Rebel Óg Minor Football: Barrs give Bantry the Blues in first round

Cork minor hurlers Ben O'Connor and William Buckley hit 10 points in West Cork
Rebel Óg Minor Football: Barrs give Bantry the Blues in first round

Ben O'Connor, St Finbarr's, in action last season against Castlehaven in the Rebel Óg Minor Football semi-final replay. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

St Finbarr’s 0-16 Bantry Blues 1-8

ST Finbarr’s started their minor football championship campaign with a deserved win against Bantry Blues at Wolfe Tone Park last night.

The Togher side showcased their championship credentials with a very impressive display. Impressive midfielder Ben O’Connor and classy centre-forward William Buckley were key players in the Barrs' triumph. Bantry battled valiantly throughout and they displayed a plentiful supply of character against this strong Barrs side.

St Finbarr’s started brightly as they surged into a three point lead after nine minutes following scores from Ben O’Connor, Shay Fenton and Conor Hegarty. Bantry restored parity following a brilliant individual goal by Michael O’Donovan who jinked his way past four defenders before netting with aplomb.

Bantry moved in front for the first time in the 11th minute after a fine score from their captain and talisman Paddy Cronin. The Barrs quickly equalised through Shay Fenton. The pace of the game was unrelenting with Bantry struggling at times to contain the relentless Barrs pressure.

The Barrs moved three points clear by the 16th minute following a brace of points from William Buckley and John Barrett. St Finbarr’s finished the second quarter strongly with Ben O’Connor, William Buckley and Shay Fenton in particular very prominent as they moved five points clear at the interval on a 0-11 to 1-3 scoreline.

St Finbarr’s started the second half strongly as they recorded two successive points from William Buckley and Ali Baker moved them seven points clear. Bantry reduced the deficit to five points once again in the 44th minute after points from Mark Óg O’Sullivan and Paddy Cronin. St Finbarr’s scored their first point in 11 minutes when their powerful midfielder Ben O’Connor converted a free which moved his side six points clear.

Bantry were battling gallantly and they reduced the deficit to four points after Paddy Cronin converted two successive frees. The response from the Barrs was impressive however as their talented midfielder Ben O’Connor once again came to the fore. The start midfielder struck two points to propel them to victory.

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: W Buckley 0-5 (0-1 f), B O’Connor 0-5 (0-2 f), S Fenton 0-3, C Hegarty, J Barrett, A Baker 0-1 each.

Bantry Blues: P Cronin 0-6 (0-4 f), M O’Donovan 1-0, M Óg O’Sullivan, C O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

St FINBARR'S: C Collins; L O’Shea, S Kennedy, R O’Donovan; D Dwane, C Buckley, J Kennefick; B O’Connor, S O'Kennedy; R Bennett, W Buckley, C Hegarty; J Barrett, A Baker, S Fenton.

Subs: D Egan for R Bennett (40), C Hurley for A Baker (53).

BANTRY BLUES: E O’Donoghue; D Cotter, F Barry, C Cronin; C O’Brien, M Óg O’Sullivan, J Sheedy; O Wiseman, M O’Donovan; O O’Neill, P Cronin, C O’Driscoll; S Hogan, A Cronin, R O’Sullivan.

Subs: S O’Donovan for D Cotter (21), L Salter Townshend for R O’Sullivan (30), D Sheedy for S Hogan (30), R Walsh for O O’Neill (45).

Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).

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