A Gortletteragh player fires over a point. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Inspired by the outstanding Shane Mallon, Gortletteragh saw off a determined St. Patrick’s Dromahair to win the U15 League 13-a-side title on Tuesday week last in Ballinamore.
GORTLETTERAGH 2-9 ST. PATRICK’S DROMAHAIR 2-6
After a good sporting game in which both goalkeepers produced some outstanding saves, it was the foundation Gortletteragh, who have a few players from Bornacoola in their ranks, built in the first half that proved crucial with two goals from Mallon giving them a lead they never surrendered.
Dromahair fought back and reduced a ten point lead down to three points in injury time and were denied a draw that their efforts perhaps deserved with a full-length diving save from Gortletteragh keeper Killian McCauley.
Gortletteragh dominated the early stages but kicked two bad wides from frees before they opened the scoring on eight minutes when Shane Mallon kicked over a free followed quickly by a goal from the same player when he finished expertly to the net from a tight angle.
Dromahair got their first score on 12 minutes a great point from Jamie Cawley but Gortletteragh extended their lead with two further points, one a great effort from Odhran Heslin and another from midfielder James Cunningham after a great run.
A great save from the Dromahair goalkeeper Stephen Burke denied Shane Mallon a certain goal and the tit for tat continued as a Jake Shields point for Gortletteragh was followed by a similar score from Shane Mallon.
Gortletteragh looked in complete control when Mallon was on hand two minutes later to finish to the net following a defensive mix up but Dromahair fought back with a great goal from James Clinton.
Five minutes later, Dromahair were right back into the game as a ten point lead was down to four points after Diarmuid Giblin added a second goal five minutes later.
With a slight breeze in Dromahair’s favour for the second half, the game was up for grabs as Gortletteragh led 2-5 to 2-1 at the break.
But Gortletteragh had no intention of surrendering their lead and they started the second half in great style when a long pass from Conor Niblock found James Doyle and he pointed to extend their lead.
But to their credit, back came Dromahair and points from Jason McKenny and James Clinton kept Dromahair in the game.
However, Gortletteragh were always able to respond and points from Shane Mallon (free) and Jake Shields, from play after a good pass, extended Gortletteragh’s lead with only five minutes to go.
Dromahair refused to lie down and points from Ruairi Power and Jamie Cawley reduced the deficit to two points but a great run and a point from man of the match Shane Mallon extended Gortletteragh’s lead which would be there last score of the game.
Dromahair kept battling and it took a great save from Gortletteragh goalkeeper Killian McCauley when he dived full length to deny Dromahair a certain goal deep into injury time and a draw which would have been a fair result.
Best for Gortletteragh were Killian McCauley, Tom Reel, Ciaran Reen, James Cunningham, James Doyle, Brendan Davis and Shane Mallon while Stephen Burke, Eoin Ryan, Jamie Sim, Conor Downes, James Clinton & Jamie Cawley stood out from Dromahair.
TEAMS & SCORERS
Scorers: Shane Mallon 2-4; Jake Shields 0-2; Odhran Heslin, James Cunningham & James Doyle 0-1 each
Team: Killian McCauley, Tom Reel, Ryan Cunningham, Mark Reynolds, Ciaran Reen, Conor Niblock, James Cunningham, James Doyle, Sean Og Hynes, Odhran Heslin, Brendan Davis, Shane Mallon, Jake Shields. Subs: Cian O’Leary, Ciaran Reynolds, Brendan Naughton, Cian McNulty, Nathan Ward, Szymon Kozak, Daire Heslin, Andrew Doyle
ST. PATRICK’S DROMAHAIR
Scorers: James Clinton 1-1; Diarmuid Giblin 1-0; Jamie Cawley 0-2; Jason McKenny & Ruairi Power 0-1 each
Team: Stephen Burke, Jamie McLoughlin, Eoin Ryan, Shea Kelly, Michael O’Connallain, Jamie Sim, Conor Downes, Jason McKenny, James Clinton, Ruairi Power, Diarmuid Giblin, Conor Morrison, Jamie Cawley. Subs: Alan Kavanagh, Kyle McTiernan, Shane Conlon, Keith Kilfeather, Gary Devaney
Referee: T.P. McLoughlin