Rebel Óg Minor Football: St Finbarr's land Premier 1 title after a thriller with St Michael's

Despite their best efforts of the Dazzlers, the Barrs ran out winners after a thrilling encounter to win their first Premier 1 title since 2015
Rebel Óg Minor Football: St Finbarr's land Premier 1 title after a thriller with St Michael's

St Finbarr's captain Fionn Crowley and players celebrate after defeating St Michael's in the Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

St Finbarr’s 2-11 St Michael’s 1-12

A start you could only dream about saw St Finbarr’s win the Rebel Óg Premier 1 MFC title at Páirc Uí Rinn.

The game was only 17 seconds old when one Cork minor beat another for their opening goal, a lead they held for most of the game.

Rebel hurler, Ben O’Connor, lined out at full-forward for the Barrs and he was on the end of a move, involving Stephen Osubar Kennedy and William Buckley to find the back of the net.

His bullet of a shot gave Cork minor football keeper, Mikey O’Connell no chance of saving as the Barrs got off to a perfect start.

O’Connor was one of a number of impressive displays for the winners with Fionn Crowley, Ryan Bennett, and William Buckley all to the fore as well.

Captain Fionn Crowley and players celebrate after defeating St Michael's. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Captain Fionn Crowley and players celebrate after defeating St Michael's. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

That goal had given the Barrs the perfect start and they nearly had a second two minutes later, this time O’Connell denying O’Connor as he looked like adding a second to his tally.

Darragh Browne raised a white flag for Michael’s, with Vaughan Ryan adding a second to put only a point between them with six minutes played.

Stephen Osubar Kennedy got the Barrs first point, with Ryan Sweeney replying at the other end.

O’Connell denied the Barrs a potential third goal, after 15 minutes, this time stopping a shot from John Barrett, but the referee was playing advantage and it was pulled back for a free.

O’Connor slotted over and just before the water break, Mykel Burré pointed for Michael’s to make it 1-2 to 0-4.

A Buckley free extended the Barrs lead, with Barrett adding another white flag to put three points between the sides.

Sweeney got his second, with O’Connor on target from a 45 to see the Barrs leading by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time.

This was always going to be a close affair, with the two sides having drawn in their round-robin meeting earlier in the championship.

Two early points from Michael’s at the start of the second-half showed proved this, with Lee O’Sullivan and Luke O’Herlihy raising white flags to make it a one point game with 33 minutes gone.

The Barrs responded with Conor Hegarty and Ryan Bennett pointing, with O’Herlihy replying for Michael’s.

Shane Kennedy played a key role. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Shane Kennedy played a key role. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

With 37 minutes gone the Barrs looked like they had put one hand on the cup when captain Fionn Crowley drove forward and his pass found Bennett who gave O’Connell no chance of saving, to make it 2-7 to 0-8.

Buckley raised another white flag, but credit to Michael’s they kept going, with a free from O’Herlihy reducing the deficit.

With 40 minutes gone Niall Allen, just on as a sub, brought a magnificent save out of Ciaran Collins to deny him a goal and he was called into action again, this time denying Sweeney.

O’Herlihy raised a white flag just before the water break, but the game was turned on its head just after it.

A brilliant goal from Darragh Browne had the sides level and with 50 minutes gone the Dazzlers took the lead for the first time, with 10 minutes to go.

But the Barrs responded in style with O’Connor leveling it and Buckley putting them back in front, 2-10 to 1-12.

Barrett added a point to put two between the sides as the game headed for injury-time.

Joy for the Barrs. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Joy for the Barrs. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Despite their best efforts Michael’s didn’t score again as the Barrs ran out winners after a thrilling encounter to win their first Premier 1 MFC title since 2015.

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: B O’Connor 1-3 (0-1 f, 0-1 45), R Bennett 1-1, W Buckley 0-3 (0-1 f), J Barrett 0-2, S Osubar Kennedy, C Hegarty 0-1 each.

St Michael’s: D Browne 1-1, L O’Herlihy 0-4 (0-3 f), L O’Sullivan 0-3, R Sweeney 0-2, V Ryan, M Burré 0-1 each.

St FINBARR’S: C Collins; D Dwane, S Kennedy, L O’Shea; R O’Donovan, R Bennett, J Kennefick; F Crowley, S Osubar Kennedy; C Hegarty, W Buckley, S Fenton; C Buckley, B O’Connor, C Buckley.

Subs: T O’Keeffe for R O’Donovan (38), B Horgan for S Fenton (46), A Baker for R Bennett (56),

St MICHAEL’S: M O’Connell; R Ahern, R Kavanagh, F Leahy; M Burre, S Healy, O McAdoo; R O’Shaughnessy, D Lucey; D Browne, L O’Herlihy, R Sweeney; M O’Connell, L O’Sullivan, V Ryan.

Subs: N Allen for S Healy (40), K Leahy for M Burré (55), S Murphy for M O’Connell (56),

Referee: David Murnane, (Macroom).

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