POBALSCOIL GHAOTH DOBHAIR came back from the brink to seal FAIS John Murphy Ulster final success at Errigal College’s expense this afternoon at An Screaban.
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair 4-2 Errigal College, Letterkenny (after extra-time)
The Pobalscoil team, managed by Keith Ó Fearraigh, were 2-1 down with a minute remaining, only to save themselves when Odhrán McFadden hooked home following a corner from Conor Boyle.
Then, in extra-time, two penalties from substitute Seaghan Ó Fearraigh – one in either period – sealed the win.
Photo caption: The victorious Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair squad celebrate their win over Errigal College from Letterkenny in today’s FAIS John Murphy Ulster final at An Screaban in Gweedore
It was a bruising encounter, with referee Brian O’Kane cautioning six players from Errigal College and after the final whistle, things did spill over with both sets of players becoming involved in a fracas, which was soon settled down.
As a contest, it was absorbing, with Pobalscoil having gone ahead through Sean O’Donnell before falling behind after Kealan O’Donnell and Sean Cleary were on the mark for the Letterkenny team who are under the guidance of Michael McMenamin.
The first half ended goalless, although both participants had decent openings before the game exploded into life in the second.
The Errigal College Letterkenny squad that defeated St Patrick’s College from Cavan in the FAIS John Murphy Ulster Cup semi-final
Just moments after Pobalscoil goalkeeper Michael Carroll had saved from Emmanuel Okorali in a one-on-one situation, Naoise Ó Baoill got on a run on 49 minutes and played in Sean O’Donnell, who shot past Ciaran Cleary for the opening goal.
However, the concession spurred Errigal, who just six minutes later fashioned an equaliser when Kealan O’Donnell struck home via the inside of the post after Kalvin McCormick’s long ball into the penalty area from a free-kick.
At that stage, it was anybody’s game and on 63 minutes, Errigal went 2-1 in front when a curling free-kick from Sean Cleary flew past everyone and although Kyle Sylvia stretched to get a toe on the ball, he didn’t but it evaded Carroll and went in.
From then on, Pobalscoil pressed and Daire Ó Baoill was denied by Ciaran Cleary on two separate occasions with fine saves from belted efforts.
Some of the challenges were of the agricultural nature and referee O’Kane might well have sent off one or two of the Errigal players, who were already walking the tightrope having been yellow carded.
Pobalscoil howled for a penalty with two minutes to go when Daire Ó Baoill freed his cousin Naoise Ó Baoill. He was grounded by goalkeeper Ciaran Cleary but O’Kane shook his head.
With time almost up, Pobalscoil piled everyone, including goalkeeper Carroll, forward for a late corner-kick. Errigal struggled to clear and McFadden scored to force extra-time.
Things were getting tetchy but it was Pobalscoil who were in the ascendancy. Sylvia was adjudged to have pushed McFadden in the back six minutes into the first period and Seaghan Ó Fearraigh calmly rolled home the penalty to put his team 3-2 up.
Then, in the last minute, Seaghan Ó Fearraigh scored from the spot again, this time after Michael Roarty had been fouled and Pobalscoil had sealed the win. They will continue into the All-Ireland series, where they are due to face the Leinster champions next week.
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair: Michael Carroll; Conor MacPhaidín, Conor McCafferty, Ryan Kelly, Liam MacPhaidín; Ciaran McHugh (Seaghan Ó Fearraigh 74), Daire Ó Baoill, Naoise Ó Baoill, Conor Boyle (Michael Roarty 89); Sean O’Donnell, Eamon Ó Colm (Odhrán McFadden 56).
Errigal College, Letterkenny: Ciaran Cleary; Paddy Sharpe, Conor Quill (Conor Faul 91), Kalvin McCormick, Jerry Obi (Gabriel Advoka, 91); Sean Cleary, Kyle Sylvia, Kealan O’Donnell, Gary Steen; Igor Arriel, Emmanual Okorali.
Referee: Brian O’Kane.Tags: