Carrigallen emerged out of the mist & drizzle of Páirc Seán yesterday evening to claim their place in the final in a tough and at times physical encounter with Melvin Gaels. The touted underdogs put in a great team performance but Ciaran Flynn stood out for his personal score tally of 7 out of a total of 10 points scored.
The Gaels have been noted to smother opponents with fast high paced defending leading to turnovers but they were not able to handle the Carrigallen men bedecked in the colours of neighbouring Longford Club Fr Manning Gaels. The Gaels wearing their traditional colours were blitzed from the off and were down 4 points to no score after 10 minutes. Ciaran Flynn registered 2 from play and 1 from a free with the 4th point from Eoin Ward.
On the 11th minute Melvin Gaels woke up and play moved to their forward line. Paul McGurrin scored into the Tesco end from play from the 20m mark. This was followed by Conor Sheridan with a free taken from the ground in the 13th minute. David McSharry and Colin Regan kept the pressure on but both hit wide. Finally on the 21st the Gaels got within a point of Carrigallen when Dan Branley fisted over to bring their tally to 3 points. Carrigallen responded and Flynn and Ward restored a 3 point advantage from a free and play respectively.
Melvin Gaels dominated for another 4 minutes but wasted chances as Paul McGurrin dropped short into Enda Lyons hands and Conor Sheridan kicked wide a 20m free. Midfielder Stephen McGurrinÓgot their last point of the half in the 27th minute.
Carrigallen finished strongest and should have increased their lead but Ciaran Flynn dropped a free short followed by an Eoin Ward long range shot from play on the stand side that sailed wide. Half time Carrigallen 0-06 Melvin Gaels 0-04
Melvin Gaels opened the 2nd half with a flourish and the outcome of their first attack could have changed the game. Within seconds of the restart Stehen Mc Gurirn dropped a very high ball into the Carrigallen small square, Enda Lyons moved quickly off his line and parried it away to safety. If this shot have crossed the black spot 1 point would have separated the sides and we could have had a different result.
Carrigallen responded to this early attack and they moved the ball quickly out of defence getting the ball to target man Flynn who won a free and duly converted. On the 3rd minute he brought the teams total to 8 points with another free from the left after he was fouled by James Phelan.
Colin Regan took control for the Gaels and secured 2 points over the next 5 minutes but this was punctuated at the other end by a Carrigallen kick from Eamonn O Malley which curved like a banana from left to right and finally landed into the Gaels square almost reaching the bottom of the right upright before rebounding into the hands of a Melvin Gaels player. Carrigallen had the next 2 attacks resulting in a Killian Ward wide followed by an Eoin Ward shot that dropped into Gareth Phelans hands.
Melvin Gaels upped a gear and bombarded the Carrigallen defense for a full 12 minutes but were only able to return 1 point for their effort. The score after this stage was Carrigallen 0-08 Melvin Gaels 0-7. Carrigallen who hadnt scored since the 3rd minute were under considerable pressure in defence. The Gaels were guilty of bad wides on 3 occasions and there were some heroic performances by the Carrigallen backs. David Flynn put in 2 key blocks during that time and Noel Doonan plucked a Conor Sheridan shot out of the air which was almost over the cross bar and was destined to be a point. But Carrigallen had survived that particular onslaught and proceeded to score 2 more from play in the 27 and 28th minutes.
A goal divided them and as injury time was announced you could sense that Melvin Gaels were going to throw everything including the sink at Carrigallen. A battle royal ensued for the remaining minutes as balls were bombed in and dropped agonisingly short for the Gaels. The slippy conditions added to the drama as players skidded around in the mist.
Literally the last kick of the game deep in injury time was from Colin Regan who drove a rocket at the top right of the CarrigallenÓgoals and Enda Lyons threw himself at the ball which he parried against the post to clearance as he crashed off the post to save the day for Carrigallen. Seconds later Eamonn OGrady checked his watch observed that a little over the required time had been played and blew the full time whistle, Carrigallen celebrations commenced.
07-Sep-09 by Brendan Doyle – PRO