ÉIRE Óg have been crowned Cork U19 Premier 2 hurling championship winners following a hard-fought win over fellow Muskerry side Blarney at Cloughduv on Wednesday night.
The final played in front of a huge and vocal crowd, ebbed and flowed, until Éire Óg took a stranglehold on proceedings in the final minutes of the game.
Both teams exchanged scores early on before Éire Óg took the lead through a Cathal Sheehan free. Blarney registered a number of wides until they struck for two goals in a minute.
Joey O’Dwyer was the first Blarney player to rattle the back of the net, his driving run resulted in the latter finishing well. Cian Barrett then drilled the ball low into the corner from close range, as the beaten team now led by five points.
Sheehan converted a free for the Ovens team until Blarney nearly added a third goal, Eoghan Kirby's effort went narrowly wide.
David Casey and a Sheehan free brought Éire Óg right back in it, but Blarney finished the half better, with three of the last four points.
Tensions boiled over before half-time, with a scuffle, no red cards were issued to the players, with Blarney ahead heading into the dressing room at half-time, 2-4 to 0-6.
It took six minutes for the first score in the new half and it was worth the wait.
A long-range effort from Johnny Galvin sailed over the bar for the new champions. In truth, Éire Óg dominated the second half. Blarney were wasteful in front of goal, but Éire Óg’s ability to win the dirty ball proved crucial.
Éire Óg raised two white flags on the trot, before Blarney got their first score in the second half, a minute before the third quarter, through a Jerry Murphy effort, as they still led 2-5 to 0-9.
Murphy landed another point for his side, but they weren’t able to shake off their opposition, Éire Óg landed three consecutive points to level the game after 58 minutes.
Denis McSweeney pointed a free from an acute angle in the third minute of injury time to nudge Blarney in front, but the winner's response was emphatic.
The team in red and yellow scored 1-2 in two minutes to claim the trophy.
Sheehan levelled the game, followed by a Daniel Healy effort to push his team in front and it was Conor Eagles with the goal that put the icing on the cake to spark wild celebrations.
C Sheehan 0-10 (0-7 f), C Eagles 1-0, D Healy 0-2, D Casey, J Galvin 0-1 each.
C Barrett 1-1, J Murphy 0-3, J O’Dwyer 1-0, D McSweeney (f), E Kirby (f), C McCarthy 0-1 each.
E O’Shea; J Galvin, T O’Brien, C Harris; C Buckley, A McCarthy, A Power; B Thompson, M Murphy; D Coakley, D O’Connell, D Dillon; S Lordan, D Casey, C Sheehan.
D Healy for D Casey (17), C Malone for A Power (26), C Eagles for D O’Connell (39), C Quigley for M Murphy (44), E Horgan for T O’Brien (50).
E O’Neill; C Walsh, Darragh Murphy, Daniel Murphy; D Lordan, S O’Sullivan, T Buckley; D McSweeney, C McCarthy; J Cronin, C Barrett, C Sexton; J O’Dwyer, E Kirby, J Murphy.
L Kendellan for C Sexton (49).
John Horgan (Gleann na Laoi).