Junior A County Football FInal
After a wait of exactly 30 years, Glin finally captured the County Junior football title in style in Ballyagran. For the last 7 years, we’ve toiled and laboured in the Junior A grade, suffering many heartbreaking defeats. However, the memories of those bitter years were firmly put to rest in front of a large crowd at Paddy Carroll Park last Saturday.
Played in testing wet conditions, our boys came out of the dressing room focused and hungry. We got off to a great start with Tommy Culhane curling over a fine long range point from 40 yards on the turn and Mark Culhane getting the first of his haul from a free. Kilteely-Dromkeen then responded with two points of their own. In the 8th minute, Paul Sheehan finished off a great solo run with a point from the right hand side before Philip Moloney got a point of his own after some wonderful interplay by our forwards. Mark Culhane struck over free in the 15th minute from difficult angle on the left hand side. Darren Sheahan, who worked tirelessly up and down the field all day, knocked over another free with his left foot putting us firmly in control. It was now, we really clicked into gear. Edmond Horan, Paddy Fitzgerald and Philip in the middle of the field, benefitting from the accurate kick-outs of Michael Stack in goals, dominated the remainder of the half, giving our forwards a great platform to attack. Mark, Tommy and Pádraig Scanlon consistently beat their men to the any ball coming in and it was no surprise when Tommy, Jack Fitzgerald and Mark kicked further points giving a half time score of Glin 0-10: Kilteely-Dromkeen 0-04.
The second half began with two more points by Pádraig Scanlon and Mark Culhane, widening the gap to eight. In the 40th minute Darren slotted over another well taken score. After all our dominance, it was inevitable that Kilteely-Dromkeen would have their own purple patch and as the rain began to fall even heavier around the 45th minute mark, they started to reel off some scores of their own. But for the resolute and dogged defending of Timmy O’Connor, Brian O’Donovan and Kevin Sweeney in the full back line, ably assisted by Pádraig Costello and John Wallace, it would have been far worse. As the game entered the final stages, we defended a four point lead with our lives, the harsh lessons of previous years firmly to the fore in our minds. Each substitute that entered the fray made their own vital contributions. In injury time, Mark kicked the last of his seven point tally to leave margin at five.
As referee Donal Enright blew the whistle for full time, he heralded the end of 7 years of misfortune for our club. The overwhelming jubilation on the faces of players and management was a joy to behold and the huge Glin following were ecstatic as they ran on the field in the midst of a heavy downpour for the presentation. It was own clubman, Pat O’Shaughnessy, Vice-Chairperson of the County Football Board, who presented the cup to our captain, Paddy Fitzgerald. In his acceptance speech, he thanked the supporters, the officials and Kilteely-Dromkeen for playing their part in the great occasion. He also paid credit to the efforts of manager Pat Madigan, selectors- John A. Culhane and Liam Long, mentors- David Horan and Billy Martin and physio, Mike O’Shaughnessy for their dedication and determination throughout the year. Finally he paid tribute to our friend and teammate, Shane Fitzgerald, who died last year. The diligent and hardworking manner in which the Glin team won the final on Saturday epitomised the fine spirit in which Shane played the game.
The celebrations continued that evening in the village as family and friends joined with the team to mark the historic occasion. It was a moment that will live long in the memory and now we embark our maiden voyage in the Munster Club Championship!
Team: M. Stack, T. O’Connor, B. O’Donovan, K. Sweeney, J. Fitzgerald, P. Costello, John Wallace P. Moloney (0-1), E. Horan, P. Sheahan (0-1), M. Culhane (0-7), D. Sheahan (0-2), P. Scanlon (0-1), P. Fitzgerald, T. Culhane (0-2). Subs: S.Culhane for P. Sheahan, M. Sweeney for T. Culhane, A. Mulvihill for D. Sheahan, T. Scanlon for K. Sweeney, H. Dunne for J. Wallace, James Wallace, B. Culhane, M. Sheehy, S. Shine, P.Horan, G. Culhane.
Well done to St. Fergus N.S. Girls football team on their recent victory in the West Limerick National School’s football final.
Munster Junior Club C’ship Quarter Final: Glin vs Inane Rovers (Tipperary), Sunday, November 9th at 2pm. The venue for what marks our first ever foray into Munster Club football has yet to be decided but it will be a County Limerick venue and we will update our Twitter and Facebook pages when it is confirmed.