Rorys claim reserve title in extra time thriller

ACFL Reserve Division 2 final

Belturbet 5-13

Cornafean 1-22


Belturbet were crowned Division 2 Reserve League champions on Saturday evening last when they had three points to spare over Cornafean in an absorbing final in Packie Devlin Park, Killeshandra.

Belturbet raced out of the traps in the first half with Donal McDonald firing over the lead point in the second minute. Donal McDonald then found himself in space in the fifth minute and he buried his shot to the back of Rory Geogehegan’s net.

Adrian McCaffrey got Cornafean up and running with a seventh minute point with Brendan Vesey instantly replying for the Rorys with a brilliantly taken point. Gerry Sheridan added to this with a ninth minute effort to leave a goal between the teams as the scoreboard read 1-2 to 0-2.

Mark Teevan landed a free for Belturbet in the 11th minute before David Egan responded with a terrific free from the sideline to again leave three between the sides. Gerry Sheridan landed his second point of the first half as the Reds continued to chip away at Belturbet’s lead.

Donal McDonald claimed a mark in the 20th minute and duly obliged in splitting the posts from the free to leave it 1-4 to 0-4 in his side’s favour. Belturbet were attacking with great pace and purpose and they added another two points, with Jack O’Callaghan clipping over a free and Brendan Vesey winning a mark and drilling his strike, over the black spot.

Cornafean’s James McGahern converted a free and then on the stroke of half time he showed a great burst of speed to race towards the Belturbet goal and hammer his strike past Gavin Brady in the Belturbet goal. This left the game poised at half time with Belturbet holding a 1-6 to 1-5 advantage.

Wayne Johnson levelled the match up for the first time in the contest a minute into the second half with a free and Shane Doyle kicked a belter of a point to move the Reds ahead for the first time with 33 minutes on the clock. Brendan Vesey and Patrick O’Reilly’s excellent play then lead to Liam Vesey grabbing possession and the young forward hit a rocket into the Cornafean net to restore Belturbet’s lead.

Liam Vesey added a point for the Rorys after Sean Og Lawlor’s great burst of speed worked the score. Ronan Trainor got his first score of the game in the 39th minute to leave the scoreline reading 2-7 to 1-8 in Belturbet’s favour. Jack O’Callaghan’s superb catch around the middle of the field saw Belturbet crank through the gears quickly, with the ball shipped to the lethal Liam Vesey who again showed great composure, to crack in another superb goal in the 41st minute.

Captain Evan O’Reilly landed a point from play to leave his side with a 3-8 to 1-8 cushion with 18 minutes left to play. Cornafean then began to have a period of dominance penning Belturbet in and they began to rattle off points rapid fire. Peter Doyle, David Egan from a free, Wayne Johnson and James McGahern all raised a white flag each to cut the gap to 3-8 to 1-12 with 47 minutes gone. Sean Og Lawlor’s speed was causing Cornafean huge issues and the attacker got two cracking points for the Rorys to steady the ship as they moved 3-10 to 1-12 ahead with 51 minutes gone.

Cornafean trailing by four, then rattled off seven points on the bounce as they played some fine football as the game came near the finishing line. Wayne Johnson converted a free, the other side of dissecting the posts from play and James McGahern, also added to his tally. Cormac Geogehegan got the levelling point for Cornafean in the 59th minute to draw the teams level at 3-10 to 1-16. Peter Doyle, David Egan from another free and Pete Hogan all scored a point as the game ticked into stoppage time as the Reds looked to have sealed the win. Belturbet with a last roll of the dice played a high ball in which Augustas Saulis did superbly, to flick across the box and Fionan Donohoe was on hand to drill the ball to the net to level the game up, with virtually the last kick of the ball.

With the scores level after full time at 4-10 to 1-19 the game entered into Extra time.

Belturbet carried the momentum of their last minute goal into extra time with their first attack of the first half period seeing Mark Lawlor drive forward from midfield to unleash a howitzer of a shot that whistled into the roof of the Cornafean net.

Brendan Vesey added a point from play to leave the Rorys with a four point lead. Gerry Sheridan fisted over a point for Cornafean after 4 minutes which proved to the last point of the half as the half time scoreline in Extra Time was 5-11 to 1-20. Killian Murray’s driving run up the pitch set up Sean Og Lawlor to clip over his third point a minute into the second half with Pete Hogan responding for the Reds a minute later.

Ronan Trainor reduced the deficit down to two points but Liam Vesey landed another score raising a white flag to restore the three point cushion. Gerard Olwill and Liam Vesey were both dismissed in the dregs of the second half with Belturbet able to fend off late pressure from Cornafean to close out the win and lift the title.

Belturbet: Gavin Brady, Ben Murphy, Killian Murray, Jack Lawlor, Owen Fitzpatrick, Augustas Saulis, Mark O’Reilly, Mark Lawlor(1-0), Patrick O’Reilly, Evan O’Reilly(0-1), Mark Teevan(0-1 1f), Jack O’Callaghan(0-1 1f), Ronan Vesey, Donal McDonald(1-2 1m), Brendan Vesey(0-3)

Subs: Sean Og Lawlor(0-3), Liam Vesey(2-2), Fionan Donohoe(1-0), Martin Donohoe, Andrew Dunne

Cornafean: Rory Geogehegan, Paul Brady, Gerald Olwill, Ciaran Briody, Shane Doyle(0-1), Eamon Brady, Cormac Geogehegan(0-1), Pierce Kilkenny, Adrian McCaffrey(0-1), David Egan(0-3 3f), Wayne Johnson(0-4 2f), Peter Doyle(0-2), Gerry Sheridan(0-3 1f), James McGahern(1-3 1f), Ronan Trainor(0-2)

Subs: Emmett Martin, Pete Hogan(0-2), Jack Trainor

Referee: John Power.