St Michael's see off Kilshannig to set up U21 football final clash with Ballincollig

St Michael's see off Kilshannig to set up U21 football final clash with Ballincollig
St Michael's Tadhg Deasy is tackled by St Finbarr's Cathal Crowley in the recent quarter-final. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

St Michael’s 3-12 Kilshannig 1-15

ST Michael’s won this cracker of a Cork U21 A Football Championship semi-final on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G to reach the final against Ballincollig.

Michael’s showed once more what a slick outfit they are, fresh from last week's victory over St Finbarr's, but Kilshannig put it right up to them for long spells.

The north Cork outfit had not played in this competition since their quarter-final win over Douglas at the start of November but they settled quicker and got early points through Cork U20 Eanna O’Hanlon, Barry O’Shea and Kieran Twomey.

Then St Michael’s nailed two crucial goals, from Eoin O’Donovan. The first was clinically taken from close range, with his second arriving less than two minutes later after a slick collective move.

Kilshannig raised a green flag of their own, after Jack Kearney stabbed the ball home following an under-hit free.

Michael’s added points from Billy Cain and O’Donovan, as they led 2-5 to 1-5 at the break.

Kilshannig brought the game back to level terms with three early second-half points. The contest swung in the city team's favour again though, when Liam Grainger rifled the ball to the net with a bullet of a finish.

Further points by David Hurley and Alan Connolly looked to have put the Dazzlers into a very comfortable position.

But showing their character once more, Kilshannig refused to give up and further points by McMahon and Twomey saw the gap back down to just two heading into stoppage time.

In the end and after a pulsating battle, Michael’s successfully saw the game out to a winning conclusion.

The U21 AFC decider between Michael’s and Ballincollig is down to take place on Sunday next on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G, with the Collig out of action since their semi-final victory over Éire Óg back in November.

St Michael's momentum makes them slight favourites for the county crown.

Scorers for St Michael’s: E O’Donovan 2-2, D Hurley (0-1 f) 0-4, L Grainger 1-0, T Deasy 0-3, B Cain 0-2, A Connolly 0-1.

Kilshannig: K Twomey (0-5 f) 0-7, J Kearney 1-0, E O’Hanlon 0-3, C McMahon 0-2, C O’Sullivan, B O’Shea, E Healy 0-1 each.

ST MICHAEL'S: C Denn: R Coleman, O O'Sullivan, J Golden: D Corkery, D Cormack, T Linehan: B Cain, F Cronin: A Hennessy, T Deasy, L Grainger: D Hurley, E O’Donovan, A Connolly.

Subs: M O’Keeffe for Cronin (41), R Cotter for Grainger (52), P Leneghan for Connolly (58).

KILSHANNIG: G Creedon: K Barrow, B Curtin, D O’Riordan: C Murphy, C O’Shea, S Murphy: J Twomey, E O’Hanlon: C O’Sullivan, K Twomey, J O’Hanlon: J Kearney, B O’Shea, C McMahon.

Subs: J Murphy for Barrow (36), E Healy for J O’Hanlon (40), T Brennan for O’Sullivan (50).

Referee: Pa O’Driscoll(Bride Rovers).

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