Former Tyrone ace Mulligan rolls back years for Fulham
London SFC final: Fulham Irish 0-15 Tír Chonaill Gaels 1-11
Former All-Ireland winner Owen Mulligan kicked the winning point as Fulham Irish beat Tír Chonaill Gaels in a brilliant London SFC final by a single point.
London stalwart Mark Gottsche had a final opportunity to bring the game to a replay but he pulled a long and difficult free wide in the final act, after nearly 70-minutes of end-to-end action.
Fulham and Tír Chonaill went punch-for-punch during a contest marked by some absolutely stunning scores from Gaels forwards Killian Butler and Liam Gavaghan. But it was Joe Roberts' first-half goal that looked like proving the difference as the game headed down the finish.
Roberts had netted a rebound after Fulham goalkeeper Jonathan Tavey saved brilliantly and Tír Chonaill led at the break by 1-5 to 0-7.
Tír Chonaill Gaels then turned with the wind at their backs and Killian Butler demonstrated the kind of match-winning form and breathtaking score-taking that made Gaels look a certainty to lift the title.
But Fulham stuck at it. And their high-energy play and intensity led to the sending-off of Tír Chonaill's Kevin Rafferty for a second high tackle on Mulligan with 10 minutes left.
Fulham were trailing by a goal at the time, but they fought their way back into the contest with fine scores from Liam Staunton and substitute Daniel Eastwood, and their relentless pressing set up a grandstand finish that saw Mulligan convert a late free to win the contest.
Scorers - Fulham Irish: L Staunton 0-5 (3f), O Mulligan 0-3f, D Eastwood 0-2, P Friel 0-2(f), M Hughes, M Murphy, B Martin 0-1 each. Tír Chonaill Gaels: K Butler 0-4, J Roberts 1-0, L Gavaghan 0-2, J McGrath 0-2f, M McCoy, M Gottsche ('45) and A Hanlon 0-1 each.
Fulham Irish - J Tavey; R Morgan, C Hyde, C Murphy; J Gilfedder, H Dockry, A Savage; M Murphy, D O'Connor; L Turley, O Mulligan, L Staunton; R Turley, M Hughes, P Friel. Subs: D Eastwood for Friel (34), A McArdle for L Turley (48), B Martin for Gilfedder (40), S Quinn for Staunton (59), S O'Sullivan for R Turley.
Tír Chonaill Gaels - G McEvoy; M McWilliams, S Burke, P Butler; M McCoy, R Breen, G McGee; A McDermott, M Gottsche; K Rafferty, L Gavaghan (capt), A Askin; J McGrath, J Roberts, K Butler. Subs: A McGarvey for Askin (26), N Garland for McGrath (40), A Hanlon for Roberts (40),
Ref - M Maher