Christopher’s 0-14 Shannon Blues 0-8
Christopher’s claimed their first senior football championship on Sunday. The game was no classic, but having started off on shaky ground, Christopher’s put in a powerful second half performance, in particular, Will Kennedy in the middle of the field, who proved to be the driving force behind Christopher’s victory.
Will Kennedy outjumps Stephen Gilmartin and Philip Lydon.
The Blues had the better of things in the first half. Christopher’s seemed to be second to every 50/50 ball, and when in possession made some poor decisions or simply poor passes. The Blues on the other hand had their game plan working well. O’Callaghan was given the early ball, and though the Kerryman did not score himself, the space was opened for Alan O’Donoghue and Colm McGee. O’Donoghue got the scoring off to a start and Ian Rowland answered for Christopher’s. The Blues then shot into a five points to one lead. Stephen Gilmartin pointed twice from frees and McGee twice from play. With 5 minutes remaining in the half Christopher’s finally found their feet and after kicking two wides tallied three badly needed points before half time. Eric Hegarty pointed twice and Rowland put a free over the bar. Gilmartin put a free over for the Blues and it was a two point game at the break.
Once the second half began Christopher’s launched themselves at the Blues. Kennedy dominated in midfield and in addition to being a physical force, displayed some fine shooting skills. Rowland got Christopher’s within a point with a free, and Barry O’Driscoll leveled the scores four minutes into the new half. Kennedy launched a curler that tailed between the posts at the last minute to put Christopher’s into the lead for the first time, a lead they would hold on to. Rowland made it two points in Christopher’s favour, and the Blues seemed to be still in half time break mode. Lee McQuade got the Shannonsiders off the ground, but Christopher’s maintained their onslaught. Rowland and Kennedy put back to back scores together to put Christopher’s a goal ahead.
David O'Callaghan tries to escape the attention of Eoin Cotter and Brian Lonergan.
Christopher’s looked a little in trouble as within two minutes two of the half back line had to leave the field with injuries. Colm McGee stemmed the tide, but the Blues had no answer as Christopher’s were flying – the lengthy stoppages did not affect their concentration and focus. O’Driscoll, Kennedy, and Sean Kelly pointed three times in a row. The Blues tried to rally and generated several chances to rein in Christopher’s, but each effort went badly wide. Ian Rowland put the last score of the day over the bar for Christopher’s, and with minutes left it was get numbers behind the ball to prevent a goal. The Blues nearly netted, but Mark O’Sullivan blocked the shot. Joy for Christopher’s at the final whistle after a thoroughly deserved win.
Christopher’s: P. Kenneally, N. Ryan, E. Cotter, B. Lonergan, R. Hogan, S. McNally, D. Kenneally, W. Kennedy (0-3), I. Rowland (0-6), S. Kelly (0-1), J. Kenneally, B. O’Driscoll (0-2), E. Hegarty (0-2). Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, T. Wallace, S. Sinnott, P. O’Brien, B. Maloney, P. Lydon, S. Gilmartin (0-3), L. McQuade (0-1), S. O’Mahoney, C. McGee (0-3), A. O’Donoghue (0-1), D. O’Callaghan.
By Rory O'Donnell