Youghal Yarns v CIE Athletic, Saturday, April 3rd 2021, Pfizer Park @ 3pm

The eagerly awaited first semi-final of the Cork Business League Champions Super Cup between  Youghal Yarns and CIE Athletic re-kindles a long time rivalry that began way back in 1972 and lasted over twenty years into the mid-nineties, writes Finbarr Buckley.

The teams have previously met in three domestic finals beginning with Athletic’s  4-2 win in the Shield Final of 1979/80 at the Showgrounds on Sunday, April 13th 1980 against Carpets’ second string at the time, Youghal Yarns’ B’.  Goals from Jimmy Leahy and Pat Downey put CIE in front early on but after taking their feet off the throttle, then second division Youghal ‘B’ came back to equalize through Davie O’Mahony and Brendan Clarke. However, after Willie Keane restored Athletic’s lead early in the second half, Noel Meaney added a fourth midway through the half to seal the winner’s fifth trophy success. A year later, on Sunday, May 24th 1981 at Hickey Pk., it was the turn of Youghal Yarns ‘A’ to lose out to CIE again, one-nil in the Shield Final of 1980/81. Ace poacher Pat Downey popped up with the winner and only goal of a tense match in which CIE were outplayed at times, mid-ways through the second 45 to secure CIE’s sixth triumph in the competition and complete two-in-a-row for the first time. Carpet’s gained some revenge by defeating their rivals in the Byrne Cup (Jackie O’Driscoll Premier Cup) at the tail end of the same season.

Youghal gained revenge in their treble-winning season of 1992/93 by winning both encounters against  Athletic on the way to the title. At Mahon Pk. on Sunday, February 21st 1993 goals from Greg Cooney (2) and Sean Twohig sealed a three-nil win while later in the season at Killacloyne the hosts edged home 4-3 in another classic encounter between the rivals.

Youghal’s panel encapsulates a twenty-year span to include players from the successful league and cup winning team of 1973/74 and the all-conquering four trophy-winning side of 1992/93. The experienced Dave Barrett leads from the goalkeeper’s position and must be confident with the array of talent before him. Davie O’Mahony, Gerry Ryan and Connie Hosford are excellent full-backs with Bernard O’Sullivan and Timmy Murray commanding at the heart of the defence. There is a huge choice to pick from in the centre of the park with names like Tommy Searls, Denis Crowley, Alan Costello and Jim Atkins while upfront Greg Cooney, Alex O’Regan, Pat Saville and Jimmy Bowen have plenty of firepower to trouble any defence.

Youghal’s management of Dan Magnier and Dave Golden have concerns about the inspirational goalkeeper and captain Dave Barrett (hand) and mid-field supremo Tommy Seals (ankle). Their opposite number Jackie Carroll has fitness doubts over ace striker Pat Downey, speedy winger Donal O’Leary and central defender Noel Kelleher. All will have to prove their fitness beforehand.

Athletic’s strengths lie in defence and upfront. Peter Gregson, a goalkeeper with English league and League of Ireland experience and a great servant of the club is well protected by a solid back-four which includes lighting quick full-back Chris McCarthy and a choice in central defence with players of the calibre of Hughie Barriscale, Noel Kelleher, Davie Desmond and John O’Regan. But, it’s their strike force that catches the eye with a range of quality in abundance. Greats of the sixties, Tommy Murphy, Thomas Hawkins and Paddy Busteed must surely feel confident with the additions of Pat Downey and John Deasy from their latter team. Pat Downey remains one of only two players playing in the league at the time of their selections to be capped at Irish amateur level.

The vastly decorated Damien O’Mahony steps into the middle for the first time and his assists will be Derry Barrett and Pat Clancy. The fourth official is Michael Foley.

Youghal Yarns (Panel for CBL Champions Super Cup)

Goalkeeper(s):  Dave  Barrett (capt.)

Defenders: Davie O’Mahony, Bernard O’Sullivan, Connie Hosford, Gerry Ryan, Timmy Murray.

Midfielders: Tommy Searls, Denis Crowley, Alan Costello, Jim Atkins, Sean Hosford.

Strikers: Alex O’Regan, Greg Cooney,  Jimmy Byrne, Pat Saville, Martin Bowen, Cyril O’Mahony, Jerry O’Connell, Laurence Murphy.

Manager: Dan Magnier. Assist. Manager: Dave Golden.

CIE Athletic (Panel for  CBL Champions Super Cup)

Goalkeeper(s):  Peter Gregson.

Defenders: Chris McCarthy, Jerry Sheehan, Davie Desmond (capt.), Noel Kelleher, Hughie Barriscale, John O’Regan.

Midfielders: Donal O’Leary, Patsy McCormack, Dommie Murphy,  Noel Kent, Ger Power,

Strikers: Tommy Murphy, Henry O’Connor, Thomas Hawkins, Paddy Busteed, Pat Downey, John Deasy.

Manager(s):  Jackie Carroll, Joe Harrington and John Donovan.