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Gallen flourish proves decisive

Gallen CS finished with a real flourish at Croke Park as they claimed the All-Ireland Vocational Schools football title with a dramatic late burst.

Goals in the last six minutes from Aaron McDonagh and Eoghan Lowry sealed a memorable victory for Gallen.

Holders Clonakilty shaded a first half that was high on industry as both sides enjoyed pockets of supremacy. Clonakilty settled quickly, kicking four points in a row via Fiachra O'Connell, Cillian Cullinane (2), and Finbarr Butler.

But Gallen's attack was pacy and with McDonagh causing Clonakilty problems, Brian Grehan nudged over two points. Then Clonakilty pounced for a 24th-minute GearĂ³id Barry goal, while moments later at the opposite end, Grehan blazed a penalty wide as the Cork team went in 1-4 to 0-3 ahead at the interval.

Gallen controlled the third quarter and hit four points on the spin themselves courtesy of Eoghan Lowry, Joe Maher (2), and McDonagh to level it.

It was tight and tense for the next 10 minutes as Clon edged in front before being caught by a blistering late Gallen assault.

Scorers -- Gallen CS: A McDonagh 1-4; E Lowry 1-3 (1f); B Grehan, J Maher (2f) 0-2 each. Clonakilty CC: C Cullinane 0-5 (2f); G Barry 1-0; J Clancy, F O'Connell, F Butler 0-1 each.

Gallen CS: D Digan; D Kelly, C Lowry, J Nally; S Wren, D Corbett, S Costello; L Fox, C Cahill; J Maher, A McDonagh, R Delaney; D Keenaghan, B Grehan, E Lowry. Sub: B Rigney for M O'Keenaghan (60).

Clonakilty CC: A Collins; F Butler, D Nyhan, J Barrett; C Hennessy, J Ryan, G O'Brien; K Cormican, E Hartnett; C Cullinane, G Barry, F O'Connell; M O'Donovan, J Hayes, A O'Donovan. Subs: S Sheehan for O'Brien (12), S White for O'Connell (38), S McCarthy for M O'Donovan (43), J Clancy for Cormican (53).

Referee: G McCormack (Dublin)

Sunday Indo Sport