Tuesday 20 November 2018

Blistering finish allows Dromtariffe collect U-21 'C' silverware against brave St. Kevins

County U-21 'C' Football Championship Final: Dromtariffe 1-14 St. Kevins 2-8

John Tarrant

Dromtariffe finished strongly to collect the accolades from the grasp of a brave St. Kevins in a keenly contested County U-21 'C' Football Championship Final at Pairc Uí Rinn on Friday evening.

The Duhallow kingpins were forced to dig deep before shrugging off a determined effort from the Ballyclough and Milford pairing. Most of those in the attendance would had put their money on Dromtariffe to secure the spoils on leading by seven points early in the second half.

However in a contest of swaying fortunes, St. Kevins put together a productive six minute spell to shoot 2-3 without reply. That altered the scoreboard yet Dromtariffe regrouped, their response calm and measured, steeling themselves for a decisive push and five well struck points yielded the dividends.

Still a few nervous moments during the latter stages, St. Kevins never threw in the towel and came close to saving the day. Having showed their character and resilience, Dromtariffe's storming run just about deserved outright glory.

St. Kevins rushed into an early lead from points by Tim Hennessey and Damien Buckley. For a time, Dromtariffe rose to the challenge, encouraged by a goal in the 10th min., Evan Murphy, Conor O'Callaghan and Shane McSweeney involved for Mark Lynes to blast home.

Follow up points to Murphy and Cillian O'Sulliivan strengthened Dromtariffe's position yet St. Kevins held their own through the effective play of Davy Jones, Adam Finnegan, William Fitzgerald, Brian Murphy and Buckley.

Murtphy got in on the scoring act and Buckley was denied by an alert Dromtariffe 'keeper and a fine save from Mark Dennehy. Dromtariffe's cause was helped too by the introduction of pivotal defender Jack Murphy, delayed for the start owing to an exam.

Indeed Dromtariffe held plenty of the ball but apart from a fine Conor Cremin point, their shooting was somewhat erratic though enjoying a 1-5 to 0-5 grip at the break. And Dromtariffe rose the tempo on the restart, the assertive play of Brian O'Keeffe, Eanna Mernagh, Michael Healy and Evan Murphy and Cremin bosted their cause.

And Dromtariffe looked to be faourably positioned from points to Evan Murphy. Conor O'Callaghan and Lynes to jump seven ahead. That presented St. Kevins with a massive test of their resolve and the response was compelling.

Full forward Damien Buckley pointed three before a shot from Finnegan cannoned off the crossbar onl y for Shane Buckley to react smartest and apply the finishing touches to goal. Now St. Kevins were a transformed outfit, a second goal registered, Damien Buckley, the provider for Brian Murphy to oblige.

Indeed Dromtariffe were fortunate to see Buckley blast wide following good work by Finnegan.

Trailing 2-8 to 1-9, Dromtariffe were facing a real examination and they came up with the answers on points from McSweeney and O'Callaghan to restore parity.

Now a gripping contest remained up for grabs as Dromtariffe pressed on, rewarded on a productive flourish for Mernagh, Jack Buckley and Healy shoot points. Still St. Kevins chased the game to the finish and attempted to salvage some return for their exploits.

Indeed Kevins came ever so close to saving the day, Hennessy and Damien Buckley skinning the uprights in their attempts to find a reprieve. At the full time whistle, relief for Dromtariffe on realising their ambition for team captain Michael Healy lift the inaugural Mick Dolan Cup.

DROMTARIFFE: M Dennehy; B O'Keeffe, S Howard, Con O'Callaghan; E Mernagh 0-1, T Howard, G O'Keeffe; Conor O'Callaghan 0-2, M Healy 0-1; M Lynes 1-1, S McSweeney 0-1, C Cremin 0-1; E Murphy 0-5(0-1f), J Buckley 0-1, C O'Sullivan 0-1f. Subs: J Murphy for Buckley (20), M O'Connor for O'Sullivan (27), A Downey for O'Keeffe (28, b/c), J Buckley for Lynes (54), D Desmond for Murphy (60, b/c).

ST. KEVINS: D Hyland; D Hayes Daly, D Jones, D O'Neill; M Buckley, A Finnegan, R O'Gorman; W Fitzgerald, S Buckley 1-0; D O'Sullivan McCarthy, C O'Gorman, B Murphy 1-3 (0-1f); K O'Leary, D Buckley 0-4 (1f), T Hennessy (0-1). Sub: D Fitzgerald for O'Sullivan McCarthy (55).

Referee: C Ó Mocháin (Cill na Martra)