St. Mary’s/Sean Finn’s GAA (Rathkeale) West Junior A Football Champions!

The Fr. Casey’s GAA grounds in Abbeyfeale were a hive of activity on Saturday 1st October despite the gloomy sky and damp conditions. The supporters of both Glin and Rathkeale were very glad of the shelter of the stand, while the players were so intent on the task on hand that they did not notice the weather. At 3.30pm referee Brendan Stack took charge and what a game of football it turned out to be. Glin scored the first two points, one a free, before Eoghan O’Connor pointed a free for Sean Finn’s. A goal by Glin gave them a 4 point-lead but the Deelside team soon reduced the deficit when Barry O’Riordan tapped a point over the bar and Keith Hartnett scored another from outfield. Glin scored the next point from a free, giving them 1-3 in the first half but Sean Finn’s returned to score the next three to level the scores at half-time, these from Eoin O’Donnell, Keith Hartnett and Eoghan O’Connor. It was now 0-6 to 1-3.

The second half continued with the same intensity. Glin dominated the opening 7 minutes but were guilty of some poor misses in front of goal, Glin scored the first point followed by a pointed free by Eoghan O’Connor and then a magnificent goal from Mark O’Sullivan to put Sean Finn’s ahead for the first time. The three point lead was soon lost as Glin reciprocated with another goal and then a point. The spectators were cheering loudly as they offered advice to their respective teams. With about fifteen minutes remaining Sean Finn’s levelled the game once again with a pointed free from Eoghan O’Connor and then the boys in blue scored three more points, two from Eoghan O’Connor and one from Keith Hartnett. Reality struck quickly as Glin scored another goal and then another point which was their final score of the game. With time running out Sean O’Shea scored a fantastic point to level the game for the fifth time. In injury time Eoghan scored another free and Stephen Power got the final score of the day after a super run involving great passing movements as the ball made its way, bypassing the Glin players. Scenes of joy erupted when the referee blew the final whistle. After a gap of twenty years the Junior A title was returning to Rathkeale.

The PRO of the West Bord, Gerry Molyneaux was himself thrilled to present the Junior A Football Cup to Keith Hartnett, captain of Seán Finn’s. Keith echoed the thoughts of the entire club as he dedicated the winning of this trophy to three very special club members who were so dear to us all before being called to their eternal reward in the past year, Paul, Michael and Mollie. Keith thanked Fr. Casey’s club for the facilities, the referee, his team-mates and the management trio Sean Hartnett, Brian Nolan and John Lyons. All present were invited to the Fr. Casey’s club pavilion for refreshments. While there Keith Hartnett was named Man-of-the-Match and received his prize from Abbeyfeale GAA Club. Congratulations to the entire squad who have provided such entertainment throughout the season and brought such joy to the club and the parish.

The following players dressed in their new Tyre Stop jerseys and EuroSpar shorts and socks, made up the Junior-A Football squad in 2011: Jonathan Mooney, Gerard Frawley, Gary Enright, Shane Hourigan, Darren Jones, Patrick Sheahan, Paul White, Keith Hartnett,(captain), Sean O’Shea, Sean Sheahan, Mark O’Sullivan, Barry O’Riordan, Eoin O’Donnell, Eoghan O’Connor, Damien Quaid, Johnny Markham, Brian Duggan, Tim O’Connor, Timmy Hogan, Jack Coleman, Sean White, Stephen Power, Dean Maune, Robert White, Ciaran English, Frank Geary and Michael Keating. The number 7 and 15 jerseys have been rested for the season and no doubt but Ducie and Michael have been with the panel in spirit willing them to succeed.

Both teams now go forward to the County quarter-final stage of the Junior A Championship. All four quarter-final games will be played on Saturday 15th October with replays on Wednesday 19th in the event of any drawn games. Sean Finn’s will play Ahane (who lost the east final last weekend) at 4pm in Clarina this Saturday 15th October. We are asking all our supporters to come out and voice their support for the team.