A 64th minute goal from Gary McInerney proved to be the winning score as Banogue secured Junior B honours at the expense of Knockane. In what was a clash of two of Limerick’s smallest clubs, it took a powerful finish from McInerney, into the top corner, to clinch the title. After seeing their opponents claw back a three point deficit, Banogue had to composure to work the ball into the scoring zone, allowing McInerney to score with the last action of the game. Banogue 2-9 Knockane 1-9
The previous hour of football was enthralling, if at times unspectacular. Knockane had just two scorers, Andrew Vance, accurate from frees, and Darren Roche, who had levelled the game in the final minute of normal time.
Trailing to a Vance free, Banogue opened their account in the ninth minute. A long ball into the square was finished to the net by Mark Fitzpatrick at the second attempt, during a goalmouth scramble. McInerney, the other corner forward, extened the lead seconds later while Limerick Senior Hurling pannelist David Reidy fired over off his left foot – 1-2 to 0-1- after 11 minutes.
Vance drew a cheer from the sizeable Knockane following when landing another free, but Adam Costelloe opened his account at the other end. Costelloe wouldn’t score from play after this, but was a constant target for his side, and was extremely accurate from placed balls.
A 24th minute goal was scrambled home to cut the gap to a point. Darren Roche applying the finishing touch after a wonderful save from keeper Kevin Purcell. Costelloe pushed Banogue two clear at half-time, with a free.
Frees appeared the only way to score early in the second half, with three apiece from Vance and Costelloe in the opening eight minutes of a fragmented few minutes. Eventually, Kieran Larkin, impressive on route to the final, would find a shooting chance and he nailed a 50th minute effort to restore a three point lead.
Playing in a first county final since 1942, Knockane dominated the final 10 minutes, and regularly won opposition kick-outs. Four wides in as many minutes appeared to be forgotten when a brace of points from Vance (both frees) and one from Roche tied up the game.
But, after just over four minutes of additional time, Gary McInerney was the hero thanks to a superb right footed finish. It is a first county title success for Banogue since 2008 and the now progress to face Scartaglen (Kerry) or Clondegad (Clare) in the Knockaderry run Munster Junior B football championship final, on December 1.
BANOGUE: Adam Costelloe 0-6 (0-5 frees); Gary McInerney 1-1; Mark Fitzpatrick 1-0; David Reidy, Kieran Larkin 0-1 each
KNOCKANE: Andrew Vance 0-8 (0-7 frees), Darren Roche 1-1
BANOGUE: Kevin Purcell; Shane Kenny, Enda Hehir, Ciarán Shortt; Rian Brady, Mike Reidy, Peter Ryan; Jason Lenihan (capt), David Reidy; John P Costello, Kieran Larkin, James Kelleher; Mark Fitzpatrick, Adam Costelloe, Gary McInerney
SUBS: Donnacha Higgins for Peter Ryan (inj 17 mins); Peter McMahon for Rian Brady (49 mins); Rian Brady for Mike Reidy (Black card, 51 mins)
KNOCKANE: Michael Moloney; Diarmuid Grace, Tom O’Leary, Joe Keogh; Kevin Wixted, Dean Power, Padraic Wixted; Brian O’Leary, David O’Leary; Declan O’Connor, Andrew Vance, John O’Donnell; Darren Roche, Pa Roche, Alan Cosgrave
SUBS: Kyran O’Donnell for Declan O’Connor (36 mins) Trevor Cosgrave(capt) for John O’Donnell (46 mins), Theo Butler for Alan Cosgrave (58 mins); Neil McConnell for David O’Leary (59 mins)
REFEREE: Michael Woulfe (Patrickswell)