Eoin Downey, Glen Rovers, and Ciarmhac Smyth, Midleton, during the Cork SHC Final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Eoin Downey, Glen Rovers, and Ciarmhac Smyth, Midleton, during the Cork SHC Final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Cork SHC Final: Impressive success for Midleton

Cork SHC Final

Midleton 0-24 Glen Rovers 1-18

Thirteen points from Conor Lehane helped Midleton to claim the Cork Premier SHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

The Magpies’ eighth county title came eight years after their last triumph, when captain Lehane was similarly talismanic against Sarsfields, scoring 2-10. While they never trailed against a Glen Rovers side that suffered the anguish of a third straight final defeat, Midleton did waver in the third quarter as what had been a nine-point lead at one stage in the first half was wiped out as the city side came back.

Unfortunately for the Glen, they couldn’t get themselves in front and, after four conceding four points in a row, Midleton stemmed the tide just before the second water break as Cormac Beausang was fouled for a free which Lehane converted for his 11th point of the day.

The Glen stayed in touch coming down the stretch, though – helped by Midleton being unable to put the game away – and in injury time they almost found an equalising goal but Conor Dorris’s pulled effort, following a Dean Brosnan delivery, went just the wrong side of the post.

Midleton, who had beaten champions Blackrock in the semi-final, enjoyed a good start as they scored the opening three points. While Cork captain Patrick Horgan had three frees as they closed the gap to 0-5 to 0-3 by the 0-12th minute, Midleton pushed on again to lead by 0-9 to 0-3 at the water break, with five of their starting forwards having scored.

With Lehane hugely impressive and the half-back line of Ciarmhac Smyth, Tommy O’Connell and Cormac Walsh linking well, Midleton had established a 0-15 to 0-6 lead by the 27th minute, but the Glen finished the half well.

First, a ball in from midfielder David Noonan wasn’t dealt with and Horgan flicked the sliothar home close range; then he landed two points with Brosnan also on target, Ross O’Regan with the only Midleton response.

It meant a four-point advantage, 0-16 to 1-9 at half-time, though two Lehane frees pushed Midleton six in front on the restart. What followed was the Glen’s most fruitful period, with Brosnan to the fore while Robert Downey was also impressive. Inside him, full-back Stephen McDonnell made a vital intervention to prevent a Midleton goal chance materialising while at the other end Horgan continued to send over points and Simon Kennefick had two in the space of a minute.

The latter of those levelled the game at 0-19 to 1-16 but Lehane had Midleton back in front at the sos uisce and he added another free after Beausang got his second, leaving three in it again. The Glen wouldn’t let them get any further ahead, but Midleton did enough to take the title.

Scorers for Midleton: Conor Lehane 0-13 (0-8 frees), Ross O’Regan 0-4, Pa White, Cormac Beausang, Seán O’Meara 0-2 each, Luke O’Farrell 0-1.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: Patrick Horgan 1-12 (0-10 frees), Simon Kennefick 0-3, Dean Brosnan, Luke Horgan, Eoin Downey 0-1 each.

MIDLETON: Brion Saunderson; Seán O’Leary Hayes, Luke Dineen, Eoin Moloney; Ciarmhac Smyth, Tommy O’Connell, Cormac Walsh; Paul Haughney, Sam Quirke; Ross O’Regan, Conor Lehane, Seán O’Meara; Luke O’Farrell, Cormac Beausang, Pa White.

Subs: Séamus O’Farrell for Haughney (43), Garan Manley for White (52), Aaron Mulcahy for O’Meara (59).

GLEN ROVERS: Cathal Hickey; Adam Lynch, Stephen McDonnell, David Dooling; Brian Moylan, Robert Downey, Eoin Downey; Adam O’Donovan, David Noonan; Dean Brosnan, Luke Horgan, Mark Dooley; Simon Kennefick, Patrick Horgan, Liam Coughlan.

Subs: Conor Dorris for Coughlan (40), Calvin Healy for Horgan (58), Daniel Morris for Dooling (59, injured).

Referee: Mark Maher (St Finbarr’s).