NY GAA: Senior Football final preview: Down v Cork


Rory Woods had his best performance to date, and he looks better suited to the half line where the action is. J.P. Boyle had a quite day and still notched 1-3, while Colin Daly before his injury did a huge amount of work.

Ciaran Lyng had a few balls that inexplicably went through his hands, but still turned up with 0-5 while his shot created the second goal and his excellent flick set up the first.

Tyrone had a brilliant regular season, but will be devastated with the early ending. John McGinley, in his last performance in Gaelic Park, did nothing wrong, and his save on Lyng before the goal was superb. We wish him well in San Francisco where he is headed.

Ger McCullough went off injured early which was a huge loss. Joe Bell, Steve Keating and Seamus Skeffington tried hardest.

While the side tried to help the forward line by putting Aiden Power up there at the start, hindsight will say that he should have been left where he had a very good year at wing back. He did return there in the second half, but the game was gone at that point. 

The midfield got going far too late and their influence was minimal. Up front Conor Downey was the best and most active. John Murtagh had his quietest game of the year, and Eamonn Lyons had patches when sent to full forward.

Tyrone: 1 John McGinley, 2 Joe Bell, 3 Gerard McCullough, 4 Sean Coyle, 5 Paul Mulhern, 6 Steve Keating, 7 Seamus Skeffington, 8 Gary Reilly, 9 Eamonn Lyons, 10 Darren Doherty, 11 Conor McNabb, 12 Aiden Power (1-0), 13 Conor Downey (0-2), 14 John Murtagh (0-6), 15 Packie McMullen. Subs: Darren Petit, Conor Skeffington, Cathal Skeffington.

Cork: 1 Evan Byrne, 2 Denis McCarthy, 3 Alan Rafferty, 4 Paddy Harrington, 5 David Crimmins, 6 Kevin Cotter, 7 Jack Hoare, 8 Sean Lordon, 9 Rory Stafford, 10 Nicky Dineen, 11 Rory Woods (0-1), 12 Colin Daly (0-2), 13 Ciaran Lyng (0-5), 14 J.P. Boyle (1-3), 15 Joe O’Neill (1-0). Subs: John Fitzpatrick, Pat Mahoney, Liam Hanley.

Man of the match: David Crimmins (Cork). Active, battling, strong going forward, brilliant display. 

Referee: Lawrence McGrath (Donegal).

County Final predictions

Donie O’Sullivan (Cork): Former senior football chair and long time footballer, mentor and officer. “Cork, they have a good enough team this year, they have too many weapons.”

Richie Annett (Down): Former New York player, mentor with Down nephews on panel. “Really looking forward to our second final in a row. We have the talent this year and will take the title.”

Larry McCarthy, New York chairman: Cork native. “No predictions from me, but I am looking forward to a tremendous game and wish both sides the best next Sunday. It promises to be a great day for the New York GAA.”

John Riordan (Kerry): Former New York chair and long time officer and mentor. “Cork are peaking at the right time, but I feel the Down forwards are better which will help them get the win.”

Seamus Dooley (Monaghan): Former chair, long time officer, selector New York, Monaghan mentor, player. “Cork will take it by three points. They have a stronger panel and very good forwards.”

Sonny Kenna (Roscommon): Former New York player, referee and mentor. “Cork. They have the stronger team and have more talented footballers.”

John McGinley (Galway): Tyrone and Offaly and former New York goalkeeper. “Cork by five points. They are fitter and have a deeper panel which will be very important.”

John Kelly (Galway): Former New York hurling chairman, New York officer, Galway player/mentor/manager. “Cork 1-10 to 0-11. Better all-round team.”

Denis Twomey (Rangers): Manager of winning junior side 2009, selector New York under-21, New York officer. “Cork, by three points.”

Bernie Aherne (Cork): Former New York player, member of glorious 1969 side. “Cork. A faster team with a deeper bench.”

Frankie Dwyer (Leitrim): Former Leitrim player, manager, mentor, New York business owner. “Cork. Stronger team, quality players but it promises to be a great final. A very exciting year in football.”