Glencar/Manorhamilton picked up their third piece of silverware in the last month when their U-21 footballers saw off a determined St. Manchan’s challenge and conquered the difficult playing conditions to win the U-21 A Championship after extra-time in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada last Sunday.
Glencar/Manor were forced to fight all the way to the before they claimed victory over a battling Mohill and Eslin outfit in a game marred by the heavy rain that felt during the game, adding the U-21 A title to the Division One title and Junior B Championship crown won in recent weeks.
A 49th minute John Mulligan goal saw St. Manchan’s overcome a third point deficit to take the lead but an Aaron McDermott goal with four minutes of normal time left gave Glencar/Manor the lead once more.
However St. Manchan’s forced extra time in the 62nd minute after a Glencar/Manor defender was penalised for throwing the ball as he attempted to pass to a team mate just 20 metres from his goals. St. Manachan’s Niall Beirne stepped up and put the resultant free over and the game went to extra time.
Glencar/Manor held the upper hand in extra time and went on to claim victory even though St. Manachan’s fought doggedly to the end.
After that on the one minute mark John Mulligan put St. Manachan’s in front when he shot over from play. Glencar/Manor put a good move together two minutes later involving Brendan Byrne and James Rooney that Evan Sweeney finished off splendidly when he fired over the crossbar to equalise.
Manor took the lead for the first time when Aaron Hickey won a short St. Manchan’s kick-out and hit back with a point. But Conor Beirne had the sides on level terms almost immediately when he slotted over a well-taken free before adding a point from play.
Glencar/Manor had a let off when Niall Beirne drove a goal chance inches wide three minutes later but the teams were level for a third time after Evan Sweeney fired over a 17th minute point when Niall Brady put him through.
Within two more minutes Aaron Hickey gave Glencar/Manor a two point advantage when he pointed a free and Mohill keeper Emmett Higgins made a good save to deny a goal chance to Evan Sweeney after the Manor man almost got his fist under a high dropping ball.
Conor Beirne made it level for the break on 0-4 all when he tapped over a free for St. Manachan’s two minutes later but Glencar/Manor surged following the restart with Aaron Hickey pointing before Niall Brady put more daylight between the sides when he also hit the target from play.
For the first time in the contest Glencar/Manor took a three point lead when Aaron Hickey slotted over a 38th minute free that was awarded to Hickey for a foul on him by Eanna Madden.
But Conor Beirne reduced the deficit five minutes later after he shot over from play and St. Manachan’s took the lead dramatically after a Glencar/Manor defender turned over the ball in his own half. A quick St. Manchan’s move ended with John Mulligan hammering an un-stoppable 49th minute shot past keeper Stephen McPartland.
A Niall Beirne free in the next minute edged St. Manachan’s two points in front but Glencar/Manor soon hit back. Aaron Hickey forced a good save from Higgins at the expense of a ‘45’ when he hit a pile driver from the 20 metre line after charging through from midfield.
From the resultant ‘45’ Hickey hit the ball into the ‘square’ and Aaron McDermott flicked the dropping ball to the net and put Glencar/Manor back in front by a point with four minutes of normal time left.
With two minutes of added time remaining St. Manachan’s won a 20 metre when a Glencar/Manor defender was penalised for a throw ball offence when attempted to pass to a colleague and Niall Beirne made no mistake from the free to send the game to extra-time.
Within 25 seconds of the start of the first period of extra time Glencar/Manor had a let off when Conor Beirne hit a pile driver off the crossbar that was cleared. After this escape Glencar/Manor moved the ball up the field and Niall Brady edged them into the lead with a well-executed point.
Two minutes later Evan Sweeney doubled Glencar/Manor’s advantage when he split the St. Manchan’s posts from play. But Conor Beirne made it a one point game when he put over a seventh minute first period of injury time free.
A well-taken Evan Sweeney point just before halftime in extra time point saw Glencar/Manor grab a 1-10 to 1-8 lead, which since neither side managed to score in the second period of extra time proved to be the final score.
Glencar/Manor was reduced to 14 with three minutes of normal time left in the second period of extra time when Niall Brady received a second yellow card. But his side still held out for victory.
Stephen McPartland; Jak Dallen, James O’Brien, Cian McManus; Brendan Byrne, James Rooney, Mark McGourty; Aaron Hickey (0-4), Aaron McDermott (1-0); Killian McGriskin, Ronan Flynn, Paddy Loughlin; Niall Brady (0-2), Kieran Brick, Evan Sweeney (0-4). Subs: David Brick for McGriskin (50 mins), Mark Fox for K. Brick (57 mins).
Emmett Higgins; Daragh Gordon, Eanna Madden, Alan Armstrong; Cillian Canning, Ronan Reynolds, Nathan Conboy; Shane Quinn, Donal Flynn; Alan McLoughlin, John Mulligan (1-1), Joe Stenson; Cathal Keegan, Niall Beirne (0-3), Conor Beirne (0-4). Subs: Ryan Bohan for Conboy (injured 13 mins); Cian McGuinness for Keegan (36 mins).
Referee: Francis Flynn.