DESPITE a dramatic last ten minutes which saw the winners have three players sent off, Pallasgreen claimed victory in the Under-21 ‘A’ Football Championship final as they held on for a three-point win over Galtee Gaels. (Pallasgreen 1-9 Galtee Gaels 0-9)
The Gaels were looking to add to a historic year for the club as they already won the county JFC title but their failure to back up the free-taking of Robert Childs proved costly.
Childs kicked 0-7 from frees and, alongside his brother Tommie in midfield, posed the biggest threat for the south champions, who had seven of their successful junior team starting in this clash at the home of Staker Wallace.
However, Pallas were better all over the field with Colin Ryan and Brian Fanning standing out with good performances from Alan Hanley, Christian O’Dwyer and Darren Roche helping the east side to success.
A 23rd minute Fanning goal was the key score in the game for the winners who, after losing in the county semi-final five years in a row, finally got to a final this year and made it count.
Fanning was played through by Ryan and finished superbly to give Pallas a 1-4 to 0-4 lead.
It was a badly needed score for the east side as they had just conceded three points in a row.
After Padraig McGrath opened the scoring for Gaels, Pallas scored four on the bounce. Two points each from Fanning and Ryan had the winners in a great position after ten minutes.
However, once Galtee Gaels got on top, a set of Robert Childs frees levelled the game before Fanning’s goal.
The sides shared the last four points of the half as Pallas went into the interval 1-6 to 0-6 ahead.
However, after a big comeback win in the semi-final, Galtee Gaels were expected to hit their opponents hard in the third quarter. Unfortunately, this never materialised as the south side failed to score for 21 second half minutes.
In this time, points from Ryan (2) and Fanning stretched the gap to 1-9 to 0-6 before a dramatic ending to the game.
It could have been so different as Galtee Gaels missed a guilt-edged chance to find the net early in the second half. A storming run from Sean Casey forced a smart save from Aaron O’Sullivan before Eamonn Kelly hit the crossbar with the rebound.
Kelly eventually got Gaels off the mark in the second half with just under 10 minutes to go.
Minutes later, Colin Ryan was the first of three Pallas players dismissed by referee Kevin O’Brien. A second yellow card the Pallasgreen mentors were vocal in their disapproval of the decision.
A Robert Childs free reduced the gap to four points seconds before Pallas were reduced to 13. Again it was a case of two yellow cards as Cullum Cosgrave was given his marching orders.
Brian McCarthy became the third Pallas player sent off late on but the east side managed to hold on for the 1-9 to 0-9 win to secure the u-21 ‘A’ title.
SCORERS: Pallasgreen: Brian Fanning 1-3; Colin Ryan 0-5 (all frees); Alan Hanley 0-1.
Galtee Gaels: Robert Childs 0-7 (all frees); Padraig McGrath, Eamonn Kelly 0-1 each.
PALLASGREEN: Aaron O’Sullivan; Joseph Keogh, Brian McCarthy, Luke O’Dwyer; Conor Roche, Alan Cosgrave, Cullum Cosgrave; Alan Hanley, Colin Ryan; Christian O’Dwyer, Brian Fanning, Pierce O’Dwyer; Darren Roche, PJ Butler, John O’Donnell.
Subs: Kevin McMahon for Pierce O’Dwyer (42 mins); Darragh Fanning for Darren Roche (54 mins).
GALTEE GAELS: Danny McGrath; Liam Mansell, Maurice Fenton, Ian Whelan; Eamonn Kelly, Sean McGrath, Eoin Gallahue; Tommie Childs, Robert Childs; Sean Casey, Padraig McGrath, Sean Casey; Shane McNamara, James Conway, Edward Quinn.
REFEREE: Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell).