Midleton CBS Reach Harty Cup Final

“Ryan McCarthy goal gives Midleton win over De La Salle”

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Midleton CBS 1-11
De La Salle 0-12

Midleton CBS are back in the Harty Cup Final, but not before they were given a searching examination by a De La Salle team that looked to be heading for victory as they led by a point 0-12 to 0-11 with 62 of the allotted 64 minutes played.

When the sides met earlier in the competition it took a Ross O’Regan point to earn Midleton a draw and on this occasion, they would have settled for extra time as Ryan McCarthy stood over a free out by the side-line with just two minutes remaining and his side trailing by a point. McCarthy let fly into the strong breeze and his aim was true as the ball looked set to sail over the bar. Instead it began to dip and much to the delight of the Midleton fans it crept in under the crossbar of a distraught De La Salle keeper Mark Kilgannon who had not put a foot wrong in the game and could do nothing about it .

De La Salle now needed a goal to win or two points to draw but a Midleton defence that was solid throughout, never looked like conceding and they held out to book their final spot after a splendid contest. Midleton CBS won the toss and decided to play with the strong wind in the opening half. At half time that decision looked to be the wrong one as Midleton went to the interval leading by just a single point as they had shot seven first half wides to just one for De La Salle. Midleton also spurned two great goal scoring chances, the first from a 3 minute Ross O’Regan penalty that saw Mark Kilgannon save with his body while a Joe Stack effort went into the side netting as the game got off to an explosive start.

Despite the conditions both sides displayed high skill levels with some great blocking, hooking and tackling throughout, while the point scoring at times was awesome as well. Eoghan O’Reilly and young Mark Fitzgerald stood out in a De La Salle attack, while Ross O’Regan, Ciaran Joyce and Gary Carroll had Midleton CBS points as the sides were level at 0-3 each after the opening quarter. By half-time the sides had been level on four occasions with Midleton CBS with three points in succession from Joe Stack, Gary Carroll and Ross O’Regan opening up a three-point gap, but De La Salle finished the half strongly with points from Mark Fitzgerald and Cormac Power as they went to the interval trailing by just a single point 0-6 to 0-7.

 

Given the strength of the breeze it looked as if Midleton CBS had a big job on their hands in the second half and so it proved as Cormac Power had the sides level for a 5th time in the 33 minute. Mark Fitzgerald then put De La Salle in front for only the second time and with Eoghan O’Reilly making it a two-point game the pendulum was definitely swinging towards the Waterford College side. It took a tremendous hook from Midleton captain Dylan Hogan to deny De La Salle a shot for goal, while at the other end Sean O’Neill took a Joe Stack effort off the line. Two points from Ross O’Regan, one from a free kept Midleton in touch as Mark Fitzgerald edged De La Salle back in front at the three-quarter mark 0-10 to 0-9 with it all still to play for.

The introduction of Peter Hassett in the half back line and Olan Broderick to the half-forward line certainly strengthened the Midleton CBS challenge, but they continued to be wasteful with their shooting. In contrast De La Salle had an inspirational point from Tom Gallagher to go two clear once more. Midleton CBS were battling for their lives with Ross O’Regan getting a vital point, before Ryan McCarthy had the sides level for a 7 time with just minutes remaining with a superb long range free. It was anybody’s game as Midleton saw their wide count continue to climb into double figures (13 in total) as De La Salle won a vital free in the 59th minute. Mark Fitzgerald slotted over as four minutes of injury time was signalled. The De La Salle defence had been outstanding throughout with Darren Kenneally and Cian Wadding superb as Midleton could find no way in.

Then came the later free out on the right touchline some 65 meters from goal and the rest they say is history as Ryan McCarthy’s strike deceived Sam Kilgallon and ended up in the net to give Midleton victory over a gallant De La salle side that played superbly throughout. They had eight Ballygunner players in their line up and it showed in their link up play. Passage East duo Eoghan Reilly and Mark Fitzgerald are certainly ones to keep a look out for while Darren Kenneally, Cian Wadding and Tom Gallagher were others to shine for the losers.

Midleton CBS can thank a solid defence well marshalled by Jack McGann in goal, with Dylan Hogan, Ciaran Joyce, Dylan Healy and sub Peter Hassett doing well. Midfielders Ryan McCarthy and Sam Quirke worked hard. In attack Ross O’Regan, Gary Carroll and Joe Stack were best.

Midleton who lost  last year’s decider to Ard Scoil Ris from Limerick, will face fellow Cork side CBS in the final on October 16, and I am sure they will have plenty to work on before the big day. They were certainly the physically stronger side and in trying conditions they just shaded the verdict, but their finishing will need to be better if the Harty Cup is to return to Midleton after a 13-year absence.

 

Midleton CBS:
R McCarthy 1-1,
R O’Regan 0-5,
G Carroll 0-2,
J Stack, C Joyce and C Hickey 0-1 each.

De La Salle:
M Fitzgerald 0-5,
E O’Reilly 0-4,
C Power 0-2
and T Gallagher 0-1.

Midleton CBS:
Jack McGann (Kiltha Og)
Cormac O’Brien (Midleton)
Dylan Hogan (Killeagh)
Dylan Healy (Kiltha Og)
Richie Landers (Killeagh)
Ciaran Joyce (Kiltha Og)
Darragh Moran (Kiltha Og)
Ryan McCarthy (Killeagh)
Sam Quirke (Midleton)
Gary Carroll (Midleton)
Cathal Hickey (Lisgoold)
Ross O’Regan (Midleton)
Kian Farmer (Midleton)
Joe Stack (Kiltha Og)
and Jason Hankard (Fr O’Neill’s).

Subs used
Peter Hassett (Fr O’Neill’s) for R Landers 35,
Artur Nganou (Midleton) for C Hickey
and Olan Broderick (Fr O’Neill’s) for G Carroll.

De La Salle:
Mark Kilgallon (Ballygunner)
Sean Harney (Ballygunner)
Darren Kenneally (De La Salle)
Sean O’Neill (Ballygunner)
Tom Gallagher (Ballygunner)
Cian Wadding (Roanmore)
Conor Ryan (Roanmore)
Kevin Mahony (Ballygunner)
Paddy Leavey (Ballygunner)
Alan Kirwan (Mount Sion)
Seaghan Walsh (De La Salle)
Mark Fitzgerald (Passage East)
Eoghan Reilly (Passage East)
Cormac Power (Ballygunner)
and Gary Corbett (Ballygunner).

Subs used

Harry white (Roanmore) for A Kirwan,
Rueben Halloran (De La salle) for G Corbett
and Eoin O’Brien (Ballygunner) for C Power.

Referee: John McCormack (Tipperary)

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