Northern Gaels capture minor league title

The Northern Gaels (Abbeylara/Mullinalaghta) squad, winners of the Minor Football League Division 1 Final at Devine Park on Wednesday evening of last week. Photo: Declan Gilmore Photography
Three goals in just over two first half minutes put Northern Gaels on their way to winning the Minor Football League Division 1 title at Devine Park, Edgeworthstown on Wednesday evening last.

Three goals in just over two first half minutes put Northern Gaels on their way to winning the Minor Football League Division 1 title at Devine Park, Edgeworthstown on Wednesday evening last.

Clonguish Og had started brightly but in the space of a few minutes Northern Gaels had established a firm grip on the final. The Abbeylara/Mullinalaghta amalgamation added two more goals to their tally in the second half while Clonguish found the net four times as they worked hard to try and get back into the game.

Points from Evan Glacken and Christopher Gordon had given the Newtownforbes side an early lead but in the 5th minute Northern Gaels grabbed their first goal through Aaron Earley. Ultan O’Hara then followed up with two goals in the space of a minute to put them in control.

Aidan McElligott fired over a point to give Northern Gaels an eight point lead before Clonguish hit back with a goal from Colin Farrell in the 10th minute. But the Gaels, after shooting a number of wides, fired over four points in a row to stretch their advantage.

Just before the break, Clonguish got their second goal when Ciaran Madden found the net after good play from Peter Hanley, Ronan Sweeney and Evan Glacken as they trailed by 3-5 to 2-2 at half-time.

Jayson Matthews and Barry McKiernan hit over two points for Northern Gaels in the opening stages of the second half before Glacken converted a free for Clonguish. The Gaels got their fourth goal in the 38th minute when Aidan McElligott rose high to flick the ball to the net.

But credit to Clonguish they never gave up; a free from Christopher Gordon was followed by their second goal from Gordon before Alan Gregg hit over a point to leave just five in it by the 42nd minute.

Points were then traded between David McGivney (free) and Gregg before Northern Gaels pulled away again. Good points from McElligott (2) and Matthews put eight between them by the 57th minute before McElligott raised the green flag again with a fine finish moments later.

In stoppage time Clonguish scored a consolation goal through Christopher Gordon but Northern Gaels had the final say when Conor Berry landed a lovely point.

NORTHERN GAELS: Tom Meehan; James Mooney, Luke Meehan, Michael Cunningham; Cian Brady, Conor Berry (0-1), Russell Brady; David McGivney (0-1, f), Cathal Lynch; Barry McKiernan (0-1), Aaron Earley (1-0), Nigel Rabbitte (0-1); Ultan O’Hara (2-0), Aidan McElligott (2-3), Jayson Matthews (0-5, 1f). Sub:- Aidan Brady for M Cunningham (54 mins).

CLONGUISH OG: Liam Casey; Oisín Flanagan, Michael Corcoran, Paul Gallagher; Kevin O’Boyle, Darragh McLoughlin, Darren Sheridan; Peter Hanley, Ronan Sweeney; Colin Farrell (1-0), Alan Sorohan, Ciaran Madden (1-0); Christopher Gordon (2-2, 2f), Evan Glacken (0-2, 1f), Alan Gregg (0-2).

Subs:- Colin Clarke for C Farrell (injured, half-time); Will Greally for M Corcoran (half-time); Brian Sweeney for D Sheridan (38 mins).

Referee: Paddy McKeon (Longford Slashers).