Match Report Bon Secours Cork Senior A Football Championship Final Knocknagree v St Michaels

St Michael’s Adam Hennessy hammers home his first goal past Knocknagree goalkeeper Patrick Doyle at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O’Hare


Report by Rory Noonan of the Echo

St Michael’s 2-7 Knocknagree 0-6


THEY say patience is a virtue and certainly in the case of St Michael’s that is true as they won the Bon Secours SAFC final at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.

They lost five PIFC finals between 2012 and 2019 and last year’s SAFC decider before finally getting the chance to dine at the top table after their win over Knocknagree.

A goal in each half from Adam Hennessy were key scores, repeating the feat he did against Knocknagree in the opening round of the championship. But he was also backed up by top-class displays from the likes of Sean Keating, Alan O’Callaghan, Daniel Meaney, and Eric Hegarty, with the latter named Man of the Match.

Keith Hegarty got Michael’s off the mark, with their third attempt at raising a white flag as their first two efforts went wide.

From the re-start, they had another opportunity to add to their tally but again shot wide, this time Andrew Murphy missing the target.

A minute later and Knocknagree were back on level terms when Michael McSweeney pointed from their first attack, with again Michael’s off target as they tried to add to their tally. Hennessy took a great mark for them, but his effort hit the post to see it remain at a point apiece seven minutes in.

Knocknagree took the lead after seven minutes when a free from Fintan O’Connor came back off the post, but Niall O’Connor was quickest to react to the breaking ball to slot over. They were much more efficient with their attacks at this stage and put two between the sides when Eoghan McSweeney raised another white flag, to make it 0-3 to 0-1 after 10 minutes.

Daniel Meaney made it a one-point game before they retook the lead with a magnificent goal. Tom Lenihan picked up the ball in defence and his pass found Eric Hegarty who played Hennessy in to raise the first green flag of the afternoon, to make it 1-2 to 0-3 after 14 minutes.

Michael’s hit the post again, this time from a Robbie Cotter free, but Eric Hegarty picked up the loose ball to slot over. Fintan O’Connor replied for Knocknagree with a great score from a long-distance free, before Michael’s had Martin Burke to thank for keeping them ahead.

The Dazzlers goalkeeper saved brilliantly from Denis R O’Connor to deny him a green flag, with Patrick Doyle missing the resultant 45.

A couple of stoppages for injuries broke up the momentum of the half with Michael’s losing both Andrew Murphy and Daniel Lenihan in the space of a couple of minutes, but a late point from Robbie Cotter saw the Dazzlers lead by 1-4 to 0-4 at half-time.

Another placed ball from Cotter increased Michael’s lead at the start of the second half as they continued to create chances running at the Knocknagree defence.

A flowing team move that started in their own half saw Peter Cunningham increase their lead further as Michael’s led by 1-6 to 0-4 with 39 minutes played.

Cunningham had a chance to raise his side’s second green flag, but this time Knocknagree had their keeper Patrick Doyle to thank as he denied him with a point-blank save.

It took Knocknagree until the 45th minute to score in the second half with Fintan O’Connor making it 0-5 to 1-6 but at this stage, they were in need of a goal as Michael’s kept the scoreboard ticking over with Hennessy on target again.

But the goal came at the other end when Eric Hegarty played Hennessy in for his and his side’s second green flag as the Dazzlers now had one hand on the cup, leading by 2-7 to 0-5 with 10 minutes to play.

Knocknagree had a goal chance but Matthew Dilworth’s effort went just wide as Michael’s were now in control of this tie.

Credit to Knocknagree they never threw in the towel but time was against them in the end as the Dazzlers now join the top table next season, as patience has finally paid off for the Blackrock side.

Scorers for St Michael’s: A Hennessy 2-1, R Cotter 0-2 f, P Cunnigham, E Hegarty, K Hegarty, D Meaney 0-1 each.

Knocknagree: F O’Connor, E McSweeney (0-1 f) 0-2 each, M McSweeney, N O’Connor 0-1 each.

St MICHAEL’S: M Burke; S Keating, J Golden, D Corkery; T Lenihan, A O’Callaghan, P Cunningham; A Murphy, D Meaney; D Lenihan, K Hegarty, E Hickey; R Cotter, E Hegarty, A Hennessy.

Subs: R O’Shaughnessy for D Lenihan (25 inj), L O’Sullivan for A Murphy (30 inj), E O’Donovan for R Cotter (49), M O’Keeffe for A Hennessy, R Coleman for S Keating (60), R Kavanagh for A O’Callaghan (60 head injury).

KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; Doyle, K Buckley, G O’Connor; D Cooper, D O’Mahony, M Mahoney; E McSweeney, David O’Connor; F O’Connor, M Dilworth, G Looney; Denis R O’Connor, M McSweeney, N O’Connor.

Subs: D Moynihan for N O’Connor, K Cronin for F O’Connor (both 49), D Twomey for D R O’Connor, T O’Connor for M Doyle (both 59).

Referee: James Regan, Lough Rovers.