Sherlock to the fore as the Barrs end years of heartache
St Finbarr's 3-14 Duhallow 2-14 - Cork SFC final
St Finbarr's bridged a gap going back to 1985 as they saw off Duhallow at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.
Trailing by five points twice in the first half, the city side - who had lost eight finals in the interim - drew level thanks to Colin Lyons' goal early in the second half and surged on from there.
"In the second half, there was more pressure out the field, we got a hand in a few times and the ball popped out and away we went," said manager Ray Keane, brother of new Kerry boss Peter.
"Also, we just upped the work-rate around the place, squeezed the kick-out a bit more, which came to fruition, I think we got 1-1 out of it directly.
"They just were not willing to be beaten."
Having levelled in the wake of conceding the game's first two points, the Barrs were 0-3 to 0-2 behind when Duhallow struck for a goal.
Aidan Walsh's great pass allowed Jerry O'Connor a sight of goal and though John Kerins - son of the late Cork goalkeeper - saved, Séamus Hickey was there to net the rebound.
Eoghan McSweeney opened up a five-point lead but the Barrs struck back as Stephen Sherlock netted, set up by Eoin Comyns after a great move, and the same player converted a free to leave one in it again, only for Duhallow to respond in kind.
They had a second goal when Donncha O'Connor scored from the penalty spot after Dylan Quinn was deemed to have committed a foot-block and it was 2-5 to 1-3 as Paul Walsh pointed.
While Sherlock was the Barrs' main scoring outlet in that opening half, Conor Dennehy and Denis O'Brien had points as they closed to within a goal, 2-7 to 1-7, by half-time.
Lyons eradicated that lead as he found the net after the resumption and though Jerry O'Connor put Duhallow back in front, it was the last time they led.
With captain Ian Maguire outstanding, the Barrs moved in front for the first time thanks to three Sherlock frees and a point from Colm Keane, but just as it seemed they would pull clear, Duhallow levelled thanks to Aidan Walsh, Jerry O'Connor and Donncha O'Connor.
If the Barrs were rattled, they didn't show it and they had a third goal as sub Eoghan Finn exchanged passes with O'Brien before slotting home, and then Enda Dennehy put them four ahead.
Anthony O'Connor, Kevin Crowley and Jerry O'Connor replied for Duhallow, but a leveller remained elusive.
Duhallow goalkeeper Patrick Doyle did deny Sherlock a clinching goal but Colm Barrett and Finn had the final say for the Barrs as they saw out the game impressively.
Scorers - St Finbarr's: S Sherlock 1-8 (0-8f); E Finn 1-1; C Lyons 1-0; C Dennehy, E Dennehy, D O'Brien, C Barrett, C Keane 0-1 each. Duhallow: D O'Connor 1-5 (1-0 pen, 3f); J O'Connor 0-3 (2f); S Hickey 1-0; E McSweeney 0-2; P Walsh, A Walsh, A O'Connor, K Crowley 0-1 each.
St Finbarr's -J Kerins; J Burns, D Quinn, C Dennehy; C Lyons, A O'Connor, C Scully; I Maguire, E Comyns; D O'Brien, M Shields, E Dennehy; E McGreevey, C Keane, S Sherlock. Subs: G O'Connor for Burns (h-t), E Finn for Keane (42), C Barrett for McGreevey (48), R O'Dwyer for Quinn (50), R O'Mahony for E Dennehy (60).
Duhallow - P Doyle; J McLoughlin, L O'Neill, B Daly; K Crowley, K Buckley, L McLoughlin; A Walsh, S Hickey; F O'Connor, E McSweeney, P Walsh; A O'Connor, D O'Connor, M Vaughan. Subs: A O'Connor for Vaughan (29), K Cremin for F O'Connor (42), D Moynihan for McSweeney (58).
Ref - D Murnane (Macroom).