Iveleary 0-20 Mitchelstown 0-7
COUNTY football titles are like buses for Iveleary – having waited so long to claim their first one, there was a gap of just 121 days to their second.
Before August of this year, Iveleary’s success had been limited to Muskerry divisional titles but, after beating Boherbue in the delayed 2020 junior A decider, they took to the intermediate A grade in an impressive fashion and capped a superb year in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.
The Mid-Cork club never trailed Mitchelstown at any stage. Having scored the game’s first five points, their lead was down to a point at one stage but six points in a row – two each from Chris Óg Jones and Cathal Vaughan, with Ciarán Galvin and Barry O’Leary – put them into a 0-16 to 0-6 lead by the second water break.
For Mitchelstown, it was a second final defeat of the year, after losing to Rockchapel in the 2020 final. While Iveleary’s marquee forwards were instrumental – Jones had eight points and Vaughan five – Mitchelstown could only call upon Cathail O’Mahony for a 14-minute cameo which ended prematurely, while Mark Keane, who had featured during part of the campaign, is back in Australia.
While O’Mahony – injured in Mitchelstown’s semi-final win over Kilshannig – head been named to start at full-forward, his absence was announced just before throw-in. and they took time to settle.
They had four wides in the opening seven minutes, by which Jones and Vaughan had both registered points for Iveleary – wearing white due to the colour-clash, with Mitchelstown in black – and a superb Lorcan Finn block was needed to divert a Brian Cronin shot on to the post and away from danger.
Nevertheless, with Darren Kelly and Ciarán O’Riordan exerting dominance at midfield, Iveleary continued to stream forward. Centre-back Seán O’Leary and Barry O’Leary combined to set up Vaughan’s second and Ian Jones made it 0-5 to 0-0 on 13 minutes from Kelly’s delivery – a goal might even have accrued.
Mitchelstown got off the mark through Cork U20 hurler Darragh Flynn just before the water break and the breather was of benefit to them as they enjoyed their best spell of the game in the second quarter.
While Chris Óg Jones got his second, following good work from Daniel O’Riordan, to make it 0-6 to 0-2, Mitchelstown captain Pa Magee and Shane Beston were making their influence felt in the middle James Sheehan’s free was followed by three in a row from Michael Walsh – one from play, a free and a 45 – left just a point in it, 0-5 to 0-4, as half-time approached.
Having gone 11 minutes without a score, and amassing four wides to draw level with their opponents on that front, Iveleary’s drought ended in injury time as a nice move involving Seán O’Leary and Darren Kelly ended with Brian Cronin pointing and their lead would never be as slender from them.
A 0-7 to 0-5 half-time advantage was extended with three further points in the opening four minutes of the second period from Vaughan, Barry O’Leary and Chris Óg Jones while Conor O’Leary tried to play Jones in for a goal chance but Finn was on hand to make a vital Mitchelstown intervention.
While Colin English, industrious throughout for Mitchelstown, did pull a point back and they brought O’Mahony and Seán Keane on, the rest of the third quarter belonged to Iveleary with those six points on the trot.
Jones added two more with Vaughan also on target to make it 0-19 to 0-7 before sub Arron O’Brien got Mitchelstown’s first score in 16 minutes. The closing stages played out with Iveleary able to enjoy what they had done and they look ahead to 2022 and premier intermediate football with anticipation.
C Óg Jones 0-8 (0-2 f), C Vaughan 0-5 (0-1 f), B O’Leary 0-3, B Cronin, J Creedon (0-1 45), I Jones, C Galvin 0-1 each.
M Walsh 0-3 (0-1 f, 0-1 45), J Sheehan (f), C English, A O’Brien, D Flynn 0-1 each.
J Creedon; B Murphy, F McSweeney, D O’Riordan; K Manning, S O’Leary, C Galvin; D Kelly, C O’Riordan; B Cronin, C O’Leary, B O’Leary; C Óg Jones, C Vaughan, I Jones.
L Kearney for B O’Leary (49), D Cotter for Kelly (54), S Lehane for Vaughan (56), S Galvin for I Jones (59), M Lucey for K Manning (60, injured).
L Hanna; F Herlihy, D Dineen, L Finn; D Flynn, K Roche, G Carroll; P Magee, S Beston; M Walsh, S O’Sullivan, C English; J Sheehan, D Reidy-Price, C Hyland.
C O’Mahony for Reidy Price (37), S Walsh for S O’Sullivan, J O’Sullivan for Magee (both 39), S Kenneally for O’Mahony (50, injured), A O’Brien for Herlihy (54).
C Treacy (Nemo Rangers).