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Leitrim U21 B Football Championship - Final

Carrigallen v Gorletteragh

Venue: Cloone Date: 20.11.11 Throw-in: 2:00pm

Final Score: 2-07 / 0:11
Leitrim U21 B Football Championship Winners 2011
Sunday 20th November 2011 v Gortletteragh (Photo: Jacqui Rooney Davey)
Carrigallen retain U-21 B title
by Philip Rooney, Leitrim Observer

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.

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.

Gortletteragh did reply with two Padraig Gallagher frees but Carrigallen were looking dominant at this stage. However, Carrigallen were having difficulty converting their dominance in terms of possession and chances as they four pointed efforts sail wide and during that period they also spurned the opportunity for a second goal. Aaron Beirne released Gerald Percival through on goal and it seemed certain that Percival would find the Gortletteragh goal. However, his powerfully struck shot blasted off the face of Darren Mulvey. Such was the force that was behind Percival's shot, the Gortletteragh goalkeeper was left requiring treatment.

Having gone 12 minutes without registering a score Carrigallen struck for their second goal of the game and it was no more than they deserved. Gerald Percival was once again instrumental as he delivered an excellent pass to Conor Doonan who finished to the bottom corner with a calm and composed finish. Having spent much of the opening half on the back foot Gortletteragh replied with points from Padraig Gallagher (free) and Gerard Campbell who scored with a fine shot from distance. The first half scoring was completed with a fine point from Carrigallen's Liam O'Rourke to leave the half-time score 2-3 to 0-4 in favour of Carrigallen.

Gortletteragh would have been determined to make a bright start to the second half and that was evident from the fact that they retook to the field several minutes illustrated their enthusiasm. However, when the game resumed it was Carrigallen who regained control. Aaron Beirne and Liam O'Rourke were both heavily involved in creating an opportunity for Sean McCabe which he duly converted. That score was quickly followed by another Carrigallen point as Gerald Percival converted a free.

Trailing by seven points with a little more than 20 minutes remaining it was beginning to look ominous for Gortletteragh but to their credit they never looked as though they were contemplating defeat. A Ciaran Egan 45 was followed by two pointed frees from the trusty boot of Padraig Gallagher. Sean McCabe replied for Carrigallen with successful free but by now the momentum was beginning to shift in favour of Carrigallen and Padraig Gallagher was doing as much as anybody to get his side back in contention.

With 10 minutes left, Gallagher converted a free to leave four between the sides and four minutes later he showed that he was equally as effective from play as he cut inside his marker before pointing in style. The belief was beginning to grow among the Gortletteragh players that they were still very much in contention and another Gallagher left reduced the deficit to just two points.

Having been under sustained pressure, Carrigallen lifted the siege with patient passing that culminated in Conor Doonan scoring a fine point that helped ease the nerves of the Carrigallen supporters. Padraig Gallagher converted another free with two minutes remaining but that would prove to be as close as Gortletteragh would come as the Carrigallen defence, led by Liam O'Rourke ensured nothing else would get past them. There could be no complaints with the final outcome as Carrigallen were deserving winners over the course of the game but Gortletteragh certainly played their part in what was a very entertaining contest.

Stephen Smith, Niall Ward, Barry Dolan, Alex McFarlane, Liam O'Rourke (0-1), Eoghan Doonan, Francis O'Rourke (0-1), Tiernan O'Rourke, Kevin Davey, Sean McCabe (0-2), Conor Doonan (1-1), Aaron Beirne (1-0), Gerald Percival (0-1). Subs: Declan McGovern for Dolan (36 mins), Conor O'Neill for E. Doonan (44 mins), Padraig Doyle for Percival (51 mins).

Darren Mulvey, Liam Mitchell, Gerard Campbell (0-1), Daniel O'Bradaigh, Ciaran Egan (0-1), Michael Murray, Niall Woods, Nigel Keighran, John Reynolds, Barry Tiernan, Jimmy Canning, Neil Quinn, Padraig Gallagher (0-9). Subs: Eddie Tyrell for Murray (40 mins), Brendan Kane for Reynolds (55 mins).

Referee: Jimmy Stenson
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Last Updated: March 27, 2012
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