Shamrocks 2-13, Cloyne 2-6
Shamrocks have qualified for their first adult county final since 1933 after this fully deserved 7 point win over Cloyne in Carrigtwohill on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Shamrocks controlled this game from start to finish and got their tactics and match-ups spot on, enabling them to control the tempo of the game, keep Cloyne at bay and then to play the ball and the game to their own strenghts.
Shamrocks were never behind and opened the scoring through the hardworking Joe Shanahan early on. They went ahead 0-2 to 0-0 soon after before Cloyne registered their first score. Shamrocks were playing with a plan and played some lovely football at times, using the open space of the huge pitch to their advantage. Cloyne won most of the kickouts in the first half through their greater physicality but Shamrocks never let that throw them and they kept feeding ball inside to the dangerous forwards after they patiently won it back. Cannice Caffrey kicked a couple of scores while Darragh O’Sullivan also got on the scoresheet. Shamrocks led 0-4 to 0-3 with 5 minutes to go to halftime.
This was the point in the game that Shamrocks put one leg in the final. They scored 2 goals in succession in the space of 2 minutes. First a Cloyne kickout was fielded by David Andrews who fed Joseph Shanahan who rattled the Cloyne net. 1-4 to 0-3. A minute later a high ball in wasnt dealt with by the Cloyne defence and Shanahan again fed the onrushing Darragh O’Sullivan who’s goalbound shot was deliberately blocked by a Cloyne leg. Penalty for Shamrocks – O’Sullivan dispatched it emphatically to follow up the earlier goal just before and Shamrocks were leading 2-4 to 0-3. Cloyne added a point to leave it 2-4 to 0-4 at halftime with Shamrocks firmly in the driving seat.
Shamrocks stretched their lead in the second half. They worked the ball into dangerous positions and all their scores, bar one, came from play. They went 2-8 to 0-6 ahead after further points from Shanahan, Philip Brady and David Andrews. Cloyne started to go for goals from this point but thE Shamrocks defence held firm. Shamrocks kept responding to Cloyne scores and at one point, with 11 minutes to go led by 11 points, 2-11 to 0-6 after further points from David Hayes, Shanahan and O’Sullivan. Cloyne got a goal back with 10 minutes left but Shamrocks tagged on a vital score straight away to keep themselves in charge. Cloyne did pepper the Shamrocks goal and were rewarded with a penalty for a non-existant footblock. The Rock Diarmuid O’Sullivan dispatched it to the net but it was way too late for them. Shamrocks played out the last few minutes to reach that elusive county final. A great team performance all round.
Shamrocks play the final against either Gabriel Rangers or Knocknagree on Sunday October 23rd in Páirc Ui Rinn at 2pm.
Team: F. O’Neill, M. Prout, S. Hurley, C. Kidney, M. Hitchmough, C. O’Neill, D. Hayes, B. Mulqueen, M. Jordan, J. Shanahan, A. McCarthy, D. Andrews, D. O’Sullivan, P. Brady, C. Caffrey. Subs used – A. O’Grady, S. O’Neill, J. Tuohy, B. Sweeney. Subs not used – S. Andrews, S. Kidney, R. Harrington, S. Collins, D. O’Neill, C. Corkery, J. Wilson.