Glenravel 3 : 09 Davitts 2 : 10
This match on paper after recent league results had Glenravel as prime victors, but as usual, Championship throws a spanner in the works. But for the team from the glens, the hard work was mainly done in the first half, and even after a second half comeback from Davitts, the Con Magee's emerged victorious in this tight tussle.
A sprinkling of rain did'nt dampen the enthusiasm as right from the off, both teams gave their all in this "B" Final.
Steven Toner of Davitts had the ball over Chris Mc Cann's bar in the second minute, which was soon cancelled out when big Niall Donnelly struck a "65" long which fell nicely for the wing half, and nestled in the corner of the goal's of the Belfast side with Brian Birt causing confusion around the box area , for a major for the Glenravel side.
Canice Mooney cut the scoreline to a point with a well hit free from forty yards.
Glenravel's Dean Kerr caught a loose ball out on the wing and found Barry Mc Cann (back from a leg injury)in space who turned his opponent and popped the ball over the bar.
On eleven minute's a dropped ball fell in the Davitt's box where Shanlee pulled on it but keeper Mark Mc Keagney parried the ball round the post for a "70", Niall drive the place ball sweetly over the bar for a point. Again Donnelly added to his tally by converting a forty yard free.
A cleared ball out of defense landed towards Brian Birt, the big full-forward knew he was about to be cleeked so he cutely kicked the sliotár to a charging Niall Donnelly who obliged by slotting over the Davitt's bar.
Peter Carleton replied for the west Belfast outfit on twenty-three minute's, which was added to by team-mate Canice Mooney from a free.
Dean Kerr working in his corner forward berth collected a ball and ran goalward's, he struck a fierce effort but the ball was blocked down where sturdy full forward Brian Birt pulled on the sliotár and burst the back of the Davitt's net!! Niall added a fine point from the wing from play to conclude this first half.
Glenravel 2 : 05 Davitt's : 04
Niall continued early in the second half with a converted forty yard free, but to their credit back came Davitt's with Thomas Toland pointing, and a charging Steven Toland running through and kicking the ball to the green and white's net's, game on!!!
Padge worked the ball forward straight from Mc Cann's poc out and tested the Davitt's keeper, Mc Keagney blocked the ball out but only to "Rocket" Ron Mc Cann who pulled on the ball which hit the back of the net with some force, this final was heating up with score's coming thick and fast. Padge found himself in the referee's book for a foul on a Davitt's player, which young Mooney dispatched over Glenravel's bar.
On thirty nine minutes marksman Donnelly struck a mighty eighty yard free over the Belfast team's bar, only for Alan Rainey to hit a point also. Michael Magee and Willie Hughes where introduced for the tiring leg's of Turbo and Soda who had tried hard for forty odd minutes. Canice Mooney added a point from play, before Niall pegged another dead ball effort, which was again cancelled out with Mooney adding to his tally with a soft free.
With full-time approaching Davitt's got a lifeline with Alan Rainey driving home a goal, but Barry Mc Cann hit right back with a point which he bagged from midfield which went high into the Belfast sky and over the bar. Cormac Scullion came on for Shane O Neill in the closing minute's to snuff out any Davitt's threat.
It was Mooney for Davitt's to hit the last score of this match, before referee Colm Cochrane called for the ball with Glenravel running out Junior B Championship Final Winners on a scoreline of 3 : 09 to 2 : 10...................
Davitt's gave their all in this final, after suffering a heavy defeat to Glenravel earlier in the season in a league match. They totally upped their game which is what championship is all about. Fair play to you lads!!! Peter Carleton had a fine game at midfield,with Rory Mc Evoy, Alan Rainey and the versatile Canice Mooney slotting in with some excellent score's.
But this was to be Glenravel's day, even fielding with up to six different player's as some of the regular's are recovering from injuries. We even had a couple of the oul hands back from injury to add some experience to the panel today.
Conor Donnelly (capt.) wore his shirt with pride today and led the troops into battle, he drove the ball forward when called for and stood firm in many's a heavy tackle. Padge, Shanlee and Barry working round midfield get a mention for their gritty performance's, and for falling back to assist their defense. Our two corner forwards Dean and Ron worked hard, and for Ron who hit a major to assist in the win. Again Niall for his scoring prowess, helped by big Brian Birt who burst the net, also his assist for one of Niall's point's was a joy to watch with his cute deft foot pass!!!
My Man of the Match goes to someone who rarely get's a mention but is an integral part in the Glenravel set-up, yes credit goes to Chris Mc Cann who pulled off at least two point blank save's today, inparticular as the match was near over and Davitt's where putting severe pressure on our defense, when he was fit to block the ball down and out to safety. WELL DONE CHED LAD!!!!
Comhghairdéas Conn Mág Aóidh..................
THE SEMI-FINAL OF THE JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP AGAINST ST. AGNES, IS IN TWO WEEKS......GET IT IN YOUR DIARY FOLKS.....
A big thank you to the supporters who came to the Bear-pit today to spur on the players....cheers....
Chris Mc Cann, Paul O Hagan, Conor Donnelly, Damien O Hagan,Stevie Atcheson, Frede Scullion, Shane O Neill, Padge O Neill, Shanlee Kerr, Niall Donnelly(1-07,2 65s, 4 f.), James Duffin, Barry Mc Cann(-02),Dean Kerr, Brian Birt(1-00)Ron Mc Cann(1-00)
subs. Michael Scally, Noel Kerr, Cormac Scullion, Brian O Neill, Michael Magee, Willie Hughes, Marty Mc Neill
Mark Mc Keagney,Gerard Cosgrove, Joseph George, Liam Mc Hugh, Eugene Gallagher, Paul Morgan,Thomas Toland,Peter Og Carleton(-01), Thomas Toland(-01), Canice Mooney(-06, 4 f.),Alan Rainey(1-01), Chris Gallagher,Steven Toner(1-01),Anthony Rowntree, Rory Mc Evoy