Abbey CBS defeated Carrigaline Community School by 2-8 to 1-10 in the Corn an Uachtaráin Munster Colleges SFC B Final Replay on Wednesday March 2nd at Fermoy.
Abbey CBS captain Fintan Ryan with the cup
Munster Colleges’ S.F. ‘B’ Final Replay:-
Abbey CBS 2-8 … Carrigaline CS 1-10
It was a case of Lazarus on the double. Twice the Abbey CBS came from the ‘dead’ in a pulsating second half to snatch a most dramatic late winner in this replayed Munster Colleges senior football ‘B’ final at Fermoy on Wednesday of last week. An injury-time point from substitute Kevin O’Donovan brought Corn an Uachtaran to Tipperary town for the sixth time and left Cork side, Carrigaline, stunned by the second half turn of events. What an amazing second half! Twice Carrigaline built commanding leads but each time the Abbey refused to buckle and came storming back to eventually plunder the spoils in an astonishing finish. It will surely be recorded as one of the most remarkable Munster finals in a grade where the Abbey now sits joint top of the roll of honour with six titles, all won in the last fifteen years.
It was a baffled Carrigaline Community School that departed Fermoy. Opening the second half they were just a point up but a dominant third quarter put them in a seemingly unassailable position. Points by Killian McIntyre (two) and Michael Lynch (free) were supplemented by a goal from Jamie De Puis and with just a solitary Peter Mulhair response coming from the Abbey the Cork school seemed set for a famous victory when they led by 1-6 to 0-3. But an Abbey team that had beaten Castletroy, Douglas and Ballincollig en route this final was unlikely to give up the ghost so handily and so with characteristic grit the CBS stormed back into the contest. The rally began with a Niall Daly point and five minutes later the same player was on hand to volleyball home a goal after Killian Ryan did so well to place the pass in front of him. With Christopher Ryan and Killian Ryan following up with points and just a solitary, though quality, Michael Lynch response from Carrigaline, the Abbey was now on a roll, just one point adrift.
But just when Carrigaline seemed to be on the ropes, back they hit with another surge of scores to regain the initiative. With fluid attacking moves building from midfield they responded to the Abbey’s revival with unanswered points from Kevin Kavanagh (two) and Michael Lynch to regain a four-point advantage with the game entering the final four minutes. It was end game surely for the Abbey now, especially as they’d lost Christopher Ryan to a second yellow card to leave the landscape looking really bleak for the Tipperary school.
But those final few minutes will be the makings of nightmares down in Cork and the stuff of dreams in Tipperary. Cometh the hour, cometh the man – or in this case men – as Niall Daly and substitute Eoin Riordan combined for a crucial second Abbey goal, Daly sliding the ball across to Riordan who took just one touch before sending a low shot to the Cork net. With just three minutes remaining the game was once more in the melting pot as Carrigaline’s advantage was down to a single point.
Not for long though. The game was in the final minute when Niall Daly pointed a pressure free from around thirty metres out to level the tie. Extra time surely beckoned now but in injury time another Abbey substitute, Kevin O’Donovan, slotted over a superb point to give the CBS the lead for the first time since the opening minutes. Carrigaline were now without influential midfielder Kevin Kavanagh following a second yellow card but they had one final chance to rescue the day when full forward, Michael Lynch, drove across the face of the Abbey goal and wide from the left corner. The kick-out brought the long whistle and an eruption of Abbey delight after a heart-stopping display.
The comeback kings will relish this win because it took true grit to rebound twice during an eventful second half. The opening period was calmer with scores in short supply. Both sides did have goal chances, Diarmuid O’Donnell kicking wide for the Abbey and corner back, Matthew Ryan, taking the ball off the Abbey goal line when a major breach seemed inevitable. The half eventually ended 0-3 to 0-2 for Carrigaline, the lead point a fantastic score from a side line kick by full forward Michael Lynch; the same player added another remarkable point in the second half but it was a case of hero turned villain when he missed the target on that final chance to save the day deep into injury time.
It was a case of heroes all round for the Abbey who will now face the Connacht champions in an All Ireland semi billed for March 26. Dean Kelly got caught for that one goal but otherwise had a flawless day between the posts, his long kick-outs a major plus for his side. The Abbey defence takes much credit for the win standing up manfully when the team was under the cosh, especially in the second and third quarters. In an impressive unit overall full back Liam O’Dea was excellent, Fintan Ryan finished especially strong at number six and Oisin O’Mara did a really fine man-marking job on Carrigaline danger man, Jamie De Puis.
The midfield pair Leonard Vance and Killian Ryan worked hard against very strong opponents in Kevin Kavanagh and Stephen Dwane. In attack Niall Daly, after a quiet opening half, turned in a man-of-the-match display on the turnover, scoring 1-4 and being the key play-maker in most Abbey attacks. Diarmuid O’Donnell was heavily involved too and substitutes Kevin O’Donovan and Eoin Riordan won’t easily forget their crucial inputs either. For Carrigaline it was a devastating way to lose a game they seemed to have secured twice in that explosive second half. They had some outstanding individual players, especially midfielder Kevin Kavanagh and full forward Michael Lynch. Killian McIntyre was impressive too and Jamie De Puis took a lot of careful watching. In the end the goals undid their best efforts.
Scorers for the Abbey: Niall Daly 1-4 (0-3f), Eoin Riordan 1-0, Christopher Ryan, Peter Mulhair, Killian Ryan and Kevin O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carrigaline: Michael Lynch 0-5 (0-2f, 0-1 side-line), Jamie De Puis 1-0, Killian McIntyre 0-3 (0-1f), Kevin Kavanagh 0-2.
Abbey CBS: Dean Kelly (Kickhams); Oisin O’Mara (Kickhams), Liam O’Dea (Pallasgreen), Matthew Ryan (Golden\Kilfeacle); Thomas O’Donoghue (Lattin\Cullen), Fintan Ryan Capt. (Arravale Rvs.), Ed O’Meara (Aherlow); Leonard Vance (Emly) and Killian Ryan (Arravale Rvs.); Brendan McGrath (Galtee Rvs.), Diarmuid O’Donnell (Arravale Rvs.), Peter Mulhair (Arravale Rvs.); Liam Nagel (Golden\Kilfeacle), Christopher Ryan (Golden\Kilfeacle), Niall Daly (Galtee Rvs.). Subs: Eoin Riordan (Solohead) for Liam Nagle, Kevin O’Donovan (Oola) for Brendan McGrath, James Carroll (Aherlow) for Leonard Vance.
Carrigaline CS: Killian O’Mahony (Carrigaline); James Creagh (Carrigaline), David Sheehan (Tracton), Kevin O’Connell (Carrigaline); Shane Griffin (Carrigaline), Killian McSweeney (Carrigaline), Stephen Caffrey (Carrigaline); Stephen Dwane (Carrigaline) and Kevin Kavanagh (Carrigaline); Killian McIntyre (Carrigaline), Jamie Kind (Carrigaline), Jamie De Puis (Carrigaline); Dan McCarthy (Ballygarvan), Michael Lynch (Carrigaline), Paudie Kingston (Carrigaline). Subs: Robert O’Shea (Carrigaline) for Kingston and Eoin Moynihan (Carrigaline) for McCarthy.
Ref: Maurice Condon, Waterford