Connemara Gaels 0-17 Aidan McAnespies 1-12
It was edge of the seat stuff between the Connemara Gaels and Aidan McAnespies. There was nothing between the teams throughout the second half, and for the Gaels the introduction of fresh legs from the line provided them with the edge. With both sides tiring, the fresh legs gave the Gaels the lift for the final minutes.
|Michael Walsh pursued by Niall McGinn.|
There was but a point in it at the break. The Gaels played some good football with plenty of movement from the forward line. Kevin McGrath, who got the start at corner forward, made the most of his chance, contributing with 3 points. The Gaels had some early chances that went awry thanks to the intervention of the posts, but still opened an early 3 points lead, Ryan Caffrey and Coleman Mulkerrins contributed with well taken scores.
McAnespies hung with it and thanks to a run of three points to one, kept the Gaels in touching distance. Two Croft frees and a monster score from Brian Breslin drew the sides level. After the Gaels put four unanswered over the bar, it was a goal just before the break that kept the Macs in it. Half back, Niall Rooney was the man who netted after an exchange of passes with Mick Walsh. It was a 9 points to 1-5 Gaels advantage at the break.
The game remained tight as McAnespies had the better of the second half exchanges. After the sides swapped points McAnespies went one a four points to one scoring flurry. Brian Breslin’s running was a key factor, with Robbie Croft pointing from a free after Breslin was fouled, and the Strabane man being involved in almost every McAnespies foray forward.
The Gaels settled and got themselves back into a lead with a Tiernan Cox free leveling the scores, and a point from substitute Fergal Meenagh the go ahead score. The tension ratcheted up coming into the final stretch, each set of supporters urging their team on. The scores were level again after Aidan Trainor neatly slotted over, but Tony Brosnan, a late substitute gave the Gaels the lead with a point from play and another from a free. The final whistle was greeted applause from the Gaels supporters, and perhaps a sense of relief as it was a game that could have gone to either team.
Gaels: Eoin Connolly, David Black, Dan Donoghue, Niall McGinn, Sean Kelly, Cillian Fahy, Dan O’Driscoll, Matt Sullivan, Sean Connelly, Ryan Caffrey, Coleman Mulkerrins, Kevin McGrath, Tiernan Cox.
Macs: Paddy Coakley, Eoin Delmer, Paul Clifford, Niall Rooney, Tommy Brerton, Seamie Breslin, Marty Mongan, Brian Breslin, Dean Flood, Robbie Croft, Jimmy Rigney, Mick Walsh, Adan Trainor.
By Rory O'Donnell