U-21 North Board Final: Headford 1-6 | Glenamaddy/Glinsk 0-14
Our u-21 campaign came to an end at Tuam Stadium in the North Board Final last Saturday. While we were in the game for 45 minutes the North East Galway amalgamation finished the stronger and scored the final six points to finish with a five point win. Modern day football is now a 22 man game and Glenamaddy/Glinsk had the strength in depth to rally when it counted most. Man of the Match Michael Heneghan did the main damage with a 10 point haul all from frees. Some of these efforts were 50m plus out the field with the breeze blowing from the scoreboard corner to the dressing room corner, it was no easy task.
Heneghan got the game’s first score with his first free and with the breeze James O’Brien hit a long range effort which landed on the edge of the artificial square and bounced over the bar to equalise. A Niall Egan free gave us the lead before another Heneghan free and an excellent score from Captain Mark Dolan raiding from wing back gave the opposition the lead. Excellent work by midfielders Dylan Cunningham and James O’Brien dispossessed them in midfield which gave James the chance to run at their defence. Once he got going there was no stopping him and he fired a bullet to the top corner from 18 yards, giving former county minor keeper Cormac Haslam no chance in the Glenamaddy/Glinsk goal. We added to the lead when Conor Walsh beat the cover and fisted over the bar when maybe there was a goal for the taking. Heneghan responded with 2 frees and also a dead ball effort from Niall left the scores 1-4 to 0-5 at the break.
Playing against the breeze in the second half was going to be a tough ask but for the first 15 minutes we gave as good as we got. It took Glan/Glinsk 8 minutes to open their account with a Heneghan free which Eoghan Halloran clawed back with a free of his own. A good point from play by Stephen Glynn was matched with another free from Niall. Then came two of those long range screamers from Heneghan which drew the sides level and with our lads starting to tire and missing three kickable frees of our own had the Glan/Glinsk crowd now sensing that the tide was turning in their favour. The loss of Sean Monaghan to injury gave Glynn the freedom and space that he did not have up to then and with the introduction of Sean Raftery, who started alongside Haslam on the same team that were defeated by Kerry in the 2016 All Ireland Final, helped to take the reins in the middle third and with Glan/Glinsk were now flowing with confidence and any stranglehold we had on the game was soon eroded away. The master class from Heneghan continued and 4 frees in the dying minutes and a super point from play by his midfield partner Padraig Geraghty gave our victors a deserved win with a final tally of 0-14 to 1-6.
On the day we had good performances from Rob Forde in goal and our full backline of Alan Toher, Colin O’Reilly and Daniel Garvey were excellent. Sean Monaghan in the half back line and James O’Brien in midfield ran himself into the ground. Up front Cathal Newell never stopped working and showing for the ball and Conor Walsh when in space gave their defence a few scares. We wish our victors the best of luck against west board champions Carraroe in the county final.
Credit must go to the entire squad who acquitted themselves excellently during this u-21 campaign that yielded wins over St. Brendan’s, Milltown & Kilconly (after a replay) to reach the final. There is a bright future ahead for these lads. Thanks also to the management team of Rory Corbett, Tommy Flynn, Paul Monaghan & Justin Ryan for their effort.
Thanks to all who supported the team throughout the season, especially last Saturday. Finally thanks to Joyce’s Supermarkets for their continued sponsorship.
Team: Robert Forde, Colin O’Reilly, Daniel Garvey, Seán Monaghan, Alan Toher, Sean Moran, Geoffrey Corbett, Dylan Cunningham, James O’Brien, Eoghan Halloran, Conor O’Malley, Mike OBrien, Niall Egan, Cathal Newell, Conor Walsh.
Subs: Cian Doherty, Darra Moran.
Unavailable through injury: William Moggan, Padraic Cunningham.
The club would like to wish a speedy recovery to Mike O’Brien after he required surgery on his finger, an injury sustained during the match.