Divisional side Imokilly have bridged a 19-year gap to claim the Cork SHC title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Coinciding with the official opening of the stadium by President of the GAA Aogán Ó Fearghail, the east Cork men collected their third title in all. Showing good form all year, their experience was a major factor in this decider.
However, they got nothing easy from Blackrock, needing a late goal from substitute Brian Mulcahy to seal the deal.
By the interval, and having played with the wind, Imokilly led 1-7 to 0-8. The teams were tied four times before Cian Fleming was put through by Ian Cahill for the Imokilly goal in the 20th minute.
Captain Seamus Harnedy put it up to Blackrock when he netted soon after the restart. But with Michael O’Halloran in fine scoring form, Blackrock pegged them back to within a point, but crucially they could never get their noses in front – despite having many chances to do so.
With the game still in the melting pot deep in injury time, Mulcahy’s goal in the 65th minute finally decided the outcome.
<b>Scorers for Imokilly:</b> W Leahy (0-5 frees), S Harnedy (1-1), C Fleming and B Mulcahy (1-0 each), B Lawton (0-1 sl) and M O’Keeffe (0-2 each), P O’Sullivan, G Millerick and J Cronin (0-1 each).
<b>Scorers for Blackrock:</b> M O’Halloran (0-8, 0-6 frees), A O’Callaghan (0-3, 0-1 free), C Cormack (0-2), S O’Keeffe, G Regan, D O’Farrell, T Deasy and D Meaney (0-1 each).
<b>Imokilly:</b> D Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s); B Ó Tuama (Castlemartyr), C Barry (Castlelyons), K Histon (Cobh); C O’Brien (St Ita’s), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), J Cronin (Lisgoold); M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neill’s), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s); B Lawton (Castlemartyr), S Harnedy (St Ita’s), W Leahy (Aghada); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), I Cahill (Cloyne), C Fleming (Aghada).
Subs: D Mangan (St Catherine’s) for I Cahill (50), B Mulcahy (St Catherine’s) for C Fleming (57).
<b>Blackrock:</b> G Connolly; G Norberg, D Stokes, J Cashman; E Smith, N Cashman, A Murphy; S Murphy (Capt), D O’Farrell; S O’Keeffe, A O’Callaghan, G Regan; M O’Halloran, C Cormack, J O’Sullivan.
Subs: D Cashman for J O’Sullivan (half-time), D Meaney for E Smith (35 inj), T Deasy for C Cormack (46).
<b>Referee:</b> Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).