Naomh Abán 0-9
B KENNEALLY REPORTS
DESPITE having having to play three-quarters of the game with 14 players, Naomh Abán were good value for their Ballincollig Credit Union Muskerry JBFC final win at a sunny but cold Carrigadrohid.
A dour, hard-hitting affair, there was never more than three points between the teams until the star of the game, former Cork senior Mícheál Ó Croinin, pointed a late free to settle the issue finally.
The Gaeltacht side had lost End a Ó Dochartaigh in the 18th minute as, having earlier been booked for not having a gumshield in, he incurred a black card. Nevertheless, the Baile Bhúirne men’s defence was magnificent all through with Liam Mac Suibhne, Donal Mac Cárthaigh and Éanna Ó Críodáin simply producing an inspirational work rate.
Tadhg Ó Scanaill put in a huge hour at midfield and up front the evergreen Mícheál Ó Cróinin, immaculate in play and from frees, got great support from his namesake, Donncha.
Jim Nelligan got Inniscarra – short four key players from the drawn game – off to a good start with a first minute point and further points from Dylan O’Sulllivan and a Nelligan free made it 0-3 to nil after ten minutes. Diarmuid Ó Meachair opened the Naomh Abán scoring in the 13th minute but five minutes later they were reduced to 14. Undaunted, they Naomh Abán upped their work rate and in the ten minutes before half-time kicked over four unanswered points, the first from Colm Ó Meachair which was followed by one from play from Micheál Ó Croinin and then two from frees, which left them 0-5 to 0-3 ahead at half-time.
Points from frees were exchanged early in the second half, Paul Farmer for Inniscarra and Micheál Ó Cróinín for Naomh Abán, and the same two players had the next scores also, leaving it 0-7 to 0-5 for Naomh Abán with 13 minutes left.
The tackling was heavy, stoppages were frequent – Inniscarra had a forward black carded, Naomh Abán had two mentors dismissed for verbal comments. Inniscarra missed two scoreable frees during a period of intense pressure, Naomh Abán broke down the field and Gairí Ó Loingsigh parted to Ó Cróinin, who promptly sent over to open up a three-point gap with five minutes of regulation time remaining.
Deep in injury time, Mícheál Ó Cróinin rounded off a vintage personal performance with a point from a free to assure his side of victory, a place in the county championship and promotion to the higher grade for next season.
Naomh Abán: Micheál Ó Croinin 0-7 (4f), Diarmuid Ó Meachair, Colm Ó Meachair 0-1 each.
Inniscarra: Jim Nelligan (1f), Paul Farmer (2f) 0-2 each, Dylan O’Sullivan 0-1.
Naomh Abán: Ciarán Ó Críodáin: Liam Mac Suibhne, Dónal Mac Cárthaigh, Donnacha Ó Loingsigh; Mícheál Ó Ceallacháin, Éanna Ó Criodáin, Enda Ó Dochartaigh: Gairí Ó Loingsigh, Tadhg Ó Scannaill; Donncha Ó Cróinín, Micheál Ó Cróinín, Colm Ó Meachair; Diarmuid Ó Meachair, Diarmuid Ó Liatháin, Eoin Ó Scannaill.
Subs: Séamus Ó Riada, Aodh Ó Catháin, Daire Ó Súilleabháin.
Inniscarra: James Walsh; Ciarán Lombard, Jerry Roche, Jack Harrington; Danny Herlihy, Timmy Murphy, Pádraig O’Donoghue; Stephen Olden, Paul Farmer; Michael O’Connell, Dara Lynch, Shane O’Mahony; Dylan O’Sullivan, Jim Nelligan, Tommy Buckley.
Subs: Brian O’Mahony, Liam Ryan, Shane Linehan, Frank Horgan, Seán Lynch.
Referee: Ger Ahern (Canovee).