Midleton 1-18 Douglas 1-17
MIDLETON must be applauded here for the manner with which they extricated themselves from a very precarious position at one point during the first-half in the Premier 1 U21 hurling semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
When Brian Turnbull pointed a free in the 19th minute it gave Douglas an eight-point advantage over their east Cork opponents and the portents certainly did not look good for them at that juncture.
They still trailed by six points at the interval, but thereafter they were a transformed unit and they turned an entertaining contest their way coming down the home stretch.
This was a game not without controversy because Douglas thought they had secured an equalising point right at the end of regulation time only for the officials to decide otherwise. After the ball had been waved wide, the referee consulted with both umpires and a linesman before the initial decision stood and Midleton were through to a final showdown with Fr O’Neill’s.
Did they deserve it? Just about, based on the manner with which they got back into a game that appeared to be going away from them.
Douglas ace Shane Kingston was outstanding early on, firing home a smashing goal and posting some wonderful points as well. Turnbull was unerring from the placed ball with Diarmuid O’Mahony, Conor Russell and Colin Baldwin also on the scoresheet.
Cormac Beausang and Tommy O’Connell kept the Magpies in it and then straight after the break they hit four in a row from Beausang, Kian Farmer, with a brace, and O’Connell.
A Garan Manley goal from a delivery by Sean O’Sullivan tied it all up, 1-13 apiece, while Sean O’Leary-Hayes was now highly influential.
Aaron Mulcahy gave Midleton the lead after 52 minutes but Baldwin equalised. It was 1-17 each entering stoppage time before Ross O’Regan delivered what proved to be the winning score for Midleton.
Douglas thought they had forced extra-time after sub Brian O’Connor’s last-gasp effort, but it was deemed to have gone wide of the post.
Scorers for Midleton: T O’Connell (0-6 frees), G Manley (1-1, 0-1 free), C Beausang (0-4, 0-1 free), C Farmer (0-3), A Mulcahy and R O’Regan (0-2 each).
Douglas: S Kingston (1-3), B Turnbull (0-6, 0-5 frees), D O’Mahony (0-4, 0-3 frees), C Baldwin and C Russell (0-2 each).
MIDLETON: A Power; A Daly, S O’Sullivan, C Gunning; S O’Meara, S O’Leary Hayes, S Smyth (Capt), C Beausang, C Farmer; K Finn, R O’Regan, T O’Connell; A Mulcahy, S Finn, G Manley.
Sub: C Murphy for C Gunning (64).
DOUGLAS: D Maher; S McGrath, T O’Sullivan, D Ward; C Sheehan, B Hartnett, D Murphy; L Dineen, R Howell; E O’Brien, D O’Mahony, C Baldwin; B Turnbull, S Kingston (Capt), C Russell.
Subs: B O’Connor for T O’Sullivan (39), B Powter for C Sheehan (44).
Referee: Alan O’Connor (Ballygarvan).
Fr O’Neill’s 3-23 Blackrock 0-13
PLAYING a third championship game in less than a week, Fr O’Neill’s booked their place in the final of the Cork U21 Premier 1 hurling championship by beating Blackrock convincingly.
Playing free-flowing hurling and with excellent score-taking, Fr O’Neill’s were purposeful from the outset.
Michael O’Halloran showcased his prowess for Blackrock, scoring 10 points, but the city side were unable to get motoring. While a number of Fr O’Neill’s players were great, Declan Dalton, in particular, was top-class and really produced some quality hurling.
Colm Swayne scored an impeccable goal, as did Billy Dunne, following a superb Dalton assist to make it 2-11 to 0-7 at half-time.
Jason Hankard fired low and beyond the reach of Blackrock keeper, Daniel O’Mahony, for the third green flag in the second, while Cillian Broderick slipped over some tasty points.
If they play to their full potential and having now beaten Charleville, Sars and the Rockies, Fr O’Neill’s will take some stopping in the final against Midleton.
Scorers for Fr O’Neill’s: D Dalton (0-5 f, 0-2 65, 0-2 sc) 0-9 , J Hankard 1-3, B Dunne 1-2, C Swayne 1-1, C Broderick 0-4, D Harrington 0-3, P Hassett 0-1.
Blackrock: M O’Halloran (0-9 f, 0-1 65) 0-10, L O’Sullivan, M O’Keeffe, J O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
FR O'NEILL'S: C Sloane; M Millerick, S O’Connor, C O’Connor; A Kenneally, D Harrington, G Millerick; C Broderick, J Millerick; E Motherway, D Dalton, P Hassett; B Dunne, J Hankard, C Swayne.
Subs: M Motherway for O’Connor (46), W Abernathy for Swayne (58).
BLACKROCK: D O’Mahony; D O’Callaghan, J Cashman, D Tyner; R Coleman, C O’Brien, D Cormack; J O’Sullivan, P Kennedy; T Deasy, C Cormack, M O’Halloran; A Connolly, M O’Keeffe, L O’Sullivan.
Subs: R Cantwell for C O’Brien (5, inj), J Golden for Kennedy (27), D O’Brien for O’Callaghan (30 +4), E O’Sullivan for L O’Sullivan (45).
Referee: J Larkin (Ballinora).