Gaels avenge league final defeat to take the championship

Creagh Concrete U17 B Hurling final

Corpus Chrsiti Gaels 4-11 All Saints 3-9

Corpus Christis Gaels gained revenge for a league final defeat to All Saints a month ago to beat the same opposition in an excellent Creagh Concrete U17 B Championship final at Dunsilly today. In a game between two excellent sides it was the greater hunger of the Belfast combination that got them over the line.

The Ballymena side were first to register and Joseph O’Rawe got them off to a perfect start when his shot from 40 meters out dipped over keeper, Odhran Quinn and landed in the net.

Corpus Christi recovered from this early setback with their mid-fielder and captain, Deaglan Mooney converting three frees in quick succession to level matters by the 10th minute and the big number 8 was to have a major influence as the game progressed.

Another massive effort from Mooney sailed through a crowded goalmouth to nestle in the All Saints net in the 12th minute as the city side threatened to take control but All Saints responded and were awarded a penalty which Aodhan McGarry drove to the net to level matters for the second time.

McGarry followed with a point from play to give All Saints back the lead but the Ballymena side were thankful to Ciaran McQuillan who brought off a tremendous save to deny Jamie McNally as Corpus Christi threatened with a second goal.

Both sides exchanged scores in the run up to half time with Aodhan McGarry converting three frees for the Slemish Park side and the excellent Deaglan Mooney hitting a number of excellent points for the combination side to leave it 2-5 to 1-7 for the Ballymena men at the change of ends.

Deaglan Mooney levelled matters when he pointed an early second half free with Aodhan McGarry replying for All Saints from another free in the 5th minute to edge his side ahead once more but things were beginning to swing in favour of the Gaels and James Wilson levelled matters once more before Ciaran McQuillan pulled off another great save when a goal looked certain.

A Corpus Christi goal was not long in arriving however and after Michael Darragh pointed his side ahead once more, Luke Loughlin flicked a Deaglan Mooney free overhead to the net from close range to open up a four point lead with 12 minutes of the half gone.

Things seemed to have gone from bad to worse for the Ballymena side when their opponents were awarded a penalty following a challenge on Luke Loughrin but Jamie McNally’s penalty rebounded of an upright and into the grateful hand of Ciaran McQuillan and was cleared to safety.

Fortunes seemed to be changing in favour of the league champions when Corpus Christi Gaels had Odhran Gorman dismissed for verbal abuse of the referee and Aodhan McGarry pointed the free leading up to the full-back’s dismissal and the gap was down to three with 15 minutes remaining.

The Belfast side failed to panic however as they dug deep to respond with a great goal from Luke Loughlin before Joe O’Rawe from a ‘65’ and Aodhan McGarry from another free closed the deficit to four and it still looked anybody’s game.

It was as close as All Saints got however and a superb half-volley from Conor Ferran rattled the Ballymena net with five minutes remaining to put Corpus Christi seven ahead and Deaglan Mooney followed with a pointed free to leave the opposition with a mountain to climb.

They never gave up the fight and were rewarded with a late goal from Aodhan McGarry but that was as close as they got and Terry Reilly’s final whistle brough scenes of celebration from an elated Corpus Christi team and their supporters as Deaglan Mooney stepped up to receive the cup from referee Reilly who was performing double duties on the day.

A good win for Corpus Christi Gaels who displayed a greater hunger than their opponents when the chips were down. They were solid all over the field but in Michael Darragh, Enda McGurk, Conor Ferran, Luke Loughlin and the superb Deaglan Mooney they had match winners.

All Saints certainly played their part in making this a great contest with Ciaran McQuillan, Dara Martin Aodhan McGarry, Joseph O’Rawe, Pearse Martin and Kevin O’Boyle doing all in their power to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat but to no avail on this occasion.

Corpus Christi Gaels: 1 Odhran Quinn, 2 Odhran Cosgrove, 3 Odhran Gorman, 4 Brady Maguire, 5 Caoimhin Rainey, 6 Michael Darragh, 7 Enda McGurk, 8 Deaglan Mooney, 9 Ronan Quinn, 10 Conor Ferran, 11 Jay Maguire, 12 Jamie McNally, 13 Conan McKinney, 14 Luke Loughlin, 15 Joshua Robb. Subs: Conor Corr for McKinney, James Wilson for Robb

All Saints: 1 Ciaran McQuillan, 2 Diarmuid Casey, 3 Conor McKenna, 4 Rhys Haveron, 5 Senan O’Boyle, 6 Conan McMullan, 7 Archie McGreevey, 8 Dara Martin, 9 Aodhan McGarry, 10 Joseph O’Rawe, 11 Pearse Martin, 12 Fintan Brady, 13 Tiernan McGurk, 14 Kevin O’Boyle, 15 Daniel McCoy. Subs: Conor O’Hara for Senan O’Boyle, Ryan Thom for Daniel McCoy

Referee: Terry Reilly (Gort na Mona)

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