Your guide to the Rebel Óg Premier Minor Football finals 

St Finbarr's take on St Michael's in the Premier 1 decider with Éire Óg v Bishopstown at P2 level
Your guide to the Rebel Óg Premier Minor Football finals 

Ben O'Connor, St Finbarr's, in action against St Michael's. The Cork minor hurling star will be crucial in the football final. Picture: Larry Cummins.

IN A slight twist of faith, it’s back to the start for the finalists in the Premier 1 and 2 minor football championships this Monday night at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Both sets of finalists played each other in the group stages and if those games are anything to go by then we should be in for two more entertaining ones on Monday.

Last Monday night the hurling equivalent was on and if the football matches those games then it will be another great evening.

The Premier 1 encounter sees St Finbarr’s take on St Michael’s and to pick a winner between the two is a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Both sides have impressed in their run to the final and the Dazzlers must take credit from recovering from a round-robin first-round game loss to Mallow to reach the knock-out stages.

Going into their second encounter against Bantry Blues they knew that nothing short of a win will do and they were also facing a side that had given the Barrs a tough test.

At the second-half water-break, there were four points between the sides after Bantry stormed back into the tie.

But when cool heads were needed Michael’s didn’t panic and a goal from Sam Murphy put daylight between the sides to secure their win.

Impressive displays from the likes of Rory O’Shaughnessy, Eoin Coughlan, Ryan Sweeney and Luke O’Herlihy saw them going into their final group encounter, against the Barrs, knowing they still had a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

With two wins under their belt, the Barrs were safely through ahead of this encounter but also knew a win would see them top the group. At that point, the Barrs were fighting on a dual front as they were going well in the hurling championship as well and were looking good to reach that semi as well.

After a close tussle, it ended all square between the sides, which saw the Barrs top the group and Michael’s finishing second as Bantry beat Mallow to end their chances of taking the second spot.

In the semi-finals, the Barrs were at home to Ballincollig and the Dazzlers made the short trip to Trabeg to take on Nemo, a side fancied by many for overall honours.

In both games, there was never going to be much between the sides, with the Village and Barrs in the hurling semi-finals as well.

So their clash meant the dreams of dual honours was going to end for one club and as it played out the ambitions of both on the dual front were ended shortly afterwards.

In the hurling semis, the Barrs lost out to the Glen and Ballincollig to Bride Rovers.

In their football tie, first-half goals from Ben O’Connor and Stephen Osubar Kennedy were the crucial scores in their 2-12 to 0-12 win.

However as good as that game was it was nowhere near a match for the tie at Trabeg.

If it’s drama you wanted then that was the place to be. Heading towards the final whistle Nemo were three points up and looking good to reach the final.

But the Dazzlers hit back with Coughlan, O’Herlihy and Lee O’Sullivan all scoring in injury time to level it.

Extra-time failed to separate the sides and it went to a penalty shoot-out and when you have the Cork keeper, Mikey O’Connell between the posts it helps your chances.

Mikey O'Connell, pictured in action for Cork against Limerick, saved three penalties and scored the winning one for St Michael's in the Rebel Óg P1 MFC semi-final.
Mikey O'Connell, pictured in action for Cork against Limerick, saved three penalties and scored the winning one for St Michael's in the Rebel Óg P1 MFC semi-final.

Not alone did he save three penalties he then stepped up to score the winning one to see the Dazzlers through to take on the Barrs on Monday night.

In the Premier 2 competition, there was only a point between Éire Óg and Bishopstown when they met in the group stages, with the former winning 1-10 to 2-6.

In the semi-finals, Éire Óg had an impressive win over Kinsale and Bishopstown made the trip to Glantane to take on Kilshannig and ran out winners by 3-9 to 2-6.

If their group game is anything to go by then don’t be surprised if another day out is needed to separate the sides and don’t rule out the same in the Premier 1 final either.

FIXTURES

Monday, October 14

Premier 1 MFC final: St Finbarr’s v St Michael’s, Páirc Uí Rinn, 8pm.

Premier 2 MFC final: Éire Óg v Bishopstown, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6.15pm.

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