Carrigallen regained the U-21 B Championship title in Cloone on Sunday when they got the better of Gortletteragh after a keenly contested encounter that Gortletteragh contributed hugely to and their late rally certainly had Carrigallen supporters worried as they saw a lead of five points reduced to just two in the closing stages of the game.
By Philip Roney
The game began with Carrigallen forwards Gerald Percival and Aaron Beirne dictating matters as they won every ball that was played towards them and helped their side open up a deserved lead. However, when Gortletteragh came to grips with the Carrigallen forwards, primarily as a result of deploying Niall Woods in a deeper position, the game became a much tighter affair and with Padraig Gallagher in fine form for Gortletteragh in front of goal, it wasn’t long before they started to make their presence felt in the game.
Although Gortletteragh did improve as the half went on, Carrigallen will feel they should have led by more than five points at the interval as they kicked a total of six wides and also saw a chance of a third goal disappear when the ball was blasted at the face of Gortletteragh goalkeeper Darren Mulvey.
With just over 10 minutes of the game remaining Carrigallen still led by five points but Gortletteragh gave it everything in the closing stages as they attempted to force their way back into contention. The introduction of Eddie Tyrell added some extra physicality to the Gortletteragh ranks and with not much getting past Ciaran Egan and Niall Woods they gave their all in the closing stages.
The game began in a similar manner to how it finished, with Gortletteragh being the side looking most dangerous going forward. Padraig Gallagher had two early chances to open the scoring but his first free went wide while the second came back off the post before being cleared to safety.
After surviving those early scares Carrigallen came roaring back and opened the scoring with a Francis O’Rourke point and then struck decisively for he game’s opening goal in the sixth minute. Gerald Percival’s pass was well controlled by Aaron Beirne who had the option of taking an easy point but instead he unleashed a venomous shot past Darren Mulvey to give his side a four point lead.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.