Cavan SFC final replay: Brady strike sinks Stars

October 07, 2012

Dermot Sheridan (Mullahoran) with Kingscourt's Philip Smith during the Cavan SFC final replay at Breffni Park
Mullahoran 1-8
Kingscourt 0-7

By Shane Corrigan
at Kingspan Breffni Park

Mullahoran upset the odds this evening against a fancied Kingscourt Stars side to claim their first Cavan senior football championship title since 2006.

Played before 6,563 spectators at Kingspan Breffni Park, Philip Brady's 59th minute goal sealed the win for the Dreadnoughts, who had been 2/1 outsiders coming into this final replay against Dudley Farrell's 2010 champions.

Having established an early three-point advantage, Niall Lynch's men looked to be headed for heartbreak after Kingscourt had outscored them by 0-7 to 0-4 between the 13th and 44th minutes, but in the final quarter Mullahoran once again demonstrated the deep resolve, which has saw them remaining contenders in the Cavan SFC for well over a decade now, by striking an unanswered 1-3, with Philip Brady's match winner coming a minute from time to clinch the victory.

It took two minutes for Mullahoran to get off the mark through a side-line free from Raymond Lynch and Enda O'Reilly doubled their advantage soon after from a trademark placed ball.

Kingscourt had yet to truly threaten and by the 10th minute their opponents had cushioned their lead to three when Paul Brady found Enda O'Reilly with enough time and space to shoot over his first from play. Colm Smith registered the Stars' opener on 13 minutes and when Padraig Faulkner scorched through for a rousing score the initiative was firmly with the favourites.

Barry Reilly introduced himself to the game by levelling on 18 minutes, after some patient build up play by the town side's attack, and they'd arrive at their first lead when Ryan McCormack got himself impeded on the edge of the square from where Reilly had the simple task of tapping over.

Desperate to stem the tide, the Dreadnoughts rallied towards the closing stages of the half and earned a free which O'Reilly converted off his reliable left boot. The equally trustworthy Reilly slotted over from a similar situation down the other end, before Shane Grey was caught in possession by Paul Brady, who would go on to be named 'Man of the Match' and the dual star won a free 40 metres from the posts, where O'Reilly was accurate from to send the teams in on 0-5 apiece for the break.

Dudley Farrell altered things for the second-half, which saw Philip Tinnelly being introduced for young midfielder Joe Dillon, and the early minutes of the resumption suggested that the positional and personnel switches would work a treat, as Tinnelly sent Sean Og Gargan through with a slick pass for a well-taken score and Philip Smith added a free for a two-point lead heading towards the final quarter.

With two consecutive Enda O'Reilly frees falling the wrong side of the posts, Mullahoran's opportunity looked to be slipping away from them. However, credit must go to the young forward, who had been brilliant the previous Sunday, for recomposing himself to slot over a pressure kick moments later and then setting up Eddie O'Reilly for a score to leave the teams all square with five minutes to go.

The Stars had went 10 minutes without a score at this stage, struggling to pierce their opponents' dogged rear-guard, and they'd be caught out on the break when Paul Brady's wayward effort of a point was kept in play by substitute Ciaran McGee, who was fouled in front of goal from where O'Reilly landed Mullahoran back in the lead.

Niall Lynch gave direct orders to his players to get behind the ball for what were going to be intense closing stages, and they got the vital break when possession found its way to Paul Brady, who released Tomas Nannery with a sublime pass and the substitute offloaded to Philip Brady in the big square, where the corner-forward kept his cool to blast home and ensure the Oliver Plunkett Cup's passage back to Killydoon for the first time in six years.

Mullahoran: Eamon Brady; Seanie Smith, Killian Brady, James Reilly; Dermot Sheridan, Paddy Brady, Michael Brady; Christy Shiels, Peter Paul Galligan; Raymond Lynch (0-1, 1f), Enda O'Reilly (0-6, 5f), Paul Brady; Philip Brady (1-0), Eddie O'Reilly (0-1), Fergal Brady. Subs: Ciaran McGee for S Smith (13), Tomas Nannery for J Reilly (46), Daniel Smith for R Lynch (60).

Kingscourt: James Farrelly; Padraig Faulkner (0-1), Thomas Wakely, Shane Grey; Barry Tully, Alan Clarke, Keith McCabe; Colm Smith (0-1), Joe Dillon; Joe McMahon, Philip Smith (0-1, 1f), Ryan McCormack; Thomas Malone, Barry Reilly (0-3, 2f), Sean Og Gargan (0-1). Subs: Philip Tinnelly for J Dillon (30), Daryl Martin for S Gargan (54), Kieran Smith for T Malone (60).

Ref: Joe McQuillan (Kill Shamrocks)


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