Cooley Kickhams captains Calum O'Hanlon and Cormac Malone with Minor Board chairman Alan Smith after Sunday's win over O'Raghallaigh's in Stabannon. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
U16 Championship final
Cooley Kickhams 1-15 O’Raghallaigh’s 1-9
Cooley Kickhams impressed in comfortably retaining the Dermot O’Brien Cup in Stabannon on Sunday afternoon.
The peninsula natives were always in control against O’Raghallaigh’s, who competed strongly in the first half and can count themselves rather unfortunate to have trailed 1-7 to six at the break, Cooley’s goal coming from Dylan Quinn on the stroke of half-time.
But, overall, Kickhams were superior, Cian Connor, Gerard Hanlon and Calum O’Hanlon showing neat craft and efficiency in front of the posts as the winners stretched their lead decisively through the third quarter.
The dismissal of Adam McGrane, a thorn in Cooley’s side during the opening period, hindered O’Raghallaigh’s bid at turning the game around, but, to their credit, they battled through and a cracking goal by midfielder Daniel Reilly cut the gap to five points.
Yet Cooley, with Paul Brennan standing strongly at full-back, prevented the Drogheda boys from eating into the deficit further, as Connor and O’Hanlon pointed in response. Kickhams also made clever use of their extra player in keeping hold of possession through the lines.
This victory completes a Division One league and championship double for the Fr McEvoy Park crew.
Cooley Kickhams: Thomas Fearon; Colm Keenan, Paul Brennan, Seán McCarragher; Dáire McDaid, Cathal Malone, Cian Murphy; Cormac Malone (0-1), Eddie Kirwan; Cian Connor (0-5, two frees), Calum O’Hanlon (0-3), Enda O’Neill (0-3, two frees); Thomas McCarragher (0-1), Dylan Quinn (1-2), Gerard Hanlon
Subs: John Digney for Keenan, Darragh Brady for S McCarragher, Christopher McQuaid for Hanlon
O’Raghallaigh’s: Connor Browne; Oisín Lynch, Ciarán O’Dwyer, Stephen Reynolds; Oliver Clutterbuck, Niall Collins, Craig Dunne; Daniel Reilly (1-0), Eseosa Omoregbe; Ciaran Branigan, Kyle McElroy (0-3, two frees), Ben Sweeney; Adam McGrane (0-2), Lee Grifferty (0-4, frees), James Smith
Subs: Joshua Wall for Branigan, Lennon McCormack for Reynolds, Joe Meehan for Smith, Evan Smith for Sweeney
Referee: Declan Dunne (John Mitchel’s)