Congratulations Glenbower Rovers

30 July, 2011

By Declan Barron

Glenbower Rovers hang on in tremendous finish to claim first county U21B football title

Glenbower Rovers 1-14

Cill Na Martra 0-16

Declan Barron reports from Pairc Ui Rinn

In a tremendous U21 B County Football final, played in Pairc Ui Rinn on last Friday night, Glenbower Rovers just held out to claim victory from a gallant Cill Na Marta side that would have probably deserved a draw given their tremendous comeback in the closing stages.

With ten minutes remaining Glenbower led by 1-14 to 0-10 and looked to be on course for a comfortable victory, but the Muskerry champions never gave up and inspired by the tremendous finishing of Kevin Hoare they edged closer and closer.

Indeed were it not for a last gasp tackle, from corner back Michael Fitzgerald, who got a touch to dispossess Shane O’Duinin, as he was about to pull the trigger, with his side trailing by two points, Glenbower might well have lost this one.

That saving tackle left Cill Na Martra still needing a goal to win and while they managed to close the gap to a point, the equaliser just would not come. Glenbower were perhaps a shade fortunate that Cill Na Martra sub Padraig O’Goilli committed an off the ball foul that was spotted by referee Derek Carroll, as Cill Na Martra looked set to land an equaliser with Donal O’Conaill closing in on goal.

Carroll awarded a free out which Glenbower made the most of to take the ball to the far end leaving Cill Na Martra still trailing by a point as the game went into injury time.

It was no more than Glenbower deserved and when Brian Collins broke up the final attack, victory was secured on a night when both sides played themselves to a standstill in a really fine game of football..

The sides were level four times in the first twelve minutes as Seanachain O’Loinnsigh, Cathal O’Riordan, Christopher Lynch and Kevin Hoare landed points from Cill Na Martra while Brian Collins, Sean Long, Seamus Harnedy and Kevin Lane landed points for Glenbower, who then went two points in front as Collins, (who might have had a goal) and Sean Long put Glenbower Rovers two points in front at the end of a terrific opening quarter.

Ian Cahill and Seamus Harnedy were getting on top at midfield for Glenbower, but it took a fine save from Colin McMahon to preserve the Glenbower lead. As the half progressed it became a shootout between Sean Long who pointed twice for the winners and Kevin Hoare who shot three further points before the interval.

Indeed both sides may have found the net, but a deflected effort from Tadgh O’Connor for Glenbower came back off the underside of the crossbar, while at the other end a poor finish by Peadar O’Muimhneachain saw Colin McMahon save with Glenbower going into the break leading by 0-9 to 0-7 as Seamus Harnedy had the final score of the half in the 29th minute.

On the resumption Sean Long, and Hoare traded points before the only goal of the game arrived, and what a crucial score it proved to be. David Cahill powered through the Cill Na Martra defence before shooting low into the corner of the net, and with Kevin Lane adding a point, Glenbower had opened up a six point gap as they led by 1-11 to 0-8 after 35 minutes.

Cill Na Matra were not finished yet and with Shane O’Duinin, Finbarr Healy and Donal O’Conaill coming forward at every opportunity, the Muskerry champions forced Glenbower into conceding free’s. Kevin Hoare was in immaculate form as he pointed from all angles and distances to keep Cill Na Martra in the hunt at the end of the third quarter.

With Ian Cahill, an improving Alan Keniry, Brian Collins and Seamus Harnedy leading by example it was Glenbower that again moved into a winning position with Kevin Lane and Ian and David Cahill shooting over tremendous points to restore the six point advantage with just ten minute remaining.

What a ten minutes it was, as Cill Na Martra threw caution to the wind and with Kevin Hoare, (unerring all night), landed a further three points and Shane O’Duinin also finding the range the gap was down to two before Michael Fitzgerald got the all important touch to deny Cill Na Martra a goal. Had they scored then they might well have won.

As it was Glenbower had to pull out all the stops and in the finish they were more that a little relieved to hold out as time ran out for a gallant Cill Na Martra side that were definitely unlucky not to have forced a replay.

That will not bother Glenbower who were claiming their first title and keeping the Sean Crowley cup in the division, following the inaugural success of Erin’s Own last year. It was a tremendous game played in a fine sporting fashion and it was a pity that there had to be a loser.

Such is sport however and to the victor go the spoils with County Board Chairman Jerry O’Sullivan presenting the Sean Crowley cup to Glenbower Rovers captain Seamus Harnedy, who suitably replied in his acceptance speech.

Glenbower: S Long 0-5, D Cahill 1-1, K Lane 0-3, S Harnedy and B Collins 0-2 each and I Cahill 0-1. Cill Na Martra: K Hoare 0-12, S O’Duinin 0-2, C O’Riordan and S O’Loinnsigh 0-1 each.

Glenbower Rovers: C McMahon, J Rohan, P O’Brien, M Fitzgerald, D Coleman, B Collins, C O’Brien, I Cahill, S Harnedy, S Long, A Keniry, D Cahill, T O’Connor, K Lane and D Long.

Sub used D Walsh.

Cill Na Martra: A O’Conaill, E Mac Lochlan, G Mochain, N O’Loinnsigh, T Mac Suibhne, D O’Conaill, C O’Riordan, P O’Muimhneachain, F Healy, A Cronin, S O’Loinnsigh, S O’Duinin, C O’Loinnsigh, K Hoare and M O’Duinin.

Subs used D Creedon and P O’Goilli.

Referee: Derek Carroll, Kanturk.