Laragh Utd 2-9
Southern Gaels 0-12
Laragh Utd qualified for their first Minor Championship Final since 1977 with a hard earned win over a gallant Lacken-Gowna combination in KIlleshandra on Saturday evening. Played in perfect conditions, the fact that it was their third meeting in this year’s championship led to a tense hectic battle from start to finish.
Laragh started the better team and a fine Lee Reilly point from a free opened their account. Points from Eoin Cooney and Conor O’Rourke increased Laragh’s lead 3 nil after 8 mins. It got even better for the eventual winners in the 10th min when a high ball from the hard working Fergal McKenna ended up in the net. It was the 12th min before Mark Wilson pointed to open Southern Gaels scoring. A min later Fergal O’Rourke’s pointed 45 restored Laragh’s six point lead. With county minor Robbie Fitzpatrick moving out the field Southern Gaels came more into the game. Points from Robbie Fitzpatrick and Mark Wilson narrowed the gap but a Jack McKenna point in the 19th min kept Laragh in the lead 1-5 to 0-3. In the 22nd min Laragh lost their centre half back to a black card, replaced by Hayden Smith and it was to have an unsettling effect on their defence, with Paul Leddy (Southern Gaels) having a growing influence on the game. Three Robbie Fitzpatrick points and points from Cian Madden and Paul Leddy before half time left it level at the break, Laragh 1-5 to 0-8.
The opening 10 mins of the second half saw Southern Gaels on top. Three pointed frees, 2 from Robbie Fitzpatrick and one from Cian Madden, edged them 3 points in front. It took some great defending by the Laragh defence ably led by goalkeeper Fergal O’Rourke to keep Southern Gaels at bay, although some poor finishing didn’t help the amalgamated side. Laragh lifted the siege in the 7th min with a massive Conor O’Rourke point from free, 40 meters near the side-line, to narrow the gap 1-6 to 0-11. In the 15th min the crucial score came. A long clearance from Jake McGovern found county minor Eoin Cooney in space and he sped through the defence and buried a goal in the corner of the net, to put Laragh back in the lead 2-6 to 0-11. A min later a Conor O’Rourke free increased the lead. In the 23rd min Cian Madden narrowed the gap with a point, only for Eoin Cooney to point for the would be winners. The scoring closed in the 26th min with a long range point from a Fergal O’Rourke free. Before the end Southern Gaels lost their full back to a red card.
All in all an entertaining match well referred by Packie Smith (Killygarry) ended with the Div. 2 League side Laragh reaching the final on a score line of Laragh 2-9 Southern Gaels 0-12.
Laragh Utd: Fergal O’Rourke (0-2), Aaron Reddington, Peter Donnelly, Ryan Smith, Jake McGovern, Ian Leddy, Paul Smith, Fergal McKenna (1-0), Cian Carolan, Pauric Reilly, Conor O’Rourke (0-3), Lee Reilly (0-1), Eoin Cooney (1-2), Jack McKenna, (0-1), Stephen Cooney. Subs: Hayden Smith, Conor Tully.
Southern Gaels: Jimmy Smith, Ryan Coyle, Brian Lake, Conor Halton, Paul Langtry, Ronan Halton, Peter Galligan, Conor Brady, David Wilson, Ruan McDonnell, Paul Leddy (0-1), Shane Moynagh, Mark Wilson (0-2), Robbie Fitzpatrick (0-6), Cian Madden (0-3). Subs: Aaron Brady.
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