Junior A Cork County Football Championship Final 08-11-2009

November 8, 2018

Twelve months of hurt was the real incentive for Glanworth as they went on to claim the Cork County junior football championship title at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday. After coming up short against the south-east team in the county semi-final last year, coach Pat Spratt said the players put in unbelievable work to get back on the road to glory.

“We met Ballygarvan last year, and they beat us by six points. So we were coming at the right side of them this year. We knew we never performed so we had fair incentive and fierce drive to go on and win this county final today.”

He said another motivational factor was getting no real credit for coming through their side of the draw.

“We were six points down against Glengarriff and forced a replay. We beat Whites Cross, they are another very good team, but they got no credit. There is great character and spirit in our lads. We have fine young fellas coming through development squads who are not even on this panel. This team deserves to go up intermediate. Glanworth were senior before and they deserve to be moving up.”

Must be said though, this was not a classic. Thirteen wides for Glanworth. No score from play for Ballygarvan, with all their five points coming from just one boot, Gary White. So, no great fare for the neutral, but this won’t be an issue for the north Cork side, who celebrated wildly when joint captains Terence Ryan and Stephen Linehan lifted the Donal Mór Ó Suilleabháin Cup.

One would have to give credit to the Glanworth preparation. They were super fit and laid out their team to nullify Ballygarvan’s key men. Effectively this was the story of the game. They played a two-man full forward line and crowded midfield. The space in front of goal suited, especially Michael Sheehan who despite hitting a few scary wides, kicked four excellent points. He was closely marked by Stephen White, and had he taken all the opportunities that came his way, Glanworth would have won this match by a country mile.

Denis Gallagher turned in a great hour at full back for the Avondhu men. He marked a not fully fit Joe Spillane for a while, but it didn’t matter who came his way, he excelled at the edge of the square Terence Ryan was superb in the half back line as they closed down the Ballygarvan attack completely. They afforded them no room to run, thus the stat of five points from frees.

Spare a thought though for Ballygarvan who have lost two successive county finals, which is not easy to come to terms with. They’ve had a demanding season, and in the end it told. It took them almost 25 minutes to register their opening score, and losing Aodhán MacGearailt soon after half time to injury was a big blow. They simply had no more left in the tank yesterday after a grinding campaign.

Indeed, MacGearailt could have given Ballygarvan the ideal start but his goalward shot skirted out wide. Playing with the breeze they needed scores. But, it was Glanworth who settled with an opening point from Sheehan. A second arrived from Michael Pierce and when midfielder William Blackburne rifled over a third inside the opening quarter, it didn’t look good for Ballygarvan.

The south-east outfit finally made their mark with two Gary White frees before the break, to leave the interval score 0-4 to 0-2.

For all the difficulties they faced, White closed the gap with another free, but a devastating five minutes spell that yielded three points pushed Glanworth 0-7 to 0-4 in front with the final quarter looming.

Ballygarvan applied strong pressure with two more White frees and we thought, maybe, another draw. But, Ballygarvan couldn’t get going, and when the closing point came via Michael Pierce a minute from time, Glanworth were playing with huge confidence. They decisive edge had been gained. There was no way they were leaving this one behind.

Scorers for Glanworth: M Sheehan 0-4 (0-1 free), M Pierce 0-2, P O’Driscoll and W Blackburne 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballygarvan: G White 0-5 (frees).

Glanworth: C Cotter; B Ryan, D Gallagher, B Gallagher; T Ryan, S O’Keeffe, T Pierce; D Healy, W Blackburne; C Pyne, G O’Neill, C Quirke; M Pierce, S Finn, M Sheehan.

Subs: P O’Driscoll for C Pyne (ht), R O’Driscoll for D Healy (60), D Pyne for G O’Neill (62).

Ballygarvan: J Murphy; S White, A Butler, John Spillane; A Murphy, C O’Sullivan, J Barron; S O’Leary, G Spillane; G White, K Ashman, D O’Sullivan; C Ó Conchúir, Joe Spillane, A MacGearailt.

Subs: M Kennefick for A MacGearailt (32 inj), D Bouse for John Spillane (51).

Referee: N Barrett (Carrigtwohill).