Sam Maguires 1-17
Caha Óg 2-10
SEAN Murphy’s late goal was the crucial score as Sam Maguires got the better of Caha Óg in the Rebel Óg West U18 Football League Division 1 final on bank holiday Monday.
These two teams have clashed regularly in finals over the past two years with Sam Maguires winning the Division A league in 2022 while Caha Óg took the championship crown last season.
Sam Maguires progressed to this latest final with wins over O’Donovan Rossa, Ibane Gaels and Castlehaven, so the confidence was high coming into the decider, however Caha Óg also had three wins to their name and were not lacking in confidence either.
Caha Óg took the early lead but Sams – with three points from Ian Bryan, Adam Barry and a free from Paudie Crowley – showed they meant business.
After an exchange of points between Caha Óg and Sam’s Paudie Crowley and Euan Lehane, the teams were neck in neck heading towards the end of the first half when Caha were awarded a penalty. Initially, it was saved by Paddy Collins, but the ball was netted on the rebound, as Caha Óg led by three at half time, 1-7 to 0-7.
Caha – an amalgamation of Adrigole and Glengarriff – started the second half stronger but with some excellent defending from Oran McCarthy, Oisin Dinan, Ben Quigley and Caolan O’Driscoll, they struggled to build on their lead. Sam Maguires’ forwards were building confidence, and with some excellent running from Shane Barry and Paudie Crowley they levelled the game.
Then Caha Óg struck again: a goal from Ben O’Sullivan. Back came the young Sam Maguire men and scores from Shane Barry, Euan Leahane, Paudie Crowley and full back Oran McCarthy saw their confidence building.
With the game on a knife-edge and Sam’s deep inside their own half, McCarthy took off on a great solo run, up though the centre of the field, landing the ball into the hands of Lehane. He threaded it in behind the Caha’s defence, and the ball was collected by Sean Murphy who buried it in the back of the net.
With a late rally of points from Sam Maguires, and the steam gone from Caha Óg, the Dunmanway side had done enough to earn the West Cork title.