St Finbarr’s 0-14
KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
STEVEN Sherlock broke Clonakilty hearts with an injury-time winner in the Cork Premier SFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.
The Barrs’ hot shot had the crucial say in a pulsating second half that saw both teams hit the front at different stages, before Sherlock, the championship’s top scorer, popped up with his most important score of the campaign.
It left Clon with little time to find an equaliser and a late effort from goalkeeper Mark White drifted wide of the posts, as the West Cork men’s gallant title bid came up short.
They came up to Páirc Uí Chaoimh as outsiders, but left with their reputation enhanced despite the defeat, as they pushed the Barrs all the way.
Touch of class from Clonakilty's 1996 Cork SFC winning heroes to give a guard of honour to current team at the county final in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Great to see Liam O'Donovan here too.
? @joeyblake79 pic.twitter.com/2wvEpaet4o
— Kieran McCarthy (@KieranMcC_SS) November 28, 2021
Twice in the first half Clon had goal chances, but neither were taken. First, ten minutes in, Ben Ridgeway’s low shot was saved by Barrs’ goalkeeper John Kerins. The latter was also equal to an effort from Joe Grimes later in the half.
Clon led 0-4 to 0-2 at the end of first quarter with Ross Mannix, Maurice Shanley, Sean McEvoy and Dara Ó Sé (free) on target, while Barrs were on the scoreboard thanks to their midfielders, Ian Maguire and Brian Hayes. Clon didn’t score in the second quarter while Barrs moved from two behind to two in front by the break, with scores from Sherlock (3) and Denis O’Brien. Barrs led 0-6 to 0-4 at half time.
The second half was intense. The pace ratcheted up. It was gripping. Clon were level, 0-7 apiece, early in the second half thanks to three Ó Sé frees in response to a Denis O’Brien score. Maguire and Sherlock opened up a two-point lead for the Barrs, before Mannix and Maguire swapped scores. Just before the second water break, Ó Sé landed a huge score to leave Clon only one behind, 0-10 to 0-9, heading into the final quarter.
Clon, sensing they were on the cusp of something special, pushed ahead with points from McEvoy and Ó Sé (free), but back came the Barrs with two more points to retake the lead, again. It was point for point now: Clon levelled, Barrs went back in front and the Clon levelled, again, a brilliant effort from Gearoid Barry that levelled the final in injury time.
But then up popped Sherlock at the end of a move to slot over the winning point and, in doing so, dash Clon’s hopes and dreams.
Scorers - Clonakilty: Dara Ó Sé 0-6 (5f); Sean McEvoy, Ross Mannix 0-2 each; Maurice Shanley, Gearoid Barry, Jack O’Mahony 0-1 each. St Finbarr’s: Steven Sherlock 0-7 (4f); Ian Maguire, Denis O’Brien 0-2 each; Brian Hayes, Conor McCrickard, Cillian Myers-Murray 0-1 each.
Clonakilty: Mark White; Maurice Shanley, Thomas Clancy, Dan Peet; David Lowney, Eoghan Deasy, Sean White; Ben Ridgeway, Joe Grimes; Gearoid Barry, Dara Ó Sé, Sean McEvoy; Ross Mannix, Jack O’Mahony, Odhran Bancroft. Sub: Conor Daly for R Mannix (52).
St Finbarr’s: John Kerins; Sam Ryan, Jamie Burns, Colm Scully; Colin Lyons, Billy Hennessy, Alan O’Connor; Ian Maguire, Brian Hayes; Denis O’Brien, Conor McCrickard, Colm Barrett; Eoin Comyns; Steven Sherlock, Enda Dennehy. Subs: C Myers Murray for B Hayes (42), Eoghan McGreevey for E Dennehy (47), Michael Shields for D O’Brien (47), Bill O’Connell for C Barrett (56), Adam Lyne for C McCrickard (60).
Referee: D Murnane (Cork).