Blackrock 0-15 Cloughduv 1-10
AS the scoreline might suggest, this was no Cork County IHC final classic but it was compelling at times with Blackrock making amends for last season’s defeat.
Ballincollig got the better of them in the final 12 months ago but the Rockies' second team just did enough here to take the Paddy Walsh Memorial Trophy back to Church Road for the first time.
Cloughduv, last season’s county junior champions, gave it their best shot and when they reflect on the proceedings they will rue two missed penalty attempts, one in each half which yielded nothing.
They did convert another deep one into stoppage time but it was too little and too late to save the day.
But it was the Rockies hour of triumph, a win that might be the platform for greater glory in the years ahead and their battling qualities shone forth in the closing sequences when Cloughduv were still very much in the contest.
It was bitterly cold at Páirc Uí Rinn last Saturday and the opening half was poor to say the least.
The Rockies led by a point at the interval, 0-6 to 0-5 with just one of their scores coming from open play.
Colin O’Leary, on the edge of the square, secured that score with Man of the Match Eoin O’Farrell posting the other five from the placed ball.
The Rockies led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 18 minutes with O’Farrell their only scoring contributor in that period.
Brian Verling and Sean O’Connor delivered the Cloughduv brace of points but they then went 16 minutes before registering again.
However, they finished the half that bit stronger and points from Joe Ryan and two more from Verling had them very much in contention.
They had a golden opportunity of going to the dressing room with the advantage but a Brian Verling’s penalty attempt after Ryan had been fouled ended up left of the posts.
They had seven wides in that opening half as well and in the final analysis those misses proved costly.
When the sides resumed that man O’Farrell was on the board again before Cloughduv had a goal disallowed for a foul on the Rockies goalkeeper, Daniel O’Mahony who had a fine game between the sticks for the city team.
The Mid Cork team had a good spell over the next seven or eight minutes and three more points from Verling had them in front by a point after 42 minutes.
But the Rockies response was hugely positive, four unanswered points, three from O’Farrell and Diarmuid Cormack had them three to the good.
Rockies ‘keeper O’Mahony denied Mark Verling with a fine save but the newcomers to the grade had another failed penalty attempt almost immediately when O’Mahony saved from Brian Verling.
Psychologically, that was a severe blow to Cloughduv and they were four points in arrears with eight minutes remaining after Mark O’Keeffe had pointed for the Rockies.
As the contest entered its closing moments the Rockies kept their composure and they went five points clear in stoppage time after Olan Kelleher and that great veteran David Cashman pointed.
They were as good as home and hosed now but there was still some drama to come when an indiscretion in the Rockies defence led to another Cloughduv penalty.
This time Verling’s brother Mark stepped up and he blasted home to reduce the margin to just two points.
The game was now in the fifth minute of injury time after four had gone up on the board and there was time for no more.
Blackrock probably deserved their victory, they were that bit more streetwise when it mattered and they had the hurt of last season’s defeat to drive them on.
They’ll enjoy this one in Church Road.
Scorers for Blackrock: E O’Farrell 0-10 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), D Cormack, M O’Keeffe, C O’Leary, D Cashman, O Kelleher 0-1 each.
Cloughduv: B Verling 0-8, (0-6 f), M Verling 1-0 pen, S O’Connor, J Ryan 0-1 each.
BLACKROCK: D. O’Mahony, J. Golden, A. Hogan, R. Coleman, C. O’Brien, E. Smith, R. Cantwell, D. Cormack, M. O’Farrell, E. O’Farrell, I. O’Keeffe, M. O’Keeffe, O. Kelleher, C. O’Leary, L. O’Sullivan.
Subs: R. Cotter for O. Kelleher (42); B. Cain for L. O’Sullivan (52); O Kelleher for I. O'Keeffe and D. Cashman for O’Leary (60).
CLOUGHDUV: J. Buckley, D. O’Sullivan, B. Ahern, P. Buckley, J. Moynihan, D. O’Leary, E. Clifford, M. Walsh, L. Kelleher, A. Murphy, S. O’Connor, J. Ryan, D. Corkery, M. Verling (c), B. Verling.
Subs: K. Barry-Murphy for Corkery (42); A. Twomey for D. O’Sullivan (45); G. Ahern for M. Walsh (53); K. Walsh for S. O’Connor (60).
Referee: E. McCarthy (Bandon).