The late, late show
Mullins strikes OLI/Fintan’s winner
OLI/ST. FINTAN’S 4-5 CLOUGHBAWN 2-10
AN ADAM Mullins goal four minutes into additional time prove decisive as it handed Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s a dramatic onepoint victory over Cloughbawn in this exciting Wexford People Under-17 football Roinn 1 shield final in Páirc Charman.
It was a dramatic game in so many ways, with the opening 30 minutes having a bit of everything.
Excellent scores were taken despite the waterlogged nature of the pitch, and there was fast, open football. Several flare-ups resulted in both sides having a player red carded following separate incidents, while there was a dramatic Cloughbawn recovery.
Having trailed by nine points at the interval, they led by four in added time, only for the Forth and Bargy combination to snatch the most dramatic of victories with the final move of the game.
Cloughbawn, playing into the wind ,started impressively by moving into a 0-3 to nil lead inside the opening ten minutes through points from Nick Walkden and Paddy Whitty (two).
The eventual winners were slow to start, having to wait until the 13th minute for their opening score, a Liam Crowley point.
One minute later they eventually utilised their possession when Ben Popplewell, son of former Ireland and Lions prop, Nick, found the net from an acute angle to give his side the lead for the first time (1-1 to 0-3).
After Cloughbawn were reduced to 14 players, with Nick Walkden red-carded following an off-the-ball incident, the eventual winners struck for two goals inside two minutes.
A Shane Pettit 21st-minute ‘45 found its way to the corner of the net, while Popplewell finished from close range following fine approach play, a score that eventually helped his side to a 3-4 to 0-4 interval lead.
This was despite being reduced to 14 players on 27 minutes, when Jack O’Leary received a second yellow followed by a red after a high tackle.
Deteriorating weather made life even more difficult for the players on the resumption. The Island/ Fintan’s opened the second period with a 35th-minute Popplewell point, but Cloughbawn gradually began to assert control, picking off some excellent long-range points through Whitty and Neil Foley, although they still trailed by 3-5 to 0-9 with seven minutes remaining.
Cloughbawn eventually got that much-needed goal four minutes from the end when a lobbing Paddy Whitty free deceived everyone to finish in the corner of the net, while one minute later substitute Nathan McDonald applied the finish to a lobbing Whitty free to give his side a dramatic 2-9 to 3-5 lead entering the closing stages.
The Island/Fintan’s, having held the lead since the 13th minute, now found themselves in arrears with the game deep in additional time.
With one final attack, they managed to work the ball in from midfield, but Cloughbawn ‘keeper Jack Feeney saved excellently from Liam Crowley. Wing-back Adam Mullins followed through though to find the net from close range, giving his side a dramatic win.
Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s: James Newport; Mikey Cullen, James O’Leary, Liam Kelly; Seán O’Reilly (capt.), Leigh Newport, Adam Mullins (1-0); Jason Devereux, Shane Pettit (1-2, 0-1 free); Aaron Busher, Liam Crowley (0-1), Tommy Wickham; Jack O’Leary, Ben Popplewell (2-1), Kyle Rankin (0-1). Subs. - Seán Donovan, Johnny Kelly, Oisín Meyler, Cillian Doyle, Dan Devereux, Dan Kelly, Quinlan Kelly.
Cloughbawn: Jack Feeney; Michael Murphy, Fionn Codd, Ciarán Murphy; Darragh Kehoe, Shane Kehoe, Ryan Murphy; Eanna Doyle (0-1 free), Nick Walkden (0-1); Gary Kehoe, Paddy Whitty (1-6, 1-3 frees), Mikey Fleming; Darragh Redmond (0-1), Neil Foley (0-1), Dylan Mooney. Subs. - Nathan McDonald (1-0) for G. Kehoe, inj., also Aaron McManus, Cathal Doyle, Jeff Buckley, Josh Buckley, Marco Byrne.
Referee: Francis Neville (Shelmaliers).
The triumphant Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s Minor squad.
Seán O’Reilly, the Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s captain, with David Tobin (Coiste na nOg Secretary) and Brendan Furlong of People Newspapers (sponsors).
Liam Crowley and Kyle Rankin of Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s pile the pressure on Cloughbawn’s Darragh Kehoe.
It’s head down from Jason Devereux of Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s as he tries to break free of Shane Roche and Dylan Mooney.
Shane Pettit of Our Lady’s Island/St. Fintan’s steals a march on Cloughbawn duo Paddy Whitty and Michael Murphy.