Lisgoold 2-19 Kilbrittain 0-14
IT was very much a case of success breeding success for the hurlers of Lisgoold as they added the Cork County LIHC to the county junior A title that they won just over three months ago.
This was the stuff of dreams for the small but vibrant East Cork club who only secured their first junior divisional title in 2020.
They were fully deserving winners at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday night. Leading from pillar to post, they were emphatic winners of a contest that they dominated from the outset.
A remarkable feature of their victory was the fact that of their final tally of 2-19, 2-18 were from open play.
Kilbrittain fought the good fight as all teams from that club do but on this occasion, they had to settle for second best.
Lisgoold were a far more balanced unit and both defensively and offensively they had the upper hand.
Imokilly team boss, Ciaran Cronin manned the sticks with authority and will have been delighted to have come out with a clean sheet.
The six defenders all played their part with John Cronin leading by example in the number seven shirt.
Remarkably, this was Cronin’s fifth county medal, three with the three-in-a-row Imokilly senior team and now the double with his club. That is some achievement for this wholehearted former Cork senior.
Up front, Liam O’Shea exhibited his undoubted class with a haul of 1-4, his goal was one of individual brilliance which all but signed, sealed and delivered the deal.
Mark Hegarty was just a point behind on 1-3 while Cormac Hallahan and Cathal Hickey rifled over three points each. John Cahman posted a few tasty points too on a historic night for his club.
Lisgoold displayed their intent from the opening minutes and by the first water break, they found themselves six points to the good, 0-8 to 0-2.
Credit to Kilbrittain, however. They became a more forceful opposition thereafter and points from Ross Cashman, Maurice Sexton and Philip Wall had them just three points in arrears on the 25-minute mark.
But the last two scores of the half belonged to Lisgoold with Hallahan and Hegarty raising two more white flags.
It was 0-11 to 0-7 at the interval and at that juncture, Kilbrittain were still very much in the contest. However, when they resumed it was Lisgoold who picked up the torch again with a brace of points from Hickey and Hegarty.
Ciaran Cronin saved superbly from Declan Harrington and at the second water break it was 0-14 to 0-9. It became increasingly obvious as the contest aged that Kilbrittain would require a goal or two to put the frighteners on Lisgoold but they never arrived.
And it was Lisgoold who fired home the game’s opening goal in the 49th minute when O’Shea delivered with aplomb.
Ross Cashman and sub Sam Shorten got a few points back for Kilbrittain but the writing was firmly on the wall for them as we entered the final seven or eight minutes.
Liam O’Shea rifled over another fine point as did Hegarty and two points from placed balls from Sexton for the West Cork team made no real difference.
Aaron Holland got another for them but the game’s final score arrived just before the final whistle when Mark Hegarty rammed home Lisgoold’s second goal. It was the icing on the cake for them after an excellent overall display.
It wasn’t that long ago that they were a struggling junior B club in East Cork, now they are on an upward trajectory that may well have another chapter or two added to it in the years to come. For now, though, the winter in Lisgoold and Leamlara will be a lot shorter. They are fully deserving of all that they have achieved in the past 12 months.