Playing against a strong breeze in the first half the Rathmore boys had to withstand some heavy early pressure from a determined Clonakilty side. Indeed it took two excellent saves from Rathmore keeper Aaron Nolan, the first of these from a penalty, to prevent the Cork side turning their early possession into scores. As the half wore on, however, the Rathmore midfield paring of Donal O’Sullivan and Mark Reen began to dominate, feeding the ball into a hard working and determined forward line. Full forward Paul Hickey opened the Rathmore account with a fine point in the tenth minute and centre forward Jerry O’Connor, an injury doubt before the game, added another two. Further points from Hickey and Reen left Rathmore 0-5 to 0-3 ahead approaching half time and when corner forward John Moynihan goaled just before the break it was clear that a historic first Munster title win was on the cards.

The Rathmore side totally dominated the second half, scoring six goals and outplaying Clonakilty in every sector of the field. Score of the match came in the fifth minute of the half when Rathmore captain Donal O’Sullivan cut in from the left carrying the ball past four Cork defenders before firmly planting it into the net at the keepers near post. Goals from Paul Murphy, Daniel Buckley and Stephen O’Keeffe (2) quickly followed and when substitute Christopher O’Leary found the net with ten minutes remaining the contest was all but over.

The final score of 7-12 to 2-6 reflected Rathmore’s strong performance. There were in truth no weak links in their side. Defenders Liam Mullane, Patrick Knee and Padraigh O’Connor were outstanding. Midfielders O’Sullivan and Reen covered the pitch well and were the springboard for most of the Rathmore attacks. Forwards Stephen O’Keeffe, Paul Murphy and Paul Hickey showed deadly accuracy when given the chance. Near the end of the game Rathmore introduced a number of substitutes and it was a credit to the strength in depth of their panel that the overall team performance did not drop.

Credit too must go the sporting Clonakilty side. Despite being outplayed for much of the game they refused to let their heads drop and played with sprit and determination to the final whistle.

After the game Rathmore trainer Kevin McCarthy expressed his delight at his teams win and praised his players for their committed and hardworking display. “ We have been training since September for this completion and its great to see our efforts rewarded”.

The cup was presented to the winning captain, Donal O’Sullivan, by Sean Cooney of the Munster schools council.

Scoil Phobail, Rathmore - A Nolan, D Doherty, L Mullane, W O’Keeffe, P Knee, P O’Connor,
D Hickey, D O’Sullivan, M Reen, D O’Keeffe, J O’Connor, P Murphy, S O’Keeffe, P Hickey,
J Moynihan. Subs: D Murphy, C O’Leary, S O’Connor, N Kelleher, R Roberts, D Buckley, D Dillane, J Campion, A Murphy, J O’Sullivan, K Murphy, V Cahill, C Nagle, J Kiely, P Moynihan,
P O’Donovan, M Casey, D Reen.

Scorers Rathmore – S O’Keeffe 2-1, C O’Leary 1-2, J Moynihan 1-1, P Murphy 1-1, D O’Sullivan 1-0, D Buckley 1-0, P Hickey 0-3, M Reen 0-2, J O’Connor 0-2.

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