Monaleen secured a first Junior A football title in 50 years after defeating Croom 2-6 to 0-6 in horrible conditions in Kilmallock.
Mark O’Dwyer was the scoring hero, with 1-3, including a goal from a second half penalty. This was added to by a Niall Loughran goal in the closing stages which was enough to see off Croom, who had arrived in the final unbeaten.
The men in blue were on top early on, but only had a first minute free from Dan Lucey to show for their efforts. Monaleen lost both Jamie Power and goalkeeper Dermot Dineen to injury in the opening 15 minutes, but it appeared to focus them as they kicked the next four points.
O’Dwyer and Brian Carson each chipped in with a free and a point from play as Croom went 25 minutes without a score, before Mark O’Riordan eventually raised a white flag.
2018 All Ireland medallist Andrew La Touche-Cosgrave kicked the final score of a fragmented opening half to give Monaleen a 0-5 to 0-2 half-time lead. Manager Ross O’Neill would have been happy with the lead, after his opponents enjoyed the majority of possession.
Croom, beaten finalists in 2017, missed several goal chances in the hour, while their City rivals took theirs when they came.
O’Dwyer was awarded a penalty by referee Martin Doherty on 37 minutes, after goalkeeper Shane Burke was pinned for a high arm. O’Dwyer sent him to wrong wat to establish a five point lead.
Dara O’Farrell, Jamie Greeves and John Quirke reduced the deficit, but a blocked goal chance on 49 minutes could have levelled the game. Dan Lucey saw his shot saved through a sea of red jerseys, before O’Dwyer landed a free at the other end.
Loughran finished a sweeping move to seal the victory in the 57th minute, before Daniel Hession was presented with the silverware after the final whistle.
Croom, meanwhile, will face the Waterford Champions Ballyduff Lower or Shamrocks in the Munster junior championship, in Limerick on November 16th. Monaleen become the only club with a team in both senior and intermediate ranks, and add the Junior A Championship title to the Junior A League title secured in September.