JFC final: Curraha repel Dunsany rally
Curraha claimed the Teach na Teamhrach JFC title when fending off a spirited Dunsany rally by the in an exciting finale at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon.
Neil Shortall's 20-metre from from out on the right in the 60th minute proved to be the match-winner for Curraha. However, they needed a David Toner block on a late Shane Walshe effort to level matters to secure a fourth JFC title for the club.
Now the trophy named after a man who had Curraha connections, Peter McDermott, is in Curraha hands alongside the Tailteann Cup.
Despite losing full-back Conor Joyce to a red card before half-tine, Curraha moved six points clear before the end of the third quarter. Dunsany might have made more of first-half wind advantage.
However they ralllied strongly in the latter stages with trio of pointed frees from Shane Walshe (two) and Mark Brennan halving the deficit and left Dunsany in with a chance of lifting the title for the first time.
The scores were tied for the first time when midfielder Shane Brennan netted from close range in the 52nd minute, 2-9 each.
Points from Shortall and Brian Joyce restored Curraha's lead. Spirited Dunsany responded through Shane Brennan and Walshe (free) leaving the sides level for the second time. Then came the aforementioned decisive interventions.
Dunsany were first out of the blocks but had nothing to show for early wind-assisted efforts. An early attack saw the leather rebound off a post.
Nearly eight minutes passed before Neil Shortall pointed Curraha in front with help from Ciaran and Sean O'Hanrahan.
Nominal Curraha full-forward Phelim Dowling - operating deep - cut-out a Kevin Keena cross as Dunsany attempted to open their account at the old swimming pool end. Around this time Dunsany captain Eoin Marsh required some attention for a leg injury.
Then pacy James McEntee unlocked the Dunsany defence before finding Ciaran O'Hanrahan who netted from close range in the 13th minutes
Shane Brennan's point seconds later opened Dunsany's account. Curraha responded with a brace of McEntee points and one from Conor Moriarity (free) to move 1-4 to 0-1 clear after 19 minutes.
The pendulum swung Dunsany's way in the run-in to half-time and they were lifted by Mark Brennan's well-struck 29th minute penalty. Around this time Marsh departed injured. In a separate incident red card was shown to Curraha full-back Conor Joyce.
The margin was down to the minimum when Shane Walshe landed a close range free. It was countered by a Shortall (free) to leave Curraha leading by 1-6 to 1-4 at half-time.
Despite playing against the wind Curraha resumed with a flourish and having moved six points clear within 11 minutes of resumption looked set to coast to the finish line.
To their credit, Dunsany rallied to set up a grandstand finish that saw them regain parity twice before Curraha had the final say.
Curraha - Liam Hogan; Sean O'Hanrahan, Conor Joyce, Simon McDermott; Evan McGovern, Niall Murphy, Seamus Hogan; David Toner, Brian Joyce (0-1); James McEntee (1-4), Conor Moriarity (0-1f), Neil Shortall (0-5, 2fs); Danny Battersby, Phelim Dowling, Ciaran O'Hanrahan (1-1). Subs - Mark Jackson for Moriarity (30), Niall Moriarity for Dowling (42), Locky Keogh for McGovern (45), Gavin Coyle for D Battersby (50), Ian McManus for Joyce (57).
Dunsany - Niall Flynn; Ryan Montague, Cathal Burke, Pauric Burke; Patrick Dunne, Joey Keena, Padraig Maguire; Shane Brennan (1-2), Eoin Marsh (C); Kevin Keena, Mark Brennan (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3fs), Declan Smyth; Shane Walshe (0-5fs), Alan Kelly, Pierre Fox (0-1). Subs - Ger O'Neill for Marsh (22), Charlie Keena for Dunne (37), Paddy McGovern for Kelly (42).
Referee - Patrick Neilis (Kilmainham)Tweet