Kilmacabea 1-18 Carbery Rangers 0-7
HAVING waited 129 years Kilmacabea made the historic breakthrough when winning the Carbery JAFC title for the first time in 2017.
They retained the trophy the following year, missed out in 2019 but on Sunday evening last lifted the Mick McCarthy Cup for the third time.
In a well prepared but blustery Ardfield venue they defeated a Carbery Rangers second team that had qualified for this decider by winning their semi-final game only four days previously.
Just prior to that Kilmac had guaranteed themselves their seventh final appearance in this grade and some of those battle hardened warriors were prominent in their latest triumph.
None more so than Ruairi Hourihane (although a long time absentee) who received the man of the match award after their comfortable victory over Ranger’s second string that itself wasn’t without an experienced backbone.
However, they were pitted against the strong wind in the opening half and were 0-12 to 0-1 adrift at the half time break.
Matters didn’t improve much thereafter in a contest where Richie O’Sullivan, set up by the quick thinking Damien Gore, scored the only goal of the game just after the second water break.
By then the foundations had been laid by a splendid Kilmac halfback division of Donncha McCarthy, Ruarai Hourihane and Clive Sweetnam who bombed forward at every opportunity.
This to an extent made midfield redundant but not a Kilmac attack where Damien Gore emerged as top scorer despite Rangers having Diarmuid Kerr and Stephen Murray shepherding him.
Chief playmaker up front for the winners was Ian Jennings but, on this occasion, there wasn’t a weak link visible in the winners team who were introducing their substitutes long before the end.
Credit Rangers reserve squad for a fine sporting display where the freetaking of Paul Hodnett helped them a lot but in truth their attack was starved of possession for long periods of the contest.
The introduction of the experienced Declan Hayes offered a chink of hope after the break when they restarted with the opening point only for a star studded Kilmac to take over once more in a game where a few late Rangers points did nothing more than add slightly more substance to what was a lost cause long before the final whistle.
Scorers for Kilmacabea: D Gore (0-8, 0-4 f), R O’Sullivan (1-1), C Sweetnam, I Jennings, D O’Callaghan (0-2) each, C McCarthy (0-2, 0-1 f), D O’Donovan (0-1 f).
Scorers for Carbery Rangers: P Hodnett (0-4 f), K Mc Mahon (0-2), B Kerr (0-1).
Kilmacabea: M O’Neill; D Whooley, N Hayes, S O’Driscoll; D McCarthy, R Hourihane, C Sweetnam; M Collins, D O’Donovan; J Collins, I Jennings, C McCarthy; D O’Callaghan, D Gore, R O’Sullivan.
Subs: D O’Donovan for C McCarthy (50), K McCarthy for D O’Callaghan (52), M Jennings for D Whooley (53).
Carbery Rangers: P Shanahan; P Óg Hill, D Kerr, M Kelly; M O’Mahony, S Murray, C Daly; B Kerr, D O’Mahony; T O’Donoghue, K Fitzpatrick, C Calnan; JP Eady, K Mc Mahon, P Hodnett.
Subs: D Hayes for C Calnan (30), S O’Donoghue for JP Eady (47), A Roche for M O’Mahony (50), S O’Neill for T O’Donoghue (51).
Referee: Connie Murphy (Kilmeen).