Ramor United 0-10
by Shane Corrigan
at Kingspan Breffni
Castlerahan made it back-to-back Cavan senior football championship titles after downing neighbours Ramor United this evening at Kingspan Breffni.
Played before 7,705 spectators, Donal Keogan’s side took the lead from the seventh minute via Oisin O’Connell’s goal and never fell behind again against their wasteful neighbours whom tallied a dozen wides over the hour.
All that said, only a point would separate the sides at the break and Ramor would have the tie level with 20 minutes to go after registering three points on the bounce.
It put the big question to Castlerahan and they firmly answered it with points from talisman Cian Mackey and Karl Cosgrave in the closing quarter that proved the difference in the Ballyjamesduff club’s second sole senior championship success.
James Brady had Ramor up and running after five minutes of this derby decider before their counterparts in maroon fashioned the best possible response.
It saw speed merchant O’Connell take full advantage of some sloppy defending from the Virginia men to cut through and lash the ball past Liam Brady for all three points.
Adrian Cole pointed from his full-forward station in response and the margin would be trimmed down to the minimum once Killian Maguire and Cole sailed over scores to outweigh a breakaway point from Enda O’Connell, who got slipped through the centre by Mackey.
Playing in their fifth straight county final, Castlerahan were that bit more slick in possession during a somewhat error-ridden first-half, with Ronan Flanagan winning a free inside for Shane O’Reilly to tap over with ease.
Some patient build-up play from Mackey and ‘Man of the Match’ Cormac Daly afforded county man Oisin Kiernan the time and space to rifle over left-footed from all of 40 metres.
Cathal Maguire and Brady (free) registered the Ramor responses with the half coming to a close, as Paul Smith and Brady (free) cancelled each other out in the added minutes to leave it at 1-5 to 0-7 when the sides went in.
Ramor were fortunate not to concede a second goal in the opening minute of the restart after Ronan Flanagan did well to thread Cosgrave through but the Cavan U20 forward’s palmed effort shaved the butt of the post and dropped wide.
Fergal Flanagan’s 40-metre effort got the holders rolling again though and when O’Connell knocked over a spectacular point from further before hitting the deck, their name looked to be back on the trophy.
The Virginia lads came into their purple patch afterwards though, shooting over the next three scores to leave things even heading into the closing 20 minutes.
James Brady slotted a sweet score from his right corner-forward post before Adam O’Connell came up along the end line and fisted over Jamie Leahy’s crossbar.
Mark Magee steamed forward from full-back to level on 40 minutes but that would be as good as it got for the 2016 winners, as Mackey settled Castlerahan’s nerves with a coolly taken point inside three minutes later.
Ramor had chances that fell by the wayside afterwards and also saw sub Gareth Mannion black carded a mere three minutes after being introduced for midfielder Laurence McCaffrey.
With five regulation minutes left on the clock, Cosgrave provided what would be the insurance but Keogan’s charges would still have to come through seven tense minutes of injury-time with 14 men following the dismissal of Enda O’Connell, who was black-carded on top of a caution.
A last-gasp goal chance for James Brady was turned around the post brilliantly by Leahy in the dying minutes, ensuring the party was bound for Ballyjamesduff tonight as the victors avenged their final loss from three years ago.
Castlerahan: Jamie Leahy; Enda Flanagan, Paul Smith (0-1), Stephen Cooney; Enda O’Connell (0-1), Oisin Kiernan (0-1), Fergal Reilly; Fergal Flanagan (0-1), Cormac Daly (0-1); Cian Mackey (0-1), Brian Ennis, Shane O’Reilly (0-1, 1f); Karl Cosgrave (0-1), Ronan Flanagan, Oisin O’Connell (1-1). Sub: Brian Coleman for S O’Reilly (35mins).
Ramor United: Liam Brady; Matthew Magee, Mark Magee, Brian O’Connell; Adam O’Connell (0-1), Jack Brady, Ben Smith; Killian Maguire (0-1), Laurence McCaffrey; Eoin Somerville, Simon Cadden, Cathal Maguire (0-2); James Brady (0-4, 2f), Adrian Cole (0-2), Conor Bradley. Subs: Ronan Patterson for E Somerville (50mins), Gareth Mannion for L McCaffrey (51), Shane Cole for G Mannion (54, BC), Micheál Smart for K Maguire (60), Seanie Keogan for C Maguire (60).
Ref: Joe McQuillan (Kill Shamrocks)Tweet