THE Premier IFC final In 2007 saw a novel Avondhu pairing of Mallow and Killavullen.
Both teams came from very different positions. Mallow, who beat Kilmurry in the 1992 IFC final, were in the senior grade until 2006.
Killavullen on the other hand were North Cork junior B winners in 1993 and competed in the junior A grade up to 2000. They marked their dominance in the Avondhu division with titles for three years in a row and contested two county finals.
They lost to Newmarket in 1998 and defeated Kiskeam in the 2000 decider. Killavullen then competed in the intermediate grade.
In 2004, they won the Munster Intermediate Football League defeating St Vincent’s in the final. They won the Tom Creedon Cup in 2003 and 2005 and the Tadhg Crowley Cup in 2002.
By 2007, James O’Mahony and Gene Kelleher had retired. They were strengthened though by Donal Relihan and Joseph O’Neill coming from Castletownroche.
On their way to the PIFC final they had wins over Newmarket, Newcestown and Ballinora after a replay. They beat Glanmire, who had contested the previous two IFC finals, in the semi-final.
Mallow had lost Ronan Sheehan to retirement with Fergal McCormack concentrating on hurling. Mallow were boosted by a cracking record in the U21 A football, winning 10 Avondhu titles from 1990 to 2007.
In 1995, Mallow had beaten Killavullen in the U21 AFC final and went on to claim county honours. They also won the County U21 crown in 2000.
In the 2007, Premier IFC campaign Mallow lost to Newcestown, but then had a win over St Michael’s. They defeated Mayfield in the quarter-final and in the semi-final had a point to spare over Nemo Rangers’ second team.
The final at Páirc Uí Rinn was played under lights in front of a massive crowd.
John O’Sullivan got the only goal in the 10th minute and it was 1-2 to 0-5 at half time. Coleman Sheehan the Mallow goalie was inspired, producing a number of massive saves that kept Killavullen from finding the net.
Mallow edged a goal clear 1-5 to 0-5 after 45 minutes. Both sides exchanged two more points with Mallow victorious.
Mallow went up senior and came back down before returning to the top after another PIFC win in 2017, a cracking decider against St Michael’s.
Scorers for Mallow in 2007: C O’Riordan 0-4, J O’Sullivan 1-0, P Dineen 0-1, M O’Brien 0-1, M Buckley 0-1.
Killavullen: L Dorgan 0-3, A O’Driscoll 0-2, D Dorgan 0-1, I O Driscoll 0-1.