Charleville storm back against Fr O'Neill's to return to Cork hurling's premier tier

Charleville storm back against Fr O'Neill's to return to Cork hurling's premier tier

The Charleville team celebrate after their victory over Fr O’Neill’s in the Co-Op Superstores Cork senior A hurling championship final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture Dan Linehan

Charleville 1-23 Fr O'Neill's 4-13

SHEAR joy for Charleville as they were crowned Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC winners at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The wind was a massive factor in this game and having played against it in the first-half it was a case of seeing could they do enough to reduce the deficit and go on to win it. That they did with some quality displays, including Darragh Fitzgibbon, but Daniel O'Flynn was simply outstanding.

His second-half contribution of five points along with his general play were key to their win, one that came late on as they took the lead for the first time with five minutes to go.

No surprise that Fr O'Neill's got off to the better start with the near-gale force wind at their backs.

Billy Dunne had them in front just 30 seconds in before Tomás Millerick played a great ball to Declan Dalton, but his effort was well blocked by Charleville full-back Jack Meade, with Dalton pointing the resulting 65.

Darragh Casey, Charleville winning this ball from Mike Mellerick. Picture: Dan Linehan
Darragh Casey, Charleville winning this ball from Mike Mellerick. Picture: Dan Linehan

Two points from Liam O'Driscoll, along with one from Kevin O'Sullivan had O'Neill's 0-5 to no score up after five minutes.

With nine minutes gone O'Neill's goaled when Dalton was in again, but this time Meade fouled him and Dalton picked himself up to find the back of the net from the penalty.

Darragh Fitzgibbon got Charleville off the mark, with Mark Kavanagh getting their second. Daniel O'Flynn added a third, with Liam O'Driscoll and Dalton replying at the other end.

Rob Cullinane made it 1-8 to 0-3, before Charleville had keeper Cian Collins to thank after he saved superbly from Dalton.

Dalton hit three more before half-time, with Cagney and Fitzgibbon replying as Fr O'Neill's led 1-11 to 0-5 at the break.

Two early points from O'Flynn helped reduced the deficit but a telling moment came in the 36th minute. A ball in from Fitzgibbon looked harmless but the wind caught it and it hopped in front of O'Neill's keeper Colin Sloane and ended up in the net, a ball he would stop nine times out of 10.

This drove Charleville on with O'Flynn adding two more and Cagney also scoring to make it 1-11 to 1-12 after 39 minutes.

But O'Neill's weren't going away easily and McMahon played Dunne in and he found the back of the net to put four between them.

Charleville responded in style with Fitzgibbon hitting three before they were dealt another blow, this time Jason Hankard finding the back of the net for O'Neill's.

Charleville players Daren Butler and Cathal O’Carroll celebrate. Picture: Dan Linehan
Charleville players Daren Butler and Cathal O’Carroll celebrate. Picture: Dan Linehan

But two points from James O'Brien, followed by scores from Hawe and Fitzgibbon had the sides level with five minutes to go before Gavin Kelleher put them in front for the first time. Dalton equalised and it looked like heading for extra-time but Fitzgibbon and O'Flynn had other ideas as they both scored.

Cagney put three between them, with Hawe making it a four-point game, 1-23 to 3-13.

Credit to O'Neill's they kept going and Dunne goaled again in injury-time but shortly after the final whistle went as Charleville were crowned champions after a superb game and join the premier senior ranks next season.

Scorers for Charleville: D Fitzgibbon 1-8 (0-4 f), D O'Flynn 0-6, A Cagney 0-3, J O'Brien, T Hawe 0-2 each, G Kelleher, M Kavanagh 0-1 each.

Fr O'Neill's: D Dalton 1-7 (0-2 65, 0-1 f), B Dunne 2-1, L O'Driscoll 0-3, J Hankard 1-0, K O'Sullivan, R Cullinane 0-1 each.

CHARLEVILLE: C Collins; D Butler, J Meade, M O'Flynn; A Dennehy, J Buckley, F Cagney; D O'Flynn, J O'Callaghan; D Fitzgibbon, G Kelleher, J Doyle; D Casey, M Kavanagh, A Cagney.

Subs: C Carroll for J Doyle (20), J O'Brien for D Casey (h-t), J Barry for D Butler (46), T Hawe for M Kavanagh (50), C Buckley for J O'Callaghan (60).

Fr O'NEILL'S: C Sloane; M Millerick, S O'Connor, E Motherway; J Barry, M O'Keeffe, T Millerick; K O'Sullivan, J Millerick; R Cullinane, P McMahon, J Hankard; L O'Driscoll, D Dalton, B Dunne.

Subs: P Butler for J Millerick (40), E Conway for K O'Sullivan (53), J Millerick for T Millerick (55).

Referee: Colm Lyons, Nemo Rangers.

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