The Mizen Rovers U16 team travelled to Aughaville on Sunday last for their West Cork Championship final clash with Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh. On a crisp afternoon, Mizen were hoping to keep the unbeaten season going and to add to their trophy cabinet with this team previously having won honours at the u12 and u13 grades with some members of the panel also winning honours at the u16 grade previously. Having already played Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh twice this year Mizen knew they were in for a tough match from the very start. And this they were as Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh won the throw in and were straight on the attack. However, the Mizen backs had other ideas and Jack O’Driscoll burnt his man for pace and intercepted a pass to lead the Mizen charge up the field, which ended in an amazing point from outside the 35 from Michael O’Reilly. Michael O’Reilly continued his good start with another sublime point soon after, with the backs once again beating their markers and overturning the ball. Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh replied with a point of their own from a free kick but by this time Mizen were taking control of the game as the Midfield partnership of Michael Sheehan and Jake Coughlan were winning their individual battles and setting up attack after attack. And then came the opening goal of the game for the dangerous Matthew Sheehan as Jack Ryan-Purcell brilliantly created space in the middle with a highly intelligent run. Jack Ryan-Purcell was unlucky not to be on the score board himself minutes later as the he had a goal disallowed due to a square ball. However, it wasn’t long before Mizen did get a second goal and this one came once again through the boot of Michael O’Reilly before he added another two points and Michael Sheehan added a point of his own. Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh took control of the game for the last ten minutes of the first half as they pushed forward to cut the deficit however, the back line of Tadhg Reidy, Patrick Sheehan, Paul Collins and Jack O’Driscoll who were being backed upped by goalkeeper Adam Sheehan were unbeatable throughout the first half with some excellent tackling choking out every Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh attack and only leaving them with a few frees to show for themselves. This left the half time score at Mizen Rovers 2-5 to Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh 0-3. This left everything to play for as the second half started. Once again Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh won the throw in and were on the front foot winning a free which the slotted over. But not long after this Isaac Solomon who remarkably only returned two weeks prior to the final from a fractured ankle scored a fantastic goal. At this stage Michael Sheehan had gone in full back and was rallying his troops around him to close out for the win. With the whole Mizen team from the forwards to the backs defending as one unit they were on their way to winning the match. Mizen were now breaking fast through Jake Coughlan and Matthew Sheehan added another point while Michael O’Reilly rattled the net. Then came the introduction of David O’Reilly who added a different dimension to the Mizen attack. The backs were on top throughout the game with Tadhg Reidy, Patrick Sheehan, Paul Collins and Jack O’Driscoll dominating their men. Adam Sheehan was kicking out excellently and making it easy for Mizen to start another attack which leads to the ball finding its way to Matthew Sheehan collecting the ball and hitting a venomous shot into the top corner of the net which the goalkeeper had no chance of saving. Then Aaron O’Driscoll and Jimmy O’Regan entered the fray to steady up the team with some fresh legs. Both Aaron and Jimmy were unlucky to not be on the score line themselves as Jimmy saw one of his shots brilliantly saved while Aaron was unlucky as his rocket of a shot hit the upright. Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh scored two consolation goals before Michael O’Reilly and David O’Reilly added a point each to lead Mizen Rovers to victory on a score line of Mizen Rovers 5-8 Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh 2-7. Congratulations to all involved including management and players for an excellent performance. This U16 team now have the opportunity for a league and Championship double as they will play Uibh Laoire in the league final in the coming weeks. Mizen panel vs Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh: Adam Sheehan, Tadhg Reidy, Patrick Sheehan, Jack O’Driscoll, Paul Collins, Jake Coughlan, Michael Sheehan (0-1), Michael O’Reilly (2-5), Isaac Solomon, Jack Ryan Purcell, Matthew Sheehan (2-1), David O’Reilly (0-1), Aaron O’Driscoll, Jimmy O’Regan. P.R.
PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY ‘we have more games to play’