Mountcollins Finish With A Flourish To Power Past Oola in the Limerick Intermediate Football Final Replay



Mountcollins created history in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday when they overcame red hot favourites Oola by 4 points and in the process qualified for senior status for the leap year of 2012.

The minnows became the masters, as both mentors, players and supporters shed tears of joy and the Gaelic Grounds was festooned in a wave of red and white colour to add to the pageantry of the greatest day in the illustrious history of the club. Football had triumphed, skill, fitness, craft and finesse came to the fore as Mountcollins completely annihilated their opponents in the closing quarter of the game, keeping Oola scoreless and adding on a goal and 4 points to gain a highly deserved victory. The raw emotion and unforeseen joy that greeted their victory had to be seen to be believed, as all the neighbouring parishes of Abbeyfeale, Brosna, Rockchapel, and Glantine united with all the parishes of west Limerick and relations further afield greeted their heroes, as if they had won the All Ireland. It was good to be alive, it was great to be present for the end of a thrilling, pulsating and enthralling encounter.

Due to the clash of colours Mountcollins wore the Ward sponsored Tournafulla jerseys while Oola donned the Galbally jerseys. The temperature was 11°C, it was the 32nd Sunday of the Year in the ecclesiastical calendar, as referee Mike O’Connor threw in the ball. Oola were the better team in the opening quarter and got off to a great start as Mountcollins were nervous and failed to stamp their authority on the game. John Bourke combined with David Stapleton who struck the opening goal for Oola in the 3rd minute. Points by Ian Bourke in the 6th and 8th minute gave Oola a 5 point advantage and it seemed that the favourites were destined for glory. Mountcollins had to wait until the 13th minute for their opening score. A foul on the tenacious Pa Delee resulted in Tom McCarthy lofting over the resultant pointed free. A minute later, a short 45 by Tom McCarthy to Shane Gleeson who returned the pass which resulted in Tom McCarthy scoring his side’s opening point from play. Two minutes later Seán Gleeson struck the best point of the half from a very difficult angle near the Mackey Stand to reduce the deficit to 2 points. Oola regrouped and rallied again with John Clifford rifling over a pointed free following a foul on David Stapleton, before John Clifford pointed another free after he was fouled. Nineteen minutes had elapsed and Oola led on the scoreline 1-4 to 0-3. The Oola defence were prone to fouling as Mountcollins improved. Fouls on Tom and Bernard McCarthy resulted in Pa Delee being very accurate by kicking the two resultant frees straight between the posts. In injury time Daniel Quirke shot the closing point of the half to have the half time score read Oola 1-5, Mountcollins 0-5.

The opening eight minutes of the second half were dominated by defences before Seán Gleeson lofted over the opening point of the half in the 9th minute. Six minutes later David Stapleton combined with John Bourke who restored his side’s half time advantage with Oola’s only point of the half. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes Mountcollins upped the tempo of their game and urged on by their fanatical, vociferous supporters were almost totally dominant for the remainder of the game. The Mountcollins defence inspired by the heroic endeavours of Keith Garvey, Tommy Begley and Jeremiah Moroney were the catalyst to inspire their side to victory as they constantly went into attack and provided the overlapping and energy sapping resolve to turn defence into attack and help to create the all important scores. The renaissance began with a magical surge forward by Keith Garvey following good work by Seán Gleeson and the dual sportsman struck a bullet which could easily have gone to the roof of the net but grazed the crossbar for an inspirational point. Two minutes later Mike McCarthy was fouled and the deficit was cut to a solitary point as Tom McCarthy pointed the resultant free. The game was in the melting pot. A free by John Clifford was caught by James Brouder who passed it to Johnny O’Connell, and Keith Gleeson combined with the overlapping Timothy Walsh who found the magical Timmy ‘Dooher’ Begley on the overlap who intertwined with Mike McCarthy, he in turn found Donal Gleeson who passed it to Matthew Brouder with the 17 year old flicking home the goal of his life for the greatest moment of his career. The goal epitomised the greatness of the combined play of Mountcollins with 9 players involved in the movement from start to finish and the pace and the precision of the passing being a joy to behold for all the modern coaches of the games. Like Arkle when he won the Gold Cup, Mountcollins were in front at the right time. The crowd urged on their heroes. Tom McCarthy slotted over a fine point before Luxembourg bound Bernard McCarthy put the icing on the cake with the closing point of the game.

Justice was done. You could hear David Lenihan RIP clapping from his eternal home, his heart and soul was in Mountcollins and now his good deeds were reciprocated a hundred fold. The surge of supporters on to the pitch had to be seen to be believed. The generation gap was breached as all the fans intermingled and embraced, congratulating their loyal footballing heroes. Old people cried, young people laughed and shouted aloud. Everest had been scaled, the ultimate had been achieved as thoughts turned again to a mouth watering reception in the local village and a Munster title match in Cullen against Eoin Kelly, Paul Curran and Mullinahone on Sunday. Chairman of the football board, Seán McAuliffe congratulated both teams and thanked Mike O’Connor and his officials, before presenting the trophy to a delighted winning captain, Seán Gleeson. In a very eloquent speech Seán thanked all the Bórd na nÓg coaches and officers who brought this day to fruition and had special praise for the late Jerry, Healy, RIP. He thanked Pat Lenihan, Seamus Hickey and David O’Connell and had special mention for trainer Humphrey Doody and manager Paudie Naughton before giving three rousing cheers for Oola.

Mountcollins:James Brouder, Timothy Walsh, Con Begley, Seán Lyons, Timothy Begley, Keith Garvey (0-1), Jeremiah Moroney, Shane Gleeson, Tom McCarthy (0-4), Anthony Hartnett, Bernard McCarthy (0-1), Mike McCarthy, Pa Delee (0-2), Seán Gleeson (0-2), Matthew Brouder (1-0). Subs: Donal Gleeson, Johnny O’Connell, Brian McCarthy.

Oola: Don Holmes, Pádraig Ryan, Don Riall, Don Anderson, John Bourke (0-1), Denis Moloney, Eoin Fitzgibbon, Conor Ryan, Eddie Kiely, Ian Bourke (0-2), David Stapleton (1-0), Daniel Quirke (0-1), Pakie Bourke, John Clifford (0-1), Keith Bourke. Subs: Kevin Heuston, David Donovan, Pat Breen, Eamon Landers.

Referee: Mike O’Connor, Na Piarsaigh.