MIDLETON made up for last year’s loss as they were crowned Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier 1 MHC champions at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Last year they lost out to Glen Rovers, but this time they made sure they weren’t going to go home defeated as they won their first title at this grade since 2010.
It’s a good start to the week and they will hope their senior side can follow suit when they take on Imokilly in the county final next Sunday.
Overall there can be no denying they were the better side over the 60 minutes, and a strong finish ensured they ran out winners by 12 points.
In that final 15 minutes, they outscored their opponents eight points to one, to move clear of Blarney at a time when they had scored three in a row to reduce the deficit to five.
The winners had a number of impressive displays with Sean O’Sullivan, Tommy O’Connell, and Kevin Finn all playing well, along with man of the match, Cian Farmer.
For Blarney, Declan Hanlon showed why he was on the Cork minor team this year, with Mark Cummins and Padraig Power also giving it their all, but they were simply beaten by a better side. on the night.
It took eight minutes for the first score to come, when Ben Ahern pointed for Blarney, with Ross O’Regan replying for Midleton. Points from Finn and Farmer put the east Cork side in front, with Shane Barrett and Power seeing the sides level, 0-3 each, with 16 minutes gone.
Gary Carroll and O’Regan put Midleton back in front, with Power making it a one point game.
Midleton then enjoyed their best spell of the first half, with Arthur Nganou increasing their lead, before Sam Quirke set up Aaron Mulcahy for their goal, to make it 1-6 to 0-4.
Two points from Farmer increased their lead before Power pulled a point back for Blarney.
Farmer and O’Connell made it 1-10 to 0-5 before Blarney were thrown a lifeline.
A brilliant run from William Crowley put Jack O’Keeffe in and he blasted to the back of the net, to put five between them. But Midleton finished the half strongly and points from O’Regan and Mulcahy saw them 1-12 to 1-5 in front at half time.
Finn and O’Regan were on target early in the second-half, with O’Keeffe replying for Blarney, to make it 1-14 to 1-6, with 33 minutes played.
But Blarney weren’t going away easily and two pointed frees from Power reduced the deficit, with Cian Dunlea also scoring, to make it 1-9 to 1-14 and it looked like we were in for a close finish.
But Midleton showed their class, as they kept their heads and slowly started to pull away from Blarney. Points from Carroll, O’Regan and Jake Shanahan saw them stretch their lead, making it 1-17 to 1-9.
Nganou then scored three in a row. and displayed all his talents with them. The first was after a great run when he kicked the sliothar over the bar. The following two came after magnificent catches and his burst of speed left his opponents for dead as he coolly slotted over the bar,
Finn and Farmer rounded off the scoring for Midleton, with Cummins getting the last score of the game for Blarney.
But it was no more than a consolation score as Midleton ran out deserving winners,
Scorers for Midleton: A Mulcahy 1-1, C Farmer, R O’Regan (1f) 0-5 each, A Nganou 0-4, K Finn 0-3, G Carroll 0-2, T O’Connell (1f), J Shanahan 0-1 each.
Blarney: J O’Keeffe 1-1, P Power 0-5 (4f, 65), B Ahern, S Barrett, M Cummins, C Dunlea 0-1 each.
MIDLETON: A Power; C O’Brien, C Murphy, D Scanlon; S Quirke, S O’Sullivan, C Evans; T O’Connell, K Finn; G Carroll, E Rowlands, A Mulcahy; R O’Regan, C Crowley, C Farmer.
Subs: A Nganou for C Evans, J Shanahan for E Rowlands, F Wade for C Farmer, R Lynch for G Carroll, G Hurley for S Quirke.
BLARNEY: E O’Neill; G Mullane, S Mullane, D Hoare; D Hurley, D Hanlon, E Doody; D Quill, B Ahern; J O’Keeffe, M Cummins, K Dunlea; S Barrett, P Power, W Crowley.
Subs: C Dunlea for E Doody, C Ahern for K Dunlea, E Kirby for W Crowley.
Referee: Brian Coniry, Crosshaven.