Dromore GFC News
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Paul McGirr Tournament Final
Sun, 23 Nov 2014
Burren 1-09 v St. Brigids 0-10

Those from Down and Antrim who made the long journey to Dromore on Sunday afternoon, and the many neutrals present will all feel they witnessed one of the best games of youth football seen in the province in years as Down champions Burren added yet another Ulster title to the impressive array the club has already attained. Burren came into this game as raging hot favourites, however such was the commitment of the city lads that Burren were hanging on by their finger tips at the end as they edged a classic 1-9 to 0-10 in front of a large and appreciative crowd in a resplendent Gardrum Park.

The winners began well opening the scoring in the second minute with a pointed free from Declan Murdock. St Brigids levelled a minute later before Ronan Fegan flicked the ball to the St Brigids net from a Shea Murdock lay off to put Burren three in front.

Burren were enjoying the majority of possession but squandered several chances to move further ahead as St Brigids were forced to work hard defensively. Patrick Finnegan scored his team’s second point but scores from Shay and Declan Murdock ensured Burren remained in control on the scoreboard. Referee Mickey Mc Cann allowed the match to flow and the pace remained relentless with great blocks, timely tackles and big hits being put in all over the pitch. The teams swapped further scores in the closing eight minutes of the opening half as the sides reached the break with Burren 1-6 to 0-7 in front.

Most neutrals expected Burren to build on their lead as they were playing with the aid of a slight breeze after the break, however it was St Brigids who began the second half on fire. A brace of points inside the opening two minutes courtesy of Peter Lavery and James Smith signalled the Antrim Champions intent, levelling the match and suddenly it was game on. Burren struggled to cope with St Brigids work rate and intensity as the Malone Road boys fought like demons for every ball. Their midfield pairing of Patrick and Joseph Finnegan drove their team forward at every opportunity, man of the match Phelim Lennon and nippy corner forward Peter Lavery came more and more into the game. A superb long range 50 yard free with the outside of the left boot from Declan Murdock gave Burren the lead again before St Brigids levelled once more with a point from Ethan Carleton midway through the second half.

Burren were forced to dig deep into their reserves and managed to add points from Ronan Fegan and Declan Murdock to put daylight between the sides. However as the game entered the closing minutes it was St Brigids who were on top. They missed several chances of goals while Burren keeper Jack Brady made a match winning save from Joseph Finnegan to deny St Brigids a certain goal late in the game.

Sadly for St Brigids time ran out and with sixty three minutes played the final whistle sounded much to the delight of the delirious Burren support. It was heartbreak for the young Antrim lads but they can take some comfort in knowing that themselves and Burren had just served up a hugely entertaining and memorable game. Captain Conor Cox who made a couple of heroic diving blocks in the dying minutes lifted the wonderful Cuchuaillan trophy and according to Burren manager Jimmy McAlinden it was certainly one that was going to be cherished in the Burren club rooms “During the week we showed the boys the photos on the clubroom walls of all the successful Ulster title winning Burren teams and we had a photo of these boys with a question mark beside them, we asked them if they wanted to join these other teams and they responded in style today. St. Brigids gave us a magnificent battle and were somewhat unlucky in the end but this is a special bunch of players who deserved the plaudits they were getting. I am looking forward to the bus journey home and taking this title back to the Mourne’s”.

Burren: Jack Brady, Shea Fitzpatrick, Conor Cox (Capt), Shane O’Hare, Ardan McAvoy, Peter Fagan, Darragh Murdock, Liam Kerr (0-1) , Aidan Fitzpatrick (0-1), Ronan Fegan (0-1), Shea Murdock (0-1), Ciaran McAdam, Thomas Travers, Declan Murdock (1-5 3f), Conor McCartan
Subs: Aaron Laverty for Ciaran McAdam

St. Brigids: Ruairi Lynch, Frank McCormick, Paul Stoors, Oran Boyle, Daire McGarvey, Brogan Austin (0-1), Mattie Loan (0-2), Joseph Finnegan (capt), Patrick Finnegan (0-1), Peter Webb (0-1 1f), John Blayney, Phelim Lennon (0-1), Peter Lavery (0-1), James Smith (0-2), Ethan Carleton (0-1)