Wolfe Tones 1-5 Donegal 0-7
Cormac-Joyce Power was the hero for Wolfe Tones in the Junior A Football final. Having entered the game was a sub with the outcome very much in the balance, the big full forward from Limerick put the final two points over the bar for the Tones, the winning score coming in injury time. It was a scrappy, but exciting, game with each side accountable for several missed chances that had they been taken, could have swung the result either way.
|Tones Captain, Kenny Rega, presented with the Pat Callaghan Cup |
by Ann Callaghan.
There was not a lot between the teams in a low scoring tentative first 30 minutes. Each side had chances to score that went astray, Donegal probably the guiltier party. Donegal closed the spaces down well in their defensive area, and kept the Tones endeavors at finding the room to get off a shot to a minimum.
Aaron Curly, Ciaran Diver, and Darren Doherty were prominent for Donegal in the opening half, Diver and McLaughlin tallying the early scores, while for the Tones it was Kyle Lynch and John Carroll with the points. At the break Donegal had the odd point of five to their credit. It came from Christy McLaughlin, who earlier had a chance at goal and forced a fine save from Pauric Miskell.
The Tones got off to a great, though fortunate, start for the second half. After Donegal had won a free in their own half, the kick went straight to the Tones Fergal O’Brien square in front of goal, and O’Brien who could hardly believe his luck, punished the northerners with the maximum return. Kenny Regan followed with a point and the Tones were now a goal to the good. Donegal answered with points from Michael McGinty and Brian Kelly, who had just entered play.
|Wolfe Tones celebrate the junior a football championship.|
Again the misses piled up for each team, a few more in Donegal’s column. Eventually Diver, who was full of running for the hour, levelled matters with a well taken point. With possession breaking fairly evenly around the middle of the field the game was very much in the balance. Wolfe Tones introduced Joyce-Power who was deployed at the edge of the square; it proved to be a decisive move. Marty Kelly, another new entrant to the game, worked hard to keep the ball and the pass found Joyce-Power who restored the Tones lead by splitting the posts. With the 30 minutes almost played, Diver then found McLaughlin to level the scores again but it was not all over yet. The next possession was won by the Tones and the ball ended up in the hands of Joyce-Power and the Shannonsider had no hesitation in taking the responsibility to put the winning score over the bar.
The result denied Donegal a historic sweep of football championships and and off the Chicago for the National Finals for the Tones juniors. Best wishes to Donegal goalkeeper and utility man, Eamonn McCarney who is heading back across the pond, Canton is going to miss you!
By Rory O'Donnell