Laragh hold on after St Finbarr's fightback

U16 Division 3 League final

Laragh United 2-14

St Finbarr's 3-8

In a repeat of last year's U15 final which St Finbarr’s won, Laragh and the Kill-Drung amalgamation renewed their rivalry. The sides drew 1-9 apiece when they met in round four of the league so a close battle was anticipated. St Finbarr’s, in truth, were too wasteful in front of goal in the first half but still could have snatched a win if it wasn’t for the heroics of the Laragh goalkeeper Eoghan Brady in the second half.

Jack Forde opened the scoring with a free after Kian O’Connell was fouled and when Paddy Farrelly was brought down in the St Finbarr’s box, it looked like the perfect start was on the cards but Ciaran Sheils’ spot kick went narrowly wide. Forde sent over a point on his left foot after three minutes as Laragh settled into the game the quickest.

When the lively Forde was fouled going through on goal, Sheils bravely stepped up and this time he made no mistake with the penalty, giving Laragh a 1-2 to 0-0 headstart.

Kian O’Connell and Ben Tracey extended the Laragh lead with two well taken points as St Finbarr’s struggled to create clear chances.

With 12 minutes on the clock Thomas Pierce hooked over St Finbarr’s first point of the game from an acute angle. Laragh, looking the more comfortable on the ball, got straight back to their stride with Jack Forde and Ben Tracey raising white flags to push their lead out to eight points.

The Laragh team whom defeated St Finbarr`s in the U16 Division 3 league final. Back: Killian Sheils, Dylan Cusack, Tommy Brady, Cian Reilly, Michael Clarke, Eoghan Brady, Joseph McGreevy, Aaron Rudden, Gabriel Higgins, Adam Rudden, Dean Smith, Finn Keenaghan, Jack Forde, Paddy Farrelly. Front: Adam Cooney, Donnacha Tully, Daniel Brady, Colm Sheils, Kian O Connell, Ben Tracey, Danny Brady, Karl Adams, Ciaran Sheils, Oran O Connell, Jay Plunkett, Brian Duffy

St Finbarr’s shooting efficiency was causing them huge problems and Laragh were taking full advantage. In the 18th minute Forde followed up a ball off the upright and passed to Colm Sheils who bagged Laragh’s second goal. St Finbarr’s bounced into life with their next kick-out by working it to the Laragh end of the field, quickly allowing Odhran Smith the space to hit the roof of the net.

Cian Reilly and Liam McEnroe traded points before Eoghan Brady, whose short kick-out had been excellent, pulled off the first of his many goal-line saves. With two minutes remaining in the half, Kian O’Connell made little of a difficult angle with a point but a strong run by Seamus Clerkin saw him cancel that out at the other end.

Danny Brady had the final say of the half with a free to leave Laragh ahead at the break 2-9 to 1-3.

Seamus Clerkin showed his intent to bring St Finbarr’s back into the game with a point after three second-half minutes. Ciaran Sheils cleverly worked a one-two from a 45 before sending over his third score of the game but again Clerkin replied for St Finbarr’s two minutes later.

Laragh joint-captains Ben Tracey and Kian O`Connell receive the McCABE GROUP sponsored U-16 division 3 League Cup from Conal Johnston (county Youth board)

After another great save by Eoghan Brady, Jack Forde finish a spell of Laragh possession with a point from 25 metres.

Adam Rudden’s point as the final quarter began left 10 between the sides. With 12 minutes remaining, Thomas Pierce chased in a St Finbarr’s shot dropping short and judged the flight of the ball perfectly to punch to the back of the net.

A Seamus Clerkin free left just six between the sides as the excitement grew in the Sunday sunshine. Jack Forde converted a free he won himself to ease the pressure slightly but Lorcan Monahan replied with a point on his left foot soon after.

With four minutes remaining, St Finbarr’s again dropped a shot short and this time it was sub Cormac McQuillan who punched it to the back of the Laragh net. With just a goal separating the sides, Laragh showed great composure to work a goal chance for Forde but Tadgh O’Rourke somehow managed to flick the ball out for a 45.

Saint Finbarr`s `keeper Lee Pritchard comes under pressure from Laragh`s Cian Reilly during the McCABE GROUP sponsored U-16 division 3 Cup final at KINGSPAN Breifne park

Danny Brady again worked it short before taking the return and splitting the posts for an insurance point. With the game just in injury-time, St Finbarr’s sub Cian Brady sent a rocket of a shot at the Laragh goal but again Eoghan Brady stepped up to push it over the bar to secure Laragh a three-point win.

Laragh United: Eoghan Brady, Joseph McGreevy; Paddy Farrelly, Cian Reilly(0-1), Michael Clarke; Kian O’Connell(0-2), Ben Tracey(0-1); Colm Sheils(1-0), Danny Brady(0-2,1f), Ciaran Sheils(1p-1); Jack Forde(0-5,3f), Adam Rudden(0-1)

Subs Killian Sheils, Gabriel Higgins, Donnacha Tully, Aaron Rudden, Finn Keenaghan, Tristan Hicks, Oran O’Connell, Brian Duffy, Tommy Brady, Adam Cooney, Dean Smith, Dylan Cusack, Daniel Brady, Jay Plunkett, Mark Sheils

St Finbarr’s: Lee Pritchard, Sean Og McGlynn, Tadgh O’Rourke; Oisin Reilly, Ciaran Denning, Finan Smith; Seamus Clerkin(0-4,2f), Corey O’Reilly; Odhran Smith(1-0), Thomas Pierce(1-1), Liam McEnroe(0-1); Shaun Crowe, Jack Cusack

Subs: Cian Brady(0-1), Lorcan Monahan(0-1), Fionn McDonald, Adam Dawson, Cormac McQuillian(1-0), Irlaith O’Reilly, Sean Greenan, Colin McCarville, Jamie Fanin, Jayden Fay.

Note: In this week's print edition, incorrect photographs were used with this match report. This will be rectified next week, we apologise for the unintentional error.