Analysis: Glanmire rise to the occasion in landmark victory for the club

Analysis: Glanmire rise to the occasion in landmark victory for the club

Ben Nodwell, Glanmire, rises high with Ciaran Kenny, Douglas, under the dropping ball at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

GLANMIRE are Premier 1 Minor Football champions for 2020.

And deservedly so. Tearing into holders Douglas from the throw-in, last year's Premier 2 winners embraced the pressure of delivering at the highest level, repeating their victory from the group stages.

 Diarmuid O'Donovan presented David Lynch with the trophy. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Diarmuid O'Donovan presented David Lynch with the trophy. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The triumph vindicated the decision of the Glanmire underage committee to get Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé in as coach and reflects the superb work going in from the U5s upwards to bring the club on a par with Sarsfields. 

Collecting the cup also helped offset the disappointment for the dedicated dual players who lost the hurling decider to the Barrs recently.

The underdogs led from the early exchanges at Páirc Uí Rinn, but in a 0-13 to 1-9 upset, they only prevailed when James Crowley held his nerve in injury time to land the winning free.

Champions die hard, and that was Douglas all out. They couldn't get into their rhythm in the first half where Olan Kelleher was a colossus at full-back, number 13 Cathal McCarthy lethal to the tune of 0-4 from play, and Darragh Long, Luke Elliot and Daniel Hogan to the fore. 

 Jack O'Sullivan and Olan Kelleher, Glanmire, tackle Fionn Sheehan, Douglas. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Jack O'Sullivan and Olan Kelleher, Glanmire, tackle Fionn Sheehan, Douglas. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Yet thanks to Eoghan Nash's ability to secure primary possession and the energy of Alan O'Hare and Aaron Sheehy up front, Douglas were level at the break: 1-4 to 0-7. 

Indeed Eddie Murphy's charges nabbed the first two points of the second half to lead. If Glanmire had any doubts, it didn't show.

They wrestled back the momentum with a fifth point by the electric Cathal McCarthy, while the likes of David Lynch, Elliot and Hogan hoovered up ball and ball in the middle third.

Glanmire's work-rate and attitude inspired the small but vocal crowd in the stands. They added another lovely point from play by Ollie Compton and their hard running yielded three frees, clipped over by Lynch and James Crowley, who also covered every blade of grass at Páirc Uí Rinn.

The second half water-break came at the wrong time. Douglas upped the tempo considerably, with Daire Burke and Mark Howell pushing up more, and Conor O'Donovan creating problems under long deliveries. O'Hare and O'Donovan, twice, raised the white flags to tie up the game and it appeared that Glanmire had left it behind them.

 Darragh Long, Glanmire, running at Shane Aherne, Douglas. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Darragh Long, Glanmire, running at Shane Aherne, Douglas. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Darragh Long came close to a decisive goal after a brilliantly disguised pass by Cathal McCarthy, but Douglas keeper Cian O'Leary did well to force him to spill possession. The ball was flying up and down the pitch with extra-time looming until McCarthy danced in from the wing and was hauled down.

It was a very scoreable free, but one James Crowley would have been excused for missing. He curled it emphatically inside the far post, turning to pump his fists to the supporters. 

Critically, Glanmire spoiled the long kick-out, denying Douglas a shot at levelling at the death.

This was a landmark result for the club. Traditionally, the hurling section in Sars has been far stronger, reflected in Glanmire's senior side needing a win over Mayfield to avoid relegation to junior.

There is a lot of football talent across their teenage teams and securing a Premier 1 trophy sets a new standard.

They won this the hard way, beating the holders and favourites Douglas twice. They got a break in the group when Douglas hammered Ballincollig, who had defeated Glanmire, to open a path to the semi-final but they didn't look back for a second.

Now these young players must take the momentum forward into U21 and senior.

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