Monday, August 14, 2017

Junior B Football Final - Cork v Donegal

Donegal 6-12 Cork 0-16
Donegal put in a six goal performance to deliver their third junior B football trophy in a row.  Christy McLaughlin was the man of the hour, netting two goals and putting some beautiful points over the bar from all angles and distances.  In the second half when Cork were pushing close to catching Donegal, the Malin native retreated to the middle of the field and orchestrated the scores that stemmed the rebels efforts.
Johnny Byrne and Jack Lynch contest a kickout.
Donegal could not have got off to a better start to the game.  Two early goals knocked Cork back on their heels.  The first came from McLaughlin, a high ball across the face of goal was met by the corner forward who maintained his cool to net.  The second was almost identical, this time Diarmuid Moyne was the scorer after a similarly flighted ball made its way across the goal to the far post.  Donegal added two more points as the forward line was ticking over like a well tuned engine.
Cork were the opposite in the early going.  Possession was turned over several times and the Donegal back line ate up most ball that was played into their area.  Cork did manage to get on the scoreboard through Padraig O’Shea and Adam Kenny points, however the early goals had set them back severely.  With Cork starting to come to grips with the game, and matching Donegal in the points column, two more goals were added by the northerners to deliver another sucker punch.  McLaughlin and Ronan Shovlin had easy finishes as the Donegal movement had Corks defenders one step behind.  At half time Cork had it all to do, facing a 4-6 to 0-6 deficit.
Shane McDaid is presented with the junior B football trophy.
Cork had to come out strong in the second half to have any chance, and they did just that.  Midfielders Cian Clifford and Jack Lynch won plenty of possession, and with the Donegal back line having to resort to fouling, the free taking of O’Shea punished them.  Cork drove forward on almost every possession and chipped away at the gap until the difference between the teams was 5 points.  Would we see a dramatic comeback?  Donegal had to make some changes and Pauric McLaughlin was brought in along with John Dougan.  Pauric brought some energy to Donegal’s efforts, and his wily namesake, Christy, retreated into the middle of the field. 
Things swung back to Donegal.  Christy swung over a beautiful free and then won a Cork kickout that resulted in a point for Darren Grant.  Then came Pauric to engineer a couple of goals to kill the game.  Diarmuid Moyne got one and Matthew Cutliffe the other, and with Donegal’s lead now unassailable, it was game over.  Cork’s 16 point tally would have won many a game, but Donegal’s 6 goals will probably win you every game.  A brave comeback effort from the rebels, but the men from Tir Chonaill had just that extra bit of experience, and a man by the name of Christy McLaughlin in the fold.
Cork:  Simon Atkinson, Ryan Connell, Shane Mulligan, Declan Harrington, Dan O’Regan, James long, Jack Lynch, Cian Clifford, Dennis Harrington, Darren O’Donovan, Emmet Smith, Padraig O’Shea, Adam Kenny.  Subs: Dan O’Leary.
Donegal:  Noel McDermott, Michael McBride, Shane McDaid, Aaron Friel, Michael McGinty, Pauric McMenamin, Johnny Byrne, Darren Grant, Diarmuid Moyne, Ronan Shovlin, Paul Boyce, Matthew Cutliffe, Christy McLaughlin.  Subs:  Pauric McLaughlin, John Dougan, Dylan Costello, Sean Winston.
By Rory O'Donnell

No comments: