“Jack is back” was the roar around Cusack Park as Kilmurry overpowered St Joseph’s Doora Barefield for the second year in succession to claim back to back county football titles.
In last year’s final, Kilmurry led by eight points at half time having made a blistering start, and this has to have been fresh in the mind of the Doora Barefield men. The pre game talk was of St Joseph’s having learned lessons from that 2011 drubbing, and to their credit they began the game the brightest with some early chances to get on the scoreboard. However, despite some good possession from the “Parish”, it was Kilmurry who registered the first score of the game in the 8th minute. A great cross field ball from Johnnie Daly found man of the match Niall Hickey and he opened the account with a great score from 30 yards. Barely a minute had passed when a flowing move involving Noel Downes, Paul O’Connor and Ian McInerney culminated in wing back Thomas “Ski” O’Connor kicking a peach of a point with the outside of the right boot to increase Kilmurry’s lead. Two became three after some good work from Hickey created the space for Peter O’Dwyer to swing over Kilmurry’s third score in as many minutes. The game began its descent into inevitability as early as the 23rd minute as by this stage, Kilmurry had stretched that lead to 0-7 to 0-0, realistically leaving St Joseph’s with no way back. The industrious Niall Hickey was fouled under the terraced stand of Cusack Park in the 19th minute, and the 2011 man of the match Ian McInerney made no mistake from the placed ball to land his first of three points. He repeated the trick just a minute later after Thomas O’Connor was fouled. Johnnie Daly and Noel Downes linked up on 21 minutes for the semi final hero to kick his opening score, and Niall Hickey took his sides tally to 0-7 in the 23rd minute as he profited from a breaking ball off O’Connor to register the second of his three points. Daly took his personal tally for the year to 2-14 by pointing in trademark fashion from a free in the 27th minute after Evan Talty had been upended. That led the scoreboard to read Kilmurry 0-8 Doora Barefield 0-0 as the game entered first half injury time. Cathal O’Sullivan ensured that the half time score line from 12 months ago would not be replicated as he landed his sides opening score with a fine effort from thirty yards that left the half time score at Kilmurry 0-8 Doora Barefield 0-1.
Unless you are of the Kilmurry persuasion, nobody could have been blamed for making their way to the exits of Cusack Park at any stage during the second half of the game. Niall Hickey put over his third point of the game in the 35th minute, and when Ian McInerney made it 0-10 to 0-1 in favour of the reigning champions in the 38th minute, it was to be the last score of the game from a man in green and red. The game meandered its way to its inevitable conclusion, and despite Cathal Duggan landing three points for his side in the second half, a real challenge never really materialised. Frustrations boiled over for Doora Barefield as Greg Lyons received his marching orders from referee Michael Rock with 9 minutes to go. While it was largely uninspiring stuff for the most of the second half, the reality of the matter is that the champions won without ever having to come out of second gear. They simply outclassed their opponents in the opening half, and saw out the second with a professional workmanlike display.
Receiving the trophy, captain Martin McMahon dedicated the win to all the members of the Kilmurry Ibrickane community who have departed this world in the last twelve months. He also praised manager John Kennedy , and credited Patrick Murrihy with first putting a football in his hands. The bonfires blazed from the Hand all the way back to Quilty, but already in the back of the Kilmurry men’s minds was the prospect of getting Dr. Crokes to Páirc Naomh Mhuire, and to paraphrase the captain, “giving them a right good rattling!”
Peter O’Dwyer, Martin McMahon (C), Darren Hickey, Shane Hickey, Thomas O’Connor, Paul O’Connor, Declan Callinan, Peter O’Dwyer, Ian McInerney, Evan Talty, Michael O’Dwyer, Niall Hickey, Enda Coughlan, Noel Downes, Johnnie Daly.
Mark McCarthy for O’Dwyer, Odran O’Dwyer for Daly, Ciaran Morrissey for McInerney, Seamus Murrihy for Talty.
Dermot O’Brien, Thomas Lernihan, Seamus Lynch, Darragh Pender, John Sexton, Eamonn Dunne, Gary Sexton, Colm Donnellan, Pat Sexton, Keith King, Aaron Murrihy
Match Reports 2012 >