Feenagh 1 Carrig Celtic 1
A fine crowd assembled at O’Brien Park last Tuesday evening for the title decider between Feenagh and Carrig Celtic. Feenagh entered play one point ahead of their visitors and knew that if they avoided defeat they would be crowned Division 4 champions. The two previous league meetings between the sides were close encounters and this tie was to prove no different. The opening exchanges were tentative with a lot of the play concentrated in the midfield sector. Carrig then enjoyed a period of dominance. 20 minutes in and their attacker seemed certain to score but was thwarted by a superbly timed last ditch tackle from Liam Óg Doody. Soon after Carrig did hit the front. At the opposite end, Feenagh’s best efforts came from a William Enright header from a corner and a shot from Ryan O’Gorman (showing no ill effects from a recent injury) that just went over. However it was Carrig who came closest to adding to their lead when a volley from their winger went narrowly over. 1-0 to Carrig at half time. Not for the first time this season, Feenagh hadn’t played to their potential in the opening half. After taking on board manager Barry Gilbourne’s half time observations, the side took to the field for the second half determined to rectify the situation and claim the league crown. And this they duly did. Enright saw an effort saved by the keeper after being set-up by O’Gorman. A dangerous ball sent across the penalty area by Luke Ryan narrowly evaded the onrushing Michael Geary. And then the deserved equaliser arrived. A perfectly weighed pass over the top from Enright after good work from sub Edward Hourigan released Ryan who showed admirable composure and accuracy to lob the advancing keeper to level the match. The roar from the home crowd which accompanied the leveller could be heard at the forestry gates ! Moments later Ryan nearly repeated the trick after a smart pass from O’Gorman released him inside the area but his half volley just went the wrong side of the post. At the other end, Luke’s brother Shane was doing his bit to ensure the title came to Feenagh. An instinctive reflex save pushed the ball onto the post before it was cleared to safety. In the closing stages he also showed great hands in dealing with some tricky high balls that were lofted into the penalty area. Josh Moran made a telling impression when introduced on the left flank.It would be impossible to pick a man of the match as there were many top rate performers on the night but Dylan Hayes-Daly would certainly be a leading contender due to the composure he displayed whenever he was on the ball as well as his accuracy of passing. The final whistle was greeted with delight by players and spectators alike. A season that began on August 22 was finally concluded and Feenagh were the champions. Charlie Boyle, treasurer of the Desmond Schoolboy League and also a resident of Feenagh, (Charlie managed Feenagh Youths to a memorable Desmond Youths Cup Final win in the early nineties) presented the trophy to his grandson Luke Ryan.
Team line-up: Shane Ryan, Evan O’Flynn, Richie Walsh, Liam Óg Doody, Jerry O’Brien, Maurice Fitzgibbon,Dylan Hayes-Daly, Ryan O’Gorman, William Enright, Michael Geary, Luke Ryan. Subs:Josh Moran,Edward Hourigan,Gerard Moore, William Murphy and Padraig Roche.
Referee: B Nash