Cullen 1-18 Knocknagree 0-8
HOLDERS Cullen didn’t encounter significant bother on overcoming Knocknagree in the Ducon Cup JAFL final at Kiskeam last Saturday.
Victory was no more than Cullen deserved, putting together a marvellous brand of football matched by hard work and rugged doggedness to thwart a disappointing Knocknagree.
On this occasion, Knocknagree performed well below par and the concession of nine consecutive points in the opening half when operating against the breeze left the challengers with a mountain to climb. At key stages, Knocknagree lacked composure, whereas Cullen were far more assured in their play.
A lead point by Luke Murphy for Cullen was cancelled out by David O’Connor at the opposite end in the opening 10 minutes.
However, Cullen, backed by the elements, settled into a rhythm, holding a grip on the play through the efforts of Seamus Fleming, Francis Cronin, Colin Moynihan, Luke Murphy and Alan Regan.
Knocknagree ‘keeper Damien Browne saved brilliantly from Regan yet Cullen continued to dominate yielded excellent points from Murphy, supported by Regan, Aaron Nolan, Gearóid Twomey and Brian O’Connell.
Knocknagree broke the sequence with a much-needed point from David Twomey, only for Cullen to reply per a Brian O’Connell flag to see his side hold a 0-11 to 0-2 advantage at the interval.
Indeed, the contest was done and dusted soon after the restart, Cullen registering the game’s only goal. A move initiated by Seamus Fleming saw Regan place Gearóid Twomey to blast home from close range.
Knocknagree hopes flickered briefly after back-to-back points by Gearóid Looney and Tadhg Long, yet Cullen maintained a firm handle on proceedings with Moynihan and Regan firing over a couple of points.
And though Knocknagree produced a revival, there was a certain inevitability about the outcome, with Cullen emerging impressive winners.
Scorers for Cullen: L Murphy 0-7 (0-2 f), G Twomey 1-1, A Regan 0-4, B O’Connell 0-2, A Nolan, C Moynihan, T O’Keeffe, S O’Riordan 0-1 each.
Knocknagree: D Twomey 0-2, G Looney 0-2, Denis O’Connor 0-2, David O’Connor, T Long 0-1 each.
CULLEN: F O’Connor; D Hickey, S Fleming, M O’Riordan; F Cronin, D Twomey, C Moynihan; L Murphy, P Cremin; B O’Connell, G Twomey, C Kerins; A Regan, A Nolan, W O’Keeffe.
Subs: M Twomey for P Cremin, A O’Sullivan for W O’Keeffe, C Hickey for C Moynihan, T O’Keeffe for B O’Connell, D Murphy for D Twomey, S O’Riordan for A Regan, C Morley for G Twomey.
KNOCKNAGREE: D Browne; A Sheehan, S Daly, D O’Connor; D Mahoney, T O’Connor, T Long; T O’Mahoney; T O’Mahony, David O’Connor; J Dennehy, G Looney, C White; D Twomey, Denis O’Connor, K Barry.
Subs: P Dineen for T O’Mahony, R O’Connor for C White, P Roche for T Long.
Referee: M Sheehan (Liscarroll).