NO effort will be spared by either Clonakilty or Muskerry in a mouth watering confrontation to the Credit Union Duhallow U20 Football Invitation Cup Final in Knocknagree on Sunday (2pm throw in).
DUHALLOW UNDER-20 INVITATION CUP FINAL
At the outset of the competition, eight teams drawn from Cork and Kerry entered and though the weather upset the routine, all the indicators are despite the early start to the New Year, both sides will strive might and main in search of the outright honours.
From its inception in 1987, Kerry sides have dominated the competition. All Cork tussles are rare but two previous finals are recalled, Duhallow's win over Castlehaven in 1999 and notably O'Donovan Rossa's triumph from the 2004 decider came at the expense of Douglas where Rob Long's golden score point won after the sides remained deadlocked at the end of normal time.
From this campaign, the Cork line up appeared strong and confirmed on the Muskerry and Clon pairing.
Though appearing in the competition for the first time, Muskerry parading a team of players from Mid Cork intermediate and junior clubs were regarded as amongst the frontrunners for outright spoils at the outset of the competition under the watchful eye of team manager Andrew McCarthy.
Muskerry easily overcame John Mitchels in the opening round and subsequently proved they had character in abundance to gather a narrow win over defending champions Rathmore/ Kilcummin in the semi-final. Though without a few key players owing to injury and other commitments, Muskerry possess a side loaded with potential and the panel on duty are committed.
Shane Masters figures between the posts fronted by key defenders in Darren Kelly, Cian Ó Duinín and Michael O'Shea. Peter Kelleher and Daniel O'Riordan are likely partners at midfield with David Horgan, Ben Shorten and Darragh Ring figuring in attack. For their part, Clonakilty have enjoyed a productive innings in this competition. After reaching the semi-final for the first time last season only to lose to Douglas, Clon have advanced a step further and are creditable performers having despatched viable contenders enroute.
Indeed Clon will enter the game in confidence after delivering capable performances todate much to the delight of coach Seán Cowhig.
Overcoming Rathmore / Kilcummin and St Kierans in two dramatic tussles created an impression. And in the semi final, Clon gathered a merited win over hosts Duhallow.
Clon possess a solid looking side with many of their side holding senior football experience. Goalkeeper Aidan Collins is ably guarded by the White cousins and Gearóid Barry. Inspiring captain Thomas Clancy is assisted by Steven Sheehy at midfield with the O'Mahony's, Barry and Jack along with John Leahy proven scorers in attack.
The confrontation points to a thriller and set to continue great tussles that's associated with the competition over the years with a big attendance expected in the Knocknagree venue.
Clancy is Clonakilty's trump from midfield and Muskerry will need to curb his influence if they harbour hopes of creating an impact.
Credit Union U20 Football Invitation Cup semi finals Muskerry 0-13 Rathmore/Kilcummin 1-9 Clonakilty 1-9 Duhallow 0-7
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 Credit Union U20 Football Invitation Cup final Muskerry v Clonakilty, Knocknagree 2pm