St Finbarr's 2-19 Glen Rovers 2-17
AFTER a close-fought battle St Finbarr's are through to the Premier 1 MHC final against Sars.
There was never going to be more than a few points between these two and so it proved at Togher last night with the Barrs just about deserving their win in a game that could have gone either way right to the final whistle.
This was hurling at its best with both sides on top of their game from the start and in truth, the only disappointment was the fact not too many were present to witness it.
Both sides had outstanding displays with Ben O'Connor, Ethan Twomey and Jack Cahalane in top form for the winners. Special mention must be made of William Buckley, who started at corner-forward but moved out the pitch and he put in a magnificent shift for the winners.
The difference, in the end, were two second-half goals from Cahalane, both telling scores as the first kept them in the game and the second put them in front.
Buckley put the Barrs in front with Daniel Murphy equalising, before two points from Dylan Long helped the Glen into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead. With six minutes gone Nathal Goulding goaled for the Glen but the Barrs hit back with points from Cunningham, Buckley and Cahalane, to put only one between them 0-5 to 1-3.
Eoin O'Leary hit two for the Glen, with Cunningham and Ethan Twomey replying to make it 1-8 to 0-8 with five minutes to half-time.
O'Leary hit two more for the Glen, but three frees from Cunningham kept the Barrs in contention and at half-time, it was 1-10 to 0-11 to the Glen.
Two more from Cunningham, followed by a point from Fionn Crowley saw the sides level five minutes into the second half.
However the Glen are a quality side and they showed it with a goal from Long after Barrs keeper Dylan McSweeney had made two great saves to prevent Horgan and Goulding from scoring. But Long was on hand to score when the ball broke loose to put them 2-13 to 0-14 up.
The Barrs responded with a brilliant goal from Cahalane and with 51 minutes gone he got his second, to put his side a point up 2-15 to 2-14.
Buckley increased their lead before O'Leary and Murphy had the sides level again.
Twomey put the Barrs back in front, with Buckley putting two between the sides before O'Leary made is a one-point game again. Deep in injury-time Cahalane got the insurance score to see his side through to meet Sarsfields in the final next week, where they will hope to win the title for the first time since 1997.
Scorers for St Finbarr's: B Cunningham 0-9 (0-8 f), J Cahalane 2-2, W Buckley 0-4, E Twomey 0-2, M Nason, F Crowley 0-1 each.
Glen Rovers: E O'Leary 0-9 (0-7 f), D Long 1-3, N Goulding 1-1, D Murphy 0-2, L Quilligan, L Horgan 0-1 each.
St FINBARR'S: D McSweeney; R Doyle, JJ O’Connor, S Kennedy; D Kennedy, B O'Connor, M Nason; E Twomey, C Doolan; G Gowen, B Cunningham, F Crowley; W Buckley, J Cahalane, A Buckley.
Subs: C Buckley for A Buckley (42), C O'Neill for G Gowen (54).
GLEN ROVERS: S Lynam; S Cronin, G Marshall, D Coughlan; A Lordan, E Downey, S Corcoran; J O’Driscoll, L Horgan; L Quilligan, N Goulding, D Murphy; E O’Leary, D Long, R Dunne.
Subs: T Downey for J O'Driscoll (43), M Ring for D Long (51).
Referee: Cathal McAllister, Aghada.