St.Vincents/Curraha travelled to Bective GFC on Saturday the 26th of November to play Bective/Dunsany in the Final of the Coolrite Refrigeration U20 C Championship. Played in pitch perfect conditions St.Vincents/Curraha were hoping to take the Paddy Cooney Memorial Cup home with them in some 2+ hours. With the game originally fixed for Sean McManus Park (Skryne), it was moved to Bective due to high levels of rainfall in the days before. Nevertheless, with Bective’s pitch in super conditions for the time of year, Curraha were very happy to play in Bective. There was great excitement around Curraha and Ardcath for the past week or so since St. Vincent’s/Curraha surprisingly beat Wolfe Tones, who were the red hot favourites for winning the Paddy Cooney Memorial Cup. St. Vincent’s/Curraha came into the game as slight underdogs. Bective/Dunsany also pulled off a big surprise a week earlier when they beat Inny Gaels 1:13 to 2:08. St.Vincents/Curraha brought massive travelling support to Bective for the much anticipated final. As the game grew closer to the start you could feel the tension around Bective GFC.
Diarmuid Moriarty the St.Vincents/Curraha Captain won the toss and opted to play with the wind for the first half and shoot into the motorway end. Sean Clarke got the game in Bective underway at a minute after 2pm and straight away St.Vincents/Curraha meant business. Moriarty carried the ball at the Bective/Dunsany defence and had a call of a possible penalty but resulted in a free ten yards out which Moriarty converted to a point to get the score board rolling. With both sides quite cagey in the opening minutes Bective/Dunsany got their first point from play coming from their slick number 12. As a very strong swirling wind started to blow, both St. Vincent’s/Curraha and Bective/Dunsany found it hard to get scores. As Con Smith was Bective/Dunsany’s main man who had starred for Boyne Valley in the Meath Regional Championship a week earlier in Ashbourne, the St.Vincents/Curraha back Gary Tuite, and the entire row of St.Vincents/Curraha backs had their work cut out stopping him advancing. Eventually he got through and he laid the ball off to one of his teammates who’s shot looked like it was going in the top corner, but it was saved by the St.Vincents/Curraha’s ever reliable corner back Ben Heagney. St.Vincents/Curraha then decided to introduce Matthew Tuite for James White 15 minutes into the first half. St.Vincents/Curraha all of a sudden started to find their feet with 4 unanswered points. Ben Heagney the older of the 2 Heagney brothers who isn’t afraid to get up the pitch and help the St.Vincents/Curraha attackers got the scoring spree going with a phenomenal point from play 23 minutes into the half. St.Vincents/Curraha’s Moriarty then left 3 points between the sides with two fine frees in close succession. As Bective/Dunsany had no answer the classy St.Vincents/Curraha side got their 5th point of the game from play coming from Denis McEntee ,the nippy half forward , the point came off his right foot with 28 minutes gone. The St.Vincents/Curraha backs were kept on their toes all the same, with super defending by Robert O’Farrell and Alex McEntee to name a few. The St.Vincent’s/Curraha goalkeeper Matthew Brennan was called into action numerous times with saves from all angles. As Sean Clarke blew for halftime the score read St.Vincents/Curraha 0.05 to Bective/Dunsany’s 0.01. It was still anyone’s game.
As the second half began, Bective/Dunsany were still not going to let St.Vincents/Curraha walk all over them. They got the ball minutes into the second half and they put together a great team move which ended up in a well dispatched goal coming from Con Smith to leave it game on. St.Vincents/Curraha had no response to this Bective/Dunsany scoring spree. Bective/Dunsany went ahead with 3 unanswered points from play with the pick of them coming from the Bective/Dunsany number 13, and the score read 0.05 to 1.04 five minutes into the second half. However, St.Vincents/Curraha weren’t going to let the huge travelling support down with 2 brilliant frees coming off the right foot of the Captain Moriarty 13 minutes into the second half to leave it a draw match. As both sides had every chance of winning the match at this stage both teams will be kicking themselves for missed opportunities as the rain started to fall in Bective. Matthew Brennan was once again called into action with superb saves, keeping St.Vincents/Curraha alive. There was a lot of unseen work from Sean Ronan who was like Brian Fenton around the mid field area fielding balls. Bective/Dunsany once again went ahead with a point from Con Smith much to the delight of the home support. Matthew Webb the established Curraha Senior full back made a darting run up the field and handpassed the ball to Denis McEntee who converted his second of the game heading into injury time, as he punched the air with delight he broke the hearts of the Bective/Dunsany fans, this score left it a draw match 0.08 to 1.05. With both sides having equal chances to win, neither side could find that winning point. As Sean Clarke blew for full time the score read 0.08 to 1.05 and we were heading for extra time in Bective.
Sean Clarke got the first half of extra time under way and St.Vincents/Curraha’s towering midfielder Conor O’Brien won the throw up and gave a brilliant foot pass into Ruairí O’Sullivan who was bundled over and won himself a free. It was calmly slotted over the black spot about 2 minutes in by Moriarty . St.Vincents/Curraha started to show why they were in the final now and really piled the pressure on Bective/Dunsany who weren’t able to cope with this pressure. As St.Vincents/Curraha were playing with the wind for the first half of extra time they took full advantage with 2 more superb points from Denis McEntee and Robert McGovern who got a well deserved point about 3 minutes into the half, this left the score 0.11 points to 1.05. St.Vincents/Curraha pushed on and with a fine team move starting with Conor Early resulted in a fine point from a free by Moriarty to leave 4 between the sides 7 minutes into the first half of extra time. All of a sudden St.Vincents/Curraha got a side line ball which Moriarty stepped up and curled over off the outside of his right foot, and the man of the moment punched the air in delight. As Sean Clarke blew for halftime in extra time St.Vincents/Curraha were in the driving seat and were 5 points ahead. St. Vincent’s/Curraha were 10+ minutes away from glory and the St.Vincents/Curraha support were starting to get nervous of this Bective/Dunsany side who had scored 1.03 at the start of the second half in normal time in a short period of time.
Sean Clarke threw the ball up for the start of the second half of extra time as it started to get dark in Bective. St.Vincents/Curraha had then decided to re-introduce James White for Conor Early. Then it was curtains for Bective/Dunsany when a fine save by Matthew Brennan was then worked up the field by the St.Vincents/Curraha team, Moriarty won the ball and used all his power to burst past the Bective/Dunsany defence and sneak in on the end line. He cut in and finished the ball to the back of the net 3 minutes in and again he jumped up and punched the air with delight which sent the St.Vincents/Curraha support ecstatic along both side lines. As the Bective/Dunsany’s heads dropped, they rallied on and in fairness they got 2 fine points both from Con Smith, one from a free, the other from play, but it was a case of too little too late. As Sean Clarke blew full time in extra time the St.Vincents/Curraha players fell to their feet in exhaustion and delight. The St.Vincents/Curraha support invaded the pitch and celebrated with great joy. In 2013 Curraha won this trophy on their own and are now champions again. St.Vincents/Curraha’s Captain Diarmuid Moriarty lifted the Paddy Cooney Memorial Cup and the echoes of “ Championeys” could possibly be heard back in Curraha and Ardcath. This superb win has capped off an outstanding year of football in Curraha and Ardcath. Fair play to all players and management involved. Curraha and Ardcath continue to celebrate this joyous occasion and will savour these moments. Hon the Ha!!!!!!!! And C’mon the Maroon and Whites!!!!!!!!
Full Time St.Vincents/Curraha 1.14 Bective/Dunsany 1.07
Diarmuid Moriarty 1.09(0.07F) Denis McEntee 0.03 Ben Heagney 0.01 Robert McGovern 0.01
St.Vincents/Curraha Team and Full panel
Matthew Brennan (Curraha), Robert O’Farrell (Curraha), Matthew Webb (Curraha), Cian Heagney (Curraha), Ben Heagney (Curraha), Gary Tuite (Ardcath), Alex McEntee (Ardcath), Conor O’Brien (Ardcath), Diarmuid Moriarty (Curraha), Conor Early (Ardcath), Denis McEntee (Ardcath), James White (Ardcath), Robert McGovern (Curraha), Ruarí O’Sullivan (Curraha), Sean Ronan (Curraha).
Subs: Matthew Tuite (Ardcath), Jamie Fewer (Curraha), Shea O’Conor (Curraha), Conor McAleese (Curraha).
Subs used Matthew Tuite for James White, James White for Conor Early.
Curraha: David Coyle, Mark Phelan
Ardcath: John Tuite, Alan Early
Referee: Sean Clarke
CREDIT TO IVAN KEOGH FOR THE MATCH REPORT