JJ Kavanagh and Sons County Intermediate Football Final 2017
Five to One outsiders Dungarvan created one of the few shocks of the Deise championship year at the Fraher Field last Friday evening when they overcame 2016 senior championship outfit St. Saviours to win the County Intermediate Football Championship.
In retrospect, Dungarvan should have won this game more comfortably, relying on a 58th minute Ryan Donnolly goal to kill off the St, Saviours challenge but they scored just 0-3 in a first half where they squandered a number of match winning scores including two goals from efforts by Mick Devine and Ryan Donnolly.
The attendance paid £2,300 to view this encounter with Dungarvan starting without the injured Darragh Lyons and St. Saviours minus their long serving influential John Paul Jacob while former County player Dean Crowley was out of the country.
A nasty head injury to Dungarvan’s Darren Duggan in the 20th minute highlighted the requirement for a professional assessment of safety standards inside the railings at the Shandon venue as this incident could have concluded far more serious than it did.
When keeping a ball in play on the bank side of the field, the Dungarvan full forward was nudged in the back and the momentum brought his head down on an old iron stay close to a cement block connected to the original railing and the collision opened his head which required an ambulance to attend the scene.
The final itself was an interesting encounter with Dungarvan’s tactic of closing down Saviour’s usual short kickouts upsetting the favourites style of play and all around the field the locals intensity and physical domination kept the favourites challenge on the backfoot.
Darragh Corcoran opened the game’s scoring in the 2nd minute for the Ballybeg outfit and Gavin Crotty replied four minutes later with his first of his five pointed frees. Full forward Garrett Duffey was Saviours key first half player, recording 0-4 from play, and his first minor was replied to by Patrick Curran in the 9th minute with a contender for score of the match.
Gavin Crotty (f) gave the Blues the lead for the first time in the 16th minute as they took control of the game and in a good move involving Darren Duggan and Devine, the latter ‘s pile driver tested the quality of the town end crossbar in the same minute with no score resulting.
Dungarvan were in complete control up to Darren Duggan’s injury but seven wides nurtured the opinion that they might pay the cost at a later stage. Garreth Duffy levelled proceedings at 0-3 a piece in the 20th minute before Ryan Donnolly, was untypically wide with a goal effort one minute later.
The winners were not to score from the 16th minute to the short whistle and, in between, Garrett Duffy kicked three top class scores from play to leave his team, on meagre possession, ahead at the break on a score of 0-5 to 0-3.
The Eastern champions restarted well with a pointed free by Shaun Corcoran, but it proved to be one of only their three second half flags, another pointed free by Darragh Corcoran in the 54th minute and their third and last, a point from play by the same player in the 63rd minute.
This meagure second half return demonstrates better than anything, Dungarvan’s spirited recovery and though 0-3 in arrears at the interval, the teams were level by the 42nd minute courtesy of scores by Gavin Crotty (2f) and a brilliant left legged curling effort by midfielder Joe Allen.
The Western championships secured a firm hold on proceedings and three further minors by Gavin Crotty(f), Ryan Donnolly and Gavin Power had the locals smelling the winners’ enclosure with 53 minutes on the clock, 0-9 to 0-6.
The game was still in the melting pot though when Darragh Corcoran pointed his 54th minute free but lady luck visited the Dungarvan camp for the first time when Gavin Crotty’s 58th minute mishit pointed free attempt came in low in front of the country end goal and Ryan Donnolly was fastest to react as he steered the ball low across the line a little faster than a trickle, 1-9 to 0-7 and time running out for Saviours.
Naturally, the kitchen sink was thrown at the Dungarvan defence in the remaining five minutes of play, but as the Blues rearguard did all evening, they were very much up to the task and they conceded but a point from play per Darragh Corcoran in the 63rd minute.
Thus, the Michael Dunne Memorial Cup returned to the Old Borough club for the first time since 2011 and in total this was the club’s third County title in the grade following on from their first win in 1985 against City side Killure.
Chairman of the County Board Paddy Joe Ryan presented the Michael Dunne Cup to Dungarvan captain Aaron Donnolly, whose acceptance speech fittingly matched the occasion and remembered recently deceased club members. Gavin Crotty was selected as the JJ Kavanagh Man of the Match and the presentation was made by County PRO and Dungarvan club member Taylor Murray with Ken Begley representing sponsors JJ Kavanagh Buses.
Dungarvan’s Top Three : John Curran, Mike Kiely, Darragh Fitzgerald.
St, Saviours Top Three : Garreth Duffy, Michael Merrigan, Martin Holohan.
Observer’s Man of the Match ; John Curran.
Number of Scorers : Dungarvan : 6. St. Saviours ; 3.
Scores From Play : Dungarvan : 1-4. St. Saviours : 0-6.
Frees For : Dungarvan : 15. St. Saviours : 23.
Wides ; Dungarvan : 9. St. Saviours : 7.
Score of the Match : Joe Allen’s 42nd minute point for Dungarvan.
Scorers : Gavin Crotty 0-5f, Ryan Donnolly 1-1, Patrick Curran, Joe Allen, Ryan Donnolly and Gavin Power 0-1 each.
St. Saviours ; Garreth Duffy 0-4, Darragh Corcoran 0-3(1f), Shaun Corcoran 0-1f.
Dungarvan : Michael Walsh; Darragh Fitzgerald, Aaron Donnolly, Conor Sheridan; John Curran, Jamie Nagle, Gavin Power; Mike Kiely, Joe Allen; Gavin Crotty, Patrick Curran, Mick Devine; Ryan Donnolly. Subs : Liam Ryan for Darren Duggan (inj.), Cormac Curran for Luke O Callaghan, Jack Lacey for Ryan Donnolly.
St. Saviours : Paul Holohan; Joey Phelan, Kevin Boland, Michael Merrigan; Brian Quinn, Peter Crowley, Jack Brophy; Kieran Murphy, Kieran Burns; Brian Power, Martin Holohan, Keylan Cassidy;
Shaun Corcoran, Garrety Duffy, Darragh Corcoran. David Griffin for Martin Holohan, Jack Flavin for Jack Brophy.
Referee : Pat Casey (Affane).