Category: Archive

Galway take U-21 title

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Galway 0-15, Dublin 0-7

Secure in the knowledge that he has several top-class players in his senior panel, he must also have known about the county’s supply line of emerging talent.
Because Galway completely dominated this decider at Portlaoise to such an extent that it took Dublin 25 minutes to register a first point. Even if the tried and tested abilities of Joe Bergin, Kieran Fitzgerald, Matthew Clancy and Kieran Comer were to the fore, there were important contributions from a number of O’Mahony’s new wave.
For starters, 17-year-old Michael Meehan ended as the game’s top scorer with five points and given his current rate of progress, Meehan could soon be a contender for the senior side. Nicholas Joyce and Derry O’Brien were also impressive in attack, while Michael Comer was the outstanding defender on view.
There was no such optimism for O’Mahony’s counterpart, Tommy Lyons. Despite lining out with senior players Alan Brogan, Stephen Cluxton, Paul Casey and Darren Magee, Dublin were a major disappointment. The loss of team captain Barry Cahill just before the throw-in with a neck injury didn’t help matters, but Lyons’s charges were outclassed in every area of the pitch. They’ve never won an under 21 title, and a first success seems as far off as ever on this evidence.
“We never got out of the blocks at all and that’s the only way of describing it,” Lyons said. “We got a bit of passion and drive into it after halftime, but we never really threatened Galway, we were outplayed in every facet. We needed a goal and it didn’t look like coming.”
Lyons’s decision to make four changes at the interval failed to stifle Galway’s momentum. At that stage it was 0-8 to 0-1 and the margin could have been more if O’Brien had gone for goal instead of taking a point. Brogan at last had some joy during the second half, but O’Mahony moved Comer over to mark Dublin’s most skilful forward and that put paid to any hopes of a resurgence.
“It’s a great way for us to finish the season,” said O’Mahony, “and for these lads it’s just the beginning of something.” So was Galway’s strength in depth a reason for O’Mahony to pledge his future to the county?
“My decision wasn’t riding on this final, and in 30 years time nobody’s going to remember who the manager of this team was,” he said. “The players will be remembered and they deserve the credit. This isn’t about me and I don’t want it to be.”
The excellent Bergin kicked three points from play while O’Brien and Kieran Comer were on target with two apiece. Nathan Kane was impressive in Dublin’s defense, and Brogan and Tomas Quinn had two points each.

The highest-profile county football final of last weekend took place at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, where Nemo Rangers defeated Bishopstown by 0-15 to 1-7 to win the Cork title for a third time in succession. Predictably, Colin Corkery was the cornerstone of Nemo’s success with an outstanding personal tally of 11 points, including five frees and a 45.
A penalty by Kieran McDonald proved to be the crucial score in the Mayo decider as Crossmolina edged out by Knockmore by 2-9 to 0-14 at Ballina. Meanwhile, Strokestown were victorious in Roscommon with a 2-11 to 0-11 verdict over St Brigid’s, and Coolera/Strandhill and Eastern Harps will have to meet again following a 0-9 each draw in the Sligo final.
In hurling, Mount Sion held out to defeat Ballygunner by 1-19 to 2-14 in a disappointing Waterford final at Walsh Park. The game was marred by two brawls during the first half, and while Mount Sion were inspired by the McGrath brothers, Ken and Eoin, Paul Flynn had a chance to earn Ballygunner a replay but his last second effort went over the bar for a point.
Dunloy took the Antrim title with a comfortable 3-12 to 1-8 win over Cushendall, while St. Mullin’s beat Naomh Eoin by 4-10 to 4-8 in the Carlow decider. Ballyhaunis won a first every Mayo championship with a 4-10 to 3-8 success against Tooreen and a late goal by Gary Deehan earned St. Patrick’s a draw with Carnew in Wicklow.

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