Cork 3-15 Connemara Gaels 4-7
There was a minute's silence before the game in honor of Pat McCarthy who had recently passed away. Pat was a member of the Cork GFC and a player from 1960 to 1972, and managed the club to a NACB senior football championship in 1986. Pat was a regular attendee at the games in Canton.
On a hot humid day Cork and Gaels played a very entertaining opening junior A football match. The Gaels looked like they would run away with it after 15 minutes, but Cork got into the game and made an impressive comeback and strong finish to take the points.
Two Kerrymen on opposite sides - Matt Sullivan with the Gaels
and Mike Moynihan with Cork.
The first 15 minutes saw the Gaels streak into a 2-3 to 0-1 lead. A goal from Matt Sullivan in the opening minutes following a high ball into the square got the Gaels ball rolling. The Kerry U-21 player gathered and only had the keeper to beat from the edge of the small square. A second goal came from the sprightly Tiernan Cox, and was followed by points from Paddy McGee and Cox himself. Cork looked lost and for a while, one wondered if they realized that there was a game on, while the Gaels were winning everything and had their way. Sullivan at center forward was calling marks to beat the band, and the Gaels seemed a level or two ahead of their opponents.
Cork stepped it up eventually and ended up going in at half time a point to the good. Center forward Cathal Arnold was instrumental, and the introduction of veteran Mike Moynihan helped Cork’s cause. Points from Arnold, Colm Caffrey, and Leigh Cunningham were complimented by a Moynihan goal that brought the rebels right back into the game. Moynihan’s goal came after the initial shot hit the crossbar and the rebound fell for Kerryman who placed the second attempt into the bottom corner. Cox and Sullivan prevented the Gaels scores from drying up altogether during this period with a score each, and at the half it was a 2-4 to 1-8 Cork advantage with the rebels having the momentum.
Cork took a while to get going, once they did the Rebels
played some good football.
The second half opened with a goal for each side. First Moynihan extended the Cork lead with trademark goal, and was answered in kind by Paddy McGee who netted from close range. Arnold and Moynihan pointed for Cork and the Gaels still looked in shock from the Cork comeback in the latter part of the first period. Cork’s back line were solid and locked down the Gaels forwards. Sullivan stemmed the Rebel tide with a score for the Gaels, but two more from Arnold, one a powerful effort from the Downman, put Cork into a four point lead.
The Gaels were not dead, however and tried to turn it around. AJ Maguire, who had entered as a sub, found himself with a path to goal opening up and finished well to net from inside the 14 yard line. A Cox point tied it up and with less than 10 minutes to go it was anybody’s game. Cox was in again, and this time his low, hard shot hit the post – close effort could have been the winning and losing of the game. With the 90 degree heat sapping the energy from weary legs, Cork had a stronger finish in them. With Cork switching players around the field, Mark Dalton found far corner of the net with a fine finish and the rebels topped the score with 2 points to hold a 5 point lead as the minutes ticked away. A great win for Cork to start the season, the Gaels will be looking to figure out how to keep the foot on the gas for the 60 minutes in their next outing.
Cork: Ollie Murphy, Darren O’Donovan, Michael Carolan, Leigh Cunningham, Martin Doyle, Seamus Loftus, Mark Dalton, James Tyrrell, Cathal Arnold, Colm Daly, Colm Caffrey, Sean Lordan, Adam Kenny.
Gaels: James O’Donnell, Niall Collins, Chris Lafferty, Damien Doolan, Ian Heanue, Tom Duignan, Tom Butler, Fergal Meenaugh, Pauric McDonagh, Matt Sullivan, Paddy McGee, P.J. Connolly, Tiernan Cox.
In other junior A action, the Wolfe Tones came out on top by 4 points in their encounter against Aidan McAnespies.