Dalton and Cooper lead Imokilly to three-in-a-row
Imokilly 2-17 Glen Rovers 1-16, Cork SHC final
Imokilly won a third straight Cork title at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, though not without having to overcome a strong challenge from Glen Rovers.
The East Cork divisional side, who have now achieved a first three-in-a-row on Leeside since St Finbarr's from 1980-'82, held the lead from the moment Declan Dalton's goaled free put them 1-4 to 1-2 ahead in the 13th minute.
However, while they were 2-10 to 1-7 to the good at half-time, their city opponents responded strongly in the second half and cut the lead to just two points on two occasions.
In the third minute of injury-time, Imokilly led by 2-16 to 1-16 and Glen midfielder Donal Cronin sent a delivery goalwards, with the ball breaking for Robert Downey only for his effort to go narrowly wide.
At the other end, Shane Óg O'Regan added the point to put Imokilly four ahead and they were able to celebrate history.
Though the Glen's Liam Coughlan opened the scoring, Imokilly settled quickly. They looked to have lived up to their pre-match favourites' billing as Séamus Harnedy put them 0-4 to 0-2 ahead in the eighth minute, but Glen midfielder Donal Cronin drilled home a wonderful goal to put them ahead, having exchanged passes with Adam O'Donovan.
The lead was fleeting though as Declan Dalton responded by sending an Imokilly free to the net on 13 and they never trailed after that.
With Bill Cooper impressing in midfield and wing-back John Cronin showing up well, they pushed ahead and were 1-9 to 1-6 to the good after a Dalton free from inside in his own half.
Four of the six allotted minutes of injury-time had elapsed by then and there was time for a second goal as a mix-up following a Glen puck-out allowed Paudie O'Sullivan to set up Harnedy for another goal and Dalton made it 2-10 to 1-6.
Horgan had the final score of the half though and then the first three of the second half as the gap was closed to three.
Cooper stemmed the tide with his second point, but still the Glen came and when a Horgan free was followed by Dean Brosnan's point on 44 minutes, it was 2-12 to 1-13.
Imokilly's experience ensured they never panicked though and Cooper and Harnedy pushed them four clear again, with the lead standing at 2-16 to 1-14 when Dalton grabbed his seventh point on 55 minutes.
However, points from Horgan and Brosnan ensured that the Glen retained some hope and they almost got that levelling goal from Downey.
It wasn't to be for them, though, and Imokilly held out for the win.
Scorers - Imokilly: D Dalton 1-7 (1-3f, 1 '65); S Harnedy 1-2; B Cooper 0-3; S Hegarty, A Spillane, P O'Sullivan, W Leahy, S Óg O'Regan 0-1 each. Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-11 (7f); D Cronin 1-0; D Brosnan 0-2; C Dorris, L Coughlan, D Noonan 0-1 each.
Imokilly - D O'Callaghan; K Histon, C Barry, G Millerick; S Hegarty, M Russell, J Cronin; B Cooper, M O'Keeffe; B Lawton, S Harnedy, A Spillane; P O'Sullivan, D Dalton, W Leahy. Subs: S Óg O'Regan for O'Keeffe (53), J Stack for Leahy (60).
Glen Rovers - C Hickey; C Healy, S McDonnell, D Dooling; D Noonan, B Moylan, R Downey; D Cronin, A O'Donovan; D Brosnan, C Dorris, D Cunningham; S Kennefick, P Horgan, L Coughlan. Subs: A Lynch for Cunningham (52), D Busteed for Kennefick (57), D Tynan for Coughlan (60).
Ref - N Wall (Ballincollig)