Still going strong... Donal Óg Cusack makes three key saves as Cloyne defeat Watergrasshill in Abernethy Cup final

Still going strong... Donal Óg Cusack makes three key saves as Cloyne defeat Watergrasshill in Abernethy Cup final
Cloyne goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Cloyne 3-14 Watergrasshill 0-16

CLOYNE are the Abernethy Intermediate Cup champions following a solid display and victory over Watergrasshill in Castlemartyr.

Two late Colm O'Sullivan goals were decisive, as was the accuracy from play and frees of their captain Keith Dennehy, but Donal Óg Cusack, who turns 42, proved he still has it between the posts. 

The former All-Star Cork keeper was simply brilliant as he saved a penalty and two point-blank efforts.

The sides were level four times in the opening quarter with an early indication that the excellent Shane O’Regan, who hurled at minor for the Rebels, was going to be the main talisman for the Hill and Dennehy would add the scores for Cloyne.

It was a strange kind of final as Watergrasshill dominated the opening 10 minutes of each half, but on both occasions when Cloyne got going they were devastating.

Cloyne rattled off four scores without reply to lead by four on the 27th minute and then added to their tally with a great goal from Michael Cahill a minute later when he pucked the ball into the top right-hand corner of the Watergrasshill net.

Cloyne added another score from long range off the stick of Brian O’Shea, but the Hill replied with two scores from Padraig O’Leary and O’Regan to leave six points between the sides at the break.

For the opening 12 minutes of the second half, the Hill kept Cloyne scoreless with O’Regan on target four times.

Then on the 43rd minute, Watergrasshill were awarded a penalty and it was a pivotal moment in the final with just two points between the sides, but Donal Óg was equal to Shane O’Regan’s strike and Cloyne kicked on from there.

The sides exchanged two further points each, but the game was sealed for Cloyne with two late Colm O’Sullivan goals on the 53rd and 56th minutes.

Cloyne controlled the last four minutes of play and deservedly claimed the Abernethy Cup with a fine performance.

Scorers for Cloyne: K Dennehy 0-9 (0-5 f) C O’Sullivan 2-2, M Cahill 1-0, B O’Shea 0-2, B Walsh 0-1.

Watergrasshill: S O’Regan 0-11 (0-9 f, 0-1 65), S O’Regan Óg 0-2, A Cronin, P O’Leary, C Fenton 0-1 each.

CLOYNE: D Óg Cusack; J Sherlock, E Motherway, D Jermyn; B Minihane, M Lynch, B O’Shea; C Smith, C Motherway; B Walsh, I Cahill, Paul O’Sullivan; M Cahill, C O’Sullivan, K Dennehy (c).

Subs: C Mullins for B Walsh (31), D Cahill for M Cahill (40), Paudie O’Sullivan for Paul O’Sullivan (45)

WATERGRASSHILL: D O’Callaghan; K O’Keefe, B Fenton, P Cronin; C O’Shea, G O Kelly-Lynch, J McCarthy; A Cronin, P O’Regan; E Barry (c), C Fenton, S O’Regan; T Dinan, P O’Leary, S O’Regan Óg.

Subs: E O’Reilly for T Dinan (38), W O’Leary for P O’Leary (56).

Referee: Jim Hennessy (Dungourney).

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