GAELCOLÁISTE CHARRAIG UÍ LEIGHIN won their very first Munster football title when they defeated Davis College Mallow in the Munster U19 E football final which was played on the all weather pitch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Friday afternoon.
The final was originally scheduled for February 1, but due to the inclement weather of late, was put back a couple of weeks with the final being played just before the onslaught of Storm Dennis over the weekend.
Carrigaline were playing against a stiff breeze in the first half which blew down the pitch, but registered the first score of the game courtesy of Liam Jordan in the first minute.
They extended their lead even further two minutes later when Fionn Ó Deasunaigh found the back of the net as Carrigaline found themselves 1-1 to no score as it appeared as though it was going to be a more than comfortable win for the Carrigaline team.
However, Davis College started to come back into the game with a goal from Eoin Healy in the sixth minute, and although Rhys MacCárthaigh added a point for Carrigaline, Davis College kept in touch with another point and took the lead for the first time when Healy took a quick free from 17 yards which found the back of the Carrigaline net.
Chances came and went for both teams with a succession of wides, but two quick points from MacCárthaigh brought the sides level in the 27th minute before Carrigaline were dealt a blow with their influential player Callum de Baróid being given a black card, and as a result had to play the final three minutes and the first seven minutes of the second half with 14 players.
Davis College seized the initiative and came forward, Shane Lyons’s free well covered by Micheal Ó Maicín in the Carrigaline goal before a 20 yard free was tapped over by Davis College right on the stroke of half time as the Mallow side led by just one point at the break – 1-4 to 2-2.
Carrigaline were now playing with the breeze, and within a minute had brought the sides level for only the second time in the match courtesy of MacCárthaigh’s free, before taking the lead yet again two minutes later when Ross Ó Cionnaolaidh ran through the centre of the Mallow field before passing the sliothars to Ciarán Ó Dubhgáin who slammed the ball into the back of the net from 15 yards as Carrigaline now found themselves 2-05 to 2-02 to the good.
Carrigaline extended their lead even further with two quick frees from MacCárthaigh, with Davis College pegging one back in the 37th minute, but by this time Carrigaline were back to full strength, and with the wind behind them were beginning to dominate the game and gain in confidence as time went on.
Davis College had good chance to cut the lead with a free in front of goal, but instead of going for a point, they went for goal and was easily saved by Ó Maicín, and had another chance moments later when Lyons was through on goal only to be denied by a timely challenge from Chris Ó hLariaithe at a vital stage in the game.
Two frees from MacCárthaigh and one from Davis College extended Carrigaline’s lead to five with 11 minutes left on the clock and they extended it to eight with a goal from MacCárthaigh as Carrigaline were cruising as the prospect of winning their first Munster football title was becoming more and more likely.
However, with time ticking away, Davis College threw everything at Carrigaline in an attempt to pull back the now nine point deficit but were denied by a strong back line who fought for every ball and denied a number of scoring chances from the Mallow side.
Davis College did manage to find the back of the net after two attempts were blocked from Jamie Butler in the 61st minute, and had another attempt cleared off the Carrigaline goal line, but Ó Dubhgáin added another point a minute later before referee Trevor Lyons blew the final whistle amid jubilant scenes from the Carrigaline team and supporters as Carrigaline took the title on a 3-12 to 3-04 score line.