County champions: Éire Óg carve out their own place in football history

The Ovens club become the first winners of the Bon Secours Senior A Football Championship title with decisive victory
County champions: Éire Óg carve out their own place in football history

Winning captain Daniel Goulding collects the Kevin McTernan Cup for Éire Óg from Mark Sheehan. Picture: Ger Bonus

Éire Óg 2-13 Mallow 1-7 

ÉIRE Óg created history by becoming the first winners of the new Bon Secours County Senior A Football Championship by overwhelming Mallow in the final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.

They take possession of the Kevin McTernan Cup and a place at the top table in the 2021 championship for the first time in the club's history.

Éire Óg blitzed their opponents from the start and were boosted by a point after 90 seconds by Jack Murphy and a goal 30 seconds later.

Éire Óg midfielder Ronon O'Toole scores score against Mallow's Kevin Doyle at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Ger Bonus
Éire Óg midfielder Ronon O'Toole scores score against Mallow's Kevin Doyle at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Ger Bonus

Ronan O'Toole brilliantly caught the restart and set off on a determined run before placing Joe Cooper, who goaled despite the attentions of two defenders on the line.

Yet, in their first attack, Mallow replied with a goal of their own by the third minute, Sean McDonnell cutting in from the right to tee up Michael O'Rourke, who scored with a shot to the far corner of the net.

Éire Óg regained control, though, and hit four points without response as well kicking a clutch of wides and, twice, hitting the outside of the goal frame.

Mallow keeper Kevin Doyle also rescued his side, denying Eoin O'Shea with his feet, but by the first water-break, Éire Óg led by 1-5 to 1-1.

The pattern continued, when play resumed, O'Shea increasing his side's lead before Éire Óg missed another goal chance, O'Toole striking the base of an upright, when clear of the defence.

A fisted James Loughrey point was a much-needed score as was a Shane Merritt free and when captain Eoin Stanton added a third, via an upright, Mallow had cut the lead to just three points.

Éire Óg should have been out of sight, having accumulated nine first-half wides to their opponents' one, and their 1-7 to 1-4 interval lead was scant reward for their dominance, Mallow sensing an opportunity on the resumption.

The Ovens club also lost Cork player Colm O'Callaghan to a hamstring injury just before the break.

The third quarter, however, was a mirror-image of the first, Éire Óg completely in control, but still struggling to make it tell on the scoreboard.

They added three points for a 1-10 to 1-4 lead after 41 minutes before pouncing for a killer second goal a couple of minutes later.

Jack Murphy's shot cannoned off a post, but Foley was standing in the right place to flash the rebound to the net an Éire Óg had one hand on the cup, 2-10 to 1-4 clear by the second water break.

 Dylan Foley, Éire Óg, tackles Mallow's Eoghan Barry. Picture: Ger Bonus
Dylan Foley, Éire Óg, tackles Mallow's Eoghan Barry. Picture: Ger Bonus

Scorers for Éire Óg: Joe Cooper 1-2, D Foley 1-2, D Goulding 0-4 f, B Hurley 0-2, J Murphy, E O'Shea, D Dineen 0-1 each.

Mallow: M O'Rourke 1-0, J Loughrey 0-2, K Sheehan, E Stanton, S Hayes 0-1 each, S Merritt, C O'Riordan 0-1 f.

ÉIRE ÓG: C Kelly; M Corkery, D Dineen, C McGoldrick; D O'Herlihy, John Cooper, D McCarthy; J Murphy, R O'Toole; E O'Shea, C O'Callaghan, Joe Cooper; D Foley, D Goulding (c), B Hurley. 

Subs: K Hallissey for O'Callaghan injured 28, Jerome Kelleher for Hurley 52, L Sheehan for Joe Cooper 59, John Kelleher for Dineen 60+1.

MALLOW: K Doyle; B Myers, E Barry, J Loughrey; T McEvoy, S Merritt, M Taylor; D Moynihan, E Stanton (c); K O'Sullivan, R Harkin, M O'Rourke; C O'Riordan, K Sheehan, S McDonnell. 

Subs: J Dillon for Harkin and S Hayes for Moynihan 40, P Herlihy for Sheehan 42, M Quirke for McEvoy 47, P Hennessy for O'Rourke 55.

Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven)

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