Sullane strike late to complete Championship double

April 23rd, 2023 2:34 PM

By Ger McCarthy

The Sullane squad and mentors celebrate following their 2-0 Championship Cup final win over Mizen Hob B in Lyre.

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PREMIER Division-bound Sullane added another trophy to their stellar season following victory over Mizen Hob B in the West Cork League Championship Cup final at Lyre.

The final score doesn’t reflect an evenly-fought cup decider that was scoreless with seven minutes to go.

The eventual winners created the majority of chances in a final Mizen Hob, and especially goalkeeper Ryan McSweeney, defended superbly.

Sullane underlined their quality with two late goals however, Michael Desmond and Sean O’Riordan ending Mizen Hob’s stubborn resistance.

‘This is huge because after winning the (Championship) league, my fear was would the lads down tools? It is a credit to them as a team that they just keep going,’ Sullane manager Johnathan Mullane told The Southern Star.

‘They wanted to win this cup. They want to win every game. These guys have been outstanding all year. We have been training since last August and two nights a week at that. They deserve this success.

‘Fair play to Mizen Hob, though. It was a massive performance from them today. Our two goals were the only difference. They had a great defence and gave up nothing all day. We wore them down in the end and got a couple of late breaks.’


A terrific Lyre playing surface meant constant rain didn’t prevent two attack-minded teams from producing an entertaining final. 

Dave O’Mahony had the first sight of goal but the Mizen Hob midfielder’s effort from the edge of the box drifted narrowly wide. Sullane’s response was swift. Aodha Keane sent consecutive headers the wrong side of his opposing goalkeeper’s uprights before Sean O’Riordan’s half-volley cleared the crossbar by inches.

The Ballyvourney club kept pressing with a Daniel Kelly free-kick forcing Ryan McSweeney into an important stop. Kelly’s set piece deliveries caused Mizen Hob issues throughout. One cross was met by a goal-bound Michael Desmond header where, once again, Ryan McSweeney prevented his team from falling behind.

Mizen Hob saw out a difficult spell and enjoyed a dominant period until conceding a penalty after 28 minutes. Ryan McSweeney raced from his line and was adjudged to have brought down Aodha Keane. The goalkeeper made immediate amends however, brilliantly turning away Daniel Kelly’s well-struck spot kick.

That moment re-energised Mizen Hob and their increased efforts were rewarded with the cup final’s second penalty seven minutes before the break.

Eden Healy was unnecessarily fouled inside Sullane’s area but Keith O’Sullivan sent the resulting penalty high and wide. Nil-all was a fair reflection of an even first period and the second half matched that pattern.

Sullane went close to breaking the deadlock when a punted clearance released substitute Mickey Donoghue two minutes after the restart. Ryan McSweeney prevented Donoghue from scoring but the Ballyvourney side continued to look the more likely to find the net.

Peppering their opposing penalty area with crosses and set pieces, Sullane were repeatedly repelled by Jack O’Driscoll, Michael O’Reilly and Keith O’Sullivan’s defending.

Despite dominating territory and possession, Sullane were indebted to Finley Walker for tipping away a Keith O’Sullivan free-kick after 65 minutes. That was a rare Mizen Hob attempt in a second half spent in defensive mode as their opponents pressed higher up the pitch. Unsurprisingly, a scrappy third quarter ended with the score unchanged despite Daniel Kelly and Michael Desmond’s best efforts.

Extra-time looked like a probability until Sullane finally broke the deadlock after 83 minutes. 

Michael Desmond began a move that caused panic inside Mizen Hob’s penalty area. The latter defence’s failure to clear was seized upon by Desmond who walloped home from close range.

One-nil became 2-0 shortly after as Sean O’Riordan’s low finish put an unfair gloss on the final score.

Sadly, there was no need for a nasty brawl that broke out shortly before full-time and ruined what had up to that point been a sporting game. Three red cards were issued – two for Mizen, one for Sullane – and there could have been more. A sour and disappointing note to end an otherwise engaging Championship Cup decider.


Sullane: Finley Walker, Damien Hoare, Dara Lynch, Aaron Murphy, Chris Desmond, Conor Lane, Darren Cullinane, Sean O’Riordan, Michael Desmond, Aodha Keane, Daniel Kelly (captain). Subs: Joe Warren, Mickey Donoghue, Ciarán Morris, Abán O’Riordan, Daniel Desmond, Jason McCarthy, Cian Dineen.

Mizen Hob B: Ryan McSweeney, Luke Nolan, Jack O’Driscoll, Michael O’Reilly, Jack Arnold, Keith O’Sullivan, Sean Sheehan, Eden Healy, Dave O’Mahony, Shane O’Mahony (captain), Mark O’Reilly. Subs: Jamie O’Brien, Jimmy O’Regan, Andrew Murphy, Eoghan Sheehan, Luka Bowen, Aaron Barry, Tadgh Cullinane.

Referee: Tim McDermott.

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