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'A Dream Come True' - SFC - 21st Sep 2003 - Blackhall Gaels 2-9 Simonstown Gaels 1-9

'A Dream Come True'

Blackhall Gaels 2-9 Simonstown Gaels 1-9
SFC
At: Pairc Tailteann
Date: 21st Sep 2003

Blackhall Gaels under manager Leo Turley and his co-selectors Vinny Nestor and Declan Mahon made club history last Sunday evening at Pairc Tailteann when team captain Stephen Nally was presented with the Keegan Cup having won the Meath Senior Football Championship for the first time. This was most certainly a final of two halves with Simonstown Gaels dictating the opening thirty minutes in almost every quarter. The game waited until the 14th minute for the opening score when midfielder Alan Meade took advantage of a breaking ball in the Blackhall defense to raise the green flag at the O'Mahony's end and with confusion still reigning Ned Kearney pointed for Simonstown thirty seconds later to draw clear by 1-1 to no score. The Navansiders recorded five further points in as many minutes from Evan Kelly (2), John Lunney (2) and Ned Kearney before Blackhall opened their account with a Mark Crampton point from play in the 26th minute. Simonstown's Ronan Brady went on to cancel Blackhall's only score of the first half with a point from a free two minutes before the half time whistle which saw Blackhall in serious arrears by 1-7 to 0-1. The big question now on the minds of the numerous brilliant Blackhall Gaels supporters was could the team make up the deficit in the second half.

Mark Ferris started the ball rolling thirty seconds after the restart with a point from play with good support from Barry McKeon. Robert Cox made it 1-7 to 0-3 with a great point from 45 metres a minute later before Ned Kearney made it 1-8 to 0-3 in the 33rd minute. Tadhg Brosnan and Anthony Moyles both pointed from play in the 38th and 39th minute but six points still remained between the sides. A Barry McKeon two minute blitz in which he raised both green a white flags then narrowed the Simonstown lead to two points and Mark Crampton left the minimum between the teams entering the last quarter. Blackhall had more than their share of wides over a ten minute period in search of the equalizer but Anthony Moyles broke the impasse in the 55th minute. Robert Cox then sent Blackhall ahead for the first time in the 56th minute and a weaving move from full forward Tadhg Brosnan ended up with the ball in the Simonstown net just at the end of normal time to seal a historic victory. The last score of a particularly sporting senior championship final was a Simonstown point from a John Lunney free a minute into injury time.

Team: M.Whelan, D.O'Brien, P.Nestor, B.Moyles, G.Beirne, S.Nally, A.Dalton, A.Moyles(0-2), J.O'Brien, R.Cox(0-2), M.Ferris(0-1), D.Beirne, B.McKeon(1-1), T.Brosnan(1-1), M.Crampton(0-2). Subs: O.Creevey for J.O'Brien. Referee: C.Reilly (St.Mary's).

Pat Callanan

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