Charleville never troubled in County Intermediate Hurling Final

The old saying ‘you’ve got to lose one before you can win one’ was certainly the case for Charleville’s intermediate hurlers when they ran out easy winners over Dripsey in this year’s County Intermediate Hurling final at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday night.
Only 12 months ago they came up short by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling final against Fermoy. Since then they have shown great maturity and experience. They competed in the Co Division 2 HL this season where they did very well and on Saturday week (November 7th) they meet Mallow in an all North Cork Co Division 2 HL final and regardless of the result both teams will promoted to the Division 1 HL grade for the coming season. At championship level they were certainly the team to beat from the offset in 2015. There closest game was in the first round when they had a seven point win over Argideen Rangers and since then they recorded huge wins over Kilbrittain and Fr O’Neill’s before accumulating another big score on Saturday evening to make up for last year’s heartbreak and thus gain their place in Co Premier IHC ranks for 2016.
In the game itself the opening stages were close enough. They were level at 0-1 and 0-2 each before Dripsey with a point each by Mark O’Sullivan and Diarmuid O’Riordan moved 0-4 to 0-2 ahead by the 6th minute. Charleville quickly found their form. Danny Flynn had a point before they struck for the games opening goal in the 8th minute when the impressive James O’Brien cut in along the flank and picked out the inrushing Andrew Cagney who billowed the net from close range. Over the next couple of minutes exchanges were keenly contested. Darragh Fitzgibbon (3), Diarmuid O’Riordan and Conor Hayes swapped points before the Rathluirc side struck for their second goal in the 13th minute when a great movement saw Mark Kavanagh off load to the inrushing James O’Brien who cut through the spine of the Dripsey defence and picked out Alan O’Connor who pulled first time to the net, 2-6 to 0-6.
In the Avondhu sides next attack O’Brien was denied a certain goal when the Dripsey keeper Aidan Buckley made a splendid save. Nevertheless, Charleville continued to drive forward with Jack Buckley, Gavin Kelleher and Brendan Dennehy playing leading roles in the half back line while Danny O’Flynn and Jack Barry dominated the midfield battle. In attack, the pace, awareness and support play of the entire forward line continued to cause countless problems. Darragh Fitzgibbon was unerring from frees and general play and in the 20th minute they had their third goal when a great solo run by the hardworking Darren Casey resulted in Andrew Cagney finishing to the net, 3-11 to 0-6. Dripsey who were in the final on merit after recording great results over Kildorrery, Aghada, Milford and Grenagh enroute to their first final at this grade now faced a daunting task. In the 25th minute they had their goal when good work by Conor Hayes saw Diarmuid O’Riordan find the net. However late points by Alan O’Connor and Andrew Cagney ensured Charleville a huge lead of 3-15 to 1-6 at the interval.
With the issue never in doubt the second half was merely going through the motions. Diarmuid O’Riordan and Mark Kavanagh traded an early point before Andrew Cagney scored his hat trick of goals in the 34th minute after being put through by Danny O’Flynn. The second half was again much the same with Charleville always in control. Michael O’Flynn, Alan Dennehy and Finbarr Cagney in the full back line kept the Dripsey attack at bay while keeper Cian Collins was also very solid when called upon. At the end of the third quarter Darragh Fitzgibbon had their 5th goal as they raced into a 5-21 to 1-8 lead.  During this half both teams emptied their bench giving fringe players a taste of the action. However there was no denying Charleville their comprehensive victory in this one sided contest. After the game County Board Chairman Ger Lane presented the cup to the winning captain Michael O’Flynn to the delight of a large Charleville following.
Scorers for Charleville: Andrew Cagney 3-5, Darragh Fitzgibbon       1-9(0-2f. 0-1 ‘65), Mark Kavanagh 0-4 (0-1f), Alan O’Connor 1-1, Danny O’Flynn 0-3, Jack Barry 0-1, Jack Buckley 0-1.
Dripsey : Diarmuid O’Riordan 1-5 (0-5f), Shane Burke 0-2, Conor Hayes 0-1, Michael O’Riordan 0-1f. Mark O’Sullivan 0-1.
Charleville: Cian Collins, Michael O’Flynn, Alan Dennehy, Finbarr Cagney, Jack Buckley, Gavin Kelleher, Brendan Dennehy, Danny Flynn, Jack Barry, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Alan O’Connor, Darren Casey, Mark Kavanagh, Andrew Cagney, James O’Brien, Subs Barry McCarthy for Jack Barry, Derry Murphy for Darren Casey, James Kennedy for Mark Kavanagh, Jake O’Sullivan for Danny Flynn, Conor Fitzgerald for Finbarr Cagney,
Dripsey: Aidan Buckley, Barry Kelleher, Liam Murphy, Daniel Buckley, Shane O’Riordan, John Carey, Aidan Murray, Stevie Murray, Michael O’Riordan, Conor Hayes, Diarmuid O’Riordan, Shane Burke, David O’Sullivan, Mark O’Sullivan, Pat O’Riordan, Subs Davy Buckley for Stevie Murray, Dean O’Sullivan for Michael O’Riordan, John O’Riordan for Mark O’Sullivan (blood), Mark O’Sullivan for John O’Riordan, John O’Riordan for Shane Burke,
Referee Joe Larkin (Douglas)