Mulryan Construction Roscommon IFC Final Replay
Fuerty 2-11 Oran 1-6
There must have been many times over the past five years when Fuerty doubted if they would ever climb to the summit in the intermediate football championship. Every time just when it looked like they would reach the Promised Land, they always ran into an obstacle. This year it was a revitalised young Oran side who almost stole their thunder at Dr. Hyde Park two weeks previously. But Eamon Towey’s men came to Strokestown last Saturday on a mission and they swept all before them to win their first ever title at this grade, and in some style too.
The Black and Amber burst from the blocks and went seven points up in the first half. They fell asleep in the third quarter but shook themselves to finish in style and they were not flattered by the eight point winning margin.
Oran never got going. The injuries to Jack Earley and Paul Kenny were to prove costly. They were playing catch-up for most of the first half. Still, Thomas Fetherston almost single-handedly inspired them to an unlikely revival. A sublime Darragh Walsh goal helped to reduce the margin to two by the 43rd minute. But Fuerty were having none of it this time around, and when the superb Aengus Lyons scored his second goal of the game with twelve minutes to go, Fuerty were back on course to lift the Jimmy Murray Cup. They free-wheeled to the finish after that.
Fuerty went for the Oran jugular from the throw-in. Niall Keenan and Philip Neilan were winning the midfield battle. Niall Kilroy, Gearoid Ennis and Aengus Lyons were razor-sharp up front. The Bannons - Eamon and Tom - were superb. A couple of pointed frees from Kilroy early on were followed in the 6th minute by a brilliant goal. Kilroy’s laser-like pass found Lyons who didn’t have to break stride, and he blasted past Matthew Whyte. By the 21st minute Fuerty were 1-5 to 0-1 ahead. Oran were struggling and they reached half-time without having scored a single point from play.
But in fairness to Billy Donnellan’s men they came out in the second half determined to give it a rattle, and that they did. Thomas Fetherston, who was quiet in the drawn game, was inspirational. His point in the 33rd minute, with half the Fuerty team on his back, was memorable. Then in the 41st minute we saw a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’. Raymond Farrell played a great pass into Darragh Walsh. The talented young attacker still had a lot of work to do but he unleashed a thunderbolt that Joe Fallon could only watch as it flew into the net. Walsh’s pointed free two minutes later reduced the margin to only two. Could Oran come back from a seemingly impossible position?
Fuerty, and ‘man of the match’ Aengus Lyons supplied the answer, and it was an emphatic ‘No’. In the 48th minute his brother Oisin did the spadework this time before Aengus finished with aplomb to restore Fuerty’s dominant position and ease the worries of their supporters. Four points on the spin after that and the Black and Amber ribbons were going on the cup well before the final whistle.
Joe Fallon made a couple of superb saves and was excellent on the day between the sticks. Tom Bannon was in inspirational form and he played a real captain’s part throughout. Niall Keenan and Philip Neilan won the midfield battle this time around with Keenan especially impressive. Up front it was one of the quieter days for talisman Niall Kilroy but his contribution to Fuerty, not only to his historic win but over the past decade has been phenomenal.
Man of the Match was Aengus Lyons who won every ball kicked in his direction in the first half. He linked up well with defence and attack and scored two great goals. A mention too for Gearoid Ennis who once again made a huge contribution and his two points from play were of the highest quality.
For Oran it was just not their day. They fell behind early on and just couldn’t recover. Thomas Fetherston was inspirational for his side. He put in a huge shift as he tried to rally his charges after that poor start. It was a fantastic display from him despite being on the losing side. Darragh Walsh was also superb. With limited supply he scored 1-4 and his goal is one of the finest seen in a county final for many years. Ray Farrell and Mike Dwyer had their moments but in truth Oran never looked like they could win this replay. The injuries had taken their toll on the day but one thing is for certain, this young and talented Oran team will be back.
So to Fuerty the spoils, which they richly deserve. Their first ever intermediate title and few will begrudge them this success. Eamon Towey has done a marvellous job as manager over the past few years and now they will get to play senior football in 2019. It’s a historic and well deserved win for Fuerty and this one will be well celebrated in Tremane, Athleague, Castlecoote and Fuerty over the coming weeks and months. They have waited long enough.
Fuerty: Joe Fallon; Adam White, Tom Bannon, John Brennan (0-1); Mark Ward, Pete Kellehan, Ben McGahon; Philip Neilan, Niall Keenan; Oisin Lyons, Eamon Bannon, Cian Murray (0-2); Gearoid Ennis (0-4, 2 frees), Niall Kilroy (0-3, frees), Aengus Lyons (2-0).
Subs: Robbie Fallon for E Bannon (41), E Bannon for Murray (45), Luke Byrne for J Fallon (49), Darragh Heavey for Ward (54), Peter Leahy (0-1) for R Fallon (61), Christy Leahy for O Lyons (64),
Oran: Matthew Whyte; Thomas Fetherston (0-1), Jack Casey, Kevin Concannon; Jack Gunning, John Martin, Mike Dwyer; James Regan, Gearoid Keenan; Eamon Kenny, Ciaran Lawless, Kieran Whyte (0-1); Ray Farrell, Shane Regan, Darragh Walsh (1-4, 4 frees).
Subs: Ciaran Casey for S Regan (h/t), Declan Beirne for Gunning (h/t), Adrian Cassidy for E Kenny (54), Liam Earley for Farrell (64), Brian Diffley for Keenan (64).
Referee: Marty Parker