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Leitrim Senior Football Division 2 Final
Carrigallen v Dromahair

Venue: Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada Date: 15.07.09 Throw-in: 8:00pm
Final Score: 1-11 / 0-06
Carrigallen Captain Noel Doonan receives the McGerty Cup from Leitrim County Board Chairman Gerry McGovern
Senior Division 2 winners over Dromahair on 15th July 2009
in Pairc Sean
Carrigallen blitz ends Dromahair's unbeaten run
by John Connolly, Leitrim Observer

They may have ended the League unbeaten but Dromahair tasted agony in a final for the second time this year when a tremendous second half display from a tactically astute Carrigallen deservedly won the Masonite Division Two League crown last Wednesday evening in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.

This was a match that looked as if it would go down to the wire at halftime, both teams producing excellent passages of football and entertaining the crowd with a contest that was finely balanced at the midway point. But the north Leitrim men were restricted to a single point in the second half as Carrigallen set themselves up perfectly for next Saturday's Senior Championship clash with Aughnasheelin with a powerful second half display in all sectors of the field. Key to Carrigallen's victory was the switch of playing an extra man in defence, with Terence Reynolds taking up the key role of halting the influence of Dromahair's Christy McGowan.

The Dromahair man scored four first half points and was central to everything good that the Celebrity Bainisteoir side did on Wednesday, scoring some wonderful points and caused David Flynn no end of problems. But when Reynolds was moved back into a covering role, Dromahair's attacking edge disappeared particularly as McGowan was often left completely isolated by his attacking colleagues who were playing very deep in their own half. With McGowan's threat nullified, Carrigallen kept up their own work-rate although an early second half goal from Eoin Ward gave them breathing space and room to relax in what was otherwise a tight encounter.

Dromahair kept battling away but with their forwards mis-firing, Carrigallen absorbed everything that was thrown at them before pulling away in the final ten minutes for victory. For Carrigallen, the victory is a perfect build-up for the Championship and it was telling that there were no wild celebrations among the players or supporters, their sights obviously set on higher things later this season. Their ability to move the ball at pace and exploit the space in attack for their dangerous forwards was Gary Reynolds delivered a stunning opening 20 minutes that set the tone for Carrigallen, driving his team forward at every opportunity and the County man played a big role at midfield for the winners.

Noel Doonan's move to centre-back was an interesting experiment while Karl Ward, Ciaran Flynn, Eoin Ward and veteran Andrew McManus all impressed over the hour, as did keeper Enda Lyons who did everything that was asked of him with style and gives Carrigallen great safety of mind in their last line of defence. For Dromahair, the defeat will take some getting over - their Celebrity Bainisteoir exploits will have made the team to beat this year in the Intermediate Championship but they will be very worried by their second half display last Wednesday.

Strangely for a team that lost only its second game of the year, recovering from the nature of this defeat will take some work. The second half surge has been their trademark all year but they looked tired and flat in the second half last Wednesday. Granted they now have the perfect motivation to refocus for the championship and Carrigallen are playing in the Senior competition but it has been a long year for the north Leitrim men and Dromahair will be far from happy with their display. Of course, if Dromahair were to drive on and perform well in the Intermediate competition, last Wednesday’s loss will have been the perfect wake-up call and the task now for Dromahair is to react in the positive fashion.

Andrew McManus opened the scoring with a fine point on the run after two minutes but both sides then exhibited some poor shooting with Eoin Ward missing the target for Carrigallen while Shane Fowley from a free and Kevin Conlan with a shot hitting the post missed chances. Dromahair had an opportunity to take control of the contest when Shane Fowley pointed a free on nine minutes.

A minute later, Enda Lyons saved a fisted effort from Kevin Conlan and, quick as a flash, Carrigallen moved the ball the length of the field where Bernard O’Rourke was fouled. The corner-forward picked himself up to convert the free on 11 minutes and Carrigallen were now flying. A long ball into the corner to Ciaran Flynn saw him pass back out to the inspired Gary Reynolds who popped over a point. A struggling Dromahair were finding it difficult to cope as Andrew McManus opted for a fisted point as he bore down on goal midway through the half. Dromahair steadied the ship when Christy McGowan fisted over a long free on 17 minutes and a minute later, the Dromahair full-forward held off his man and scored a great point on the turn

However, Gary Reynolds showed he is equally adept at inspirational scores, dummying the ball one way before firing over from 35 yards while a minute later, Enda Lyons was alert to intercept a dangerous pass that was intended for Stephen Smith. McGowan did narrow the gap to a point when he collected a long ball into space while Dromahair, now driving forward, saw Enda Lyons deny them again when he blocked Smith shot after the corner-forward cut in along the end-line.

Carrigallen went straight back down the field with great work from McManus setting up O’Rourke for Carrigallen’s sixth point of the day. However, a Kevin Conlan free kept the gap at a point as Dromahair missed three good chances from McGowan, Conlan and Smith to tie the scores before the break.

That left Carrigallen with a 0-6 to 0-5 halftime lead as both sides missed early chances in the second half before Ciaran Flynn scored a great point five minutes in to stretch the Carrigallen lead. The game took it’s decisive turn a minute later when excellent team-work down the left wing ended with Andrew McManus swinging a dangerous ball towards the Dromahair goal. With the ball dropping some ten yards out, Dromahair’s defence was caught in two minds and Eoin Ward profited with a decisive intervention, punching the ball to the Carrigallen net.

Stung by the goal, Dromahair initially reacted well with a long ball finding McGowan who scored a good point on eight minutes. But McGowan was to find his opportunities drying up as Terence Reynolds was placed in front of the full-forward, cutting off the supply. Shane Fowley had a shot deflected out while Kevin Conlan missed a free on 13 minutes, wides that were punished when a fifty from Enda Lyons sailed off the ball, the chance set up when Ciaran Flynn fought hard for a dropping ball in the Dromahair goal-mouth.

Flynn then turned scorer himself with a great point under pressure on 19 minutes and he was denied greater reward five minutes later when Dromahair keeper Padraig Flanagan made a vital catch under pressure from Mark Corrigan. Carrigallen moved out of sight with less than three minutes to go when Flynn robbed the defender of the ball and was then fouled, Eamon Dolan putting over the free while Gary Reynolds fittingly had the last work when he pointed after a great pass from Andrew McManus.

Enda Lyons (0-1), Barry Reilly, David Flynn, Karl Ward, Terence Reynolds, Noel Doonan, Ciaran Reilly, Gary Reynolds (0-3), Clifford Richardson, Derek Reilly, Eoin Ward (1-0), Andrew McManus (0-2), Bernard O’Rourke (0-2), Ciaran Flynn (0-2), Eamon Dolan (0-1). Subs: Martin Dolan for D. Reilly (HT), Mark Kerrigan for E. Dolan (48 mins).

Padraig Flanagan, Brian McMorrow, Kenny Casey, Michael McKeon, Fergus Meehan, Kieran Meehan, Barry Loughlin, Paddy McGowan, John Evans, David McDermott, Shane Fowley (0-1), Brian Feeney, Kevin Conlan (0-1), Christy McGowan (0-4), Stephen Smith. Subs: Martin Clancy for McDermott (16 mins), Adrian Fowley for S. Fowley (43 mins).

Referee: Seamus Mulhern.
We are the Champions!! - Leitrim Senior Football Division 2 Winners 2009
Players & Management celebrate our Senior Division 2 success over Dromahair on 15th July 2009
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Last Updated: March 27, 2012
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