Match report (with our sincere thanks) by Eoin Coyne
Eochaill Óg 2-10 Kinsale 1-10
It had been 6 weeks since this Youghal team won the Rebel Óg East Cork Football Championship against Killeagh in Ballinacurra by a single point. That win provided a bye into the Division 1 County Final where a multitude of rounds and divisional fixtures had to be played on the other side of the draw before Youghal found out who their opponents would be.
While 6 weeks is a long time without playing competitive football, the vast majority of this panel were kept busy with winning the fé15 Prem2 Hurling County final and as many as 8 were also members of the victorious minor county champions from the week previous.
Following a series of games in the Mid-Cork division and a tense win against Carbery Rangers in the county semi-final; it was Kinsale who provided the opposition for the Youghal boys on this occasion.
It’s said that winning is a habit and there’s no doubt that these Youghal lads were well versed in victory over the previous couple of months. Kinsale too though, were chasing a double of their own having won the Division 2 County Hurling Championship just last week at the same Bishopstown 4G pitch.
It was Youghal who hit the (artificial) ground running as the ball was thrown in, as Jamie Lenane started and finished a well worked move within the first 20 seconds of play. His shot, following a link up with Dylan Lyons, blazed over the crossbar by a matter of inches – with the goalkeeper rooted to his spot, the ball could have very easily rippled the Kinsale net.
Kinsale quickly equalized but Lenane again linked with Lyons on the 10-minute mark and this time, he raised the green flag for Youghal who had got off to a dream start.
Wind-assisted; Kinsale began to settle and had the Youghal defense stretched on a couple of occasions.
The hard work of midfield duo James Coyne and Jack Dineen helped stem Kinsale’s purple patch and some great runs from deep from Gearoid Geary and Cian Galvin caused Kinsale a few problems of their own.
Dylan Lyons and Jamie Lenane registered just two more points for Youghal before half time as they trailed by 1-6 to 1-3 at half time.
While the wind never won match, it would play a big factor in the outcome of this contest and as Youghal turned to play with the aid of the stiff breeze in the second half, they upped their work-rate and took a firm foothold on this final.
A run from midfield saw Jack Dineen collect 25 yards out from goal, he absorbed a shoulder from the Kinsale number 6, steadied himself and guided the ball into the back of the Kinsale net to level the game.
Eoin Kennedy, Tadgh Reilly, and Finn Coleman looked comfortable in possession and James Coyne carried plenty of ball through the heart of the Kinsale defence to set up sharpshooters; Lyons & Lenane who took some great scores, though at times, were unlucky not to find the target.
Kinsale; to their credit, continued to battle and would not go down without a fight. They too had strong runners from midfield and kept the scoreboard ticking throughout the second half as both teams traded the lead in the run-in towards full time.
Dylan Lyons had a couple of goal chances denied by the Kinsale goalkeeper, while Youghal captain Dylan Hennessy pulled off two fine stops at the other end to ensure that his side could kick on in the last 10 minutes of the game.
And that, they did. With space beginning to open up; it was Lyons and Lenane once more who raised white flags, with Lyons slotting a 45 in the dying minutes to put the Youghal boys ahead by 3.
The Youghal defence of Zack Skehan, Jack Brennan & Diego Tresero cut out the last Kinsale attack just before the referee reached for his whistle to call time on proceedings.
The celebrations began in earnest for the Youghal boys who rounded off a famous Hurling & Football County Championship Double on the first and last Saturday’s in October. Couple that with the success of the minor hurlers and it really has been a month to remember for Eochaill Óg.
Youghal Panel: Dylan Hennessy (Capt.), Cal Cashman, Diego Tresero, Gearoid Geary, Jack Brennan, Cian Galvin, Tadgh Reilly, James Coyne, Jack Dineen (1-0), Paddy Nicholson, Jamie Lenane (1-4), Eoin Kennedy, Finn Coleman, Dylan Lyons (0-6, 0-4f), Zack Skehan. Substitutes: Keelan Ansbro for C. Cashman (40 mins), Darragh Smith for P. Nicholson (50 mins), Fionn Aherne for E. Kennedy (60 mins). Oisin Landers, Daniel Walsh, Conor O’Brien, Hugh Carson, Leo Murray, Conor Coffey, Noah Bates, Jimmy Nicholson.