Cootehill Celtic celebrate winning the Division 3 U17 league cup. Photo: Adrian Donohoe.

Young Celts deliver superb league final performance

Cootehill put the game beyond doubt with two goals and a point from Jake Whyte

After a close first quarter Cootehill pulled away from Drumport, showing superior skill and fitness levels, to lift the division 3 league title. The quality of footballer on this Cootehill side will give the Celtics a lot to look forward to in the future as they put on an exhibition of kicking passes and scores.

Leading 0-14 to 0-4 at half-time, Cootehill had only registered a single wide at the break, showing their superb accuracy in attack. The silky skills of Barry McGahan’s side was further emphasised by the fact that they scored 5-20 of their total from open play with a number of players using both left and right feet.

Drumport opened the scoring with a Danny Maguire free after Cormac Flynn was fouled. Evan Maguire levelled the sides followed by two from Ben McGahan, the second of which saw him showcase a perfect solo dummy before splitting the posts.

The Drumlane-Templeport side replied with a Cian Maguire free after another foul on Flynn with nine minutes played. The sides were level two minutes later as a driving run from the back by Mark Fahey was finished over the bar by Conor Donohoe.

For the next 12 minutes Cootehill took control. A clever palm down by McGahan lead to a Jake Whyte point and Evan Maguire edged Coothemtehill two in front with a point before the water break. Rian Delaney would have taken the game’s first goal but for a gutsy block on the line by Ciaran O’Brien.

One of many Kian Cooper runs resulted in a Delaney point after the water break as Cootehill moved the ball with attacking purpose at every opportunity. In the blink of an eye McGahan, Cooper and Maguire added points to see Cootehill race into a six point lead.

Cootehill’s only point from a dead ball was sent over by Eli Argue on the 24th minute but Conor Donohoe replied with Drumport’s first score in 14 minutes. It was a point a minute for the remaining four of the half for Cootehill as Drumport tired. McGahan, Jake Whyte and Christopher Dunn raised white flags while Rian Delaney’s shot for goal was pushed over by Conor Bannon.

Jake Whyte sent over a point on either foot to get the scoring underway in the second half with the second coming after super team play by Dunn and Maguire. Danny Maguire then showed his ball-striking ability with two well-taken points for Drumport.

The keeper from the west, Conor Fitzpatrick, lifted Drumport’s spirits with an inspirational double save with 20 minutes remaining. A Cormac Flynn point and a Cian Maguire free ended a run of four unanswered points for Drumport.

Cootehill midfielder Kian Cooper set up Hubert Koziol for a top corner finish after rounding three Drumport players. Cootehill had found the key to goals and after a Dunn point, Eli Argue picked out a pass and Dunn grabbed their second goal.

After the finish water break Cootehill put the game beyond doubt with two goals and a point from Jake Whyte in the following five minutes. Rian Delaney added his third point of the evening before a Ciaran O’Brien free for Drumport left the score 4-19 to 0-9.

Drumport sub Ryan McCarron landed a point and was fouled for Danny Maguire to send over to complete their score total. Cootehill who only had 15 players togged out got a goal from the bench through Lee O’Leary’s top corner finish as Kian Cooper raised two final white flags for Cootehill.

Cootehill Celtic: Adrian McDonald, Gareth Gilbert, Aaron Comiskey, Hubert Koziol(1-0), Christian Hennessey, Zak Sherlock, Kian Cooper(0-3), Ben McGahan(0-4), Eli Argue(0-1f), Rian Delaney(0-3), Evan Maguire(0-3), Christopher Dunn(1-2), Jake Whyte(2-5)

Subs: Arijus Metlovas, Lee O’Leary(1-0)

Drumport: Conor Fitzpatrick, Conor McGovern, Niall Donohoe, Mark Fahey, Ciaran O’Brien(0-1f), Shane Gunn, Danny Maguire(0-3,2f), Jack O’Shannon, Tom McNulty, Conor Donohoe (0-2), Cormac Flynn(0-1), Cian Maguire(0-2f), Jack Maguire

Subs: Conor Bannon, Stephen Brady, Shane O’Reilly, James Fitzpatrick, Cearbhall McKenna, Eoin Walsh, Ryan McCarron (0-1).