Slieve Bloom-Castletown claimed the bragging rights in a battle between two close neighbours last Thursday night in Shanahoe, when they defeated Camross by two points in the final of the Junior C Football Championship.
Junior C Football Championship Final
Slieve Bloom-Castletown 1-10
The manner of their victory will make it all the sweeter for Castletown-Slieve Bloom; a Ben Conroy goal with just three minutes remaining gave his side a one point lead after they had trailed since the end of the first half. Indeed Castletown-Slieve Bloom were trailing by 5 points with just 11 minutes left in the game but managed to put together a 1-4 unanswered sequence in the last ten minutes to turn the game on its head.
The games two biggest contributors the scoreboard, John Gaughan and Tadhg Doran exchanged frees to start the game off and in the early stages it was Camross who looked strongest yet missed some scorable chances. Taking scores from play proved to be a tough task for both sides, but Dwayne Palmer was on hand for Camross to point from wide on the right after 18 minutes, as was Gaughan for Castletown-Slieve Bloom moments later. Castletown-Slieve Bloom held a one point lead up until Paul Kavangh was taken down unfairly in the 24th minute, and a penalty was awarded to Camross.
Tadhg Doran struck his initial attempt from the penalty spot powerfully off of John Lowry’s left hand post. Luckily for Doran however, Castletown-Slieve Bloom defenders had infringed upon his run up to the kick, and referee Tomás Moore ordered a re-take, which he confidently converted at the second time of asking.
Camross took a one point lead into half time, and after a slow re-start looked to put hand on the trophy when Tadhg Doran managed to score 1-2 between the 41st and 47th minutes. Two pointed frees came either side of a great fisted goal, Doran getting his second of the game after a long ball played in by Wayne Palmer.
Castletown-Slieve Bllom’s revival didn’t start until the 49th minute, with all subs introduced making a real difference to the flow of the game. A brace of scores from Gaughan added to a fine point from Enda Conroy dragged Csatletown-Slieve Bloom back to within two points. Centre-forward Gearoid Gaughan made a driving run from midfield and managed to send a dangerous ball into the full forward line while off balance, Ben Conroy stretched out both hands to palm it into the net with just three minutes left. A James Hooban point at the death sealed matters.
When presenting the trophy to Castletown-Slieve Bloom captain Martin Delaney, county board member Anthony Delaney alluded to the fact that this competition was set up in the early 90’s with hurling clubs in mind, and when after all these years it finally saw two hurling teams reach the final, you couldn’t have hoped for a more competitive pairing. T
he rivalry between these two clubs in hurling transfers itself onto all aspects of life in their community; Bingo, Tidy Towns and yes, even Gaelic Football. In that light and in all seriousness it was great to see this match played in the right spirit. The players gave it their all, and on the one or two occasions where frustration and confrontation could have spilled over common sense did prevail, in front of a good attendance.
SCORERS - Camross: Tadhg Doran 2-3 (1-3 frees), Thomas Dunphy (free), Dwayne Palmer 0-1 each; Slieve Bloom-Castletown: John Gaughan 0-6 (three frees), Ben Conroy 1-2 (0-2 frees), Enda Conroy and James Hooban 0-1 each.
CAMROSS: Niall Cuddy; James Doran, Malvin Maloney, Martin Burke; Matthew Collier, Andrew Collier, Dan Lalor; Daryl Dooley, Tomas Burke; Dwayne Palmer, Thomas Dunphy, Aaron Moore; Conor Doran, Paul Kavanagh, Tadhg Doran. Subs Kevin Lalor for Connor Doran (19mins)
CASTLETOWN-SLIEVE BLOOM: John Lowry; Francis Delaney, Mark Delaney, Gavin Thompson; Michael Butler, Tom Delaney, Declan Keenan; Paul Cuddy, Brian Ferns; John Gaughan, Gearoid Gaughan, Martin Delaney; Ben Conroy, Paul Harding, Enda Conroy. Subs: Patrick Mullaney for Gavin Thompson (36 mins), James Hooban for Martin Delaney (43 mins), Gearoid Lowry for Paul Harding (47 mins)