Dreadnots celebrate their Cardinal O'Donnell Cup win on Saturday. Picture: Arthur Kinahan
As the sun set over Stabannon, the picturesque setting for Saturday evening’s Cardinal O’Donnell final, it was the Dreadnots who could only see the beauty in the autumnal sky as the men in red and black secured the Division One title in nail-biting fashion.
With the pressure of Championship football off, both sides played an open and expansive game of football making it truly enjoyable for the neutral.
Both sides’ full forwards got the scoring under way, Matthew Corcoran for the Geraldines and Liam Shevlin who started his first game of the year for the Dreadnots.
Speedy duo Josh Arrowsmith and Gareth
Paraic Smith and Jim McEneaney both opened their accounts with
The menacing Kirwan tormented the
A McEneaney free was then followed by a casual Conall Hoey point, casual in the strike but not in open play as Hoey got through a mountain of work on the plush Stabannon canvas.
At the other end, Smith showed his ruthless streak to drive through with nothing on his mind but
The lively Glen Trainor responded for the Gers before Dreadnots midfielder James Califf stroked an excellent score on the left-hand sideline with his left.
The Clogherhead side
The Haggardstown men shot out of the blocks at the restart with three scores on the trot, a McEneaney free and two excellent points by Glen Trainor; each time he turned and shot over his left shoulder.
That made it all square at 1-8 to 0-11 but the
The game, although entertaining, hinged on errors and Peter Kirwan was in a punishing mood, raising a green flag after Conall Hoey spilt the ball coming out of his defence before adding a point soon after.
Matt Corcoran and Josh Arrowsmith cut the lead to two as the final swung back in the Geraldines’ favour and they edged in front, 1-13 to
Clogher, however, dug deep again to score three in a row with Califf, Williams and Kirwan all on target.
McEneaney and Smith swapped frees ahead of the game’s pivotal moment when Derek Shevlin not only blocked, but caught a rasping McEneaney shot that looked bound for
Hoey did point to leave one in it but as Eamon McEneaney’s men pressed for the equaliser substitute Richard Kirwan nudged Dreadnots towards the line after a trademark blistering Pat Lynch run.
Jim McEneaney pointed a free to leave the minimum between the sides before Peter Kirwan struck his sixth point of the night to ensure the Division One title was going back to Clogherhead.
After missing out on the Joe Ward, the
It bodes well for 2017.
DREADNOTS: Kenneth Shevlin; Brian Gargan, Pop Rath, Derek Shevlin; Anthony Williams (0-1), Cian McEvoy, Dermot Campbell; Fergal McGuigan, James Califf (0-2, 1f); Conor Campbell, Paraic Smith (1-4, 2f), Pat Lynch;Barry Faulkner, Liam Shevlin (0-1), Peter Kirwan (1-6). Subs: Darren O’Brien for F McGuigan, 44 mins; Richard Kirwan (0-1) for C Campbell, 44 mins.
GERALDINES: Darrin Kearney; Ryan Trainor, Nicky Mackin, Tiarnan Hand; Shane Thornton, James Craven, Gareth
REFEREE: Stephen Murphy