By Conor Martin
Blackrock came through a mammoth extra time battle with Glen Rovers to capture their first Cork senior hurling championship in 18 years eventually running out 4-26 to 4-18 winners.
Alan Connolly was the stand out man and led the way in the scoring stakes for the winners at Pairc Ui Chaoimh before his side used the bench to their advantage and grabbed three goals from their super subs on the way to the title.
Blackrock had led by 0-12 to 0-7 in this decider before Glen rovers had their own say in proceedings when Simon Kennefick gave Glen Rovers a dream start in the second half as he netted straight from the second-half throw-in. Kennefick then tied up affairs with a second goal minutes later before Patrick Horgan’s 65 shot Rovers in front.
Blackrock seemed like they were on a side determined to end that championship drought and Tadhg Deasy showed his class by raising a green flag with a fine goal on 39 minutes and from there the Rockies moved four up.
Glen Rovers have never been a side known for throwing in the towel Rovers hit back with scores, including a goal from Mark Dooley, and the sides would be level four times in the closing 10 minutes with Connolly who was playing an absolute blinder pointed a free in front of the pots in the added minutes to cancel one out from Horgan and force extra time.
Connolly and Alan O’Callaghan pointed the first two scores of extra time for Blackrock and the momentum and the championship title was with them when Shane O’Keeffe and Robbie Cotter rifled in goals that put them 10 up and this epic game that was worthy of a full capacity crowd rather than just the lucky few inside the ground and TG4’s TV audience was finally put to bed.
Blackrock – Gavin Connolly; Richie Laide, Gary Norberg, Jamie Ryan; Stephen Murphy, Cathal Cormack, Niall Cashman (0-2); David O’Farrell, Daniel Meaney (0-2); Mark O’Keeffe, Ciaran Cormack, John O’Sullivan; Michael O’Halloran (0-3), Shane O’Keeffe (1-1), Alan Connolly (0-13, 11f). Subs: Tadhg Deasy (1-1) for Mark O’Keeffe, John Cashman for Laide (both 37mins), Robbie Cotter (2-2) for C Cormack, Alan O’Callaghan (0-2) for Ryan (both 51), Kevin O’Keeffe for O’Sullivan (60), Eoin O’Farrell for David O’Farrell (68, inj), Mark O’Keeffe for O’Halloran (75, inj), Dave O’Shea for Gavin Connolly (80).
Glen Rovers – Cathal Hickey; David Dooling, Robert Downey, Stephen McDonnell; Adam Lynch, Brian Moylan, David Noonan; Donal Cronin, Adam O’Donovan (0-2); Mark Dooley (1-2), Patrick Horgan (1-12, 6f, 1-0 pen, 2 65s), Dean Brosnan (0-1); Conor Dorris, Simon Kennefick (2-0), Liam Coughlan (0-1). Subs: David Cunningham for Dorris (41mins), Calvin Healy for Dooling, Dale Tynan for Brosnan (both 55), Luke Horgan for Cronin (58), Glen Kennefick for Coughlan, Brosnan for Tynan (HT, ET), Daniel Morris for O’Donovan (75, inj).
Ref: Cathal McAllister (Aghada)