Brigids’ late late show

Supervalu U-16 FC Div. 1 Final St. Brigids                        3-9 Roscommon Gaels          2-9 An explosive final 16 minutes of play from St. Brigids ensured that they swept past Roscommon Gaels to land the U-16 FC Div. 1 title in this very competitive final played at Dr. Hyde Park on Saturday evening.   The Gaels were three points ahead with 18 minutes of the second half played but they lost their way completely and Brigids scored two goals and two points to take the title. The Gaels did reply with two late points of their own but the damage was done and the cup was heading for Kiltoom once again.   It was a sweet win for St. Brigids who had fared poorly in the U-16 league and were well beaten by the Gaels in that competition.  However it’s the championship that matters and Brigids were not found wanting on the big day.   The first half saw some excellent football being played by both sides. Brigids’ first goal came with almost six minutes played when Andy Curley found the Gaels’ net with a clever goal after being set up by Garvin Broughal. However the Gaels replied almost immediately when Daniel Hoare cracked home a mighty goal after a Mark Gilleran free fell short and the Gaels – with Gilleran in terriffic form – led by a point, 1-5 to 1-4 at half-time.   The Gaels assumed control on the resumption and ten minutes into the second period they had another goal on the scoreboard. Scott Oates’ free hit a post and Cian Connolly was quickest to react to grab an opportunist goal. With ten minutes to go the Gaels were leading by three points and playing the better football.   Brigids kept going however and with Ronan Stack and Broughal in fine form they started their comeback. Two points in quick succession were followed by two goals in even quicker succession!   Aaron O’Connor rattled the Gaels net after Brougal’s shot was saved by Gaels’ keeper Craig Simpson and less than a minute later Joey Cunniffe goaled to turn the match on its head. The Gaels were reeling now but in fairness to them they attempted to retrieve the situation – but it was too late.   Points from their two best players, Scott Oates and Mark Gilleran, in the seven minutes of injury-time were of consolation value only as Brigids took the title against the odds. St. Brigids: C. O’Connor; C. O’Laoide, D. Mannion, G. Reynolds; K. Dowling, R. Stack (0-1), P. Furey; J. Carty, G. Broughal (0-3); I. Monaghan, J. Cunniffe (1-5), J. Murray; A. O’ Connor (1-0), A. Curley (1-0), A. McInerney. Subs: A. Gleeson for McInerney, E. McBrearty for O. Laoide, J. Reidy for Reynolds, M. Nesson for Curley. Roscommon Gaels: C. Simpson; M. Coll, D. Gilleran, K. Maher; N. Hunt, P. Feeney, D. Shannon; J. O’Gara, D. Coyle; S. Oates, C. Dowd, D. Hoare (1-1); C. Connolly (1-0), J. McManus, M. Gilleran (0-5). Subs: D. Hughes for Hunt, M. McCourt for Dowd. Referee: Marty Parker.