Shannon Gaels 3-11 Rockland 3-7
Shannon Gaels are the under-12 A champions for the second year in a row after they defeated Rockland in an excellent final.
Both teams had periods of dominance, but it was the Gaels’ ability to close out the game that was critical. They scored six of the last seven points after they fell behind for the first time in the game with 10 minutes left. Main architects for the victory Rory Duggan and Sean Smith stepped up, and both had scores to help pave the way to the title.
The winners opened the game with a goal from Smith and followed with a second from Keelan Kelly. They followed with points from Smith again, Liam Hyland and Julian Fenman before Rockland got on the board.
Rockland had threatened but Brendan Ferguson made two stops before a Colm Shalvey point arrived. Jack Healy followed with a brace as they started to claw their way back. Before the break they had a goal from Brian Coughlin with Healy adding his third to narrow the gap further to 3-3 to 1-4 at the interval.
Shannon Gaels had another to open the second half, and Rockland responded with back to back goals from Healy and Brian O’Brian. When Shalvey scored, they were finally ahead, 3-5 to 3-4.
It was short lived, however, as the end to end football continued with the crowd on its feet in support of both sides. Duggan had an excellent score from play but Michael Pitt again pushed Rockland ahead for the last time.
Senan Price tied the game up with a point from play down the right wing, and it was followed by four further points to give the winners a commanding advantage.
Shalvey had another point for Rockland but time ran out and the cup was headed for the Field of Dreams in Frank Golden Park in Queens.
Shannon Gaels: 1 Brendan Ferguson, 2 Fintan Corbett, 3 James Kirk, 4 Julian Janshahi, 5 Colin Gargan, 6 Gavin McPartland, 7 Luke Corridan, 8 Robert Corridan, 9 Eamonn Kelly, 10 Sean Smith, 11 Oisin Mathers, 12 Rory Duggan, 13 Senan Price, 14 Keelan Kelly, 15 Liam Hyland. Subs: Pascal Kavanagh, Mike Paul, Mike Moore, Julian Fenman, Charlie McFadden.
Rockland: 1 Liam O’Hare, 2 Aiden O’Connor, 3 Ciaran Dalton, 4 Ryan O’Byrne, 5 Liam McCarvill, 6 Sean Lyons, 7 Liam Carlins, 8 Jack Healy, 9 Eoin Moriarty, 10 Dara McKenna, 11 Joe Scanlon, 12 Colm Shalvey, 13 Darren Moriarty, 14 Brian Coughlin, 15 Mickey Pitt.
Player of the game: Rory Duggan (Shannon Gaels).