O’Neill Leads Rangers to McGovern Cup
Rangers 1-17 St Barnabas 2-7
Rangers regained the John Joe McGovern Cup with an impressive win on Saturday over a battling St. Barnabas team.
By establishing a big lead with the wind in the first half, Rangers left the Saints with to high a hill to climb in the final 30. It was a fiercely competitive game between long rivals.
The John Joe McGovern is in remembrance of the Fermanagh native who was a fixture at Gaelic Park and at the weekly meetings before his untimely passing. A gentleman and straight shooter, he is still remembered and mentioned often around the Mecca.
It was all Rangers as the game opened. They had four points in the first seven minutes, with Sean O’Neill and Eoin Delaney splitting the total evenly.
Delaney was proving a handful for the Saints, and his pace and movement in open play was very good. Add to the mix full forward Ronan Caffrey, who was moving constantly, and it was a three headed monster.
A 70-yard movement in the 10th minute put further room between the sides when it ended with Caffrey driving a bullet to the net from twenty yards out. The goal portion of their total was quickly cancelled out, however, in one of St. Barnabas’ few decent chances in the first half.
The ball was worked to the middle of the field from the kick out. Brian Dennehy received and lofted a long ball to the square. It fell to the floor from a number of hands, and Thomas McGovern soloed soccer style and found the net off the body of the keeper.
It gave them false hope, however. The Rangers’ reply was swift. Four points from four different scorers, and when the Saints had their first point of the afternoon, a free from Brian McGovern, Rangers again replied with vigor.
The last five points of the first half to leave the score at the break 1-13 to 1-1.
St. Barnabas had a very good start to the second half as they had scores from the McGovern brothers in the first six minutes. The game took on a touch physical nature, and it lifted the Saints as Ciaran Moyles was inspiring them.
They had a wide in the mix, but slowly Rangers clawed back. Two pointed frees by O’Neill negated all of the good work, and with 20 minutes left Rangers were back in a 12 point lead.
The Woodlawn lads had the wind at their back now, and they went back into attack. Nick Moustousis was winning a lot of ball in the six slot and running out with ball in hand time and again.
They put four points back to back, with Conor Hogan’s an excellent score after the best move of the game resulted in Brian McGovern cracking a stunner off the woodwork.
Rangers did have a point from Gavin Beadie when Caffrey picked him out with a beautiful cross field ball, but then the Saints had a stunning move. The ball was again worked out by Moustousis and found Hogan on the 25; he soloed once and crashed the ball to the net.
It was 1-16 to 2-7 now with 10 minutes left bon the clock. Killian Caffrey had a point for Rangers that completed the scoring as time ran out on a gallant St Barnabas side.
So Rangers get their hands on the first junior cup of the year. Patrick O’Driscoll, Willie Walsh and Gavin Beadie were impressive at the back. The Caffrey brothers are fantastic players at this level; Sean O’Neill, Eoin Delaney and Stephen O’Shea were others to shine.
For St. Barnabas, Nick Moustousis had an excellent outing. Joe Hallinan did well against Ronan Caffrey -- no easy task. Brian Dennehy, Thomas McGovern and Conor Hogan battled to the end.
St. Barnabas: 1 Mike Greaney, 2 Brendan Murphy, 3 Joe Hallinan, 4 Mike McKenna, 5 Tom Brady, 6 Nick Moustousis, 7 Doug Brady, 8 Brian Dennehy, 9 James Mullen, 10 Brian McGovern (0-3), 11 Kevin Hannon (0-1), 12 Thomas McGovern (1-3), 13 Conor Hogan (1-1), 14 Ciaran Moyles, 15 Shane Flanagan.
Rangers: 1 John Williams, 2 Malachy McHugh, 3 Patrick O’Driscoll, 4 Lorcan Malone, 5 Thomas Maher, 6 Willie Walsh (0-1), 7 Gavin Beadie (0-1), 8 Chris Colleran, 9 Killian Caffrey (0-1), 10 Derek Courtney, 11 Sean O’Neill (0-6), 12 Stephen O’Shea (0-2), 13 Eoin Delaney (0-4), 14 Ronan Caffrey (1-2), 15 Sean Twomey. Subs: Roy Henley.
Man of the match: Sean O’Neill (Rangers).
Referee: Jimmy Naughton (Roscommon).
Second Half Surge for Roscommon
Roscommon 3-14 Brooklyn/Long Island 1-6
Roscommon used a dominant second half when they outscored their opponents 2-8 to 0-2 to easily take the points in this intermediate football tie to open the proceedings on Sunday.
A numbers advantage due to two sendings off for B/LI made it all the easier as Roscommon easily quelled any advances by their rivals and allowed them to build at will from the back.
The losers had the first point of the contest when Niall McElroy chipped over after a short sideline, but Roscommon replied with 1-4 to take a commanding lead.