A stirring all round team effort enabled Robert Emmets to claim the Duhallow Under 21 B Football Championship Final, on defeating a well fancied Boherbue side by 2-8 to 0-10 in dreadful conditions at Newmarket on Sunday afternoon.
Playing into a severe driving wind and heavy rain, Robert Emmets got off to a dream start. Within thirty seconds the ball was nestling in the Boherbue net. As the ball broke between a group of players towards the endline, Michael Cottrell emerged with the ball and finished expertly to the net for a significant score.
Inevitably pinned back due to the elements, the display of the defence laid the foundations for a famous victory.
Boherbue replied with a converted free after three minutes and found the target by similar means in the ninth minute. Soaking up the pressure at one end, Robert Emmets used possession prudently.
Eleven minutes into the contest T.J. Brosnan surged forward and picked out Barry O’Connor with a well placed pass. The forward gathered possession and closed in on goal before crashing to the net for a second goal, another crucial moment in the contest. Despite two early setbacks, Boherbue added two points to leave the score reading 2-0 to 0-4 after seventeen minutes.
The Robert Emmets rearguard, together with team captain and goalkeeper, David Quinlan were heroic in their efforts. On twenty two minutes, T.J. Brosnan kicked an inspirational point from distance to defy the elements. At the other end, David Quinlan produced a stunning save in the twenty seventh minute to keep Boherbue at bay.
The half ended with Boherbue slotting over two pointed frees. Boherbue did have a number of wides during the half, however all their scores came from frees, which is testimony to the exploits of the Robert Emmets backline.
As the half time whistle blew, Robert Emmets enjoyed a slender lead of 2-1 to 0-6 to turn the balance of the tie in their favour.
Three minutes after the restart, Boherbue’s first point from play tied the sides for the only time during the hour. Now playing with a strong wind, Robert Emmets used it fully to their advantage. From the resultant kickout, the outstanding Padraig Allen fielded superbly before finding Daniel Culloty who distributed expertly towards Michael Cottrell and the forward pointed sublimely to add to his early goal.
Moments later T.J. Brosnan found Daniel Culloty, now operating at centre half forward, and he stylishly pointed, which would become a familiar feature during the half. Seven minutes into the half Daniel Culloty, was reveling in the challenging conditions as he stroked over his second point to stretch Robert Emmets lead to three points.
Boherbue were next to score but Robert Emmets would not be outdone on the day. A well worked move under pressure, with possession well distributed ended with Luke McCarthy supplying the finishing touch with a fine kick from his left boot which drifted over the bar from distance.
Daniel Culloty, a central figure in attack, in addition to his role as playmaker, was inspiring with his shooting as his third point followed. At the end of the third quarter, Robert Emmets enjoyed a lead of 2-6 to 0-8. Luke McCarthy kept his composure at a critical stage as he slotted over Robert Emmets first pointed free, entering the final ten minutes.
Boherbue rallied and put in a sterling effort to the finish. A Boherbue point cut the deficit and on being awarded a penalty, with five minutes remaining, Robert Emmets were relieved to see the resultant kick sail over the crossbar.
David Quinlan was to the fore of the action and inspired as captain. He produced several fine saves and timely interventions but one in particular which he spectacularly tipped onto the crossbar kept a nervy home side in front in the closing minutes.
The defence again soaked up the incessant pressure while at the other end, the forwards delivered in abundance with T.J. Brosnan and Cathal Noonan working tirelessly throughout at midfield.
Victory was sealed on Daniel Culloty adding a point while at the end, fittingly a fantastic defence emerged unscathed as the final whistle was greeted with great celebrations.
Congratulations to a very committed panel of players and to their mentors, Peter Foley (manager) and his fellow selectors Danny Culloty, Danny Hourigan and Ollie Kearney on a magnificent victory.
The Robert Emmets team and scorers…
Daniel Culloty (0-4), Michael Cottrell (1-1), Barry O’ Connor (1-0), Luke McCarthy (0-2), T.J. Brosnan (0-1)
|Jeremy Murphy||Michael O’Leary||Jamie Hayes|
|Gavin Forde||Paudie Allen||Alan Ryan|
|T. J. Brosnan||Cathal Noonan|
|Michael McSweeney||Jacko Flaherty||Barry O'Connor|
|Luke McCarthy||Daniel Culloty||Michael Cottrell|
|Subs: Daniel Richard Guinee, Shane McAuliffe, Eoin O’Connell, Donncadha Drumm, Colm Noonan|