A GOAL three minutes in to injury time from Ciaran Gravin gave underdogs Clogherinkoe a dramatic win over Two Mile House in the Junior Football Championship final in Newbridge on Saturday evening last, writes Ruth Chambers.
Tom Cross Transport Junior Football Championship Final
Two Mile House: 2-8
The goal inflicted yet more final heartbreak on Two Mile House, who have now been beaten in four deciders in six years.
The House, under the tutelage of Jarlath Gilroy, were whooping favourites ahead of this decider but Chris Byrne’s Clogherinkoe spoiled the party and took the title back to the west of the county for the first time since 1998.
Never once did the favourites gain a big enough lead to bury their tenacious opponents. In fact Clogherinkoe were equal and in parts much better than the House.
At the break the team’s were deadlocked with 1-5 a piece.
A goal from county man Peter Kelly from the penalty spot and one from Robert Dunne at the other end proved crucial during the opening half.
Clogherinkoe started slowly, perhaps nervously too and it was Two Mile House that delivered early on. They opened the score with just 55 seconds on the clock when Shane D’Arcy picked out the impressive Chris Healy and he duly delivered a point, his first of five.
Six minutes later Clogherinkoe opened their account when Cein McMonagle was impeded and he converted the free out of his hands from the left of the points to leave the team’s level early on. However, Brian Gravin soon kicked the Cloghs head when his shot from 45 metres out sailed over Robert Kennedy’s cross bar.
Down the other end Healy also sent over a free, this time from close range after Willie Burke was fouled by Declan Lowry. By the eleventh minute Two Mile House hit the front (0-3 to 0-2) when Rossa Fahey raised a white flag after Thomas Hickey was guilty of giving away possession.
A point from Healy followed to extend the House’s lead and then game the game’s opening goal. The dangerous Healy was hauled down by Declan Lowry and referee Dave Coady signalled for a penalty.
County man Peter Kelly stood forward and delivered the goods and gave his side a 1-4 to 0-2 lead with 18 minutes played.
Clogherinkoe scored their first point in 14 minutes when McMonagle was put through by Brian Gravin and sensible elected to fist over the bar.
Only the goal separated the sides soon after when Ciaran Gravin split the posts but Two Mile House substitute Tadhg O’Neill answered with a fifth point to leave his side leading 1-5 to 0-4 as first half stoppage time approached.
Before the interlude Dean Hanley split the posts, while Robert Dunne hit the back of the net to ensure the sides were deadlocked (1-5 to 1-5) at half time.
Five minutes in to the new half TMH opened up a two point lead before Robert Dunne responded.
Then came the game’s third goal and Two Mile House’s second. Healy’s ball found Shane D’Arcy and he hit low to the net to leave his side leading 2-7 to 1-6.
Clogherinkoe recovered well though and struck the next four without response to leave the score at 2-7 to 1-10, while Two Mile House’s shooting left a lot to be desired late on.
In stoppage time Willie Burke gave Gilroy’s side a slender one point lead and they dared to dream.
Clogherinkoe shattered those dreams though. A ball in from captain Sean McEvoy found Ciaran Gravin and he cooly shot low passed Robert Kennedy in the 63rd minute and dramatically sealed the title for Chris Byrne’s charges.
Clogherinkoe, Ciaran Gravin 1-1, Robert Dunne1-1, Cein McMonagle 0-3 (1f), Dean Hanley 0-2, Daniel Grehan 0-2, Brian Gravin 0-1.
Two Mile House, Chris Healy 0-5 (3f), Peter Kelly 1-0 (1 pen), Shane D’Arcy 1-0, Rossa Fahey 0-1, Tadhg O’Neill 0-1, Willie Burke 0-1.
Gary Ryan; Declan Lowry, Sean McEvoy, Conor Grehan; Thomas Hickey, Conor Swan, Kevin McEvoy; Brian Gravin, Daniel Grehan; Dean Hanley, Robert Dunne, Cein McMonagle; Neil Bergin, Ciaran Gravin, Mark Nolan. Subs: Thomas Reilly replaced K McEvoy 25 mins, Paul Lowry replaced C Swan 45 mins, Brian Kelly replaced M Nolan 45 mins, Ben Kenny replaced N Bergin 52 mins, John Kane replaced B Kelly (inj) 60 mins.
Two Mile House:
Robert Kennedy; Aidan Dowling, Peter Kelly, Brian Byrne; Matt Kelly, Christy Burke, Nathan Sherry; Darren Casey, Shane D’Arcy; Rossa Fahey, Willie Burke, Donal Browne; Mark Sherry, Niall Browne, Chris Healy. Subs: Tadhg O’Neill replaced R Fahey 24 mins, Aidan Casey replaced D Browne HT, Colm Byrne replaced D Casey 52 mins, Mark Callaghan replaced B Byrne (inj) 56 mins.