Kinsella stars as Old Leighlin hang on to retain their crown
Defending champions Old Leighlin were left hanging on for victory yesterday after an injury-time goal from Evan Doyle set up a grandstand finish at Dr Cullen Park.
Tinryland, appearing in their first Carlow football final since 1992, fought desperately for a levelling point but fell just short in a disappointing, error-strewn final played in perfect conditions before an attendance of 4,000.
The challengers opened with a quick brace of points from play by Paul Broderick and Gary Morrissey but it was a further 36 minutes before they raised another flag, a fatal scoring famine.
Old Leighlin led 1-3 to 0-2 at the interval -- their goal coming on 18 minutes from corner-forward Seamus Kinsella, who scored a total of 1-5 and was named Man of the Match.
Broderick and Kinsella traded early second-half points before Tinryland went on a roll which saw them draw level in the 51st minute through an Evan Doyle point from a free (0-7 to 1-4).
The champions then reeled off four unanswered points from Kinsella (2), Cathal Coughlan and David Dowling before Evan Doyle finished to the net after sloppy play in the Old Leighlin defence.
However, time ran out on Tinryland as Old Leighlin claimed the Conlon Cup for the third time and won back-to-back titles.
Old Leighlin defended very solidly, led splendidly by experienced team captain John Hayden at centre-back.
Full-back Michael Meaney, wing-back Eamon Fitzgerald, heroic midfielder Mark Brennan, Cathal Coughlan, Hughie Gahan and Seamus Kinsella, were all prominent in a hard-fought victory.
For a gallant Tinryland side, seeking their first title since 1981, goalie Trevor O'Reilly, John Paul Moore, Danny Moran, captain Shane Redmond, Paul Broderick and Evan Doyle were best.
Scorers -- Old Leighlin: Seamus Kinsella 1-5 (2f), C Coughlan 0-2 (1f), D Dowling 0-1. Tinryland: P Broderick 0-4 (2f, 1 '45), E Doyle 1-1 (0-1f), G Morrissey, D Moran 0-1 each.
Old Leighlin -- J Clarke; R Burke, Michael Patrick Meaney, G Hickey; D Dowling, J Hayden, E Fitzgerald; P Hickey, M Brennan; D Kelly, C Coughlan, D Bambrick; Michael Philip Meaney, H Gahan, Seamus Kinsella. Subs: Sean Kinsella for Dowling (inj, 58).
Tinryland -- T O'Reilly; J Sutton, C Byrne, J P Moore; D Moran, S Redmond, N Barrett; K Jackson, C Moore; G Doyle, P Townsend, G Morrissey; P Broderick, E Doyle, C Walshe. Subs: P Doran for Jackson (inj, 30); P Doyle for Morrissey (40); P Delaney for Barrett (55).
Ref -- J Hickey (Fenagh)