Rebel Óg P1 U18 football: Beara strike late to beat Ballincollig

The Village came back from five points down to lead in the closing stages but Finan Fenner nailed a winner for the divisional side
Rebel Óg P1 U18 football: Beara strike late to beat Ballincollig

Beara team captain Fintan Fenner and his dad Paul. Picture: Denis Boyle

Beara 1-11 Ballincollig 1-10

A dramatic finish saw Beara win the Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 FC at Dunmanway.

With the sides level and it looking like it would take extra time to separate them Finan Fenner pointed from a free to see the cup heading to West Cork to the delight of their supporters.

Overall there was little between the sides all through with Beara using the strong wind to their advantage in the first half and the Village doing so after the break.

To Ballincollig's credit, they had pulled back a five-point deficit by the second-half water break to level it and when the impressive Darragh O'Mahony put them in front in the 56th minute they looked like they were going to win.

But credit to Beara they battled back and in the last minute Callum McElhinney, just on as a sub, equalised from a free and thoughts were turning to extra-time.

Beara had one last attack and a foul on Ben O'Sullivan led to the free, which Fenner cooly slotted over, with the final whistle going seconds later. He had been one of their stars all through, along with the likes of Sean O'Shea, Ben O'Sullivan, and Alan O'Sullivan.

Ballincollig can't be faulted as they gave it everything with Liam O'Connell, Sean Dore, and Dylan Horgan, in particular, outstanding.

Beara's Lee Kelly holds off Ballincollig's Sean Dore. Picture: Denis Boyle
Beara's Lee Kelly holds off Ballincollig's Sean Dore. Picture: Denis Boyle

Afterwards Beara captain Fenner, made special mention of Garda Aidan Cremin, who passed away last January saying just how much of an influence he was on all the players.

Beara had gotten off to the perfect start when a foul on Ben O'Sullivan led to a penalty and Fenner slotted home.

The Village, despite playing against the strong wind, responded with points from David Fahy and Peter Kelly. With eight minutes gone Ballincollig keeper David Hurley, saved superbly to deny Luke Harrington what looked like a second goal.

But two points from Ben O'Sullivan saw the West Cork outfit lead 1-3 to 0-2 at the water break.

Beara's Ben O'Sullivan being tackled by Ballincollig's Harry Ahern and Tadhg O'Connell. Picture: Denis Boyle
Beara's Ben O'Sullivan being tackled by Ballincollig's Harry Ahern and Tadhg O'Connell. Picture: Denis Boyle

The Village hit back with points from Tadhg O'Connell and Kelly, but late scores from O'Shea, Tom O'Connor, and Ben O'Sullivan had Beara 1-7 to 0-5 up at half-time.

Now with the wind, Ballincollig started the second half brightly, O'Mahony and O'Connell reducing the deficit. 

Just before the water break, they were back on level terms when a ball in from Horgan was deflected to the Beara net by the unlucky Seán Power, to make 1-9 apiece.

On the restart Hurley made another great save, this time denying Tiernan O'Sullivan.

With time running out O'Mahony put Ballincollig in front before the late score from McElhinney levelled it. And in the 64th minute, the winner came from Fenner to see Beara take the title in a dramatic finish.

Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 FC champions Beara. Picture Denis Boyle
Rebel Óg U18 Premier 1 FC champions Beara. Picture Denis Boyle

Scorers for Beara: F Fenner 1-2 (1-0 pen, 1f), B O'Sullivan 0-4, L Kelly, S O'Shea, T O'Connor, G O'Shea, C McElhinney 0-1 each.

Ballincollig: D Horgan 1-0, D O'Mahony (f), P Kelly 0-3 each, T O'Connell 0-2, D Fahy, M O'Keeffe 0-1 each.

BEARA: K Murphy (Castletownbere); Darren Harrington, (Glengariff), Darragh Harrington (Urhan), S Power (Glengariff); D O'Sullivan (Adrigole), S O'Shea (do), D Crowley (Urhan); F Fenner (Castletownbere), A O'Sullivan (Urhan); T O'Sullivan (Adrigole), L Harrington (Glengariff), G O'Shea (Adrigole); T O'Connor (Adrogole), L Kelly (Castletownbere), B O'Sullivan (Adrigole).

Subs: D Henshaw (Garnish) for T O'Connor (45), S Power (Castletownbere) for S Power (49), C McElhinney (Glengariff) for T O'Sullivan (59).

BALLINCOLLIG: D Hurley; D Horgan, D O'Sullivan, O Buckley; R O'Neill, H Aherne, T O'Connell; S Dore, L O'Connell; P Kelly, D Ebili, C Sheehan; D Fahy, D O'Mahony, M O'Keeffe.

Subs: L Harris for O Buckley, S O'Neill for C Sheehan (both h-t), D Keohane for D Fahy (42).

Referee: Tommy Barry (Bantry Blues).

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