Barlow goals help Ardfinnan to title

Ardfinnan captain Bernard McHugh receives the South MFC B Cup from board chairman Michael Cooney, as board secretary Seamus Mullins looks on.
Ardfinnan added the South Minor B football title to their South Tipperary U21B title thanks to a 3 point win over Cahir/Fr Sheehys in an exciting final in Ballylooby on Friday last.

Ardfinnan added the South Minor B football title to their South Tipperary U21B title thanks to a 3 point win over Cahir/Fr Sheehys in an exciting final in Ballylooby on Friday last.

Cahir/Fr Sheehys were quickly out of the blocks and with midfielders Conor Cashman and Ben Hyland dominating and Colin English causing the Ardfinnan defence problems, they opened with two Alan O’Connor frees.

Michael Barlow opened Ardfinnan’s account but Colin English put two between the sides as the losers continued to dominate possession but this was not reflected on the scoreboard.

Gavin Whelan from a long range free again left the minimum between the sides. Alan O’Connor and Colin Doyle exchanged frees to leave the minimum in it after 18 minutes.

Cahir/Fr Sheehys then added two points from Colin English and Brian McKenna while their goalkeeper Rares Stoica produced a fine save to deny Ardfinnan’s Jason Burke at the expense of a 45 which Bernard McHugh pointed.

The winners then took the lead thanks to a fine Michael Barlow goal. The losers responded with an Alan O’Connor free and the point of the game from Conor Cashman when he raced through the heart of the Ardfinnan defence to leave the half time score Cahir/Fr Sheehys 0-8 Ardfinnan 1-4.

The Cahir/Fr Sheehys side again started brightly and added points from Dylan Walsh and Jack Murphy. Alan O’Connor and Michael Barlow exchanged frees. Cahir/Fr Sheehys now began to lose their grip on midfield as Michael Tobin and Bernard McHugh, assisted by Michael Hogan, now at wing forward, began to win possession.

The losers defence now began to concede frees and Ardfinnan’s Colin Doyle exacted maximum punishment with three pointed frees in a row to tie the game with 15 minutes gone.

The combination also lost corner back James Conway to a black card in this period. Corner forward Thomas Quirke again edged Cahir/Fr Sheehys ahead but Colin Doyle levelled from play and then put the winners ahead from another free.

Both sides then were guilty of missing chances before Michael Barlow struck for his second goal on 27 minutes to put four in it. The losers reduced the margin to three with time almost up.

As the game entered injury time Ardfinnan were reduced to 13 players when Michael Tobin and Mike Hogan were dismissed on second yellows in quick succession. Cahir/Fr. Sheehys desperately tried for the equalising goal but the Ardfinnan defence stood firm.

The final chance came from a 20m free but Ben Hyland’s effort flew wide.

Best for Ardfinnan were John Condon, Gavin Whelan, Colin Doyle, Michael Barlow and Michael Hogan, especially when moved out the field. Best for Cahir/Fr Sheehys were Ben Hyland, Conor Cashman, Colin English and Ryan McKenna.

After the game the Dick Cummins Cup was presented to Ardfinnan captain Michael Tobin by South Board Chairman Michael Cooney.

Ardfinnan: C Boyle, J Condon, R Condon, D Boyle, S Keating, G Whelan (0-1F), D Cunningham, M Tobin, B McHugh (0-1,45), J Burke, D Nugent, C Doyle (0-6, 5F), M Barlow (2-2, 1F), M Hogan, D Slattery. Subs used: A Walsh, O Ryan.

Cahir/Fr Sheehys: R Stoica, P Meehan, K Looby, J Conway, E Heffernan, B McKenna (0-1), D Walsh (0-1), C Cashman(0-1), B Hyland, J Murphy (0-1), C English(0-2), D Howard, T Quirke (0-1), A O Connor (0-6F), L Devereaux. Subs Used: S Grogan, A Condon, D English.

Referee - Brian Tyrrell