St Finbarr's 0-14 Clonakilty 0-13

St Finbarr’s are the Cork football champions for the tenth time after Steven Sherlock scored a late winner to give them victory over Clonakilty at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

The sides were level for the sixth occasion since the scoring opened when Clon’s Gearóid Barry was on target in the 63rd minute and the prospect of a first final replay since 2015 loomed large but Sherlock was on hand to take a pass from Eoghan McGreevey to send over his seventh point of the game.

The win moves the city side to a share of top place on the roll of honour with Macroom and UCC, behind only Nemo Rangers (22 titles) and the now-defunct Lees.

It was a game that swung to and fro throughout – Clon led by 0-04 to 0-02 at the first water break but didn't score in the second quarter as the Barrs sent over four in a row to lead at half-time. They were unable to shake off their opponents though and the West Cork side were back in front by the 49th minute.

Ultimately, Clon couldn't do enough to secure a first title since 2009 and a late, late equalising attempt from distance by Cork goalkeeper Mark While went narrowly wide.

For St Finbarr’s it’s a second title in four years, having ended a 33-year wait in 2018, with Sherlock - scorer of 2-10 in the ding-dong semi-final win over Castlehaven - providing exactly half of their output.

Seán White of Clonakilty goes on a solo-run past Colm Barrett of St Finbarr's

Unusually for such a prolific scorer, he didn’t get his first of the game until the 22nd minute, bringing the deficit back to a point after Clon had begun well with scores from Ross Mannix, Maurice Shanley, Seán McEvoy and Dara Ó Sé all on target. However, they missed a great goal opportunity as Seán White set up Ben Ridgeway but he was denied by John Kerins and Bully Hennessy cleared the danger.

After Denis O’Brien followed Sherlock’s point to make it 0-04 each, Clon nearly replied with a goal but Joe Grimes saw his shot saved by John Kerins, son of the late legendary Cork goalkeeper.

In the wake of that, Ian Maguire set up Sherlock to put the Barrs in front for the first time and in the 27th minute he converted a free after Conor McCrickard had been fouled to leave it 0-06 to 0-04 at half-time.

Clonakilty were level within eight minutes of the restart as Ó Sé scored three frees, that late of a magnificent effort from a tight angle, with an O’Brien point the only Barrs response. However, the city side always looked able to push on as Brian Hayes, Colm Barrett and Maguire combined to set up Sherlock for his fourth before he nailed a free on 40 to make it 0-09 to 0-07.

Points from Clon’s Mannix and Jack O’Mahony sandwiched Maguire’s second of the game to leave a point in it at the water break, 0-10 to 0-09 for St Finbarr’s but, after the resumption, Barry set up McEvoy to level and Ó Sé’s fifth of the game had Clon in front for the first time since the 22nd minute.

The advantage was fleeting though as Barrs sub Cillian Myers Murray landed a superb effort from the right and Down native McCrickard put them back in front. Clon levelled against as Eoghan Daly’s delivery allowed McEvoy to set up Ó Sé and, though Sherlock converted another free to make it 0-13 to 0-12, Barry looked to have secured a draw for Clon.

Unfortunately for them, the Barrs were not to be denied and Sherlock scored the winner.

St Finbarr's: John Kerins; Billy Hennessy, Alan O’Connor, Sam Ryan; Colm Scully, Jamie Burns, Colin Lyons; Ian Maguire (0-02), Eoin Comyns; Denis O’Brien (0-02), Brian Hayes (0-01), Colm Barrett; Enda Dennehy, Conor McCrickard (0-01), Steven Sherlock (0-07, 0-04 frees).

Subs: Cillian Myers Murray (0-01) for Hayes (43), Eoghan McGreevey for Dennehy, Michael Shields for O’Brien (both 48), Bill O’Connell for Barrett (56).

Clonakilty: Mark White; Thomas Clancy, Maurice Shanley (0-01), Daniel Peet; Seán White, Eoghan Deasy, Odhran Bancroft; Ben Ridgeway, Joe Grimes; David Lowney, Dara Ó Sé (0-06, 0-04 frees), Gearóid Barry (0-01); Jack O’Mahony (0-01), Seán McEvoy (0-02), Ross Mannix (0-02).

Subs: Conor Daly for Mannix (53).

Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).