Gore in top form as Cork IT footballers claim the Trench Cup in style

Gore in top form as Cork IT footballers claim the Trench Cup in style
CIT players celebrate after the Trench Cup Final match against Mary I. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Cork IT 2-20 Mary I 0-12

CORK IT produced an impressive display at the DCU Sportsgrounds to capture the Trench Cup at the expense of Munster rivals Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Courtesy of Eoin Lavers’ superb solo goal on 26 minutes, the Rebel outfit assumed a 1-10 to 0-6 interval lead. Despite encountering some stubborn resistance at times from Mary I, they comfortably regained their Sigerson Cup status for 2021.

While CIT’s quest for an automatic return to the top grade was the main focus in their home county, there was also considerable Leeside interest within the Mary I ranks. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam), Cathail O’Mahony (Mitchelstown), Ross Coleman (St James) were all named in their starting line-up for this showpiece affair.

Dan McCarthy (Clann Na Gael), Eoin Cashman (Castlemartyr) and Darragh Buckley (Clyda Rovers) were also notable inclusions amongst their list of reserve options. CIT had been the dominant force in the competition up to this point and underlined their credentials during a blistering opening to the contest.

After Nemo Rangers attacker Kevin O’Donovan had edged his side in front, Daniel Dineen, Damien Gore (two) and Kerry star Gavin O’Brien added further singles to create a sizeable gap on the scoreboard. The Mary I hurlers had lost out to IT Carlow in the same venue just four days earlier and the early sign were ominous for their footballers.

To their credit, the Treaty County men dug deep to work their way back into contention. Though nominally selected as a centre-forward, the aforementioned O’Mahony spent much of the evening positioned on the edge of the square.

He kicked a brace of points to get Mary I up and running before wing-back Colin Barrett broke forward to grab a score of his own on 12 minutes. CIT settled again through an excellent O’Brien effort, only for Mary I to once again display their undoubted resilience.

Either side of another Dineen contribution, O’Mahony split the uprights to keep the underdogs within touching distance of their big-time opponents. Barry Goldrick subsequently reduced the deficit to the bare minimum, but that was as close as Mary I came to causing an upset.

Dineen and O’Brien were both on target prior to Lavers’ scintillating major while O’Brien’s fourth of the tie provided additional momentum for CIT moving into the second period. Mary I initially threatened a fightback on the resumption through the dead-ball prowess of O’Mahony and Goldrick.

That was until player of the match O’Brien raided down the right-wing in the 38th-minute and angled a superb shot beyond the reach of opposition netminder David Croke. This effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt, but CIT were not prepared to rest on their laurels.

Following traded scores between Mark Buckley and O’Mahony, CIT registered four points without reply - including three for the elusive Gore. O’Mahony was on hand to halt this scoring sequence and he later added his eighth point inside stoppage-time.

CIT were determined to have the final say, however, and Gore matched O’Mahony’s final tally with a clinical display of sharpshooting. James Crean and Buckley also raised white flags in the dying moments to cap a memorable victory for the Cork college. On this evidence, they can expect to make a big splash on their return to the Sigerson Cup.

Scorers for Cork IT: Damien Gore 0-8 (0-3 f), Gavin O’Brien 1-4 (0-1 mark), Mark Buckley, Daniel Dineen 0-3 each, Eoin Lavers 1-0, James Crean (f), Kevin O’Donovan 0-1 each.

Mary I: Cathal O’Mahony 0-8 (0-7 f), Barry Goldrick 0-3 (0-2 f), Colin Barrett 0-1.

CORK IT: Anthony Casey; Adam McAuliffe, Sean Daly, Chris O’Donoghue; Brian Hodnett, Eoin Lavers, Paul Ring; Kieran Murphy, Killian O’Hanlon; Mark Buckley, Kevin O’Donovan, Gavin O’Brien; Damien Gore, Eoin McGreevy, Daniel Dineen.

Subs: James Crean for McGreevy (40), Conall Kennedy for Murphy (45), Mark Hodnett for O’Donovan, Rory Maguire for Dineen (both 54), Aaron Spriggs for McAuliffe (57).

MARY I: David Croke; Neilus Mackessy, Danny Dunleavy, Padraig O’Connor; Luka Brosnan, Sean Meehan, Colin Barrett; Dara Mac Gearailt, James McNeive; Barry Goldrick, Cathail O’Mahony, Ruadhain Ó Curráin; Ross Coleman, Patrick Darcy, Diarmuid O’Mahony.

Subs: Tom MacPhaidin for O’Connor, Christy O’Hagan for O’Mahony, Conor Beirne for Barrett (all 48), Ben Finnegan for O Currain (55).

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