Saturday 21 April 2018

Glen see off Sars to bridge 26-year gap

Glen Rovers 2-17 Sarsfields 1-13

Wing-back and captain Graham Callanan set the tone with a swashbuckling display
Wing-back and captain Graham Callanan set the tone with a swashbuckling display

Denis Hurley

Late goals from David Cunningham and David Dooling were pivotal as Glen Rovers ended a 26-year wait for a Cork hurling title to see off Sarsfields at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday.

The Glen led by 0-15 to 0-10 in the 47th minute when Cian McCarthy got a sight of goal for the defending champions Sars but his effort was brilliantly saved by Cathal Hickey.

The resultant '65 was converted by the former Cork star but moments later the Glen had struck a definitive blow. The full-forward line of Brian Phelan, Conor Dorris and David Busteed were all involved in a well-worked move which led to Cunningham finishing to the net.

Though McCarthy replied with his fifth point, Dooling then found himself in space on the end of a clearance and he made no mistake, leaving his side 2-16 to 0-12 in front.

Sars, seeking a fifth title in eight years, weren't in a mood for giving up the Seán óg Murphy easily. McCarthy got another point and then netted in the 56th minute to introduce a modicum of uncertainty to the nascent Glen celebrations.

Overall, though, it was a day when things failed to click for the Glanmire outfit and they couldn't pierce the Glen rearguard any further. Horgan got his ninth point in injury time, meaning that his club, who won the first senior final played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 1976, repeated the trick in Páirc Uí Rinn's first major decider.

Having lost by 16 points to the same opposition a year previously, the Glen were keen to ensure that they didn't suffer a similar systems failure.

Wing-back and captain Graham Callanan (above) set the tone with a swashbuckling display and early points from Dean Brosnan helped to settle them. While Sars led by 0-4 to 0-2 and 0-5 to 0-3, wing-back Eanna Martin scoring twice for them with Gavin O'Loughlin also doing well, they couldn't shake off their opponents.

Horgan had his sights calibrated from frees and his third point on 26 tied the game at 0-8 each, the fifth time the sides had been level since Brosnan's opening point.

Cunningham put them ahead for the first time since that opener when he latched onto a loose ball and then Horgan's free made it 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time.

Sars - aiming for two-in-a-row for the first time - were unable to eat into that lead as the Glen defended well in the second half, with the goals capping the performance.

Scorers - Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-9 (7fs), D Cunningham 1-2, D Brosnan 0-3, D Dooling 1-0, G Callanan, C Dorris, D Busteed 0-1 each.

Sarsfields: C McCarthy 1-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65), G O'Loughlin 0-3, É Martin 0-2, R O'Driscoll, R Murphy 0-1 each.

GLEN ROVERS - C Hickey; S McDonnell, B Murphy, D Dooling; G Callanan, B Moylan, G Moylan; D Cronin, D Noonan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, D Cunningham; C Dorris, B Phelan, D Busteed. Subs: S Kennefick for Phelan (52), G Kennefick for Cunningham (56).

SARSFIELDS - A Kennedy; C O'Sullivan, C Leahy, W Kearney; D Roche, R Ryan, É Martin; D Kearney, E Quigley; R Murphy, C McCarthy, G O'Loughlin; E O'Sullivan, K Murphy, R O'Driscoll. Subs: T Óg Murphy for R Murphy (33), L Healy for K Murphy (44), C Duggan for O'Driscoll (51), P Leopold for Martin (54).

Ref - D Kirwan (Éire Óg)

Irish Independent

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