Joy for St Finbarr's as U16 hurlers edge out Ballincollig in Premier 1 final

Joy for St Finbarr's as U16 hurlers edge out Ballincollig in Premier 1 final
St Finbarr's celebrate their win as captain David Murray lifts the cup. Picture: Larry Cummins.

St Finbarr’s 0-18 Ballincollig 2-10

IT’S been a long wait, 22 years to be precise, for the Barrs but they were were crowned Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier 1 U16 county champions at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

The famed Togher club have come close on a few occasions but this time they left with the cup in a top-class game, where both sides must be complimented for the standard of hurling.

Picture: Larry Cummins.
Picture: Larry Cummins.

William Buckley, a Cork U15, was outstanding for the Blues, hitting six points from play while Ben Cunningham finished with 0-12, his work-rate as good as his free-taking. Ben O’Connor also had a stormer at midfield and while Ryan O’Neill and Dylan Ebili battled hardest for the Village, their big players were well policed.

Ballincollig got the perfect start when Conor O’Driscoll goaled early on, followed by a sweet Tadgh O’Connell point. However, Buckley nabbed successive scores from play, followed by Cunningham’s first.

Cian O’Driscoll and James Dwyer split the posts for Ballincollig but the Barrs running forced frees which Cunningham clinically converted. The Collig were up by one at half-time, courtesy of two David O’Sullivan frees.

While Brian Keating scored from distance for Ballincollig, Cunningham and Buckley were causing real problems as the Barrs led 0-13 to 1-7.

Picture: Larry Cummins.
Picture: Larry Cummins.

Ballincollig levelled through sub Doug Healy after Dylan McSweeney had saved magnificently from Conor O’Driscoll but, who else, but Buckley and Cunningham responded.

Ebili and an O’Sullivan free trimmed the gap but the Barrs defended resolutely with a pair of Cunningham frees sealing a deserved win.

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: B Cunningham 0-12 (0-10 f), W Buckley 0-6.

Ballincollig: Conor O’Driscoll 1-1, D Healy 1-0, D O’Sullivan 0-4 f, T O’Connell, Cian O’Driscoll, J Dwyer, B Keating, D Ebili 0-1 each.

St FINBARR’S: D McSweeney; S Kennedy, R Fitzpatrick, E Hallahan; B O’Connor, D Kennedy, C O’Neill; R O’Sullivan, C Doolan; B Cunningham, W Buckley, L O’Sullivan; A Buckley, D Murray, J McGreal.

Subs: F Crowley for A Buckley, D Dwane for E Hallahan, C Hegarty for J McGreal.

BALLINCOLLIG: D Keohane; D Ward, S Dore, R O’Neill; D O’Mahony, H Ahearne, D Horgan; B Keating, J Dwyer; D Ebili, T O’Connell, Cian O’Driscoll; Conor O’Driscoll, D O’Sullivan, R Power.

Subs: D Healy for R Power, S Murray for Conor O’Driscoll, S Burke for D Ebili.

Ref: Brian Murphy, Carrigtwohill.

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