Taghmon Minors tops
TWO second-half goals helped Taghmon-Camross to emerge with a thoroughly-deserved four-point victory over HWH-Bunclody in this Martin Cullen Cup Minor football league final at Bree on Sunday last.
On a pitch that proved excellent despite the recent weather, both sides managed to serve up some exciting passages of football. In the end the ability of the eventual winners to snatch three goals proved conclusive, as their opponents' solitary major arrived from a penalty in additional time with the destination of the trophy already decided.
HWH-Bunclody opened the scoring in the fourth minute through a Jonathan Morris pointed free, but amazingly that was the only time in the game they led. Six minutes later, an Ian Carty goal from a penalty after Stephen O'Gorman had been fouled gave Taghmon-Camross the lead for the very first time (1-0 to 0-1).
As the tempo of the game increased, the Bunclody boys responded with two unanswered points through Shane Franklin and Jamie Cowman to draw level by the end of the opening quarter. Approaching the break a well-taken point from substitute Luke Sinnott gave the eventual winners a 1-2 to 0-4 interval lead.
As the second-half unfolded Taghmon-Camross looked the more impressive outfit. With Adam Winters and Pierce Doyle dominant in defence and Stephen Stafford winning lots of midfield possession, they enjoyed the ideal start as Nicholas Murphy pointed within 90 seconds. Two minutes later Stephen O'Gorman found the net from close range, giving his side a 2-3 to 0-4 lead.
HWH-Bunclody had to wait until the 35th minute for their opening second-half score, a Jamie Cowman point, but when Keelan Jackson struck for his side's third goal five minutes later, it was always going to prove an uphill battle for the opposition.
While HWH-Bunclody kept battling, they were reduced to twelve players at the end of the third quarter when Jonathan Morris was sent-off on a second yellow card offence. There was no denying the dominance of Taghmon-Camross who only looked a little uncomfortable when Shane Franklin goaled a penalty one minute into additional time, but they managed to hold firm in the closing two minutes added on to secure a deserved victory.
Taghmon-Camross: Jack Dunne, James Carroll, Adam Winters, Barry Og McGrath, Pierce Doyle, Leigh Hayden, Darren Carty, Stephen Stafford, Stuart Murphy, Nicholas Murphy (0-1), Ian Carty (1-0 pen.), Keelan Jackson (1-0) Stephen O'Gorman (1-2). Subs. - Luke Sinnott (0-1) for S. Murphy, Eoin Banville for McGrath.
HWH-Bunclody: Diarmuid Crean, Andrew Kelly, Roy Hudson, Jamie Farrell, Conor Crean, Seán Nolan, Dean Plunkett, Jonathan Morris (0-1 free), Shane Franklin (1-1, 1-0 pen.), Jamie Cowman (0-3), Conor Hendrick (0-1), Jamie Wilson, Billy Kelly. Sub. - Elizah Ducey for Hendrick.
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).