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West Cork connection has major say in Rebels’ minor football win

August 17th, 2022 12:19 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Emma Hurley (Ilen Rovers) in action for Cork in their All-Ireland minor A championship final against Galway in Nenagh. (Photo: Tom Russell)

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Cork 1-16 

Galway 1-8

MAGIC Millie Condon has the Midas touch.

So far this year the Ballinascarthy teenager has won All-Ireland minor football and camogie titles, as well as an All-Ireland schools’ senior C football crown with her school, Sacred Heart Clonakilty. They are the headline-grabbers. All-Irelands tend to do that.

Add in three Munster titles in the above competitions, as well as a second Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star Junior quarterly award in less than 12 months, and you can appreciate just why this talented dual star is earmarked as one to watch. Mighty Millie’s moving in the right direction.

It also explains why her trophy cabinet is under pressure.

Condon’s latest success arrived when Cork retained the All-Ireland minor A football championship title with an eight-point victory (1-16 to 1-8) against Galway in Nenagh, though Condon points out the match was closer than the final score suggests. Abigail Ring’s last-minute goal added some gloss to the Cork performance.

‘I don’t think the score reflects the match. It was much tighter than that. What really made a difference was Abigail’s goal at the end. She lobbed the keeper,’ the 17-year-old Bal teen says.

Cork dual star Millie Condon (Clonakilty) competing for the ball.

She lined up in a Cork defence that included her Clonakilty football team-mate Siobhan Callanan, while Kate O’Donovan and Katie O’Driscoll swell the Clon contingent in the Cork minor squad to four. Add in Ilen Rovers’ Emma Hurley who scored 0-2, O’Donovan Rossa’s Lia Hogan who was on the extended panel, and the Kinsale duo of Caoimhe Heffernan and Kate Redmond, and it highlights the West Cork connection.

Éire Óg forward Orlaith Cahalane has strong West Cork DNA, too, as her father is Castlehaven and Cork legend Niall Cahalane, while her brothers and sisters are all headline-makers in the GAA world, too. Her aunt is Cork football great Nollaig Cleary. They were in Nenagh to watch Cork’s latest underage triumph.

‘It’s great to have so many players from West Cork involved. It brings up a bigger crowd from home so there are more people you know there, and that’s always nice to see at the end of the match, those familiar faces. You are playing with your friends from down home as well and that makes it even more special,’ says Condon who was part of a Cork defence that limited Galway to just nine scores in this All-Ireland final.

Joe Carroll’s Cork team led by four at the break, 0-9 to 0-5, with Abigail Ring (4), Orlaith Cahalane (2), Leah Hallihan, Rachel Leahy and Ilen Rovers’ Emma Hurley all on target. Áine Shaughnessy kept Galway in touch throughout the third quarter, with four points the difference, 0-11 to 0-7, heading into the final 15 minutes. Galway goaled to reduce the gap to one, but the Rebels rallied through two Ring frees and a Hurley point.

Clonakilty's Siobhan Callanan celebrates the Cork success with her grandmother.

Cork now had their foot on the accelerator and kept going, pushing a 0-14 to 1-8 lead into an eight-point win, with Ring’s goal sealing a famous win.

It also swells Millie Condon’s medal haul. That’s three All-Irelands this year. That follows her All-Ireland U16 camogie title in 2021, as well as Munster U16 titles last year in camogie and football. This dual star is shining bright.

‘I don’t really think too much about what I’ve won. To me, it’s just another match. It’s afterwards you think, “Oh, I did just win another All-Ireland!”,’ she says.  ‘It’s a really big thing to win an All-Ireland, but they creep up on you before you know it. You have to think about the match and focus on that. It’s 60 minutes out of your life that you’re not going to get back so you have to try your best and see what happens.’

Condon will be minor again in 2023 so she is not finished yet. Now her focus switches to the club scene. She has minor and junior camogie with Ballinascarthy as well as minor and senior football with Clonakilty in the weeks ahead.

And soon she will be walking the corridors of Sacred Heart again as a sixth-year student when school returns – and she will juggle football and camogie there, too.

 

Scorers

Cork: A Ring 1-6 (4f); O Cahalane 0-3; S McGoldrick, E Hurley, L Hallihan 0-2 each; R Leahy 0-1.

Galway: Á Shaughnessy 0-5 (3f); M Glynn 1-0; M Mulryan 0-3.

 

Cork: D Creed; S Callanan, L Heffernan, A Barrett; M Condon, S McGoldrick, A Corcoran; A Healy, E Twomey; R Leahy, A Ring, E Curran; E Hurley, O Cahalane, L Hallihan.

Subs: C Morrison for Curran (43), K Redmond for Twomey (53).

Galway: L O’Halloran; M Jordan, J Glynn, I Claffey; C Cleary, E Mitchell, A Eilian; M Banek, M Walsh; N Divilly, Á Shaughnessy, M Glynn; S Duffy, L Freeney, M Mulryan.

Subs: L O’Donnell for Freeney (30), L Scanlon for Duffy (38), A O’Toole for Glynn (46), B Naughton for Eilian (60).

Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford).

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