Derry Gaels finish with flourish to secure title
UNDER-17 ‘A’ AND ‘B’ SHIELD FINALS
DERRY GAELS TOMACORK 5-7 2-13
Doyle and he drew the sides level with two wicked scores after good work from midfielder Eoin Kavanagh on both occasions.
Doyle added a free to give Tomacork the lead again, but John Toomey fired over a beauty off his left after good work from Dylan Walsh and Darragh Owens with 21 on the clock.
It was tit for tat over the next few minutes with Toomey pointing a free before John Young accepted a short free from John Doyle and popped the ball over the bar.
Liam O’Neill returned Tomacork to the lead, but Derry Gaels finished the first half the stronger thanks to points from Adam Keegan (one fee) and John Toomey (free) to leave it reading 1-7 to 0-8 at the break.
A dire opening fire minutes of the second half livened up considerably when the Tomacork management switched john Doyle and Eoin Kavanagh. Doyle was involved in a move moments later that resulted in James McGing firing a high ball down on the Derry Gaels square and there was Eoin Kavanagh to catch and fire home to the back of the net.
This was a golden spell for Tomacork and it looked as though there would only be one winner when substitute Shane Byrne pounced on a mistake in the Derry Gales defence to lash home another goal three minutes after their first one.
Just prior to that goal, Derry Gaels had introduced Robert Doyle and Colm Walsh and these two lads were going to make a telling contribution to the cause within minutes.
Tomacork incrreased their advantage with two points, one from Owen Young and made from an Eoin Kavanagh run, the second from James McGing after a ball from John Doyle and at 2-10 to 1-7 things were looking swell for Tomacork.
But back came Derry Gaels. Good play from Keegan set up Colm Walsh and he lashed home low and hard past Caoimhin Rawson.
A wide apiece would follow before Rawson would save superbly from Euan Harper at the cost of a 45.
Up stepped Robert Doyle to fire in the 45 and it flew like a missile to the top corner of the Tomacork net to transform the landscape of this game like an earthquake, 2-10 to 3-7.
The Tomacork recovery began in earnest. John Doyle from a free, a beast of a score from Owen Young and things were looking better for the Tomacork men.
But that vulnerability at the back was exposed again when Dylan Lynch exchanged a one-two with the impressive Adam Keegan who had been tightly marked by Cormac Redmond all game and blasted home to the back of the Tomacork net with 10 to go, 4-7 to 2-12.
Back came Tomacork but a John Doyle free dropped short. Derry Gaels swept up the field and Colm Walsh fairly stuck the ball in the back of the net with 30 on the clock.
James McGing reduced the deficit to three points but Tomacork just couldn’t get the ball in to the danger zone to grab that vital equalising score and Gerry Corbett’s final whistle was greeted with pure delight by the Derry Gaels players and supporters.
Derry Gales captain Darragh Owens accepted the ‘B’ Shield from Katriona Byrne, secretary of Coiste na nÓg and he also accepted the Wicklow People sponsored Man of the Match award for a fine performance from the middle of the field.
– Derry Gaels: Dylan Lynch 2-0; Colm Walsh 2-0, Robert Doyle 1-0. Adam Keegan 0-4 (1f), John Toomey 0-3 (2f).
Tomacork: John Doyle 0-7 (4f), Eoin Kavanagh 1-0, Shane Byrne 1-0, Owen Young 0-2, James McGing 0-2, John Young 0-1, Liam O’Neill 0-1.
Sean Campbell; Conor Byrne, Oisin Dunne, Shane Arthur; Mark Clancy, Dylan Walsh, Paraic Doyle; Darragh Owens, Dylan Lynch; Euan Harper, John Toomey, James Doyle; Adam Keegan, Oisin Dillon, Dara O’Shea. Subs: 16. Robert Doyle, 17. Luke Brown, 18. Ben Stephenson, 19. Colm Walsh.
Caoimhin Rawson; Cormac Redmond, Thomas Collins, Dylan Farrell; Niall Byrne, Conor Wafer, Kieran O’Keeffe; John Young, Eoin Kavanagh; James McGing, Owen Young, Liam O’Neill; Shay Guilfoyle, John Doyle, Edward Smith. Subs: Shane Byrne, Dan Redmond.
Derry Gaels: Tomacork: Referee:
The Rathnew team that defeated Clara Gaels in the Under-17 ‘A’ Shield final in Ballinakill.