QUINLANโ€™S BAR put the heartbreaking memory of the 2016/17 firmly behind them when they lost three finals, by capturing the Mooney and Oโ€™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 Doolanโ€™s Cow, the Mooney Cup competition couldnโ€™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 Oโ€™Mahony (2), Dave Busher and Darren Hosford set up a quarter final contest with Cork International. Hosford and Danny Oโ€™Donoghue helped themselves a hat- trick apiece with Paul Cooney also on target in a 7-0 hiding. The semi-final draw threw up Doolanโ€™s again while Satellite faced the previous seasonโ€™s league champions UCC United at Mayfield Pk.

Craig Keegan set up Aaron Hennessy for the lead for Doolanโ€™s inside ten minutes but a glorious long range Robert Oโ€™Rourke strike levelled the tie on the hour. In the 5th minute of extra-time the deadlock was finally broken when Oโ€™Mahonyโ€™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 Turnerโ€™s Cross but had to be postponed and wasnโ€™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 Oโ€™Rourke fired in the decisive penalty in the 7-6 shoot-out victory to send Quinlanโ€™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 Oโ€™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 Frawleyโ€™s late reply for the three time winners. UCC United were no match for a rampant Quinlanโ€™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, Quinlanโ€™s faced their fiercest rivals Doolanโ€™s Cow for a crack at the dream double. They were not to disappoint, deservedly going two up through Kyle Hosford and Ciarรกn McCarthy before surviving a late Tony Oโ€™Reilly trademark finish to lift the dream double and finally come of age at last on the big stage.