Creggs pinned down by gutsy Gaels

Warm N’ Cosy Homes Roscommon JFC ‘A’ Final: Creggs 2-6 Kilglass Gaels 0-12

“We were lucky to get out with a draw!” Ger Dowd’s reaction said it all. Hot favourites Creggs found out just how tough it is to win a major county title when they were put to the pin of their collective collars against a well drilled and hugely determined Kilglass Gaels side in this entertaining junior final played in perfect weather conditions and before a huge crowd at Strokestown last Sunday.

  “We didn’t really perform that well in the first half apart from the two goals,” continued Dowd before suggesting that the big day may have unnerved his charges: “The occasion might have got to our lads a little bit and it is the first county final for a lot of the younger lads and it may have affected their performance.”

  Kilglass Gaels manager, Dermot Washington, felt his side had left the cup behind them: “I thought that we were the better team out there today. We were underdogs in everyone else’s opinion before this final, but not in our minds.”

  Washington added: “They were not at our level I felt, but look, we had to battle to get a draw and we are happy to be there again for the next day.”

  Dowd, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief and looked to the future “It’s half-time now and we are level. We knew that there is very little between the two teams. Look, it’s very hard to win a county title at any level and we saw that out there today but we are looking forward to another day out.”

  Despite the fact that it was Kilglass who scored the two points they needed to tie up the scores in the final minute of normal time, it would have been a major injustice if they had been beaten, and in fact for long periods of the game they looked the better side. Creggs did display some flashes of good football at various stages, but Kilglass showed resilience and spirit throughout that saw them almost cause a shock.

  Creggs scored two well-taken goals in the first half, but Kilglass will argue that the second one in particular was of the soft variety. But Creggs could only add a solitary point to that total by half-time. Nevertheless it was enough to give them a one-point lead. The second half was nip and tuck until Creggs opened up a two-point lead with seven minutes to play but Pierce Bolger and Gavin Tully (free) were the Kilglass heroes to level the scores by the 60th minute.

  Kilglass came to Strokestown determined to cause an upset and Tommy Cox, Richie Dooner, Gavin Tully, Diarmuid Connellan and the outstanding Pierce Bolger were all prominent as they drove forward and they kicked some marvellous points throughout. They were on top at midfield and that gave them a platform to cause problems for Creggs in attack. Even the joint team manager Dermot Washington was introduced at half-time as Kilglass drove forward in search of the title and he was prominent in that second period.

  Creggs played in fits and starts – probably because they were not allowed to by Kilglass – but Ciaran Dowd, James McKeague, Shane Dowd, Enda O’Rourke, Enda Conneran and Kevin Gavin all did well. There were some great passages of play from Creggs but they were not consistent enough throughout and they will be glad to have another shot at the title in the replay.