|Thursday, November 18, 2004 :|
GAA: Confey s first senior title
CONFEY 0-7, RATHANGAN 0-6
WHAT with the thrill of winning of their first senior trophy Confey will scarcely worry that this final played on Clane s back pitch provided poor fare indeed.
Maybe it was the end-of-season timing, or the setting of the game on the back pitch - a circumstance which prompted one cynic to remark that perhaps this crowd (Clane) will have more respect for Division Two next year, when they re in it themselves .
Whatever the reason, this was a contest which never sprang to any great life. Hardly any goal chances were created, with even Eric Dockery s penalty well saved by Keith O Sullivan 12 minutes into the second half.
Rathangan - defeated by Confey in the IFC semi-final also - got off to a flying start just 30 seconds after the throw-in when Davy Connell fisted over from close range after Brian Flood s shot was beaten out by O Sullivan.
Three minutes later Confey were on terms when Frankie Barry clipped over a good point and they went on to dominate most of the rest of the first half, with points by Colm Quinn and Paul Gavagan (2) to lead by three after 25 minutes.
To their credit Rathangan got their act together in the run-up to half-time with two superbly struck Flood frees leaving them just 0-4 to 0-3 behind at the change of ends.
A minute after the restart the gap had doubled when corner-back David Lambert soldiered forward to finish off a good move from close range. Two minutes later Dockery caught a great ball on the edge of the winners square before laying off to the youthful Seamas Egan who again left just the minimum between them. A long, superbly angled free from Flood levelled the game just six minutes in.
However, the Cope Bridge outfit again struck back with points by free taker Gavagan and Ciaran Divilly - from a Hughie Lynch pass - to forge ahead.
Two minutes later came Dockery s unfortunate penalty miss, the kick awarded when a Confey player was adjudged to have handled the ball on the ground.
That excellent save by O Sullivan seemed to be the signal for a strange lethargy to overtake both teams, with the next 11 minutes remaining scoreless at both ends.
During that period the winners had somewhat the better of the exchanges but many of their attacks foundered on the rocks of a Burrow defence in which central lynch-pins Pat Keenan and Brendan McMullen were outstanding.
In the end it was almost symptomatic of the game itself that the last score of the afternoon came from the boot of Dockery all of seven minutes from time. That seven became 11 including stoppage time, and Confey hung on for a memorable victory, which they just about deserved.
Confey: Keith O Sullivan, David Cully, Ciaran Ganly, David Lambert 0-1, John Quigley, Roger Quinn, Frank Ryder, Colm Quinn 0-1, Ciaran Divilly 0-1, Ger Donnelly, Paul Gavagan 0-3 2fs, Daire Walsh, Robby McMahon, Hughie Lynch, Frankie Barry. Subs: Colm Henry for Walsh, Aidan Coyle for Gavagan, John Malone for McMahon.
Rathangan: Joe Lyster, Tommy Power, Pat Keenan, Kevin Jones, Micky O Connell, Brendan McMullen, Thomas Kennedy, Diarmaid O Donoghue, John Mulpeter, Seamas Egan 0-1, Eric Dockery 0-1, Eoin Kennedy, Eoin Brennan, Brian Flood 0-3fs, Davy Connell 0-1. Subs: Sean Murphy for Brennan, Mick Kennedy for O Donoghue.
Referee: Paddy Moore, Clane.