Feis na nGleann 2017
Feis Cup Junior Football Final
Con Magee’s 3-11 Rasharkin 1-5
A goal from veteran full-forward Martin Mulholland, eight minutes into the second half of this Junior Feis Football Final at Healy Park, Loughgiel on Saturday evening swung this contest decidedly in favour of Con Magee’s Glenravel and provided the platform for the Glens men to push on for a comfortable victory.
The Glenravel men had bossed possession from early in the contest and threatened to run away with it early on but some excellent approach work time and again was spoiled by dreadful shooting as they racked up nine wides in the opening quarter.
Both teams missed opportunities in the opening exchanges before Aidan O’Donnell put Glenravel ahead with the game’s opening point in the 7th minute. Rasharkin had been on the back foot for a time but a good move saw Cathal McMullan level the contest with 11 minutes gone.
Glenravel continued to dominate possession as their wide count increased before Declan Diamond gave them back the lead with a point in the 12th minute from an acute angle and Fergal Higgins increased that lead with a point off an upright with 20 minutes gone.
They looked to be taking control as Diamond fired over a good point followed quickly by another from Martin Mulholland to go four in front with five minutes remaining to the break with Fergal Higgins for Glenravel and Andrew Hasson for Rasharkin exchanging further points to leave the half time score 0-6 to 0-2 in favour of the Con Magee’s.
It was Glenravel who were expected to push on at the start of the second half but in the event it was the lads from Dreen who made the better start with Gerard O’Hagan pointing in the 2nd minute after excellent work from Conor Gribben.
Glenravel tried to respond and might have had a goal at the other end but Brendan Lynes fired wide under pressure and when Aiden McMullan split the posts for Rasharkin in the 6th minute there was just two between the sides.
It was to get better for the St. Mary’s as an excellent build up resulted in Andrew Hasson sending his shot screaming to the Glenravel net in the 7th minute and the Dreen side were ahead for the first time but it was to be short lived.
Indeed this score seemed to wake the Green & White’s from their slumber and Martin Mulholland took advantage of a bad kick out to fire past Emmet Smyth and give them back a lead they were never again to lose.
Conor Carey and Aidan O’Donnell added points to open up a four point lead before Gerard O’Hagan hit back with a Rasharkin point at the end of the third quarter to keep his sides hopes alive. It was to prove Rasharkin’s final score however as the Con Magee’s upped the pace in the final quarter with their superior fitness a decisive factor.
Aidan O’Donnell added another point before Martin Mulholland got in for his second goal, Declan Heggarty moved forward for a fine point and substitute Niall Kelly announced his arrival with goal number three to put the game out of reach of the opposition.
At this stage Rasharkin had given everything and had nothing left to offer with Martin Mulholland and Michael McQuillan concluding the scoring with late points for Glenravel to leave them decisive winners by 13 points.
This was a fine performance by the Con Magee’s and their superior fitness and team work proved too much in the end for a Rasharkin team for whom team manager, Cathal McMullan was forced into a comeback .
Sound in defence where Jonathan Fyfe, Neill McCafferty, Declan Traynor and Connor Carey were in top form and dominant at mid-field it took the Con Magee’s a time finding the target and it was their veteran star Martin Mulholland that produced that wee bit of magic that changed the game.
Rasharkin, as always gave it everything with Killian O’Boyle, Conor Gribben, Aidan McMullan, Andrew Hasson, Kealan Darragh, Thomas McMullan and Gerard O’Hagan their best on view on the day.
Glenravel: Shaun O’Boyle: Jonathan Fyfe, Neill McCafferty, Peter Black: Declan Traynor, Mark O’Connor, Connor Carey: Conor Carey, Declan Diamond: Aidan O’Donnell, Fergal Higgins, Charlie Henry: Brendan Lynes, Martin Mulholland, Aidan Mckenna. Subs: Michael McQuillan, Niall Kelly.
Rasharkin: Emmet Smyth: Killian O’Boyle, Charlie Cowan, Pearse Kelly: Conor Doherty, Conor Gribben, Emmet Smyth: Emmet McFerran, Aidan McMullan: Andrew Hasson, Kealan Darragh, Cathal McMullan: Daniel McKay, Thomas McMullan, Gerard O’Hagan.
Referee: Vincent Boyle (Dunloy)