QUINLAN’S BAR put the heartbreaking memory of the 2016/17 firmly behind them when they lost three finals, by capturing the Mooney and O’Driscoll Cups for the first time in dramatic fashion, writes Finbarr Buckley.
Having fallen away in the league after a promising start and losing in the semi-final of the shield to arch rivals Doolan’s Cow, the Mooney Cup competition couldn’t have come at a better time to re-ignite what was turning out to be another season of unfulfilled promise. Having received a bye in round one along with holders Satellite Taxis, a tricky away tie against four-time winners Marlboro Trust at The Farm was next up. Goals from Damien O’Mahony (2), Dave Busher and Darren Hosford set up a quarter final contest with Cork International. Hosford and Danny O’Donoghue helped themselves a hat- trick apiece with Paul Cooney also on target in a 7-0 hiding. The semi-final draw threw up Doolan’s again while Satellite faced the previous season’s league champions UCC United at Mayfield Pk.
Craig Keegan set up Aaron Hennessy for the lead for Doolan’s inside ten minutes but a glorious long range Robert O’Rourke strike levelled the tie on the hour. In the 5th minute of extra-time the deadlock was finally broken when O’Mahony’s cross was headed past James Murphy by Gary Gould for the priceless winner.
The final against Taxis, 2-1 winners over UCC, was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 14th at Turner’s Cross but had to be postponed and wasn’t re-fixed at the same venue until Wednesday, May 29th . Following 110 minutes of football without a goal but nonetheless provided plenty of goalmouth incidenta, sub O’Rourke fired in the decisive penalty in the 7-6 shoot-out victory to send Quinlan’s into ecstasy and reward inspirational coach Donal Cronin with his first silverware of the season.
While anxiously waiting in the wings for their Mooney Final appearance, the O’Driscoll Premier Cup offered a tilt at a possible cup double. Once again Marlboro Trust provided the opposition in the opening round where goals from Kyle Hosford and Kenneth Crinnion proved decisive despite Tom Frawley’s late reply for the three time winners. UCC United were no match for a rampant Quinlan’s in the semi-final , whose 3-0 win came courtesy of goals from Diarmuid Kenneally, Busher and Crinnion.
Less than a week after their Mooney success, Quinlan’s faced their fiercest rivals Doolan’s Cow for a crack at the dream double. They were not to disappoint, deservedly going two up through Kyle Hosford and Ciarán McCarthy before surviving a late Tony O’Reilly trademark finish to lift the dream double and finally come of age at last on the big stage.