Bantry leave it late to capture U16 county football title

Bantry leave it late to capture U16 county football title

The successful Bantry Blues U16 football panel pictured with their management team after they defeated Inniscarra

Bantry Blues 3-13 

Inniscarra 2-8 

BANTRY BLUES mounted a stunning late revival which propelled them to an U16 Football county final title following this thriller played in Kilmichael last Saturday afternoon.

The Blues produced an heroic finale. They trailed by three points after 55 minutes. Inspired by star duo Darragh Kingston and Paddy Cronin, they produced a barnstorming performance in the closing stages to secure a deserved win. The switch of the athletic Kingston to a midfield berth for the second half was a pivotal factor in their triumph. His powerful runs and leadership qualities inspired the Blues to a famous victory. The Blues had heroes all over the pitch. They displayed great resilience in the closing stages.

Defeat was tough on a talented Inniscarra side who dominated in the opening half. The dismissal of their full back Daniel Keane in the fourth quarter proved a big factor in their late collapse.

Bantry Blues captain Rory O'Shea lifting the U16 county final title
Bantry Blues captain Rory O'Shea lifting the U16 county final title

Inniscarra started brightly and they recorded their opening goal in the seventh minute when Cian Curran struck. Bantry opened their scoring account in the 10th minute through Paddy Cronin.

Inniscarra were very strong down the spine of their team with their centre forward Brian Lowney excelling. They kicked six successive points which moved them eight points clear after 24 minutes. Bantry finished the opening half strongly however. They received a huge boost when Conor Cronin netted in the 30th minute. Darragh Kingston concluded the first half scoring with a point for Bantry. This reduced the deficit to four points at half-time, 1-6 to 1-2.

Bantry started the second half strongly as they asserted their dominance on proceedings. A plethora of brilliant scores from Darragh Kingston restored parity after 41 minutes. The Blues were rocked however when Sean Connolly netted for Inniscarra in the 44th minute which reinstated his sides three point lead.

Bantry produced a grandstand finale however with Darragh Kingston driving them on. He struck a great point before he netted to move his side one point clear in the 57th minute. Paddy Cronin added another goal in injury time to seal a thrilling victory for the Blues.

Cameron Lynch makes a break for Inniscarra
Cameron Lynch makes a break for Inniscarra

Scorers for Bantry: D Kingston 1-7 (1-0, 0-1 45, 0-1 f), P Cronin 1-2, C Cronin 1-0, J Sheedy 0-2, M Og O’Sullivan, E O’Neill 0-1 each.

Scorers for Inniscarra: B Lowney 0-4 (0-3 f), C Curran 1-1, S Connolly 1-0, C Lynch, T Coughlan, L Buckley 0-1 each.

BANTRY BLUES: R O’Sullivan; R O’Shea, F Barry, C Cronin; D Kingston, M Og O’Sullivan, C O’Brien; M O’Donovan, E Wiseman; E O’Neill, P Cronin, J Sheedy; R Fitzgerald, A Cronin, S Hogan.

Subs: C O’Driscoll for R Fitzgerald (44), Luke Salter Townshend for S Hogan (59).

INNISCARRA: D O’Connor; A Scannell, D Keane, R O’Donovan; J Keane, T Lyons, S Connolly; C Sheehan, L Buckley; C Lynch, B Lowney, T Coughlan; M Murphy, C Curran, D Murphy.

Sub: H Church for D Murphy (55), L Leisk for M Murphy (55).

Referee: Eamonn Sheehy (Newcestown).

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