Courcey win JFC final
19 November 2001
Courcey Rovers put behind them their final defeats to Castlelyons and Bandon in 1997 and 99 to finally capture the county junior hurling championship title at Pairc Ui Chaoimh recently.
In a tremendously exciting finale, Courcey found themselves clinging onto a two-point lead against a fiercely determined Charleville side. Charleville went all out in seach of the match-winning goal but were denied by the brilliant goalkeeping of Anto Hegarty.
The winners got off to a disastrous start with goals from John Quinlan and John Collins propelling Charleville into a 2-3 to 0-1 lead after 13 minutes. Courcey, however, recovered well in the second quarter and a goal from Michael ODonovan left them just four points, 1-4 to 2-5, adrift at the interval.
The south-east side made a storming start to the second half and they eventually hit the front in the 38th minute when Michael ODonovan scored his second goal. When John Murphy added another goal with 15 minutes remaining, Courcey looked set for a comfortable win but John Quinlan replied immediately with a goal for Charleville to keep the contest alive.
Charleville eventually reduced the deficit to two points but the heroics of Anto Hegarty ensured that the cup would be returning to Courcey for the first time in 54 years.