Canovee favourites to extend City drought

In the past 50 years, only Passage have brought the Cork JAFC title to the city, and that was back in 1982
Canovee favourites to extend City drought

Jack Kelleher kicks a point from a free for Canovee against Castlemagner in the Bon Secours Junior A Football Championship semi-final Canovee vs Castlemagner at Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday 12th November 2023. Pic: Larry Cummins

Cork JAFC Final: Mayfield v Canovee 

The late, great Paudie Palmer had long beaten the drum about the decline of football in Cork City and when one looks at the Junior ‘A’ County roll of honour, one can see his point. 

In the past 50 years, only Passage have brought the title back to the city, and that was back in 1982. Indeed, the only other teams from Seandún to have made it to the final during that period are Brian Dillons, White’s Cross and the second strings of St Finbarr’s and St Nick’s.

Of course, part of the reason is that many city clubs operate at a higher level and up until 2020, Mayfield found themselves in that category. They were then condemned to relegation by a strong Glanmire outfit but the northside club have used the disappointment as a chance to rebuild. 

Manager Maurice Barry and coach Jamie O’Donovan have steadied the ship and began to turn her around and their victory over a young Nemo Rangers side in the City Final is a testament to their improvement.

It was their first title in 20 years, and they rode that wave of momentum in pipping Ballygarvan in the county semi-final. They led that game by six points going into the final quarter thanks to goals from Paul Condon, Nicky Kelly and David O’Neill. 

Ballygarvan managed to reel them in, but their talisman Kelly then secured Mayfield the win with a late point. If they are to bring the title north of the Lee on Sunday evening, they will need big performances from that trio with Condon, in particular, capable of doing real damage in the inside forward line.

In the opposite corner, Canovee last claimed this title in 2007 when they defeated Kildorrery by 1-8 to 0-9 before their sojourn in Intermediate football was cut short by Mayfield, of all teams, in 2013. Muskerry champions have fared well in this grade, winning 12 titles in the last 50 years, including last year’s edition claimed by Canovee’s neighbours from Kilmurry. 

Indeed, the Muskerry championship is a notorious bearpit and when Canovee beat Inniscarra by 1-15 to 2-6 in this year’s final it was their first win since 2007. 1-3 from Jack Kelleher was key and in the county quarter-final they took the shackles off as they defeated Lisgoold by 5-13 to 0-6.

They plundered another four goals in defeating Castlemagner in the semi-final and in a healthy sign of a team, only Conor O’Neill struck for more than one goal while Evan and Conor Dodd are other crucial players for the mid-Cork side.

Canovee enter the game as favourites and as both sides have a nose for goal, it may be their defence that will make the difference.

Your home  for all the latest news, match reports, features, opinions and expert analysis from the Cork Club Championships.


Your home  for all the latest news, match reports, features, opinions and expert analysis from the Cork GAA Club Championships.

Cork GAA crest

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy Brand Safety FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Examiner Echo Group Limited