JFC Final 2013
Davitt’s 2-16 St. Malachy’s 0-4
St. Malachy’s had no answer to a devastating Davitt’s in the Junior Football championship final of 2013, played as the opener of a double header at Glenavy on Sunday 12th October. Corner forward, Sean McGivern gave an exhibition of free-taking for the Falls Road side, converting seven of eight attempts, many of them coming from difficult angels.
It wasn’t just from placed balls that Davitt’s showed their superiority however as their excellent use of possession saw them dominate from first whistle to last. The division 2 bound side looked a class above their challengers who themselves had enjoyed a fine season up to this game, which resulted in their first loss of the campaign.
Tony Kelly, wearing the number 4 jersey was a constant thorn in the sides of the Market’s men as he played most of this game in attack while the mid-field duo of Sean O’Neill and Ciaran O’Riordan laid the foundations for victory, dominating the middle third.
St. Malachy’s had some good performers too with mid-fielder Patrick Smith battling hard while wing back Stephen Carson also impressed. However, there was little they could do against a side who just looked a level above them and before they had grabbed their first score from a Ciaran Bowen free on 20 minutes, Davitt’s had posted 1-4 and already looked to have one hand on the cup.
The goal came after nine minutes when Pearse McAuley won a St. Malachy’s kick-out and raced through on goal before slipping the ball to Liam McGivern who blasted home. Three Sean McGivern frees and a fine score from Kelly gave Davitt’s the perfect start before the St. Malachy’s opener, which seemed to settle the South Belfast side.
After the sides exchanged further points the pre-match favourites reasserted their dominance and hit five points without reply before the break from Liam McGivern (0-2), Sean McGivern, Colm O’Riordan and Ciaran O’Riordan to ease into a 1-10 to 0-2 half time lead.
Those run of scores seemed to suck the life out of a St. Malachy’s side that badly needed to stem the tide but Davitt’s picked up where they had left off and hit the first three points of the second half, all three from frees with the first two coming from Sean McGivern and the other from goal keeper, Aaron Slane to extend their lead to 14 points.
Patrick Smith replied for St. Malachy’s with what proved to be their only score from play but back came Davitt’s with the score of the game from Ciaran O’Riordan when he finished a fine flowing move that began with goal-keeper Aaron Slane while Sean McGivern completed his own tally from another free.
The game was long over as a contest but Ciaran Bowen converted a free for the Market’s men before Davitt’s applied the Coup De Gras, three minutes from time when Sean McGivern broke towards goal and fed substitute Padraig McCarland who found the grateful Colm O’Riordan and he finished to the net from close range.
Team captain, Ciaran O’Riordan had the final say for the Falls Road men from a free which sealed a convincing victory on an emotional day for the club with O’Riordan paying tribute to the club’s deceased former secretary, John Rowntree in his acceptance speech.
Davitt’s : A Slane (0-1), P Maguire, G McClenaghan, T Kelly (0-1), M Rowntree, A Rowntree, D Wallace, Ciaran O’Riordan (03 1 free), S O’Neil (0-1)l, Colm O’Riordan (1`-1), D Largey, A McGrattan, P McAuley, L McGivern (1-2), S McGivern (0-7 all frees)
Subs: G Burns for P Maguire, S Dobbin for L McGivern, P McCarland for P McAuley, T Toland for D Largey, S Tonner for A McGrattan.
St. Malachy’s: D Smith, T Rice, K Dobbin, C Connolly, C Martin, J Carlile, S Carson (0-1), P Smith (0-1), D Dignam G Flynn, M Connolly, A Dobbin, S Conlon, P Turley, S Bowen (0-2).
Subs: P Devine for A Dobbin, C Draine for S Carson, J Scullion for S Conlon, A Dobbin for K Dobbin
Referee: Collie McKnight.