Retro GAA – Beara v UCC

The following is a Cork SFC match report from the 2015 championship between the Beara Divisional side and University College Cork. The tie took place in Dunmanway and went to extra-time before Beara recorded a famous victory over a UCC side that contained plenty of Kerry inter-county talent – Ger McCarthy.

BEARA     1-20 UCC    1-16 (after extra time)

Beara enjoyed one of their finest evenings in the Divisions/Colleges section of the Cork county senior football championship by registering a rousing victory over UCC on Friday evening.


A sun-kissed Dunmanway venue played host to an encounter that required extra time to decide the outcome after Beara came from behind in both halves to book their place in the last sixteen of the championship.

‘This is an absolutely massive result for us and a huge lift for Beara football,’ said an elated Beara manager Finbarr Harrington.

‘Look, we were struggling for numbers for a long time but this win over a very good UCC team will give us a great lift. Our U21’s are out on Sunday against Valley Rovers and we can look forward, as a board, to that but tonight is just a fantastic night for Beara football.

‘Our ambition tonight was to make the last sixteen. We’ve done it, we made it hard (for ourselves) but we are absolutely delighted. Being in the last sixteen is brilliant for Beara and we will look forward to next round.’

A strong UCC panel began with ten Kerry natives plus one Waterford representative and leading at the break, the college were still a point ahead, 1-12 to 1-11, with time ticking down.

Beara’s brave fight back appeared in vain when Conchúr Harrington missed a close range free a minute from the end but the Urhan player converted a much more difficult effort in the dying embers to send the tie to extra time.

The eventual winners somehow found an extra gear in the first additional period with Kevin Jer O’Sullivan, Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan (twice), Vincent Lehane efforts giving the West Cork division the edge only for Conor Gleeson and three Conor Cox points (two frees) to level the score 1-16 apiece at the second interval.

Once again Beara dug deep and rattled off four unanswered white flags courtesy of Conchúr Harrington, Andrew O’Sullivan, Liam Harrington and Ciarán McElhinney to move 1-20 to 1-16 in front.

The drama didn’t end there with UCC having loud appeals for a penalty waved away, Beara goalkeeper William O’Sullivan producing an excellent reflex save and Joe Harrington clearing another goal-bound effort off his line before the final whistle brought an end to an epic match.

Beara had heroes all over the pitch but none more so than the tireless Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan who contributed three points. Andrew O’Sullivan, Conchúr Harington, Dave Fenton, Kevin Jer O’Sullivan and Gary Murphy’s performances were also pivotal to Beara’s victory.

UCC led 0-4 to 0-2 early on before Dave Fenton punched a lofted Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan attempt into the net to push Beara in front. Conor Cox would finish the evening with nine points and the Kerryman’s accuracy helped UCC retake the lead ahead of a Kevin O’Sullivan goal to make it 1-7 to 1-5 after 28 minutes.

The College maintained a two-point lead into the second half where Beara’s inaccurate shooting threatened to undo all their diligent approach work. Another Conor Cox free and marvellous John Murphy effort looked to have won it for UCC until Conchúr Harrington’s two late frees forced extra time.

Beara were the better side in additional time and ran out deserving winners on a never to be forgotten evening for the Divisional side.


Beara: Conchur Harrington 0-7 (5 f), Dave Fenton 1-0, Kevin Jer O’Sullivan (1 f), Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan 0-3 each, Andrew O’Sullivan (1 45’), Connor Lowney 0-2 each, Vincent Lehane, Liam Harrington and Ciarán McElhinney 0-1 each.

UCC: Conor Cox 0-9 (5 f), Kevin O’Sullivan 1-0, Adrian Spillane 0-3, Sean O’Donoghue, Michael Walsh, John Murphy and Conor Gleeson 0-1 each.

Beara: William O’Sullivan (Adrigole); David Torres (Castletownbere), Liam Harrington (Adrigole), Lorcan Harrington (Castletownbere); Trevor Collins (Castletownbere), Joe Harrington (Garnish), Eanna Murphy (Garnish); Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere), Shane McCarthy (Castletownbere); Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan (Garnish), Dave Fenton (Castletownbere), Conchúr Harrington (Urhan); Paul O’Neill (Garnish), Connor Lowney (Urhan), Gary Murphy (Castletownbere),

Subs: Kevin Jer O’Sullivan (Adrigole) for David Torres (ht), Vincent Lehane (Urhan) for Paul O’Neill (48), Barry Goggin (Adrigole) for Shane McCarthy (56), Martin McCarthy (Urhan) for Connor Lowney (60), Ciarán McElhinney (Glengariff) for Vincent Lehane (73).

UCC: D O’Shea (Ballydonoghue); J Maguire (Listowel Emmetts), D Culhane (Ballylongford), K Histon (Cobh); C Hyde (Naomh Abán), M Walsh (Knocknagoshel), T Clancy (Fermoy); G O’Sullivan (Listry), B O’Sullivan (Dingle); K O’Sullivan (Kenmare Shamrocks), A Spillane (Templenoe), S Keane (Killarney Legion); C Gleeson (The Nire), C Cox (Listowel Emmetts), S O’Donoghue (Inniscarra).

Subs: C Murphy (Rathmore) for J Maguire (41), K Shanahan (Ardfert) for S O’Donoghue (47), J Murphy (Macroom) for S Keane (47), S Kelleher (Aghinagh) for J Murphy (61, bc), S Keane for K O’Sullivan (et), M O’Connor (Sneem/Derrynane) for A Spillane (68, inj), J Maguire for T Clancy (70, bc), S O’Donoghue for M O’Connor (76).

Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty)

Sean ‘Terry’ O’Sullivan of Beara
The Garnish player was pivotal to Beara’s victory, scoring three points, intelligently linking defence with attack and producing a tireless performance on a memorable evening for his division.