Steven Sherlock’s last gasp point gives St Finbarr’s the Cork title

Clonakilty left heartbroken after a tight decider at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

St Finbarrs’ Michael Shields celebrates at the final whistle. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

St Finbarrs’ Michael Shields celebrates at the final whistle. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

St Finbarr’s 0-14 Clonakilty 0-13

St Finbarr’s collected their 10th Cork football title and their second in three years with a nail-biting victory over a gallant Clonakilty at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

The winning score came via the boot of the championship’s leading scorer Steven Sherlock two minutes into added time after the sides were level on eight occasions during an exciting decider.

There was still time for Clonakilty to snatch a draw and force a replay, but a difficult long range free from goalkeeper Mark White drifted wide at the far post in the closing act.

Opposite number John Kerins came to his side’s rescue twice in the first-half, denying both midfielders Ben Ridgeway and Joe Grimes with important saves as Clon led 0-4 to 0-2 at the first water-break.

The city side, though, dominated on the resumption, scoring four points to lead by two at the interval, but shooting half a dozen wides as well.

The second-half was a gripping affair with the west Cork club edging the third quarter by a point, 0-5 to 0-4, to trail only be the minimum margin entering the closing period.

Clon not only restored parity but edged in front again with a Dara Ó Sé free, but the ‘Barrs responded in kind to reclaim the advantage, 0-12 to 0-11, via Down’s Conor McCrickard after 57 minutes.

Clon tied matters once more but Sherlock then nudged his side ahead again only for Gearoid Barry to level with a spectacular point. Then came Sherlock’s crowning moment.

St Finbarr’s: J Kerins; S Ryan, J Burns, C Scully; C Lyons, B Hennessy, A O’Connor; I Maguire (0-2), captain, B Hayes (0-1); D O’Brien (0-2), C McCrickard (0-1), C Barrett; E Comyns, S Sherlock (0-7, five frees), E Dennehy.

Subs: C Myers-Murray (0-1) for Hayes 43 mins, M Shields for O’Brien and E McGreevey for Dennehy 47 mins, B O’Connell for Barrett 56 mins, A Lynne for McCrickard 59 mins.

Clonakilty: M White; M Shanley (0-1), T Clancy, D Peet; D Lowney, E Deasy, S White; B Ridgeway, J Grimes; G Barry (0-1), D O Se (0-6, five frees), S McEvoy (0-2); R Mannix (0-2), J O’Mahony (0-1), O Bancroft.

Subs: C Daly for Mannix 53 mins.

Referee: D Murnane (Cork).

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