JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
NICK O’Donovan scored a late, match-winning point as Kilbrittain, again, became the proud possessors of the magnificent Micheál Holland Perpetual Memorial Cup, named in honour of the late, great Kilbrittain stalwart.
The clash of Kilbrittain and Carbery, in adverse weather conditions at the former’s venue, produced a thriller that went right down to the wire.
It was a real test of endurance during the open 30 minutes as both teams had to contend with torrential rain, hail and a gale-force wind, making a mockery of any attempts to play constructive hurling. Nevertheless, some delightful point-taking was witnessed with Kilbrittain taking a deserved 0-8 to 0-4 advantage into the short break.
What a contrast the second half brought, as we had clear blue skies and the wind dropped. It rubbed off on the combatants as they upped the ante considerably, both teams billowing the net. The Seasiders’ dynamic opportunist Philip Wall raised the green flag for the hosts early on resuming. With ten minutes left Carbery sub Damien O’Gorman threw the cat amongst the pigeons, as he rattled the Kilbrittain rigging from close range.
The momentum was now with the divisional side and with time running out they levelled the match. Just when it seemed extra-time was on the cards Nick O’Donovan signalled delight for the hosts, as he shot over the winning point.
In a fine Kilbrittain performance Maurice Sexton, Philip Wall, Sean Sexton, Ross Cashman and Nick O’Donovan stood out. Best for Carbery were Kieran O’Donovan, Bill Murphy, Aaron Hayes and Damien O’Gorman.
Aidan O’Rourke, Carbery Board Chairman, presented the cup to a delighted Aaron Holland, son of Micheál, in the presence of Geraldine and Micheala Holland.
This is Kilbrittain's sixth time winning the Micheál Holland Cup.
Kilbrittain: Aaron Holland; James Hurley, Tomás Sheehan, Colm Sheehan; Ivan Burke, Maurice Sexton, Sean Sexton; Bertie Butler, Nick O’Donovan; Mark Hickey, Philip Wall, Ross Cashman; Eamon Lyons, Conor Ustianowski, Patrick O’Mahony. Subs: Tomás Harrington for Conor Ustianowski (ht), Seamus O’Sullivan for Eamon Lyons, Aaron Fehily for Mark Hickey, Sean Crowley for Ivan Burke, Mikoli Kalitka for James Hurley, Damien Desmond for Patrick O’Mahony.
Carbery: Dylan Harrington (Argideen Rangers); James Moloney (Barryroe); Padraic Cullinane (Ballinascarthy); Niall Barrett (Diarmuid Ó Mathúna); Matthew Lawton (Argideen Rangers); Ciarán O’Neill (Ballinascarthy); Darren O’Donovan (Argideen Rangers); Bill Murphy (Dohenys); Jeremy Ryan (Ballinascarthy); Aaron Hayes (St James); Ger O’Donovan (Diarmuid Ó Mathúna); Kieran O’Donovan (Diarmuid Ó Mathúna); Adam McSweeney (Barryroe); Sean Daly (Randal); Finbarr Butler (Argideen Rangers). Subs: Denis Dullea (Dohenys) for Dylan Harrington, Damien O’Gorman (Kilbree) for Finbarr Butler.
Referee: Seamus Crowley (Argideen Rangers).