Holders one voyage away from holding onto title



Daire Rowe’s pointed free four minutes from the end of this pulsating Brady’s Skoda Regional Football Championship semi final set holders Boyne Valley sailing towards Sunday’s final and an attempt at retaining their status as Regional Football champions.

At no stage did such an outcome appear likely. Davy Nelson’s team played some truly sparkling football early on, with David Gibney and Cormac Brown netting as the amalgamation of Moylagh, St Brigid’s, Oldcastle and Ballinlough opened up an advantage of 2-06 to 0-03 early on.

Could Syddan’s Daire Rowe be in another type of green and gold jersey next season?

However, even before Padraic Coyle called for the ball at half time, John McCarthy’s charges had put a serious hole in their remaining workload as they outscored the then leaders by six points to two in the closing stages of the first half courtesy of the Walterstown duo of Conor Farrelly and Adam Quinn, David McLoughlin, Roe and Matt Tully of Slane.

Thus, the second half began with the men from the banks of the major local river clear by a handful. Again though, the pendulum swung, with the burgeoning Brown of St Brigid’s putting another deposit in the onion bag as he and his colleagues built an upper hand once more by 3-10 to 1-11.

But, in a match of such quality and fluctuating fortunes, it was probably inevitable that there was going to be another shifting of the sands. Cue McLoughlin and the Syddan sharpshooter hitting a brace apiece before another Walterstown representative, Mark Foy, stole forward from full back to register his second score and restore parity.

At that stage, the prospect of extra time loomed large on the horizon but there was to one more twist in the tale as the introduced Podge McGowan – who was one of the main catalysts behind Slane attaining championship glory this season – won his side the free which star man Rowe converted to earn their right to apply for retention of the Richie Barry Cup!

Boyne Valley – Cathal Dardis (Syddan); Evan Murray (Slane), Mark Foy (Walterstown 0-2), Jack Doyle (Walterstown); Kyle Tallon (Slane), Darren Brennan (Moynalvey), Conor Farrelly (Walterstown 0-1); Francis Marry (Slane 0-1), Sean Clare (Syddan); Adam Quinn (Walterstown 0-2, one ‘45), David McLoughlin (Moynalvey 0-4, two frees), Mark Fedigan (Syddan); Daire Rowe (Syddan 1-6, three frees), Matt Tully (Slane 0-1), Michael Brady (Moynalvey). Subs – Podge McGowan (Slane) for Tully 46 mins, Jim Marry (Slane) for Tallon 54m.

Loughcrew – Dylan Scully (St Brigid’s); Dylan Garrigan (Oldcastle), Michael Flood (St Brigid’s), Shane Gibney (Moylagh); Darragh Caffrey (Ballinlough), Sean Geraghty (Ballinlough), Lee Healy (Oldcastle 0-1); Sean Reilly (Moylagh), Oran Mulvaney (Oldcastle); Cormac Brown (St Brigid’s 2-0), Pearse Sheridan (Oldcastle 0-2), Harry Ryan (Ballinlough 0-3, one free); CJ Healy (Oldcastle 0-1), James Cooke (Oldcastle), David Gibney (St Brigid’s 1-3). Subs – Ben Gray (Oldcastle) for Cooke 42 mins, Gareth O’Reilly (Oldcastle) for Ryan 46m, Sean Guirke (Moylagh) for Sheridan 54m.

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