Rebel Óg: St Nick's hold off Carrigaline in exciting U15 football final

Premier 2 glory for the northsiders, who got off to the ideal start
Rebel Óg: St Nick's hold off Carrigaline in exciting U15 football final

Joy for St Nick's after beating Carrigaline in a cracking Premier 2 U15 clash at Ballincollig. Picture: Denis Boyle

St Nick's 4-7 Carrigaline 1-13 
ST Nick's took the Premier 2 U15 football title in rain-drenched Ballincollig after a tough battle with a spirited Carrigaline.

The Carrigdhoun side battled back from 10 points down to level with three minutes remaining before Nicks saw them off. 

Both sides played excellent football, despite the conditions, finding their players with some pin-point passes. 

Nick's dominated the opening quarter and with their inside line of Cian Wash, James Murphy and Sean Kent causing huge problems while at the back they limited Carrigaline to one score in the opening quarter.

Two Walsh goals, along with points from Kent and Scott Lawlor, made it 2-5 to 0-1 at the first water break, Robert Walker pointing for Carrigaline.

Eoghan and Darragh Murphy hit Carrigaline points on the resumption, but powerful full-forward Walsh gave a brilliant pass to the hard-working Jack O’Sullivan to billow the net for Nick's third goal. 

Picture: Denis Boyle
Picture: Denis Boyle

Dylan Sutton pointed before the interval leaving it 3-5 to 0-4, with the city side in control.

However, while Nick's dominated the opening half but Carrigaline did likewise in the second period. They began to eat into the lead while their defence was much tighter, turning over several Nick's before breaking up field and finishing well. 

Six points without reply from Sutton, Alex Crowley, Daniel Callanan, Dion O’Regan and Decie Fitzgerald (2) had the Nicks lead down to three, 3-5 to 0-11, at the second water break.

On the restart, Carrigaline were level after Oisin O’Connaill squeezed the ball to the net from a tight angle. 

All to play for, both teams went for it. An O’Regan free put Carrigaline ahead for the first time but Nick's didn’t panic Scott Lawlor levelling from the kick-out to ensure a grandstand finish.

Nick's found the crucial extra gear and showing tremendous character Conor McCarthy finished superbly to the net after good work again by Cian Walsh. 

Pushing for home Scott Lawlor added a point but back came Carrigaline. Dion Kelleher scored but there wasn’t time for a late rally as the sound of the full-time whistle came on the kick-out.

After losing the Premier 1 hurling title a week earlier, St Nick's were understandably thrilled to have got over the line.

 St Nick's Conor McCarthy and Jake Brosnan with the cup. Picture: Denis Boyle
St Nick's Conor McCarthy and Jake Brosnan with the cup. Picture: Denis Boyle

Scorers for St Nick's: C Walsh 2-1, C McCarthy 1-1, J O'Sullivan 1-0, S Lawlor 0-3, S Kent 0-2.

Carrigaline: D O’Regan 0-3, O O’Connaill 1-0, D Fitzgerald, D Murphy (0-1 f), D Sutton, 0-2 each, A Crowley, D Callanan, E Murphy, R Walker 0-1 each.

St NICK'S: MT Brosnan; C Connolly, D Lawlor, E Ricken; A Clifford, O O’Connell, K Martin; J Brosnan, C McCarthy; J O’Sullivan, S Lawlor, D Wall; J Murphy, C Walsh, S Kent.

Sub: L Dunlea for S Kent (inj 45).

CARRIGALINE: C O’Farrell; C O’Sullivan, C Landa, B Murphy; A McCarthy, E Murphy, R Kenneally; C Honohan, D Sutton; D O’Regan, O Scully, D Murphy; A Crowley, R Walker, D Fitzgerald.

Subs: O O’Connaill for A McCarthy (17), D Callanan for O Scully (h-t).

Referee: Peter Cotter (Lee Gaels).

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