Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Declan Dalton was part of the Fr O'Neill's ranks today.
tough battle

Three players sent off as Fr O'Neill's edge out tense affair to book All-Ireland final spot

The Cork side got the better of Mayo’s Tooreen to progress to the intermediate hurling decider.

Fr O’Neill’s (Cork) 0-19
Tooreen (Mayo) 1-12

Kevin Egan reports from Tullamore

FR O’NEILL’S DID enough to secure their place in this year’s AIB All-Ireland Intermediate hurling club championship decider when they overcame Tooreen.

But their victory came at a heavy price as they lost attackers Mark O’Keeffe and Billy Dunne to straight red cards in the second half, two key moments in a game that featured some very controversial decisions from referee Chris Mooney.

The story of the first half was a simple one – two evenly matched teams from general play, but Fr. O’Neill’s were far more efficient in front of the posts. Deccie Dalton led the way for the East Cork side with five points, half his overall total, though all three of his scores from play came in that opening period.

Mark O’Keeffe also chipped in with two sublime points as Fr. O’Neill’s moved 0-10 to 0-5 clear at the break, Tooreen’s solid display in the middle third undone by eight wides and another shot off the post that was cleared to safety.

The Mayo club, who won their first-ever provincial title two years ago and were hoping to take another step forward today, were handed a lifeline when first Mark O’Keeffe received a straight red for a late hit in the middle of a ruck of players, then Billy Dunne received the same sanction for an off the ball incident, both in the first ten minutes of the second half.

Yet their inaccuracy continued to be an issue, with talismanic centre forward Fergal Boland guilty of some very uncharacteristic misses.

Substitute Cillian Broderick and midfielder Kevin O’Sullivan shot some excellent points to keep Fr. O’Neill’s in the ascendancy, but Shane Boland’s frees kept Tooreen in the game.

A goal from Seán Regan was controversially disallowed for an illegal handpass by Kenny Feeney in the build-up, but Feeney himself made no mistake when reacted quickest to a shot from Boland that dropped short, fielding and striking the sliothar to the net for a goal with five minutes to play.

Feeney himself was sent off for what looked like an innocuous enough challenge on goalkeeper Colin Sloane immediately afterwards, but eight minutes of added time looked like another lifeline for Tooreen.

It wasn’t to be, as some stout defending from Fr. O’Neill’s and then late scores from Deccie Dalton and Liam O’Driscoll wrapped up their win.

Scorers for Fr O’Neill’s: Deccie Dalton 0-10 (0-7f), Mark O’Keeffe & Kevin O’Sullivan 0-2 each, Paudie McMahon, Eoin Conway, Billy Dunne, Cillian Broderick & Liam O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tooreen: Shane Boland 0-6f, Kenny Feeney 1-2 (0-2f), Fergal Boland 0-2, Cathal Freeman, & Gary Nolan 0-1 each.

Fr O’Neill’s

1. Colin Sloane

2. Mike Millerick
4. Ger Millerick
3. Podge Butler

5. John Barry
6. Dan Harrington
7. Thomas Millerick

8. Joe Millerick
9. Kevin O’Sullivan

10. Mark O’Keeffe
12. Paudie McMahon
11. Rob Cullinane

13. Eoin Conway
14. Deccie Dalton
15. Billy Dunne


17. Liam O’Driscoll for Conway (45)
19. Cillian Broderick for Joe Millerick (49)
20. Jason Hankard for Cullinane (53)
22. Seán O’Connor for Barry (55)


1. Stephen Lenehan

2. Gary Nolan
6. Stephen Coyne
4. Ciarán Finn

5. Conor Henry
3. Michael Morley
12. Seán Regan

8. Cathal Freeman
9. Daniel Huane

7. David Kenny
11. Fergal Boland
10. Seán Kenny

15. Eoin Delaney
14. Kenny Feeney
13. Shane Boland


22. Liam Lavin for Huane (24)
19. John Cassidy for Seán Kenny (55)
25. Brian Morley for Delaney (59)
21. David Harrison for Morley (60+4)

Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)

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