WILD Geese under-15 hurlers collected their second league win under Sean Flatley, but they had to withstand some late pressure from O'Toole's in a gripping Division 4 final played in Oldtown on Sunday morning.
WILD GEESE 5-8 O'TOOLE'S 6-4 (after extra time)
It was the team's third final appearance in five years and the addition of Stephen O'Meara (himself a former hurler with O'Tooles) has certainly made a big difference this year. Some 200 attended Sunday's thriller with players from the Fingal
Ravens, Garristown, Ballyboughal and St Margerets clubs represented. And the crowd was treated to a dinger of an affair with Sean Dunphy the standout performer on the day with a 4-6 tally. The home side had got off to a great start when Dunphy netted after just three minutes and the Dublin under age star added two more frees soon after. O'Tooles at this stage were taking their time to settle as they registered four wides as well as picking up two yellow cards for off the ball incidents in the quarter. And they nearly fell further behind on 20 minutes with only some great defending by O'Tooles denying John Rodgers a certain goal .
Wild Geese did register a point soon after only for O'Tooles to reply with two quick in quick succession to tie the game up. However a wonder point from Joe O'Donnell off a very tight angle was to restore the Geese lead before O'Tooles countered with back-to-back scores to lead 2-2 to 1-4 at the interval. The second half started slowed with both teams missing scoring chances before Dunphy sent over two points, both off frees. The game continued to gather pace with O'Tooles registering 1-1 before Dunphy struck for his second goal of the game. The game was then tied with five minutes remaining when a through ball found Daniel Sammon 20 yards from goal, and having beaten two men, he scored a well taken goal. It looked like the Geese would hang on but with the very last puck of the game, O'Tooles played a long ball into the square and the ball found the back of the net to tie up the game. The first period of extra time passed quickly with a Dunphy goal separating the sides at the turnaround. And It was a credit to both teams fitness that the second period of extra time was played at a frantic pace.
And O'Tooles started the stronger with a point after two minutes but the Geese hit back with a goal and a point from Sean Dunphy. The Geese then led by six points with four minutes to go but O'Tooles would not lie down and after a goal month scramble, halved the Wild Geese lead. Sean Dunphy scored a vital free shortly afterwards to put a bit more daylight between the teams before O'Tooles found the back of the net in the final minute to put the bare minimum between the sides. The game ended shortly after the resultant puck out to scenes of wild celebration as the Wild Geese secured the Div 4 title.