Crosserlough and Kingscourt Stars had to do it all again at the weekend after a dramatic draw the week before. Heading in as favourites, Crosserlough were aiming to amend their 2018 final loss. Meanwhile, Kingscourt had proved previously that they were capable of winning the Cavan Football Final.
After needing two injury-time points to secure a replay last week, Crosserlough ensured there was no need for such heroics this time around. They came out of the blocks firing and established an early lead. In fact, they would hold this lead throughout despite a valiant effort from Kingscourt Stars.
There was less than twenty seconds on the clock when Crosserlough opened the scoring. James Smith fielded the throw-in and began a neat move that resulted in corner-back David Shalvey curling over the first point. Smith continued the game as he began. For example, he made a remarkable one-handed catch from a Brian Malocca kick-out before running deep into Kingscourt’s forty-five and putting it over the bar. Then, Stephen Smith added another for the ‘Lough who were 0-4 to 0-1 up after 11 minutes.
Kingscourt began to rally. Yet, the ‘Lough had an answer for everything. When man-of-the-match Smith scored again from midfield in the twenty-third minute, Crosserlough were 0-7 to 0-3 up. But, Kingscourt started to find gaps in their opponent’s defence as half-time drew closer. When John Oates scored for Kingscourt just before the interval, they had reeled in the deficit to two points. At the interval, it was 0-8 to 0-6 in Crosserlough’s favour.
A Cagey Affair
Last week’s drawn game was an end-to-end free-flowing festival of scores. In contrast, this was a more tense and nervous affair. After the restart, Crosserlough were the ones who again showed more decisiveness. The third quarter proved to be crucial. Consecutive points from Patrick Lynch, Shalvey, and Stephen Smith paved the way to the title. Kingscourt goalie James Farrelly denied Stephen Smith twice in the game but could do nothing about the missed chances at the other end of the pitch. By the time of the second water-break, it was 0-12 to 0-7.
A free from Barry Reilly with ten minutes remaining made it a four-point game. But, defence prevailed from then on. When Lynch scored again for the ‘Lough deep in injury time it was the icing on the cake.
The young Crosserlough side were deserving winners on the day. Furthermore, they proved the absence of county-star Dara McVeety didn’t hinder them. After 48 years of waiting, they finally conquered a Cavan Football Final again.
Final score: Crosserlough 0-13 vs Kingscourt Stars 0-8.
🚨 Highlights 🚨
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) October 3, 2020
Scorers for Crosserlough: Patrick Lynch 0-5 (2f, 1m, 45), James Smith 0-3, Stephen Smith 0-2, David Shalvey 0-2, Mark Stuart 0-1,
Scorers for Kingscourt: Padraig Faulkner 0-3, Barry Reilly 0-2 (2f), Cian Shekleton 0-2, Barry Tully 0-1
CROSSERLOUGH: Brian Malocca, John Cooke, Patrick O’Reilly, David Shalvey, Shane McVeety, Conor Rehill, Cian Boylan, Mark Stuart, James Smith, Shane McManus, Brandon Boylan, Darren Gaffney, Adrian Smith, Patrick Lynch, Stephen Smith. Subs: Pierce Smith for McManus (41), Ryan Galligan for Gaffney (50), Peter Smith for Rehill (55, temp.), Enda Gaffney for A Smith (56), Peter Smith for McVeety (60), Barry McKiernan for B Boylan (60)
KINGSCOURT: James Farrelly, Cathal McKeown, Alan Clarke, Killian Farrelly, Shane Duffy, Paddy Meade, John Oates, Shane Gray, Peter Corrigan, Barry Tully, Philip Tinnelly, Kevin Curtis, Cian Shekleton, Padraig Faulkner, Barry Reilly Subs: Darragh Gunne for Curtis (37 mins), Sean Burke for Shekleton (45), Oisin Cunningham for Oates (45)