Super sub Ó Loingsigh secures dramatic win
Tom Creedon Cup Final: Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh 4-15 Newmarket 4-14
Summer dropped into Macroom on Saturday last, the welcome sight of two teams playing attractive football ensured a titanic struggle before Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh regained the Tom Creedon Cup from defending holders Newmarket.
Meeting in the decider for the third consecutive season, the familiar pairing didn't disappoint but when the searching questions were asked, challengers Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh came up with the answers.
Fresh legs energised the Gaeltacht outfit, none more so than exciting prospect Conchúir Ó Loingsigh. Just 15 seconds into the fray, the Under 21 star netted for parity yet Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh's
Hopes looked doomed subsequently when they conceded two goals. However, Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh never lost belief and in a welter of excitement, a rousing comeback was completed on Ó Loingsigh showing composure to drill home a 59th minute penalty following a foul on Maitiú Ó Riordáin.
Having incurred a disappointing County Premier IFC Round 1 defeat to Éire Óg, the Gaeltacht side reacted positively much to the delight of team coach Damien Ó Longaigh.
"Everybody agreed that we didn't play up to form in the championship opener. We changed around our team for this final, showing battling qualities but its all about Round 2 in the Premier IFC against Macroom in another local derby to remain involved," he said.
There was no obvious difference between the pair in a lively and enjoyable opening 30 minutes. The lead changed hands but approaching half time, Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh appeared to gain the upperhand from the key influence of Leonard Ó Conchúir, Eoinn Ó Coill, Andy Ó Coinceannain and Liam Seartan.
With both full-forward lines creating an impact, a foul on Ó Coiceannain saw the same player net from the penalty spot for BAG enjoy a six point advantage. Newmarket refused to panic and with Ryan O'Keeffe in excellent form, the Duhallow side were back in the hunt once Cathal Browne goaled to cut the arrears 1-10 to 1-9 at the break.
There was no let up on the turnover, TJ Brosnan netting for Newmarket only for Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh to respond, Ó Loingsigh just on the field, delivered 1-1 in quick succession. The concluding 10 minutes were gripping, Newmarket gained inspiration from goals by Browne and O'Keeffe.
Now trailing by five points, Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh rose to the challenge in brilliant fashion, back in the hunt from a green flag by Ó Conchúir. And a dramatic roller coaster of a cracking contest was further emphasised, Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh grabbing the matchwinner, a foul on Ó Riordáin gained a penalty, Ó Loinsigh showed coolness to net the clinching score.
BÉAL ÁTH'N GHAORTHAOIDH: G Ó Muirthile; C Ó Núanáin, S Ó Donnchú, S Ó Duinnín; N Ó Laoire, L Ó Conchúir, M Ó Riordáin; E Ó Coill, C Ó Tuama; A Ó Loingsigh 0-1, B Ó Coinceannain 0-2, C Ó Duinnín; B Seartan 0-5 (4f), A Ó Coinceannain 1-2 (1-0p, 0-1f), L Seartan 0-3 Fir Ionaid: C Ó Loingsigh 2-1 (1-0p) for B Ó Coinnceannain (43), D Seartan 0-1 for Ó Núanáin (49), D Ó Ceallacháin for Ó Duinnín (59)
NEWMARKET: S McAulliffe; D Fitzpatrick, G Forde, P Allen; A Ryan, B Daly, E Allen; T J Brosnan 1-1, D O'Keeffe; T J Bodie 0-1, D Culloty 0-5 (4f), C Crowley; R O'Keeffe 1-3, C O'Keeffe 0-4 (2f), C Browne 2-0 Subs: P Browne for Fitzpatrick (25), K O'Sullivan for Bodie (41), J Murphy for Ryan (46)
Referee: J Ryan (Macroom).