St Colmcille’s… 1-18
Christian Finlay’s extra time goal was ultimately the deciding factor as St Colmcille’s guaranteed their senior status by coming through this enthalling encounter in Skryne.
Finlay and fellow younger stars like David Bell and Danny Ehichoya and the ‘older’ James Conlon hauled the Pilltown-based outfit back from what was a very bleak looking prognosis.
Reason being that it was the Yellow Furze club who made much the brighter start. Thanks in no small way to early goals from Eoin Finnegan and Alan Mulvany.
However, once Graham Reilly sent over two quick points for the seasiders, Sean Kelly and Sean Barry’s charges settled and, via Bell, James Conlon and goalkeeper Damien Beakey, the two shades of blue had cut the deficit to three, 0-08 to 2-05.
When ‘Banty’ (Conlon) pointed again on the restart, it appeared the turnaround was going to be completed quickly. Not so. A combination of exceptional goalkeeping from David Gordon and valiant effort from Cathal Hickey, Eoin Finnegan and Dylan Keating kept the men from Fr Tully Park afloat before substitute Ryan Finnegan appeared to have won it for them when pointing three minutes into stoppage time.
The plot had another twist, though, as, even deeper into added on time, those in yellow and blue were again pegged back and, so, perhaps inevitably, extra was required under the McManus Park lights.
Now, extra time periods in matches are often lotteries. Always cagey, scores can be at a premium and the lift for those who attain them can be gargantuan. Conversely, it can absolutely suck the life out of their opponents.
So when former Meath minor star Christian Finlay netted four minutes into the additional 20, you’d be foregiven for assuming that was the end of the story.
Not quite. To the credit of those who last lifted the Keegan Cup in 2009, they again rallied with a terrific score, but ultimately Finlay’s ‘Major’ won the night and sent the losers to the last chance saloon.