Junior Football 2011 County Champions

The Famine is over:

Sliabh gCua 2-11 Mount Sion 1-2.

Sliabh gCua’s 20 year wait for a Co Championship is over. This is a victory that will be remembered for a long time & one that could well be the 1 that starts something new in the area.

John Hallinan, JP, David & Kieran may have been around when Sliabh gCua defeated Newtown to win the Intermediate Championship in 1991, but unless you knew this you would never have guessed it seeing them play in this game.

John in goal was coolness personified. He made a great save in the first half to deny Ian Galgey a goal but was powerless to stop him from hitting the net on the rebound.

David was outstanding & fully deserved the man of the match award bestowed upon him unanimously by the G.A.A. reporters at the game from the papers.

JP finished the game with a tally of 0-3 & was as good as ever playing in corner forward, while Kieran playing on the edge of the square filled the roll that Kieran Power did 20 plus years ago when Sliabh gCua were contesting & winning Western & Co Finals annually when Kieran was a speedy teenager.

Other links with the teams of the late 80s & early 90s include Aidan & Johnny who both came on in the last quarter, a nice touch by the lads on the line & one that was warmly welcomed by the support that was in the ground & by those that were following the game online, while Seanie another member of those teams from the past was on the line directing operations & literally kicked every ball for the side in the closing minutes.

If ever a side had a tonic start, Sliabh gCua had one in this game. The game was just 14 seconds old when JP slotted over a point. Michael Frisby soon equalised for Mount Sion when he converted a free 2 minutes into the game, but Sliabh gCua were to hit back with a brace of points from David on 6 & 7 minutes, JP again on eight minutes & Kieran gave Sliabh gCua a 4 point advantage when he slotted over after 12 minutes.

From the kick out after Kieran’s point Mount Sion worked the ball up field. Ian Galgey unleashed a goalbound shot which John Hallinan did brilliantly to save but the rebound fell to Galgey who made no mistake in hitting the Sliabh gCua net at the 2nd time of asking.

This was as good as it got for Mount Sion who was appearing in their 3rd co final at this level in 4 years. David hit a Sliabh gCua point from a free at the end of the first quarter which Michael Frisby cancelled out 5 minutes later.

3 minutes from the break a quick David free found J.P. who laid the ball off to David who slotted over the score of the game to give Sliabh gCua a 0-7 to 1-2 advantage.

Just before the break, Eoin was fouled inside the box & referee Alan Kissane had no option but to award Sliabh gCua a penalty. David took responsibility of taking the kick from 12 metres & made absolutely no mistake is dispatching the ball past Ruairi Sheridan sending him the wrong way.

Holding a 1-7 to 1-2 lead at the break, the 2nd half was one way traffic. Mount Sion in the 2nd half scarcely entered the Sliabh gCua side of the field & when they did they found a Sliabh gCua defensive unit well in control of all that was thrown their way.

Kieran got the scoring underway in the 2nd half when he put over his 2nd point of the game 2 minutes after the restart.

David 6 minutes into the 2nd half slotted home his 2nd goal of the game, again from the penalty spot after another foul on Eoin. This time Sheridan did guess right as David once more put the ball to his left hand side as he looked at the goal but the shot was struck with such precision into the corner that the Mount Sion keeper was powerless to keep it out.

2 minutes later J.P. slotted over his third of the afternoon giving Sliabh gCua a 2-9 to 1-2 advantage.

The last quarter was void of many scoring chances. The Sliabh gCua lads seemed intend in holding the lead that they had & in the last quarter of the game took the opportunity to empty its bench. Sliabh gCua did score just before the final whistle when Dermot got in on the act.

Sliabh gCua play Kildangan from Tipp or Glin or Sean Finns from Limerick in the Semi finals of the Munster Club Championship.

Sliabh gCua: J Hallinan; J Power, JJ Coffey, J Queally; T Tobin, D Coffey, S Fitzpatrick; D Whelan, K Sheehan; S Coffey, E Kearns, M Kiely; C Condon, K Hallahan, JP Fitzpatrick. Subs: D Tobin for C Condon, A Fitzpatrick for E Kearns, J McGrath for J Queally, D O’Connor for S Coffey, D Meaney for J.P. Fitzpatrick.

Scorers: D Whelan 2-4 (2-0 Pens, 0-2 frees), J.P. Fitzpatrick 0-3, K Hallahan 0-2, E Kearns & D Tobin 0-1 each.

Mount Sion: R Sheridan; P Bowe, M F. O’Neill, P Kehoe; S Twomey, I O’Regan, E McGrath; J Dee, N Sullivan; N Flynn, R Bresnan, M O’Neill; I Galgey, M Frisby, K Stafford. Subs: S Ryan for P Bowe, P Kelly for N Sullivan, D Kelly for N Flynn, R Roche for M O’Neill, S O’Neill for J Dee.

Scorers: I Galgey 1-0, M Frisby 0-2 (1 free)