London GAA: Emmetts make it two in a row

London GAA Emmetts St Gabriels senior final

Robert Emmetts: 2-13
St Gabriel’s: 1-12

Robert Emmetts secured their second senior title on the bounce after their hurlers overpowered St Gabriels in a four-point victory in Greenford on Sunday. Despite three goals and two red cards it was not a vintage final as many of the points were from set pieces in a stop-start game.

The repeat of last year’s final saw the reigning champions lose full-forward Bill Walsh after 22 minutes but the Gabriels cancelled out any advantage they had when they too lost opposite number 14 Fiachra Connellan five minutes after the break. Denis O’Regan opened the scoring after three minutes after both sides exchanged wide attempts, with a well struck point from play.

London GAA Emmetts St Gabriels senior final

Robert Emmetts secured their second senior title on the bounce after their hurlers overpowered St Gabriels in a four-point victory in Greenford on Sunday. Despite three goals and two red cards it was not a vintage final as many of the points were from set pieces in a stop-start game.

The repeat of last year’s final saw the reigning champions lose fullforward Bill Walsh after 22 minutes but the Gabriels cancelled out any advantage they had when they too lost opposite number 14 Fiachra Connellan five minutes after the break. Denis O’Regan opened the scoring after three minutes after both sides exchanged wide attempts, with a well struck point from play. The Gabriels would equalise soon afterwards however as Michael Ivors set up Neil Rogers for a long-range point from a sweetly executed handpass.

London GAA Emmetts St Gabriels senior final

Huge advantage But the Emmetts would get a huge advantage next as Padge Buckley’s monstrous puck-out landed in the possession of Daryl Roberts who hit an unstoppable shot on James Barrett’s goal after eight minutes, having collected in the centre and moved out to space just right of the goal to fire it just under the bar.

But the Gabriels did not let the early disadvantage affect their game and struck two frees from captain Ivors to chip away at the deficit, with a long ball from Sean Gilchrist shaking things up as Connellan collected and beat Paddy Breen to concede the second free. But Tomas Lawrence got a great score from play next, after being set up by Rogers, in loads of space in the middle of the field. Ivors’ ’65 score and a huge free from keeper Barrett levelled the playing field, and Gabriels looked to be making a comeback, especially as Walsh missed an opportunity from a Breen pass to take the lead once more.

The Gabriels would get a goal chance shortly afterwards but Derek Morkan missed the opportunity to connect with the sliotar effectively, and his shot went wide.

London GAA Emmetts St Gabriels senior final

But Connellan would give the Gabriels the lead on 20 minutes as he ran beyond the reach of Breen to get his side’s sixth point and it looked like it was going from bad to worse for the Emmetts as they lost Walsh for an off the ball incident.

Red card

Eadhmon MacSuibhne was following play so had to rely on his assistants’ viewpoint for his clash with Enda Cooney, with the latter also receiving a yellow card.And next would come the pivotal moment as the champions, a point and a man down, reacted straight away and capitalised on another huge ball in from Buckley to come away with three points. R

ichie Murphy ended up in possession and put a low ball into Eoin Chawke who did well to put the ball away beyond Barrett before picking up a free almost immediately afterwards to give his side a 2-3 to 0-6 lead. Stephen Griffey did fantastically next not to negate the goal advantage as he made an important challenge on Paddy Kelly in front of goal. But two more frees from Ivors before the break gave the Gabriel’s hope coming into the second half at 2-3 to 0-8, especially with the one-man advantage they had over their rivals.

London GAA Emmetts St Gabriels senior final

Daryl Roberts won a free straight from the restart which was slotted over with ease by Chawke before they were given a great boost after 34 minutes when Connellan was dismissed for another off the ball incident against O’Regan. But Gabriels didn’t let up and Ivors did amazingly to get a low ball away to Kelly under pressure from three Emmetts men before his number 10 won a free which he just put short.

A great Murphy pass to Roberts resulted in another free which Chawke again took advantage of, before he added another free and substitute Kieran Morrissey made it three on the bounce as his side built up momentum and took control of the tie.

Frees from Ivors and Morkan whittled the gap down to just three again, before Luke Hands shot a bad miss from a goal chance in a very scoreable position.

Two Chawke frees either side of Morkan’s next set piece made it 2-9 to 0-11 before Sean Gilchrist did well to hit a mid-range point from play and a puck out to give his side the next score, but it was quickly negated when opposite number 9 O’Regan scored his own point from play after another effective Murphy ball.

Paul Horkan did brilliantly to mop up the next Gabriel’s goal attempt and got it away to Morrissey whose ball down the line was carried by the wind advantage and went out wide.

Dangerous position

Using their bench to full effect substitute Cathal Kehoe would get the next point from play to give the Emmetts a five-point advantage which made it look like the game was dead and buried. But it made for a shaky climax as Gilchrist’s next long free in on goal fell in a dangerous position and Ian Makessey did brilliantly to make enough space in a crowded square to get his shot away and narrow the gap to just two points with just a few minutes to play. B

ut Chawke was able to be relied upon once more and scored his next free in injury time to quench any shot of a Gabriel’s comeback before Fergus McMahon pounced on the next loose ball to set up Morrissey for the last score of the game and a fourpoint win. Robert Emmetts go on to face the winners of the Ulster Intermediate Championship in the All- Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship on November 13.

Officials from Croke Park will be in attendance at this weekend’s football county final to inspect the pitch at Greenford to assess whether it is suitable to host the game, as traditionally London teams always have home advantage in the quarter finals, or if it will have to be played elsewhere.


ROBERT EMMETTS: Padge Buckley, Michael O Iaodha, Stephen Griffey, Conor Walsh, Tadhg Healy, Paul Horkan, Paddy Breen, Tomas Lawrence (0-1), Denis O’Regan (0-2), Keiran Morrisey (0-2), Richie Murphy, Mick Dwyer, Eoin Chawke (1-6, 6fs), Bill Walsh, Daryl Roberts (1-1) SUBSTITUTES: Eamonn Kenny for Griffey, Fergus McMahon for O’Regan, Cathal Kehoe (0-1) for Dwyer.

ST GABRIELS: James Barrett (0-1, 1f), Adam Holden, Fergus Fahy, Ronan Boyle, Enda Cooney, Neil Rogers (0- 1), David Coffey, Ronan Royston, Sean Gilchrist (0-1), Paddy Kelly, Michael Ivors (0- 6, 5fs 1 ’65), Frankie Tierney, Ian Makessey (1-0), Fiachra Connellan (0-1), Derek Morkan (0-2, 2fs) SUBSTITUTES: Tom Lally for Boyle, Luke Hands for Tierney, David O’Gorman for Kelly, Joe Corcoran for Coffey.

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