By Connie Kelly
In perfect weather, seven finals, featuring both hurling and football, were decided in Boston last weekend.
In senior football, Shannon Blues beat Kerry 1-10 to 1-8, but the game was awarded to Kerry on an objection.
Kerry went in at the half with a 1-5 to 0-6 lead, Mark O’Brien accounting for all of Kerry’s scores.
The Blues did not register their first score for more than seven minutes, a point by Colm Keane, and with O’Brien’s goal coming a minute after for Kerry, making it 1-2 to 0-1, Kerry were well on top. But the Blues battled back with points by Ken Killeen (1), Cathal Golden (2), David O’Neil (1), Paul Bruce (1) and, at the half, were just a point down.
Kerry were first on the board in the second half. Genie Farrell set O’Brien up once again for a three-point lead. Golden pulled one back for the Blues a minute later. Farrell added to Kerry’s lead with a free from a line ball 8 minutes into the half.
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With both teams giving it everything they had, scores were hard to come by for the next seven minutes. Bruce and O’Brien traded points.
The break the Blues were waiting for came after a throw-in; Pat Driscoll broke loose and buried the ball in the Kerry net to make it 1-8 all after 15 minutes of play.
Kerry were now under pressure for the first time in the game. Steve Maguire put the Blues ahead after 18 minutes. Neither team could score for the next 11 minutes. Kerry did have several chances and, with time running out, Maguire put the Blues ahead by two points. And with the biggest crowd ever on hand everyone felt they got their money’s worth.
While the senior final was hard fought, the best game of the weekend was the junior final which the Shannon Blues won in extra time, defeating Donegal by a score of 3-15 to 2-15.
Donegal had most of the play in the opening half with an excellent performance by Laurance Gallagher who scored 1-5 of his side’s total.
The Blues were held scoreless for 16 minutes when a mistake by Donegal’s goalie saw Willy Fennell’s shot dribble into the net.
Mike Cole was set up twice by Joey Moriarty for two points and a goal by Steven Ingrams kept the Blues in the game.
At the half Donegal were only ahead by two points, 1-7 to 2-2.
In the second half the Blues goalie pulled off some great saves as Donegal continued their pressure. But the Blues never gave up and with the introduction of Richard Gentleman they picked off some lovely points.
Again, both teams, stretched to their limits, kept battling away.
A goal by Barry Brown of Donegal was cancelled out by a goal from Mike Cole of the Blues and, with time running out and Donegal ahead by one, it looked like the 1998 champions were about to lose their title.
But four minutes into injury time, veteran Joey Moriarty sent over the equalizer, making it 2-11 to 3-8.
In the first half of extra time, Donegal had a three to one lead, a lead they could not hold onto.
Once again, Joey Moriarty got the Blues fired up with three very good points, leading his team to victory.
A great win for the Blues, a heartbreaker for Donegal.
In Intermediate football, the Connemara Gaels are back in the senior division with a 0-7 to 0-5 triumph over Notre Dame.
In a very low-scoring game, it all came down to the end. With Notre Dame down 7 to 5, they were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Sean Casey to take it but a new hero emerged in the name of goalie Steven King. He got his leg to the ball and sent it over the line for a 50.
Notre Dame then missed the 50 and have to ask how could they score 4-25 one week ago and only manage five points in the final.
In the senior hurling final, Tipperary defeated Fr. Toms 1-20 to 1-10.
There was nothing between these two teams in the first half as the score indicates, Fr. Toms 1-5 Tipp 0-8.
But in the second half, Tipp proved way too good for their opponents, outscoring them 1-12 to 0-5.
The junior hurling final was a much better game which was close to the very end. Cork took a halftime lead over Galway 0-6 to 0-5 and the difference in the second half was John Nelley’s pass to Pat Concannon which he buried in the back of the net 14 minutes into the half. Cork battled back but Galway held on to win by a score of 1-11 to 1-9.
In women’s football, the Shamrocks keep their unbeaten record alive with a 5-19 to 2-3 win over Roscommon. And in camogie, Emerald Isle defeated Eire Og by a score of 4-4 to 0-9.