The Fenagh Cup nestles in Kinlough
Melvin Gaels have taken up the mantle of Leitrim Senior Champions after a comprehensive victory in the Connacht Gold County Final on Sunday last in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada. Their neighbours, Glencar/Manorhamilton, the four in a row title holders, went into the game as slight favourites, but almost from the throw-in, there was a sense of inevitability about the result.
The Gaels found the form they have been showing all year – indeed from their capturing of the GWP Intermediate title last October – right from the start and had the champions back-pedalling for most of the game. The extra pressure of going for a Leitrim record of five Senior Championships in a row probably did have an effect on the Glencar/Manor performance, as their team never really showed the form that had made the club the kingpins of Leitrim over the past four years.
There is no doubt that Melvin Gaels were worthy winners, worthy champions, playing an attractive brand of fast-flowing football from veteranÓgoalkeeper Gareth Phelan, right through a strong spine of full back Fabian McMorrow; Man of the Match, centre half back, Paul Brennan; midfielders Stephen McGurrin and Brendan Brennan; Emlyn Mulligan on the forty and full forward James Phelan and also down both wings, to corner forward and team captain David McSharry. The bench was strong too, as was proven when the captain had to be replaced, having suffered a severe leg injury and when others were called into the fray, including another team veteran, Colin Regan, who, no doubt, was given the task of steadying the ship for the last few tense minutes.
It was very much a team effort for the Gaels and the full panel, team Manager Billy Gavigan, selectors Liam Gilmartin and Aiden McGurran, the club officials and their army of blue and white supporters all shared in the victory.
In honouring Melvin Gaels on their seventh Senior Championship success, we should also acknowledge Glencar/Manorhamilton, very worthy county champions for the past four years and very dignified ambassadors for Leitrim.
Now the whole county will get behind the Gaels as they take on the Roscommon champions in the Connacht Club Championship on Sunday October 28th, in the first step on the road to capturing the Shane McGettigan Cup.
While the senior final did have plenty of untidy play and even a lack of tension at times, not so the minor final, where Fenagh Gortletteragh and St. Manchan’s played out a real thriller. St. Manchan’s clawed their way back into the game after being nine points behind and every single player that saw action deserves our thanks for keeping the spectators on tenterhooks all the way to the dying seconds of injury time.
The replay will be eagerly awaited. Well done to both teams and their management and officials.
08-Oct-12 by Colette Fox – PRO