Sunday 8 December 2019

St Mary's kick on to claim the title

St Mary's 2-10 Hollymount-Carramore 0-10

St Mary's captain Sean Cournane lifts the cup. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
St Mary's captain Sean Cournane lifts the cup. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Daniel Daly, St Mary's, celebrates a late score. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Second-half goals from Daniel Daly and Anthony Cournane were vital as St Mary's held off a late Hollymount-Carramore rally to claim the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football title.

While the forwards might gain the glory, the foundation for the success lay in the Mary's full-back line, where Brian Curran and Liam Sheehan shone.

It was a memorable occasion for Mary's, who won the junior crown in 2011. Hollymount created plenty of opportunities but were less economic than their opponents, shooting 13 wides.

Some of the Mary's finishing was right out of the top drawer, smacking of a composure the club's most famous son, and this team's manager, Maurice Fitzgerald was famous for.

The South Kerry hero's charges pulled three points clear at the end of the opening quarter. Paul O'Donoghue got the scoring under way for the Saints before Ian Costello responded with a wonderful effort.

The Munster men stretched ahead then as Conor O'Shea and O'Donoghue tacked on points before Bryan Sheehan converted effortlessly off the deck.

Costello stopped the rot with a sensational point and Hollymount added four more points without reply to open up a two-point lead.

Significantly though, St Mary's responded with points from Daly and Bryan Sheehan to go in level at the break on 0-6 apiece.

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The first goal, probably the game's key score, arrived five minutes after the resumption as Mary's went the length of the field and at the end of a wonderful move, Daly blasted to the net.

Cournane showed his predatory instincts nine minutes later when he fisted Niall O'Driscoll's attempt at a point to the net and with the margin now eight, Hollymount had a mountain to climb.

They never looked like reeling in that gap though they did score four points in a row through Robert Molloy, Darren Coen (two) and Kevin Costello to halve the deficit.

The goal they needed never looked like coming though and instead, St Mary's finished with the last two points from substitutes Liam O'Connell and Darren Casey to secure the verdict.

Scorers - St Mary's: D Daly 1-1; B Sheehan 0-3(1f); A Cournane 1-0; P O'Donoghue 0-2; C O'Shea, S Cournane(f), L O'Connell, D Casey 0-1 each. Hollymount-Carramore: D Coen 0-3(2fs); I Costello, C Keane 0-2 each; R Molloy, B Sheridan, K Costello 0-1 each.

St Mary's: A Constable, I Casey, B Curran, L Sheehan, D O'Sullivan, C O'Shea, C Quirke, B Sheehan, D SDaly A Wash, N O'Driscoll, P O'Donghue, S Cournane, D Daly, A Cournane. Subs: D Casey for O'Driscoll (48), L O'Connell for Quirke (52), D Keating for Walsh (60)

Hollymount-Carramore: N Campbell, R Connolly, D McHugh, D Feerick, P Feerick, R Molloy, B Sheridan, K McNamara, S Coen, K Feerick, I Costello, K Costello, C Keane, D Coen, D Costello. Subs: B Maloney for D Costello (19), C Heneghan for K Feerick (40), D Kelly for Keane (45), L Macken for Connolly (56), C Connolly for I Costello (59), A Fahey for McNamara (60+1)

Referee: J Hickey (Carlow)

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