Ballincollig and St Finbarr's serve up a Danny Crowley Cup final cracker

U12 football showdown was a great game and a fitting tribute to the memory of the late Danny Crowley
Ballincollig and St Finbarr's serve up a Danny Crowley Cup final cracker

Ballincollig team members celebrating, after defeating St Finbarr’s in the Danny Crowley Memorial Cup final at Carrigaline. Picture: David Keane. 

DELIGHT for Ballincollig as they won the Danny Crowley Cup final held at Carrigaline GAA Club.

Having lost the final when it was last played for in 2019, Ballincollig were determined to come out on top this season and did so, despite the best efforts of a talented St Finbarr’s side.

A close and exciting game ended in a one-point win for the Village, 3-9 to 3-8, which completed a Premier 1 U12 double, having beaten Midleton recently in the hurling final.

Ballincollig's Bobby Power is tackled by St Finbarr’s Ryan Dunne. Picture: David Keane
Ballincollig's Bobby Power is tackled by St Finbarr’s Ryan Dunne. Picture: David Keane

The cup is played at U12 level in memory of Danny Crowley, who sadly passed away on November 29, 2013, at just 13 years of age. The Carrigaline player’s last game for the club was U12. The family donated a cup in his memory that is played for at U12 Premier 1 league level and Carrigaline deserve huge credit for making the final a special occasion every year.

Douglas won six in a row up to 2019 and St Finbarr’s ensured there would be a new name on the cup this year when they beat them in the semi-final. The Barrs come up against a determined Ballincollig team in the decider, who had impressed all through the league, beating Carrigaline to get through.

The final itself was a very exciting affair, and a great advert for Cork underage football, with little or nothing between them all through.

 St Finbarr’s Edmund Burke battles Ballincollig's Joe Miskella. Picture: David Keane.
St Finbarr’s Edmund Burke battles Ballincollig's Joe Miskella. Picture: David Keane.

The Barrs had a number of outstanding displays with Evan Naughton, Edmund Burke, Alex O’Herlihy, and David Clarke O’Mahony all in top form for them. They were ahead 2-6 to 1-7 at half-time, with Burke leading by example in midfield.

Both keepers, Ballincollig’s Scott Richmond and Barrs’ Jack O’Brien, also deserve special mention as both pulled off a number of top-class saves.

In the second half, the Village came back at the Barrs. Goals from Rory Fitzgerald, his second, and Joe Miskella, as well as some big plays by Eoin Harris and Bobby Power, ensured the cup headed to Ballincollig for the first time. 

Afterward, Danny’s parents, Donal and Majella, presented the cup to the victorious Ballincollig side.

 Ballincollig captain Joe Miskella and his teammates are presented with the cup by Donal and Majella Crowley. Picture: David Keane.
Ballincollig captain Joe Miskella and his teammates are presented with the cup by Donal and Majella Crowley. Picture: David Keane.

Despite the narrow loss special mention must be made of the St Finbarr’s team, who after the game presented a donation to the family for the fund-raising efforts they now do in memory of Danny, a gesture that shows the true spirit of the GAA.

BALLINCOLLIG: S Richmond; C McCarthy, D Murphy, C McDonnell; J Harrington, J Costello, E Harris; J Miskella, E Hurney; R Fitzgerald, B Power, E Lynch; C Barr, J McCarthy, P Skehan.

Subs: D O’Regan, C O’Neill, J Ó Laoighaire.

St FINBARR’S: J O’Brien; J O’Sullivan, J Hannigan, F Power; CJ Barrett, T Cromie, R Dunne; E Naughton, E Burke; A O’Herlihy, D Hurley, D Clarke O’Mahony, C Fitzgerald Higgins, J Ahern, S Fleming Byrne.

Subs: A Martin, D Akar, H McTernan, J O’Sullivan Crowley.

Referee: Ian Thomas (Carrigaline).

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