herald

Monday 22 October 2018

First prize to Na Gaeil óga

Heroic fightback sees fledgling side secure maiden silverware

NA GAEIL óGA 2-12

GERALDINE P MORANS 2-10

HISTORY was made in Cornelscourt on Sunday afternoon as Na Gaeil óga won their first piece of silverware since forming just over a year ago by taking the ó Broin Cup decider thanks to a well-earned victory over Geraldine P Morans.

It is a great achievement for the all-Irish speaking club based in the Phoenix Park, and they can look to the future with great optimism. Indeed, such is the passion for the club, a very healthy crowd was there to cheer on the winners -- unusual to see for a Cup final in November.

Geraldines will be disappointed with themselves as they will probably feel they left this one behind them. They were dominant for much of the first half in particular but poor shooting was their Achilles heel -- they kicked nine wides in the opening period -- and also led by six points 10 minutes into the second half.

But take nothing away from the visitors. They showed tremendous spirit to drag themselves back from the brink and their victory was greeted with huge celebrations among their players.

They owe a lot to substitute Harry Mac Eochaidh for this victory. The forward was brought on at half-time and scored six points. His tally included two incredible sideline balls from seemingly impossible angles, scores that would be admired at any level of the game.

His team got off to a fine start. Ciarán Mac Fherghasa, Pádraic Ó hIrnáin, Seosamh Ó Griollais and Niall Mac Diarmaida all split the posts as they raced into an early advantage.



RHYTHM

Ryan Scollard got Geraldines off the mark with a free on 10 minutes but it was not until just before half-time that they really found some rhythm.

Scollard and his brother Craig were beginning to find some joy in terms of primary possession and it was the latter who levelled matters after Aaron McDonald and Donal McEnery had cut the deficit to the minimum.

The latter then gave his team the lead for the first time with a free and he was central to furthering that lead when his mazy run drew a foul inside the square.

The resultant penalty was ruthlessly buried to the top corner by Ryan Scollard as Geraldines looked like they would enjoy a healthy interval advantage.

But Na Gaeil óga weren't finished and they managed to get a crucial goal in the last move of the opening half. It was Eoghaní Mac Aoidh who got the final touch to finish off a fine move involving Prionsias Ó Tormaigh and Ó hIrnáin to leave them trailing at the turnaround, 1-5 to 1-4.

Geraldines got off to a blistering start after the break and hit 1-2 without reply.

Craig Scollard started the purple patch with a point and he also got the goal thanks to a brilliant improvised finish. Ryan Scollard then pushed them into a seemingly unassailable six-point lead.



CONTROL

But from there, Na Gaeil óga took control. Ciarán Mac an Bhaird came out around the middle to help his midfielders and it proved an inspired move as they completely dominated this sector to build the platform for Mac Eochaidh to point them to victory.

But they needed that extra boost to see them over the line and it came in the shape of Ó hIrnáin's goal after he punched Mac Diarmaida's delivery to the net.

It proved to be the all-important match-winning moment.

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