St Patrick’s 2-14
By Tommy Murphy
ST Patrick’s under-19 footballers will certainly be enjoying the 12 days of Christmas after they came from six points down to clinch this lively championship final with a two-point win over a gallant Tinryland side at Netwatch Cullen Park last Thursday week.
The two teams produced five goals and 23 points, however it was the progressive attacking attitude that made this final memorable, and it was the first under-19 football championship in Carlow GAA history.
Each side decided to get the game started quickly. St Patrick’s won from the throw-in and full forward Craig Staunton had the ball over the bar in less than 40 seconds. Tinryland won possession from the kickout and centre forward Dinny Farrell had matters all square in the opening minute. Maurice Lawlor pointed from a free and in the eight minute good work from the Tinryland attack saw Dinny Farrell shoot low and hard to the St Patrick’s net.
Undaunted, St Patrick’s battled back with two points from Eoghan Cunnane and Brian Byrne. Tinryland looked to be getting the upper hand when again they split the St Pat’s defence enabling John Dempsey to fire home goal number two as they opened up a five-point lead -2-2 to 0-3 – after 13 minutes.
The St Patrick’s response was swift as they pointed from the kickout and you could sense that the whole team decided it was now time to move up a gear, which they did.
Tinryland finished the half with three further points from Brian McGrath, Joe Byrne and Patrick Regan and points from Cathal Murray and Craig Staunton had St Patrick’s four points adrift – 2-5 to 0-7 – at the break.
Each side was now firing on all cylinders playing good football that kept the loyal supporters in full voice. Tinryland pushed out the lead to six points and looked good for victory.
St Patrick’s had different ideas as they pressed the overdrive button. Cathal Murray scored two points to narrow the gap to four and then the first major tonic arrived as the dancing Eoghan Cunnane cut through to shoot home their first goal nine minutes into the last period.
Three minutes later St Patrick’s were only a point adrift – 2-9 to 1-11. Cathal Murray brought a big cheer when he tied the sides turning in to the last quarter.
The blue and gold men were reduced to 14 when Rob Gahan received two yellows and a red card. Left half-forward Tadgh Black made fans jump off their seats when he gave St Patrick’s the lead for the second time eight minutes from time.
Three minutes later the joy switched to Tinryland when midfielder Conor Brennan shot home goal number three to restore a two-point lead. But then St Patrick’s moved like wild fire and Eoghan Cunnane again sent a high dipping shot in over the head of Daniel Donegan for their second goal and a one-point lead.
St Patrick’s added a point and in time added on they had to defend heroically to stave off the best efforts of Tinryland.
St Patrick’s: Kieran Orbinski, Eoghan Cleary, Rob Gahan, Niall Gahan, Dylan Gorman Comerford, Conor Murphy, Dylan Hanley, Lee Nolan, Stephen Metcalfe, Cathal Murray (0-5), TJ Kavanagh, Tadgh Black (0-1), Eoghan Cunnane (2-2), Craig Staunton (0-4), Brian Byrne (0-2). Subs: David Orbinski for D Hanley, Jake Dore for T Black, David Tobin for C Staunton. Mark O’Connor, Garrett Fitzgerald, Cathal Lennon, Jack Johnson, Fionn Garman
Tinryland: Daniel Donegan, Aidan Fennell, Tommy Dunne, Jack Murphy, Eoghan Hosey, Jonah Dunne, Brian McGrath, Maurice Lawlor, Conor Brennan, Patrick Regan, Dinny Farrell, Joe Byrne, Ronan Curran, John Dempsey
Referee: Michael McNally