THERE were double celebrations in the Healy household on Sunday as brothers Stephen and Gordon both played integral parts in the Glen Emmets’ Junior Football Championship victory over Lannleire at the Grove.
Stephen captained the Tullyallen side to victory, ending their long wait for a Christy Bellew Cup win while Gordon was rewarded for a powerful display in midfield by being awarded with the man of the match award.
Speaking afterwards, Stephen said it was a proud day for his family.
“Gordon has been amazing all year round. He has battled and battled throughout the season.
“Fair play to him today, he gave it everything in the middle of the park and he cleaned up a lot of the ball. He has a great set of hands on him.
“He never stops, he might not be the fittest but he never stops and he got his rewards today.”
Lannleire were left devastated by the one point defeat but Healy backed them to return next year and go one better.
He was speaking with experience. Last year the Glen Emmets fell to defeat against St Fechin’s in the final but they regrouped and went one step further yesterday.
“Dunleer have always been an amazing side against us and they gave it everything today.
“Fair play to them and I’m sure if they build on today the Junior Championship will be there for them next year.
“I know what losing a final feels like. I’ve lost two finals, 2004 and last year and it’s not a nice feeling coming off on the losing side. We left the game behind us last year. We didn’t get going at all on the day but this year we didn’t leave anything behind us.
“It’s amazing walking off knowing you’ve won the game.”
Despite bossing the game, the Glens main concern was their finishing in front of goal.
15 wides meant they had to endure a nervy finish but Healy said he wasn’t too concerned about their inaccuracy.
“I think we kicked something like eight wides in the first-half alone but that happens”, he said.
“Sometimes your shooting just doesn’t go to form in the first few minutes of a Championship final but the lads kept the head down and popped the points over when it was important.”
The season is not over just yet for the Tullyallen men.
They still have the small matter of the promotion play-offs to come and Healy insists Sunday’s win will not distract them.
“We’ll celebrate tonight but we’ll be back to the training field on Tuesday night to get the boys ticking over. There is real competition for places for the play-offs.
“The boys who are in charge of us have great faith in us and they pushed us all the way this year.
“They knew exactly what they were doing and anytime something happened they would look after it straight away.