GABRIEL RANGERS 2-10
BRENDAN KENNEALLY REPORTS
LAST year’s county junior football champions Gabriel Rangers finished their first season in the intermediate ranks on a positive note, taking the county league Division 5 title and earning promotion to division four with a convincing win over Grenagh in the final at Kilmichael.
The teams were level at 0-5 each after 20 minutes but Gabriels then began to fire over the scores and held a four0point advantage at the interval. A goal from Seán Kelleher within a minute of the restart had Gabriels on the high road to victory and they never looked in danger of losing subsequently, Seán Kelleher’s second goal in the 54th minute merely the icing on the cake. Incidentally, Kelleher’s two goals were the only scores for the winners in the second half but they were comfortably in control.
The opening 20 minutes gave no indication of what was to come and, in fact, it was Grenagh who would have been most content at that stage as they were facing the wind. Mark Cronin got Gabriels off to a good start with a first-minute point, but Gerry Russell quickly equalised.
Ultan Duggan, the main threat in the Grenagh attack, put his side in front and Tom Kenny pointed a free to put Grenagh two clear after eight minutes. Points were exchanged, Mark Cronin and Kelvin Cummings, and then Chris Moynihan and Cronin pointed to bring Gabriel Rangers level by the 18th minute.
Tom Kenny pushed Grenagh back in front from play and Mark Cronin brought Gabriels level once again in the 20th minute. In the ten minutes before half time, Gabriel Rangers forwards really clicked and two points each from Cronin and Chris Moynihan and one from Ger O’Callaghan helped open up a four-point gap at the break when the winners led by 0-10 to 0-6.
It was clear by this stage that Grenagh did not have the same fire power up front that Gabriels possessed and, consequently, were beginning to struggle.
Within a minute of the restart, the contest was as good as over. In a fast break, Fionn Hurley fed Sean Kelleher in full flight and, from close range, the big midfielder made no mistake and buried the ball in the Grenagh net. Immediately after that, Grenagh had the ball in the Gabriel’s net but the score was disallowed for a square infringement and so the seven point gap remained between the teams.
Ultan Duggan had a Grenagh point in the 38th minute, but the glaring inadequacy of the losers’ attack was quite evident and the loss of a player to a red card in the 45th minute did nothing to help the Grenagh cause. Duggan pointed a 46th minute free, but really the game had petered out as a contest.
Then, Seán Kelleher blasted a second goal in the 54th minute to add to the Grenagh misery. Ultan Duggan had the final score – a point from a free – to bring proceedings to a close.
Gabriel Rangers: S Kelleher 2-0, M Cronin 0-6 (0-3f), C Moynihan 0-3, G O’Callaghan 0-1.
Grenagh: U Duggan 0-5 (0-2f), T Kenny 0-2 (0-1f), G Russell and K Cummins 0-1 each.
Gabriel Rangers: Darren O’Mahony; Jason Donegan, Cathal Newman, Kieran Roycroft; Pat Nolan, Richard Moynihan, Liam Hegarty; Seán Kelleher, Ger O’Callaghan; Fionn Hurley, Chris Moynihan, Danny McSweeney; Mark Cronin, Eddie Goggin, Paudie Hegarty.
Subs: Ryan O’Neill for P Hegarty h/t, Sean Evans for O’Neill and Donal O’Sullivan for McSweeney, both 57.
Grenagh: Denis John O’Mahony; Stephen Lehane, Aonghus Duggan, Alex Kiely; Paul McCarthy, Gerry Russell, Seamus Cronin; Sean Bourke, Tom Kenny; Kevin O’Neill, Ultan Duggan, Timmy Buckley; Paul Barry-Murphy, Liam Walsh, Kelvin Cummins.
Subs: Conor Buckley for DJ O’Mahony 50, John Osborne for P BarryMurphy 55, Liam Sheehan for Lehane 55, Niall O’Connell 58.
Referee: Brian Walsh, Aghada.