GAA London WReilly Building Services Ltd SHC Final
Fulham break Granuaile hearts
Fulham Irish 2-07
By David Hennessy
This intermediate final could have gone either way but Fulham Irish’s determined fight back saw them lift the trophy after two first half Granuaile goals left them trailing at the break.
It was Granaile who came out fighting and established an early lead with a Paul Lake free before Paddy Moylan struck to rise an early green flag from Lake’s side line cut. Fulham battled back into it with two Donal Casey frees, one fought for by Paudie Fahy. Lake added another Granuaile point from the placed ball but then the tide turned against them.
Paudie Fahy raced through their defence for a solo goal before Casey hit a free to give his team the lead. However the Fulham scores would dry up for the remainder of the half with only a 65 from Casey adding to their tally.
Granuaile were battling to re-establish an advantage and soon had one thanks to the frees of Lake and Brian Barrett’s score, but it was that man Moylan who would put his team firmly in the driving seat at the break.
Sean Cordial and Brian Barrett combined to create the chance and when Moylan let fly, it had the accuracy and power to beat Declan Guilfoyle in the Fulham goal despite the tight angle it was struck from. Leading 2-05 to 1-04, Granuaile held a strong position at the break.
There was another goal just after the break but not for Granuaile. Dan McCusker floated a ball into the danger zone and it was Fulham’s danger man Donal Casey who pounced to find the net for a great goal.
There was only a point in it now and it looked like the team that gave away the
least frees would win as both teams were struggling to score from play. However, Brendan McDermott scored Granuaile’s second point from play with a spectacular long range effort.
However, this was to be their last score of the game and the reason for their defeat lies
therein. They did threaten: A Brendan McDermott effort was well saved before Brian Barrett followed up with a rebound that was also kept out. With Fulham defending stronger at the back, they were unable to strike a goal like the two that came along in the first half.
Donal Casey was reliable with his free taking when the chances came along and with no room for error, he brought his team level with two well hit placed balls. Fulham may have opened up a more comfortable lead when Mark Bevans floated the ball across the goal with Kevin Maher only inches away from getting a touch to direct it into the net.
At 2-06 all, Granuaile were hit by a massive blow when Richard Barnes was dismissed for fouling Eamonn Long. Donal Casey’s resulting free put his team in the lead and despite looking so comfortable at one point, it looked like it was slipping away from Granuaile. Granuaile only have themselves to blame with their poor scoring tally in the second period.
They hit several more wides in the closing stages so you could not say they didn’t have their opportunities. Paul Lake is a strong player but he just wasn’t allowed to be at his best and had he been, the outcome may have been different.
Star man for Fulham Irish was Donal Casey. Always threatening and skilful, he showed nerves of steel to hit the frees that delivered Fulham’s victory. However, Fulham were outstanding as a team and they showed great spirit to come back after conceding two first half goals.
Fulham Irish: Declan Guilfoyle, Colm Kennedy, Colin Smyth, Murray Breen, Michael Broder, Pat O’Mahony, James McSwiney, Colm Davis, Seamus Hannon, John Coleman, Dan McCusker, Paudie Fahy (1-0), Kevin Maher, Mark Bevans, Donal Casey (1-7, 6f, 1×65). Subs: Dan O’Brien for Maher, Eamon Long for McCusker.
Granuaile: Danny Murphy, Cathal Badger, Richard Barnes, Liam Reale, Aidan Callanan, David Coffey, Kevin Lynam, Paul Lake (0-4f), Cathal Flynn, Sean Cordial, Mark Sheahan, Brendan McDermott (0-1), Kevin O’Keefe, Paddy Moylan (2-0), Philip Butler. Subs: John Lee for Butler, Brian Barrett (0-1) for Lynam.