Cashel celebrate welcome revival in football fortunes

West JFC ‘B’ Final

West JFC ‘B’ Final

Cashel King Cormacs 0-7

Rockwell Rovers 0-6

Cashel King Cormacs had a surprise victory in the Rea Clarke Hennessy junior football championship B final when they defeated Rockwell Rovers by 0-7 to 0-6 at New Inn on Friday night.

This may not be the most prestigious of championships but it was an important win for the club and, coming in the wake of their draw with Kickhams in the intermediate final, followed by their qualification for the county semi-final as a result of their defeat of Ballyporeen earlier in the week, it suggests some kind of revival of footballing fortunes in the club.

In fact Cashel hadn’t a team affiliated in the junior championship when the draws took place at the adjourned convention. They were a late entry and had to get permission from the county board to be included. There were originally four teams in the draw but ultimately, following the Cashel entry, only three teams, Eire Óg and Rockwell Rovers, as well as Cashel, made it to the starting blocks.

Cashel were well beaten by Rockwell Rovers but defeated Eire Óg to qualify for the final against Rockwell, who also defeated Eire Óg. So, on the basis of the group performances Rockwell were favourites to win the final.

Cashel got off to a good start with a Kevin O’Sullivan point in the opening minute. In fact the veteran player was to make an important contribution to his side’s victory, when he got their final score from a 45 midway through the second-half.

Rockwell then came more into the game and Mickey Fahey had a point in the fourth minute. Fahey had another point from a free in the twelfth minute but Cashel responded with two points from Liam Barron and Alan Coughlan to lead by three points to two after fifteen minutes.

Gavin Manton put Cashel further ahead in the 16th minute and JJ Cooney replied for Rockwell in the 23rd minute to leave 0-4 to 0-3 at the break.

Rockwell made a great start with two points by Stephen Byrne and Stephen Boland during the first five minutes after the resumption. This put them into the lead by five points to four.

Cashel’s best period came during the remainder of the third quarter. Firstly Martin Hickey had a point in the sixth minute to level the scores. This was followed by a pointed free by Gavin Manton and then in the 14th minute Kevin O’Sullivan kicked his gem of a point.

Cashel were now two points ahead but there were still seventeen minutes of play left. There was great excitement during this period and some terrible misses. Mistakes were made and possession given away easily. But, from Cashel’s point of view no scores were got until the 30th minute when Mickey Fahey reduced the margin to a mere point. That was the end of the scoring and Cashel celebrated their one-point victory and Rockwell were left to rue a raft of missed opportunities.

The Cashel panel and mentors, Ger Slattery and Donie O’Donoghue, were over the moon and absolutely thrilled and delighted to have pulled off a great victory and the supporters swarmed on to the field to see captain, Robert White, receive the trophy from board chairman, Roger Kennedy.

Cashel had many heroes but Kevin O’Sullivan, Liam Barron, Brian Minogue, Robert White, John Darmody, Jason Connolly, Gavin Manton and Niall Anglim deserve special mention. For Rockwell Willie Flynn, Colm Heaney, Stephen Boland, Mikie Barron and Mickey Fahey stood out.

Cashel King Cormacs: Robert White (capt.), Shane Murphy, Brian Minogue, Nial Fitzgerald, Gavin Browne, Paul Hoare, John Darmody, Cathal Minogue, Miko Ryan, Gavin Manton (0-2), Jason Connolly, Alan Coughlan (0-1), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-2), Liam Barron (0-1), Martin Hickey (0-1). Subs: Niall Anglim for Nial Fitzgerald, Brian Quinlan for Miko Ryan, Adrian O’Dwyer for Martin Hickey, Noel Frewen for Liam Barron.

Rockwell Rovers: Brendan Lonergan, Robbie O’Halloran, Willie Flynn, Kevin Riordan,Robert O’Donnell, Colm Heaney, Diarmuid Lonergan, Jack O’Sullivan, Stephen Boland (0-1), James O’Halloran, Stephen Byrne (0-1), Eoin Ryan, Mikie Barron, Mickey Fahey (0-3), J. J. Cooney (0-1). Subs: Ollie Hally for J. J. Cooney, Alan Moloney for James O’Halloran.

Referee: Tom Dawson (Eire Óg).