St Finbarr's triumphed at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
St Finbarr's triumphed at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Cork SFC Final: Gritty Barrs triumph

Cork SFC Final

St Finbarr's 0-14 Clonakilty 0-13

St Finbarr’s claimed a second Cork SFC title in four years as Steven Sherlock landed the late winner to see them past Clonakilty at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday evening.

A game where neither side led by more than two points looked to be heading for a replay when Clonakilty’s Gearóid Barry scored a fine equaliser in the 63rd minute but St Finbarr’s responded well as sub Eoghan McGreevey found Sherlock, who got his seventh point of the game. There was still time for Clonakilty to look for a late, late equaliser but Cork goalkeeper Mark White, who made regular journeys upfield, had the distance but not the direction with a long-range effort and the Barrs claimed the Andy Scannell Cup for the tenth time

The city side had taken time to get going and trailed by 0-4 to 0-2 at the first water break. Clonakilty settled well, with Ross Mannix opening the scoring for them and the excellent Seán White set up Ben Ridgeway for a good goal chance but John Kerins saved from him and Billy Hennessy cleared off the line. Though Ian Maguire and Brian Hayes put the Barrs in front, Clon had a strong response with points from Maurice Shanley, Seán McEvoy and Dara Ó Sé from a free.

However, the West Cork side didn’t add any scores in the second quarter – though they might have had a goal as midfielder Joe Grimes had a good chance but he too was denied by Kerins – and the Barrs took advantage. Sherlock, who had scored 2-10 in the epic semi-final win over Castlehaven, belatedly got off the mark in the 22nd minute, with Denis O’Brien levelling immediately after that. Following the Grimes goal chance, Sherlock added too more and it was 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

They couldn’t shake Clon off though and three superb Ó Sé frees, answered only by an O’Brien point for the Barrs, meant it was 0-7 each by the 38th minute. Once again, the Barrs reacted, with Maguire and Hayes setting up Sherlock for his fourth before the same player made it 0-9 to 0-7 with a free.

By the water break, Clon had brought it back to a point, 0-10 to 0-9, and McEvoy levelled when action resumed before Ó Sé’s fifth put them in front for the first time since the opening half.

The pendulum swung again as Barrs sub Cillian Myers Murray stuck a point from out on the right and that was followed by a lead score from Down native Conor McCrickard on 57.

Still Clonakilty refused to yield. Eoghan Daly’s delivery was won by McEvoy and he set up Ó Sé to level for the fifth time. With the game moving into injury time, Sherlock moved the Barrs back in front only for Barry to tie matters yet again, but Sherlock had the final say.

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: Steven Sherlock 0-7 (0-4 frees), Denis O’Brien, Ian Maguire 0-2 each, Brian Hayes, Conor McCrickard, Cillian Myers Murray 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clonakilty: Dara Ó Sé 0-6 (0-4 frees), Seán McEvoy, Ross Mannix 0-2 each, Maurice Shanley, Gearóid Barry, Jack O’Mahony 0-1 each.

ST FINBARR’S: John Kerins; Billy Hennessy, Alan O’Connor, Sam Ryan; Colm Scully, Jamie Burns, Colin Lyons; Ian Maguire, Eoin Comyns; Denis O’Brien, Brian Hayes, Colm Barrett; Enda Dennehy, Conor McCrickard, Steven Sherlock.

Subs: Cillian Myers Murray for Hayes (43), Eoghan McGreevey for Dennehy, Michael Shields for O’Brien (both 48), Bill O’Connell for Barrett (56).

CLONAKILTY: Mark White; Thomas Clancy, Maurice Shanley, Daniel Peet; Seán White, Eoghan Deasy, Odhran Bancroft; Ben Ridgeway, Joe Grimes; David Lowney, Dara Ó Sé, Gearóid Barry; Jack O’Mahony, Seán McEvoy, Ross Mannix.

Subs: Conor Daly for Mannix (53).

Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).