Knocknagree junior champions after blistering first half performance

Knocknagree (Cork) 3-13

Multyfarnham (Westmeath) 3-9

By Paul Keane

A blistering first-half performance at Croke Park ultimately eased Cork outfit Knocknagree to AIB All-Ireland junior club football championship glory.

Early goals from Fintan O'Connor and Michael Mahoney fired Knocknagree, a small club outside of Mallow close to the Kerry border, eight points clear after just 14 minutes.

Multyfarnham's David Wallace in action against Knocknagree's Michael Mahoney Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

John Fintan Daly Senior's side moved nine ahead at half-time and remained in pole position to deny a Multyfarnham side seeking to become the first ever Westmeath club to win an All-Ireland football title.

Multyfarnham may regret their decision to play Ian McGovern as a sweeper in that opening half as it was his marker, Mahoney, who did much of the damage for Knocknagree.

Mahoney wore number two but showed the attacking ability of a seasoned forward with a hand in Knocknagree's first goal before finishing one himself just seconds later.

Eoghan McSweeney and John F Daly, son of the manager, also weighed in with a brace of first-half points as the Munster champions put significant daylight between the teams.

It's the first time a Cork side has won the junior title since Canovee reigned supreme in 2008.

Goalkeeper Patrick Doyle also weighed in with a third goal for Knocknagree late on, direct from a 45-metre kick, which put them 10 points clear.

They needed that cushion because Multy' substitute Mark Fallon blasted two injury-time goals to help reduce the gap to just four at the finish.

Knocknagree always looked like winning though and built on their 2-8 to 0-5 half-time lead with third-quarter points from Man of the Match Fintan O'Connor, Anthony O'Connor and Matthew Dilworth.

That unlikely third goal which flew in over the 'keeper's head from a 45 sealed the win though Anthony O'Connor's 55th minute dismissal for a second booking left them with 14 during the finale.

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Scorers for Knocknagree: F O'Connor 1-3, M Mahoney 1-0, P Doyle 1-0 (45), JF Daly 0-3, E McSweeney 0-2, A O'Connor 0-2, P Collins 0-1, J Dennehy 0-1, M Dilworth 0-1.

Scorers for Multyfarnham: M Fallon 2-0, M Brady 0-6 (0-4f), D Wallace 1-0, K Daly 0-1 (knocknagree own point), E Feerick 0-1, R Wallace (0-1f) 0-1.

Knocknagree: P. Doyle; G. O'Connor, P. O'Connor, M. Mahoney; K. Daly, K. Buckley, D. Cooper; D. Moynihan, P. Collins; F. O'Connor, J. Dennehy, E. McSweeney; M. Dilworth, A. O'Connor, J.F. Daly.

Subs: S. Daly for P O'Connor (30+2); A. Sheehan for Cooper (41); T. Long for Dennehy (54); C. White for McSweeney (59); T. Cooper for Collins (60); J. Carroll for G O'Connor (62)

Multyfarnham: H. Reilly; S. Moran, J. Greene, T. McGivney; R. Wallace, P. Heavin, S. Rock; B. McLoughlin, D. Loughrey; C. Madden, A. McGivney, M. Reynolds; I. McGovern, M. Brady, D. Wallace.

Subs: M. Fallon for T McGivney (h/t); A. Loughrey for McLoughlin (41); E. Feerick for Brady (54); G Feerick for Madden (54), D Kelly for Loughrey (66, black card).

Referee: B. Tiernan (Dublin).

KEYWORDS: Football, GAA

 

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