Gifted Conor Gleeson inspires The Nire to victory
The Nire 0-11 Stradbally 0-6 (Waterford SFC Final)
The Nire lifted the Conway Cup for the seventh time at a blustery Fraher Field as 18-year-old Conor Gleeson dazzled with five points from play. After a six-year absence, the Ballymacarbry side were keen to make amends for previous disappointments.
"After all they have been through the last four or five years, it's tremendous and it's a credit to them," said winning manager Benji Whelan.
He also poured praise on the fireworks display delivered by Gleeson at corner-forward. "He was absolutely terrific. To be able to turn it on when you really need it. He was one of many out there today."
In a savage battle between two fierce rivals, The Nire's sheer hunger came to the fore. In defence, they restricted the Reds to two points from play. Thomas O'Gorman, Justin Walsh and Brian Walsh played big parts at the back. Michael O'Gorman, Craig Guiry and Shane Walsh ruled the middle as Shane Ryan assisted Gleeson in attack.
The Nire played with the benefit of a stiff wind in the first half and led by four at halfway (0-6 to 0-2). Gleeson continued to cause carnage but Stradbally didn't surrender as two David Grey frees and an Andy Doyle effort closed the gap (0-9 to 0-6). But Gleeson put the game to bed with a score four minutes from the end.
scorers - The Nire: C Gleeson 0-5, S Ryan 0-4 (4fs), L Lawlor, Michael O'Gorman 0-1 each. Stradbally: D Grey (2fs), S Ahearne (2fs) 0-2 each, A Doyle, M Sweeney 0-1 each.
The Nire - T Wall; J Walsh, T O'Gorman, T Cooney; D Wall, B Wall, S Lawlor; S Walsh, C Guiry; Michael O'Gorman, Maurice O'Gorman, J Barron; L Lawlor, S Ryan, C Gleeson. Subs: M Moore for C Guiry (41), J Guiry for J Walsh (56), K Guiry for Maurice O'Gorman (56), A Lawlor for L Lawlor (61).
Stradbally - E Cunningham; K Coffey, S Lannon, P Doyle; J Mullaney, M Walsh, L Casey; P Kiely, R Ahearne; T Connors, J Coffey, G Power; M Sweeney, S Ahearne, D Grey. Subs: A Doyle for Casey (30), K Lawlor for P Doyle (37).
ref - D O'Leary