Maguire Transport Football Championship Division One Final
Truagh 2-8 Clontibret 1-8 9/10/11
Truagh made history in the curtain-raiser in Inniskeen on Sunday, when they won the MFC Division One title for the first time, beating defending champions Clontibret in the final. First-half goals by Christopher Curran and Christopher McKenna were the key scores for Truagh, who were fully deserving winners over the hour and could have won by more if they had taken any of the other goal chances that fell their way. Clontibret failed to hit the heights that saw them win the league recently, although much of that can be put down to Truagh’s impressive work-rate all over the pitch.
Pádraig McKenna, who had an excellent game, helped Truagh edge the midfield battle, while Christopher McKenna, Adam Treanor and Christopher Curran shone in attack for the Gaels and Darragh McKenna and Fergal O’Neill dealt well with the threat of Conor Lavelle and Shane Hughes, despite giving up several inches in height. Aodh Curran, Conor Boyle and Lavelle gave it their all for Clontibret, but a tally of 11 wides hurt their chances of retaining the title.
Pádraig McKenna opened the scoring for Truagh when he tapped over a 13-metre free for a foul on Christopher McAnenly, but Shane Hughes brought Clontibret level after an Aodh Curran free dropped short. A Conor Lavelle point edged Clontibret ahead, but Truagh struck for the first goal on 11 minutes when Christopher Curran drilled in a low shot after taking a pass from Adam Treanor. Truagh had a couple of chances to add another goal, but Christopher McKenna drove a shot wide after he had made a good catch from a Christopher Curran pass and he slipped and lost possession two minutes later when Pádraig McKenna had put him through.
Lavelle linked up with Carl Foentjies to get a point back for Clontibret, but Adam Treanor restored Truagh’s two-point lead before turning provider for another goal-chance for Christopher McKenna, who made no mistake this time with a clinical finish beyond Darren McDonald. Truagh continued to make goal chances and McDonald needed to be quick off his line to intercept a Christopher McKenna pass before it reached Niall Skinnader, but Clontibret got a boost when Shane Hughes was dragged down in the square by Mark McQuaid after he had raced onto a Conor Boyle pass.
Hughes got up to take the penalty, which he tucked past Truagh keeper Niall Rooney. Aodh Curran tapped over a 20-metre free for a foul on Dáire McKeown to make it a one-point game, but a well-taken score by Adam Treanor sent Truagh in at half-time with a 2-3 to 1-4 lead.
Treanor added the first point of the second half within 20 seconds of the restart, although Aodh Curran won and scored a 30-metre free to keep Clontibret in touch. The next three scores were all about Christopher McKenna, as he nailed a brace of well-struck ‘45s, either side of a 13-metre free for a foul on Christopher Curran. Only the upright denied McKenna a fourth successive point, with Adam Treanor going for goal from the rebound, only to be denied by a block from Liam Savage.
Lorcan Murphy ended 21 scoreless minutes for Clontibret with a point from play, but Pádraig McKenna landed a superb point from a 40-metre free off the outside of his boot, after a foul on Christopher McKenna, to leave Truagh five clear with four minutes to go. Clontibret sub Martin Moen got on the end of a high ball from Savage to get a point back going into injury-time, before Stephen Mohan blazed a goal-attempt over the bar, following a pass from Aodh Curran.
That brought the O’Neills to within three points, but there was no way through for the goal they needed and Truagh held on to complete a history-making win. Joint-captains Pádraig and Christopher McKenna lifted the Fergal O’Hanlon Cup, while Christopher also picked up the Man-of-the-Match award.
Truagh: N Rooney; F O’Neill, D McKenna, M McQuaid; D McGinn, J McAnenly, S Treanor; P McKenna (Joint-Capt., 0-2f), Patrick McMeel; C Curran (1-0), C McAnenly, N Skinnader; C McKenna (Joint-Capt., 1-3, 0-2 ‘45s, 0-1f), A Treanor (0-3), Paul McMeel.
Subs: C McAnespie for Skinnader (inj., 58 mins).
Clontibret: D McDonald; G Brennan, L Savage, C Carragher; D Wilson, A Curran (0-2f), M P O’Dowd; C Boyle (Capt.), B Greenan; C Foentjies, L Murphy (0-1), D McKeown; S Mohan (0-1), C Lavelle (0-2), S Hughes (1-1, 1-0 pen).
Subs: D Duffy for Foentjies (51), M Moen (0-1) for McKeown (53), C Murphy for L Murphy (60).
Referee: P Caulfield (Blackhill).