Manor Rangers came from behind twice yesterday afternoon in the Skechers U15 Regional Final as they got the better of Tuam Celtic after a pulsating encounter in Westport.
Goals from Gabriel Gilbride, Barry McNulty and an injury time winner from Muireann Devaney helped Manor end a 28 year wait for a Connacht title.
There were standout performances all over the pitch from a Manor point of view. Goalkeeper Ben Gavin will be disappointed with the concession of Tuam’s second goal, which was scored by his opposite number Karl Ward but he recovered well from that setback and made some telling interventions to help guide his side to glory.
In front of him the centre back pairing of Matthew Connolly and James Clinton was solid throughout while the full-backs Stephen Burke and Barry McNulty offered assistance at both ends of the pitch with McNulty scoring the decisive second goal that helped ensure the game went to extra-time.
The talented Eanna Clancy was excellent throughout for Manor in the heart of midfield, showing great leadership throughout despite the close attention of Tuam captain Alan Banks who rarely left his sight. Cathal Óg O’Connell, Jamie Cawley and Alan Kavanagh also produced big performances for Manor although Kavanagh’s interest in proceedings unfortunately came to an early end when he picked up a first half injury.
Fresh from her starring role for the Ireland U16 team recently, Muireann Devanney was introduced for Manor with half an hour played and as is often the case, her impact proved decisive as she struck in the first half of extra-time to ensure victory for her side. Another to have a significant say in proceedings from the bench was Gabriel Gilbride who scored Manor's first equaliser, just moments after his introduction.
There were also tireless contributions from Patrick Montgomery and Diarmuid Giblin, with Giblin’s pace and trickery on the wing causing plenty of problems for the Galway side.
For a full report on yesterday's game see Wednesday's Leitrim Observer.