U-21 Champions: Congratulations to the St. Francis team & management who won the U-21 championship for the first time in 14 years with victory over Glencar Manorhamilton in Pairc Sean on Saturday last. We won a hard fought tense encounter on a scoreline of 1-04 to 0-03 played in difficult weather conditions. In contrast to the free flowing, high scoring semi final the previous weekend this was a different type of performance but no less notable with an excellent all round defensive display from the team.
We played with the benefit of a strong breeze in the opening half but the game was scoreless until Martin Beirne struck with a fine point from play in the 25th minute. Manorhamilton had probably looked the better team in the opening period & created a number of goal chances with a combination of good goalkeeping from Jack Mattynnsenns & good fortune keeping them scoreless. On the stroke of half time Nicholas Moore kicked a great point under pressure to leave the interval score 0-02 to 0-00. The omens for the second half suggested that we would struggle but the team responded with an excellent performance of commitment, support play & hard work that made light of the conditions and they played some great football in the circumstances. A good move just after the break saw Brian Mulvey pulled down & Seamie McMorrow kicked the all important first score of the half from a placed ball. Then in the 34th minute came the crucial score when another good team move saw Seamie in on goal and he produced a clever finish to lob the Manor keeper and put us in control.
It was the 45th minute before Manorhamilton opened their account with a free & they added a second point from play on 49 minutes to signal an exciting conclusion to the match. However another great passing move on 51 minutes saw Thomas Mulvey hit a great point from play into the teeth of the wind to give us a 5 point cushion again. Manorhamilton hit the last score of the game a point from play in the 57th minute and pushed hard to get an all important goal but we stood firm and emerged deserving winners on a scoreline of 1-04 to 0-03 with outstanding captain Thomas Cornyn lifting the cup.
The team & scorers were: Jack Mattynnsenns, David Wynne, Mark Gunning, Barry Gilmartin, Jason Loftus, Ciaran Mattynnsenns, Thomas Cornyn, Philly McGourty, Martin Beirne (0-01), Shane Beirne, Thomas Mulvey (0-01), Seamie McMorrow (1-01), Nicholas Moore (0-01), Enda Maguire, Johnny McGourty. Subs: Brian Mulvey for J. McGourty, Adrian Sorohan for D. Wynne, Dylan McGowan for S. Beirne, Shane Beirne for Jason Loftus; Patrick McGrail, Danny Egan, Conor Tiernan, Nathan Flynn. Well done to managers Kevin Nolan & James Wynne for all their efforts with the lads over recent months. The club would also like to sincerely thank Henry Sorohan who kindly sponsored a meal for the team and management afterwards. This was greatly appreciated.