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Lehane stars with 0-13 as Midleton win Cork senior final to deny Glen Rovers

The East Cork side had three points to spare in the decider on Leeside.

Conor Lehane (file photo).
Conor Lehane (file photo).
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Midleton 0-24

Glen Rovers 1-18

MIDLETON CELEBRATED AT the final whistle with an invasion of supporters clad in black and white, saluting the club’s first Cork senior hurling title success in eight years this afternoon.

The post-match mood was euphoric for the East Cork team but there was a sigh of major relief in injury time here as Glen Rovers chased them down and almost engineered an improbable draw.

As they pounded the Midleton rearguard, one last Glen Rovers delivery broke close to goal but substitute Conor Dorris saw his whipped attempt fly agonisingly wide of the post.

That enabled Midleton to preserve their three-point advantage and secure a merited success despite an anxious finale as they could not push decisively clear on the scoreboard. After the 52nd minute, Midleton didn’t register another point as they hit five wides, saw another attempt knock against the upright and Ross O’Regan was denied a goal by a terrific Cathal Hickey stop.

It generated a tension-packed finale as Glen Rovers remained in contention but they had to absorb the bitter sensation of a third successive defeat in a decider.

13,526 were present to witness Midleton atone for their own final loss in 2018 and lift silverware for the first time since 2013.

The game was forecast as one that would hinge on the inputs of two scoring stars and neither disappointed. Conor Lehane was Midleton’s captain who produced an outstanding display that yielded the man-of-the-match award. He finished with 0-13 to his credit, five from play, a tally that was marginally bettered by Patrick Horgan as he amassed 1-12 for Glen Rovers.

patrcik-horgan-before-the-game Patrick Horgan of Glen Rovers. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The critical difference was Lehane had plenty support. Ross O’Regan impressed with 0-4 from play, while Pa White and Sean O’Meara sparkled in the opening half. Simon Kennefick came good for Glen Rovers in the second half with some tidy points but it was largely left to Horgan to sustain their scoring challenge.

The opening period was marked by a clear pattern of Midleton hurling with greater purpose and sharpness. Backed by a wind, they rifled over three points quick points from the throw-in and were 0-9 to 0-3 to the good by the water break. Horgan’s frees were the only scores Glen could muster and they trailed 0-15 to 0-6 as Midleton surged clear by the 27th minute.

And then Glen received a lifeline a minute later as David Noonan supplied a pass from midfield that fed Horgan lurking near goal. He held off his direct marker Luke Dineen and the advancing Brion Saunderson, managing to turn to bundle in the only goal of the game.

It provided Glen Rovers with the impetus to move within four at the break, 0-16 to 1-9, and while Lehane knocked over some frees upon the resumption, the city side channelled their momentum to draw level by the 47th minute, 1-16 to 0-19, as Kennefick notched a couple of impressive points.

A Lehane free left Midleton in front by one at the second-half water break and then they responded to this test of their resolve in the final quarter in impressive style. They outscored Glen Rovers 0-4 to 0-2 from there, a gap that could easily have been wider and were worthy champions to set up a Munster semi-final with Limerick’s Kilmallock.

Scorers for Midleton: Conor Lehane 0-13 (0-8f), Ross O’Regan 0-4, Pa White, Sean O’Meara, Cormac Beausang 0-2 each, Luke O’Farrell 0-1.

Scorers for Glen Rovers: Patrick Horgan 1-12 (0-10f), Simon Kennefick 0-3, Eoin Downey, Dean Brosnan, Luke Horgan 0-1 each.

Midleton

1. Brion Saunderson

4. Sean O’Leary-Hayes, 3. Luke Dineen, 2. Eoghan Moloney,

5. Ciarmhac Smyth, 6. Tommy O’Connell, 7. Cormac Walsh

8. Paul Haughney, 9. Sam Quirke

15. Sean O’Meara, 10. Conor Lehane (captain), 11. Ross O’Regan

13. Luke O’Farrell, 14. Cormac Beausang, 12. Pa White

Subs

25. Seamus O’Farrell for Haughney (43)

23. Garan Manley for White (52)

20. Aaron Mulcahy for O’Meara (59)

Glen Rovers

1. Cathal Hickey (captain)

2, David Dooling, 3. Stephen McDonnell, 4. Adam Lynch

5. Brian Moylan, 6. Robert Downey, 7. Eoin Downey

8. Adam O’Donovan, 9. David Noonan

10. Dean Brosnan, 12. Luke Horgan, 13. Mark Dooley

14. Simon Kennefick, 11. Patrick Horgan, 15. Liam Coughlan

Subs

17. Conor Dorris for Coughlan (40)

19. Calvin Healy for Luke Horgan (58)

20. Daniel Morris for Dooling (inj) (60)

Referee:  Mark Maher

BTL 5

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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