Today we take a look back at the 2013 Intermediate Football Championship final between St. Teresa’s and Casement’s Portglenone. The game was part of a double header at Glenavy with Davitt’s and St. Malachy’s getting the action under way in the Junior decider. Portglenone would probably have started this one as favourites but in an exciting final it was the men from the Glen Road by the minimum to take the title.
Intermediate Football Championship final 2013
St. Teresa’s 2-8 Casement’s 2-7
St. Teresa’s withstood a late Portglenone rally to deservedly claim the 2013 Intermediate title at Glenavy on Sunday. With ten minutes to go and leading by eight points it appeared that the Glen Road men were going to win pulling up but the Portglenone side produced a late rally and came mighty close to sending the game into extra time.
They reduced the deficit to a point as the clock ticked down but St. Teresa’s withstood the late onslaught to unleash scenes of delirium amongst the Saffron and Blue clad supporters as the final whistle sounded.
In what was the 50th Anniversary of the club, it was perhaps fitting that St. Teresa’s would collect the silverware but their victory was nothing to do with sentiment. The foundations for this victory were laid down by a tenacious display packed with quick attacking football and determined defence.
It may be simplistic to say that the team that takes their chances always win, but this was the case as the Casement’s squandered chance after chance over the hour where they held the initiative for long periods and kicked 11 wides compared to six from the winners.
Portglenone employed the tactic of kicking the ball in long and early to towering full-forward Martin McCarry during the opening ten minutes with the breeze behind them and the tactic paid dividends when McCarry fired home the game’s opening goal after six minutes, firing past Conall Hamill in the St. Teresa’s goal after playing a smart one-two with Owen Doherty.
This gave Casemnt’s a two point lead after Paul McGoldrick had opened the scoring for the Glen Road side. Doherty edged the South West side three in front from a free but St. Teresa’s began to take control as they got on top all over the field.
Ronan Campfield got to grips with Martin McCarry as the long ball ploy that had worked well in the early stages was greatly negated as the reading and positioning of the St. Teresa’s full-back closed the door on the Port’s attacking threat.
Suddenly Portglenone found themselves looking for better options but it appeared that nobody wanted to take responsibility as opportunities were passed up for an extra pass that too often resulted in a turnover.
The sides exchanged points through Robbie Gallagher for St. Teresa’s and Paddy Carey for Portglenone to leave the South West side 1-2 to 0-2 ahead at the end of the opening quarter but it was St. Teresa’s that appeared to be adapting better as the faced the stiff breeze.
Their ball retention was forcing their opponents to do a lot of chasing and as the half progressed gaps began to appear. Gallagher was sent clear on the left only to see his shot well saved by the feet of Brian McCann with Eamonn Doherty following up to point the rebound while a Gallagher free left the minimum between the sides at the break.
With the wind now at their backs the momentum was now with St. Teresa’s with their opponents continuing with their long ball tactics at the start of the second half and while this provided a bit of success in the opening period it wasn’t having the same success into the wind.
Ironically four minutes into the second half it was the Glen Road men who used the ploy to good effect and with devastating results as a long ball from Colm McGoldrick deceived Port’s corner-back Aidan Kearney allowing Anton Taylor to gather and fire to the net to give the city men the lead for the first time.
An Aaron Thompson free extended that lead to three before Casement’s replied with their first score for 23 minutes when mid-fielder Paddy Kelly, who had missed two earlier frees, screwed the ball over the bar with a shot over his shoulder.
This did little to break the St. Teresa’s momentum as Taylor gathered a loose ball to reply and then Conor Mallon instigated a counterattack to place Conor O’Rawe who sent over to extend the St. Teresa’s lead to four.
At the other end the South West side continued to over-elaborate and seemed hell bent on going for goal when a point seemed the better option. A Gerard McAleese effort which was blocked by Mallon and gathered by Conall Hamill typified the frustration of the country men.
Again, Casement’s were made to pay as from the resulting turn over Anton Taylor was put through on goal but was pulled down by Aidan Kearney with the referee pointing to the penalty spot and Mallon stepped up to send the resulting award to the left hand corner of the net.
Paul McGoldrick added a superb point to move St. Teresa’s 2-8 to 1-3 ahead and looking odds on certs with ten minutes remaining but suddenly Portglenone came to life, playing a much smarter brand of football with some success.
A Dermot McAleese point was followed by two converted frees from Paddy Kelly and when half-time substitute, Peter Duffin fired to the net an eight point lead had been reduced to two and the game was back in the melting pot.
Two points between the sides with two minutes remaining and when Aidan McKee moved forward from defence to split the posts the deficit had been reduced to the minimum and a draw looked a distinct possibility but the St. Teresa’s defence closed ranks and that was how it finished.
A great win for the Glen Road side and apart from the closing ten minutes they were the better side and fully deserving of this victory and the scenes that followed showed just what this win meant to a St. Teresa’s team and their supporters in this their 50th Anniversary.
St. Teresa’s: C Hamill, C Mallon (1-0 penalty), R Campfield, C O’Rawe, C McGoldrick, C Toal, P Johnston, J Mallon, A Thompson (0-1), P Maguire, C Donnelly, E Doherty (0-1), P McGoldrick (0-2), A Taylor (1-1), R Gallager (0-2) Subs: B Agnew for C Donnelly, E Gault for P Johnston.
Portglenone: B McCann, J Convery, A McKee, A Kearney, N Delargy, M McAleese, D McErlane, M Donnelly, B Kelly, P Kelly (0-4 3 frees), P Carey (0-1 free), O Doherty, D McAleese (0-1), M Kelly, M McCarry (1-0), G McAleese. Subs: P Duffin for M Kelly, C Delargy for O Doherty, M Graham for P Carey, C McKenna for M McCarry.
Referee: Eddie Fitzsimmons