all of 40 metres, an inspirational score to lift his troops.
Two minutes into the second half the never-say-die Saints were on level terms, 3-3 to 2-6, as Ian Evans billowed the Kilmacabea rigging for a third time.
It set the scene for a rip-roaring second 30 minutes, neither side giving an inch, a plethora of substitutes introduced by both sides leaving a marked influence on the game. One of these, Dan Lynch, had inched Kilmacabea ahead by a goal, 2-10 to 3-4, as the game swung into the home straight.
But far from being in the comfort zone Kilmacabea had to bite the bullet again in the 51st minute as Mark Evans was the service provider for Aaron Hayes who finished with aplomb, 2-10 to 4-4, all square yet again and a barnstorming finale on the cards.
But the champions showed their mettle in those exciting last few minutes and while St James’ could have nicked it, those last few points saw the Kilmacs safely home as they completed the double.
‘We have won the league and championship in West Cork this year, that’s very positive,’ selector James O’Donovan said.
‘But next year you go out against these teams in Carbery, the standard is high, and on a given day any team can win the championship so we will take nothing for granted.
‘The future looks bright if we put in the effort again next season.’
Tom Lyons, vice-chairman of the Carbery Board, presented the cup to a delighted Clive Sweetnam, Kilmacabea captain, after the game.
Kilmacabea: Damien Gore 2-6 (3f), Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Martin Collins, Joseph Collins, Liam Thompson, Dan Lynch, Richie O’Sullivan, Niall Bowkett 0-1 each.
St James’: Aaron Hayes 2-0, Ian Evans, Sean O’Reilly 1-0 each, Finbarr McCarthy, Micheál McCarthy (B), Paul O’Sullivan, Micheál McCarthy (D) 0-1 each.
Kilmacabea: Tim O’Donovan; Mark Jennings, Ciarán O’Donovan, Darren Whooley; Donie O’Donovan, Clive Sweetnam, Sam O’Driscoll; Joe Collins, Martin Collins; Timmy Nyhan, Diarmuid O’Callaghan, Liam Thompson; Eoin O’Sullivan, Donnacha McCarthy, Damien Gore.
Subs: Dan Lynch for Timmy Nyhan (black card, 32), Declan O’Sullivan for Sam O’Driscoll (ht), Richie O’Sullivan for Diarmuid O’Callaghan (35), Eoin O’Donovan for Liam Thompson (43), Niall Hayes for Eoin O’Sullivan (52), Niall Bowkett for Martin Collins (inj, 57).
St James’: Diarmuid O’Donovan; Eoin Deasy, Eoin Feen, David Hayes; Aaron Hayes, Kevin O’Leary, Ian Evans; Micheál McCarthy (Dunnycove), Paul O’Sullivan; Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), James O’Sullivan, Finbarr McCarthy; Joseph O’Sullivan, Kevin O’Brien, Sean O’Reilly.
Subs: Frank Hayes for Kevin O’Brien (inj, 31), Mark Evans for Joseph O’Sullivan (39), Kevin O’Brien for Micheál McCarthy (D) (50), Ewan Courtney for Ian Evans (55).
Referee: Andrew Whelton (Clonakilty).