John Horgan gives his verdict on the Rockies' epic county hurling final win

John Horgan gives his verdict on the Rockies' epic county hurling final win

Robbie Cotter, Blackrock celebrates his goal in extra time against Glen Rovers in the Co-Op Superstores Cork premier senior hurling championship final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Dan Linehan

Blackrock 4-26 Glen Rovers 4-18 (after extra time)

THE famine has ended, 18 years of waiting is over, the Rockies are back on their perch again as the kingpins of Cork hurling.

In a county final that will be remembered for all the right reasons, the men from Church Road are deserving champions again for the first time since 2002.

It has been a long and impatient wait but when the final whistle sounded at Páirc Uí Chaoimh it seemed that it had been worth it.

The Glen were gallant in defeat after a pulsating final in keeping with the great tradition of these two clubs. Extra- time was necessary to drag them apart and it all came down to the opening 10 minutes of that period when the Rockies cut loose to open up a 10-point advantage that ultimately settled the issue in their favour.

Picture: Dan Linehan
Picture: Dan Linehan

Not for the first time in this campaign, the Blackrock bench played a huge part in their success with super substitutes, Tadhg Deasy, young Robbie Cotter and Alan O’Callaghan securing 3-5 between them.

That was a massive contribution on a day that the ferocious wind was a major factor.

The Rockies had heroes throughout the field, none more so than Alan Connolly with a haul of 13 points.

Niall Cashman and Stephen Murphy were superb in defence while Daniel Meaney and Shane O’Keeffe made vital contributions too Patrick Horgan delivered a grand tally of 1-11 for the Glen, Simon Kennefick fired home a brace of goals while Stephen McDonnell and Rob Downey worked ferociously in defence.

The Rockies had the advantage of a very strong wind in the opening half but it was the Glen who made the better start with an unanswered three points.

However, the Rockies settled into the game and led by five at half-time, 0-12 to 0-7 but one wondered would that be sufficient given the elements.

Connolly, Michael O’Halloran, with two fine scores, O’Keeffe, Niall Cashman and Meaney all split the posts in that half with Liam Coughlan, Adam O’Donovan, Dean Brosnan and Horgan responding for the Glen.

On the turnover, the Glen belted in two goals in the first few minutes, both secured by Kennefick and the Rockies were rocked by those scores.

However, they responded in true Rockies fashion with Deasy firing home a sublime goal.

Mark Dooley got another Glen goal on the 45-minute mark and it was all square at that juncture.

In the final quarter of regulation time we got some great scores from both sides with Deasy rifling over superbly from a sideline and Cotter nailing two more.

 Alan Connolly clips over a vital free. Picture: Dan Linehan
Alan Connolly clips over a vital free. Picture: Dan Linehan

Horgan, Dooley and O’Donovan split the sticks for the Glen and it was left to Connolly to bring us to extra-time with an equalising free on the 63-minute mark, the Glen 3-14, the Rockies 1-20.

It was compelling fare now in the biting wind and it was the Rockies who seized the initiative.

O’Keeffe goaled from a Connolly delivery, the hugely impressive sub Cotter got another while Alan O’Callaghan pointed twice.

It was 3-24 to 3-16 after the first 10 minutes but in true Glen fashion back they came.

Horgan goaled from a penalty after he himself was fouled and it was a three-point game after he fired over another brace.

Now the fat was in the fire again but the Rockies held their nerve and when Cotter goaled again the deal was done.

Connolly added a few more points and title number 33 was heading down the road to Church Road.

This was a smashing, old-fashioned city derby that finally belonged to the Rockies on a day that both sides did Cork club hurling proud. 

 Blackrock manager Fergal Ryan with his mother after their victory. Picture: Dan Linehan
Blackrock manager Fergal Ryan with his mother after their victory. Picture: Dan Linehan

Scorers for Blackrock: A Connolly 0-13 (0-10 f), R Cotter 2-2, T Deasy (0-1 sl), S O’Keeffe 1-1 each, N Cashman, D Meaney, M O’Halloran, A O’Callaghan 0-2 each, J O’Sullivan 0-1.

Glen Rovers: P Horgan 1-11 (1-0 pen, 0-5 f, 0-2 65), S Kennefick 2-0, M Dooley 1-2, A O’Donovan 0-2, L Coughlan, D Brosnan 0-1 each.

BLACKROCK: G Connolly; R Laide, G Norberg, J Ryan; S Murphy, N Cashman, Cathal Cormack; D O’Farrell, D Meaney; M O’Keeffe, Ciaran Cormack, John O’Sullivan; A Connolly, S O’Keeffe, M O’Halloran.

Subs: T Deasy for M O’Keeffe, J Cashman for R Laide (both 38); R Cotter for Ciaran Cormack, A O’Callaghan for J Ryan (both 52); K O’Keeffe for J O’Sullivan (60); E O’Farrell for A O’Farrell (69); M O’Halloran for M O’Keeffe (76).

GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; S McDonnell, R Downey, D Dooling; A Lynch, B Moylan (c), D Noonan; D Cronin, A O’Donovan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, M Dooley; C Dorris, S Kennefick, L Coughlan.

Subs: D Cunningham for C Dorris (42); C Healy for D Dooling, D Tynan for D Brosnan (both 55); L Horgan for D Cronin (58); G Kennefick for L Coughlan, D Brosnan for D Tynan (e-t h-t); D Morris for A O’Donovan (inj 75).

Referee: C McAllister (Aghada).

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