CORK HOSPITALS gained promotion to the Premier Division for the first time following their draw with fellow contenders Longboats at Crosshaven.
Longboats needed a win to stay in the hunt in their final fixture of the season to secure the prized third-place spot behind winners Andy Sull’s Hair and runners-up Arc Rovers. A brace from Sean Nagle handed the initiative to the hosts but with 10 minutes remaining, the Hospitals launched a comeback which yielded goals from Dan Coffey and a 35 yards belter from Jamie O’Neill in the 85th minute.
The point was enough for Cork Hospitals whose mentor John Browne was delighted with the achievement at the finish.
"We’ve struggled in recent years to make our mark but the team has put in a huge effort this season, especially in the league and our recent good form has been rewarded."
JONE put their miserable league run behind them by coming out on top in their best-of-three encounter with The Glue Pot Passage. Goals from Darragh Corrigan and an own goal accounted for the visitor’s scores. Wayne Cotter and Ryan McGuckin impressed for the winners.
Crookstown rounded off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Curry House at Crookstown to finish fifth. Martin O’Sullivan opened the scoring in the 13th minute before Patrick Barry doubled the lead from a penalty in the 37th minute.
The Tigers pulled one back through Cherno Bidaga early in the second half only for O’Sullivan to strike again two minutes from time.
MHS secured runners-up honours following their 2-2 draw with UCC at Ringmahon Park.
Johnny Delaney and Dave O’Leary scored for the home side with Mo El Shouky and Eric Montgomery on target for the Mooney Cup finalists.
Early leaders Jay Bazz kept their slim hopes of a top-two finish alive by drawing 1-1 with Satellite Taxis at Mayfield Community School last Friday night. After Aaron Kemp gave the Barbers a half-time lead, Michéal deservedly equalised from a free-kick for Satellite in the 67th minute. Mark Maher and Jeff Abbott shone for Taxis with Callum Condon impressing for the hosts.
Champs Doolan’s Cow completed their programme with a goal fest against relegated OBS. James Cotter banged in five with Aaron Hennessy (3), Tony O’Reilly (2) and Jamie Murphy added further goals to take the club’s tally to over one hundred for the campaign.
The hosts only dropped two points in the league in drawing with Marlboro Trust in their opening fixture.
IN the First Division, Arc Rovers toppled recently crowned champions Andy Sull’s Hair 1-0 at the Regional Park to seal the runner-up spot in what had been a keenly contested title race.
Arc went close through Dean Cummins and Liam O’Sullivan in the first half before finally breaking the deadlock through Brian Kelly following a corner. Former Doolan’s Cow multiple trophy winner Liam Horgan deputised between the posts for the understrength ASH and produced a number of fine saves.
Centre-back Gavin McCarthy, Brian Barry and Conor Bowen were superb for the winners.
HBC Redemption Rovers were good value for their 3-2 over Crookstown United. After Stuart McSweeney opened the scoring in the 10th minute, the in-form striker doubled the lead 10 minutes later.
Patrick Barry reduced the deficit in the 29th minute only for Corey Ring to slot in a fine goal for 3-1 before half-time. With 20 minutes remaining Luke Asling pulled a second back for United but HBC held out for the points.
Co Council were held to a 1-1 draw by the Weigh Inn with the goals being shared by Council’s Ian Scott and Dripsey’s Greg Reeb.
The League extends its condolences to the family of former Youghal Yarns scoring sensation Greg Cooney. Cooney was an integral member of the quadruple-winning team of 1992-'93. He returned to the league in the pre-Covid season of 2019 along with his son Matthew on the management team of Planet Cork. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Both divisional cups get underway next weekend and bring the curtain down on the season with both finals taking place at Turner’s Cross on Sunday, June 11.
The Jackie O’Driscoll Premier Cup has been in existence since 1975-'76 when Lunhams defeated Youghal Yarns in the final. Postal Workers lead the roll of honour with six wins, followed by Aer Lingus/Cork Airport on five and current holders Doolan’s Cow on four.
The Frank Linehan First Division Cup began in 1989-'90 when Garda defeated Irish Steel. EMC Celtic hold the record number of triumphs, interestingly, winning four in a row between 1999-2000 and 2002-2003. Jay Bazz are the current holders, having defeated Co Council in last season’s decider.