Front: Eamon Rowland (Selector) Ciarán Mahan, Kelvin Murphy, Keith Loftus, Shane Hargreaves (Capt), Mark Noone, Laurence Leonard, Gearóid Cronin and John Corcoran.
Back: Adrian Marley (Selector) Philip O’Malley, Michael Coleman, Shane Judge, John Joseph Harte, Gary Mulhern, Adrian Leonard, Tommy Kelly, Cormac Reilly, James Maughan and J.P.Leonard (Manager).
GAA: Cool Lahardane land silverware
By Patrick Hennelly in McHale Park
U-21 ‘C’ Football Championship –Final
LAHARDANE 1-13 KILMAINE 3-4
LAHARDANE emerged from a keenly contested battle to collect some elusive silverware after they were pushed all the way by a brave Kilmaine.
Lahardane were the better team during the majority of the second period but their failure to hammer home their advantage was almost punished in devastating fashion, as a Cathal Murphy goal on 58 minutes, edged Kilmaine into a one point lead. However, Lahardane recovered sufficiently during the seven minutes of injury-time (which were mainly played for an injury sustained by Kilmaine’s Kevin Sheridan), and acquired the match-winning scores.
Victory may have seemed far off during the opening 14 minutes of this contest, as Lahardane were on the back-foot and trailed 1-2 to 0-1. Gavin Burke opened the scoring for Kilmaine with a tidy point on three minutes, which was added to with a three-pointer on 12 minutes. Burke was the architect, setting-up the poaching Joseph Cooper whose unstoppable drive was destined for the back of the net.
A quickly taken ‘45’ from Colin Hughes resulted in Cathal Murphy firing over the Green and Red’s second point of the day, with Lahardane’s only response during the Kilmaine dominance being a pointed free from Cormac Reilly on six minutes. However, the Lahardane supporters were jumping for joy in the 14th minute, as Reilly latched onto a Philip O’Malley delivery and the former’s effort was destined for the back of the net.
Despite this boost, Lahardane failed to build on the momentum and Kilmaine plundered their second three-pointer on 21 minutes. Some good perseverance from Cooper ended with the corner-forward guiding home a perfectly placed finish.
Lahardane finally began to win some of the breaking ball and a point from Adrian Leonard could well have been the prelude to a green-flagged effort on 24 minutes, but after receiving possession from Gearoid Cronin, Leonard’s goal-bound effort was turned around his post by the alert Shane O’Brien.
Encouraged by their scoring opportunities, the Black and Amber finished the half impressively, with points from James Maughan and Mark Noone, after a neat run, but the Green and Red held a slender 2-2 to 1-4 lead at the break.
Lahardane were hoping for a positive start to the second period, but they could well have conceded a goal just two minutes in. A defensive mix-up between Gary Mulhern and his full-back line saw Cooper’s scoring attempt just about diverted to safety in the end by the Black and Amber custodian.
Seconds later at the other end, Lahardane’s Reilly almost fashioned a goal for his team, but his attempt was blocked.
A flurry of points from Reilly, Adrian Leonard and a peach of a score from James Maughan, saw the pendulum swing in Lahardane’s favour as they now led 1-7 to 2-2. Reilly stretched that lead to three points on 48 minutes, but the Black and Amber should have held a much healthier advantage, as they went on to tally 11 second half wides.
Kilmaine’s Cooper and Fergal Murphy pointed on 50 and 53 minutes respectively, which left just the bare minimum separating the sides.
A terrific point from Tony Devers on 56 minutes delighted the large Lahardane following, but that joy was short-lived as Kilmaine pounced for their third goal on 58 minutes. Cooper this time turned provider, as he spotted the poaching Cathal Murphy and the O’Neill’s was destined for the net.
Some teams may have panicked at their lead being wiped out in the blink of an eye, and trailing as the game entered second half injury-time, but not Lahardane. Swiftly they recovered, with points from Reilly and Cronin, a free, regaining their lead.
During a tense finale to proceedings, Kilmaine desperately searched for a fourth goal, but points from Leonard and Devers dashed those comeback hopes.
SCORERS – Lahardane: Cormac Reilly 1-4 (0-1f), Adrian Leonard 0-3, Tony Devers and James Maughan 0-2 each, Gearoid Cronin (f) and Mark Noone 0-1 each.
Kilmaine: Joseph Cooper 2-1, Cathal Murphy 1-1, Fergal Murphy and Gavin Burke 0-1 each.
LAHARDANE: Gary Mulhern; John Joe Harte, Laurence Leonard; Philip O’Malley, Shane Hargreaves, John Corcoran; Tony Devers, Gearoid Cronin; Adrian Leonard, James Maughan, Keith Loftus; Cormac Reilly, Mark Noone.
KILMAINE: Shane O’Brien; David Hughes, Pete O’Brien; Bryan Mullin, Gearoid O’Dea, Michael Naughton; Sean Mullin, Kevin Sheridan; Fergal Murphy, Cathal Murphy, Gavin Burke; Colin Hughes, Joseph Cooper.
Sub: Daniel Acton (for Sheridan – inj).
Referee: Martin Walsh.