Thursday 18 January 2018

Regal showing by McCormack as Kingscourt dethrone Gaels

Cavan SFC final
Kingscourt Stars 1-13 Cavan Gaels 1-9

Kingscourt Stars produced a magnificent second-half display to take the spoils as the script was torn to shreds in a slow-to-boil final.

Defending champions Cavan Gaels had it all too easy in a tepid first half but could only engineer a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead.

On-fire playmaker Micheal Lyng set up Gaels team-mate Seanie Johnston for a magic goal in the 16th minute leaving Kingscourt treading water.

Kingscourt got a let-off in the 21st minute when Niall Smith crashed his shot off the crossbar after collecting his own effort which rebounded off the upright.

Despite reaping a rich bounty of possession and enjoying a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead, the Gaels were to pay for their lack of a killer punch as man-of-the-match Ryan McCormack converted a free just 90 seconds after the restart to set Kingscourt on their way.

Hungrier, faster to the breaking ball and much more cohesive in defence, the Stars refused to give up on their bid to win their first title since 1993.

They got the leg-up they wanted in the 51st minute when Barry Reilly was fouled in the square and McCormack arrowed the resultant penalty low and hard into the net.

Behind for the first time in the match, 1-10 to 1-7, the Gaels worked overtime to hold onto their title but Joe MacMahon ran in to fist over the insurance point three minutes into added- time.

Scorers -- Kingscourt Stars: R McCormack 1-5 (0-5f), B Reilly 0-5 (0-4f), T Malone, J MacMahon, M McKeon 0-1 each.

Cavan Gaels: S Johnston 1-6 (0-5f), A Forde, N Smith, D Reilly 0-1 each.

KINGSCOURT STARS -- B McCormack; D MacMahon, T Wakely, K McCabe; B Tully, A Clarke, JP Reilly; C Smith, G Sheenan; B Reilly, P Smith, P Tinnelly; D Martin, R McCormack, T Malone. Subs: S Gray for D MacMahon (13, inj); J MacMahon for Tinnelly (31), M McKeon for Martin (42), S Og Gargan for B Reilly (51), N McCabe for Sheenan.

CAVAN GAELS -- E Elliott; M Leddy, C Collins, K Crotty; E Reilly, G Duffy, P Smith; D Reilly, E King; A Forde, M Lyng, N Smith; C McClarey, N Murray, S Johnston. Subs: M Dunne for Murray (h-t); D McCormack for Crotty (36); D Graham for Duffy (39); R Derham for Collins (44).

Ref -- J Galligan (Lacken Celtic).

Irish Independent

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