Sunday 19 November 2017

David Griffin inspires Ardfert to club title treble

Ardfert 1-14 St Croan's 0-9 (All-Ireland Club IFC Final)

Mairtin Ferris, Ardfert, in action against Gregory Grogan and Philip Leech, right, St Croan's
Mairtin Ferris, Ardfert, in action against Gregory Grogan and Philip Leech, right, St Croan's
Brian Mullin, 9, and James Connaughton, St Croan's, in action against Darren Dineen, Jerry Wallace, behind and Trevor Wallace, 5, Ardfert
A dejected Cathal Connelly, St Croan's, after the final whistle

Ardfert created history to complete a hat-trick of All-Ireland club titles since 2004 when they proved far too strong for a gallant St Croan's at Croke Park.

The Kerry side repeated All-Ireland wins of 2006 (Junior) and 2007 (Intermediate), with two crucial first-half incidents having a major influence on the eventual outcome.

With Ardfert leading 0-3 to 0-2 early on, thanks to two Damien Wallace points and an opener from wing-back Trevor Wallace, the Roscommon side's centre-forward James Connaughton appeared to be taken down for a penalty in the 12th minute but it was not given and eight minutes later Ardfert struck for a crucial goal from David Griffin.

Ardfert had too much in terms of experience with the likes of John Egan, Darren Dineen, Rory Horgan and Daniel Collins, and it showed as they raced 1-6 to 0-3 ahead at the interval, with Damien Wallace kicking 0-4 in the opening half, and David Griffin adding another point from play. All St Croan's points came from the boot of Kevin Smyth.

The second half saw St Croan's respond with two fine points from Maurice Connaghton and some accurate free-taking from Smyth but it was never going to be enough. David Griffin added two more points, bringing his personal tally to 1-3 from play.

The only black mark for the winners was the red card shown to team captain Jerry Wallace.

Scorers - Ardfert: Damien Wallace 0-6 (3f); D Griffin 1-3; J Egan 0-3; Darren Wallace, Trevor Wallace 0-1 each. St Croan's: K Smyth 0-6 (5f); M Connaughton 0-2 (1 '45), B Mullins 0-1.

Ardfert: N O'Sullivan; D Dineen, R Horgan, M Moloney; T Wallace, D Collins, S Leen; J Dowling, K Shanahan; D Griffin, Darren Wallace, F Horgan; S Griffin, Damien Wallace, J Egan. Subs: J Wallace for Dowling (19), B Barrett for Collins (29, inj), M Ferris for Darren Wallace (50), N Clifford for F Horgan (56), E Corridan for S Griffin (60).

St Croan's: V Egan; G Mockler, G Gorgan, K Keenan; D Malone, E Towey, M Connaughton; R Timothy, A Brogan; K Smyth, J Connaughton, K Muldoon; R Keenan, M Holland, S Smyth. Subs: B Mullin for Brogan (22), P Leech for Muldoon (28), M Towey for Mockler (h-t), C Connelly for R Keenan (38), T Egan for Timothy (61).

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)

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