ST VINCENT’S 1-13
ST VINCENT’S confirmed their superiority over Castletown as they picked up the Tailteann Cup for the second time in less than two months following this 2021 final success at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.
It was the Ardcath men’s third win over the north Meath outfit in recent weeks and it confirmed their status as Junior Championship front runners.
After suffering successive final defeats in 2018 and 2019 St Vincent’s turned the corner with victory over Carnaross in the 2020 decider back in July and they didn’t have long to wait for further success following this fully merited win.
They had to do it the hard way though as they were reduced to 14 men after just 11 minutes when corner back Mark Crawley was red-carded. If that wasn’t bad enough Castletown rattled the net two minutes later when Robbie Hoey outfielded his marker and gave keeper Evan Connor no chance with a rasping shot.
That left it 1-3 to 0-2 and Hugh Durrigan’s side looked in serious bother. However their never-say-die spirit and work ethic kicked in the longer the half progressed and they were full value for their 1-6 to 1-4 interval lead.
Castletown posed a major challenge in the opening quarter and made their intentions known from the throw-in as Declan Cribbin powered his way through for the opening score in less than 20 seconds.
Colm Coyle’s side played with real purpose in those early stages and with the tight marking Eoin Reid keeping talisman Nigel Hand relatively quiet St Vincent’s found it difficult to create scoring opportunities.
Hand converted two frees, but their opening score from play didn’t arrive until 18 minutes when Eoghan Corry shot over.
Corry, Conor Harford and Gary Tuite were excellent as St Vincent’s gradually clawed their way back into contention to be level after 25 minutes. Kevin Ross restored the lead for Castletown before St Vincent’s were boosted by a Robert Tallon goal on 29 minutes which left them ahead at the break.
Cribbin also struck the opening point of the second half, but amazingly, despite their numerical advantage for much of the half, they only managed to add two further points. That was due in part to some superb play by St Vincent’s who steadily stretched out their lead as the half progressed.
With Martin Fox and Jack Byrne in control at midfield, Harford, Paddy Arnold and Eric Callaghan all accounted for scores as St Vincent’s went 1-9 to 1-5 clear.
Ross, with his third point, pulled one back for Castletown, but they were completely out of sorts in that second half. Their caused wasn’t helped by William Bellew being shown a black card seconds after his introduction.
St Vincent’s were content to pick off their scores and Corry, Harford and Hand all took their tally of points to three, while midfielder Byrne lofted over a great effort from long distance as the Ardcath side ran out impressive and convincing winners.
After the match St Vincent’s clubman Brian Carberry had the pleasant task of presenting the Tailteann Cup to captain Ryan Hand.
ST VINCENTS: Evan Connor; Ciaran Brangan, Davy Tallon, Mark Crawley; Gary Tuite, Ryan Hand, Conor Harford 0-3; Jack Byrne 0-1, Martin Fox; Robert Tallon 1-0, Eric Callaghan 0-1, Eoghan Corry 0-3; Leo Corry, Paddy Arnold 0-2, Nigel Hand 0-3 (2f). Subs: Thomas Field for Callaghan, Stefan O’Neill for E Corry (both 59), Conor White for Arnold, Niall Tallon for R Tallon (both 60+).
CASTLETOWN: Jonathan Ginnity; Eoin Reid, Gerard Farrelly, Noel Smyth; Conor Price, Evan Hoey, Killian Price; Declan Cribbin 0-2, Shane Hoey; Seamus Doherty 0-1, Kevin Ross 0-3, Paddy McKenna; Riain Monaghan, Robbie Hoey 1-0, Mark Kelly. Subs: Barry Smith 0-1 for McKenna (h-t), Francis Hoey for Kelly (36), William Bellew for Monaghan (48),
REF: Derek Ryan (Na Fianna)