Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship Final
Latton 1-6 Scotstown 0-8 9/10/11
Latton kept their nerve to win a hard-fought Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship Final against Scotstown at a wet and windy Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen on Sunday. The only goal of the game – a penalty by Hugh McElroy 12 minutes from time – proved decisive for Latton, while Owen Duffy was the last-gasp hero for the second game in a row, as he kicked the winning point two minutes into injury-time, like he had done in their semi-final against Ballybay. Conditions were difficult for both teams, contributing to a low-scoring game, which suited Latton down to the ground as they called on all their experience to win their third county title since 2005.
It was a real team performance from Latton, who defended in numbers, with Kieran Duffy, Owen Coyle, Edmund Lennon and Stephen Fitzpatrick central to their efforts. Aidan Farmer got through a lot of work at midfield, while Hugh McElroy and Shane Coyle made good use of limited possession and Owen Duffy stepped up in style at the end. Darren Hughes won the Man-of-the-Match award for his tireless efforts for Scotstown, who also had good performances from midfielders James Turley and Francis Caulfield, full-back Donal Morgan and forwards Kieran Hughes and Shane Carey, who looked threatening, but with a lack of quality ball.
Latton took barely 15 seconds to open the scoring through Bernard O’Brien, before Edmund Lennon made a good block to deny Kieran Hughes, who had done well to catch a cross from James Turley, who then set up Paul Grant to kick Scotstown’s first point. Hugh McElroy restored Latton’s lead after a clever pass from O’Brien, but Brian McGinnity replied after Kieran Hughes had won a high ball in from Francis Caulfield.
Shane Carey edged Scotstown ahead for the first time on 15 minutes after he had won the break from a throw-up on the 20-metre line, but a well-taken point by Shane Coyle brought Latton back on level terms. Scotstown got the last point of the half, though, when Kieran Hughes won and scored a 30-metre free, which sent them in at the break leading by 0-4 to 0-3.
Owen Duffy almost made an immediate impact in the second half when he cut in at pace along the end-line, only to have his shot saved by Scotstown keeper Rory Beggan, but Latton did draw level when McElroy tapped over a 13-metre free after Francis Caulfield had been penalised for charging. Scotstown had a goal chance when a flick from Kieran Hughes put Carey through, but he lobbed his shot over the bar, before Kieran Hughes won and scored a close-range free to double his team’s lead.
The game’s defining score came with 12 minutes left, though, when Hugh McElroy broke a high ball down to Shane Coyle, who was brought down, allowing McElroy to coolly send the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner of the net. Darren Hughes equalised for Scotstown from a ’45, but Shane Coyle regained the lead for Latton when he converted a 30-metre free for a foul on Owen Duffy. Latton keeper Seán Farmer was quick off his line to punch clear when Kieran Hughes launched a long ball in, but Scotstown drew level a minute into injury-time when Kieran Hughes linked up with Nicholas Corrigan to kick his only point from play.
There was still time for Latton to retake the lead, though, when Owen Duffy soloed his way across the pitch before landing a fine point. The O’Rahillys held out in a tense finish and there were jubilant scenes as their captain Aidan Farmer accepted the Mick Duffy Cup from county chairman Paul Curran. Latton will now play either Cavan Gaels or Glenswilly in the Ulster Club SFC first round on October 30.
Latton: S Farmer; P Fitzpatrick, E Lennon, O Coyle; D O’Brien, K Duffy, S Fitzpatrick; O Lennon, A Farmer (Capt.); S McElroy, B O’Brien (0-1), N Traynor; S Coyle (0-2, 1f), H McElroy (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-1f), O Duffy (0-1).
Subs: P Shannon for Traynor (43 mins), K Hughes for P Fitzpatrick (56).
Scotstown: R Beggan; E Beggan, D Morgan, M Duffy; F McPhillips, D Hughes (0-1, ’45), D McArdle; F Caulfield (Capt.), J Turley; P Grant (0-1), D McCague, S Carey (0-2); C Caulfield, K Hughes (0-3, 2f), B McGinnity (0-1).
Subs: N Corrigan for C Caulfield (40), S Sherry for Grant (43), W Carroll for Duffy (54).
Referee: G Treanor (Truagh).