Taghmon tops in classic
TAGHMON-CAMROSS sensationally came out on top in one the year's great games to claim the Under-16 Division 2 football championship title in St. Patrick's Park.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn were the unfortunate runners-up in a superb contest that swung back and forth and back again until the New Ross District boys drained the final, devastating goal deep into extra-time.
It was Stephen O'Gorman who floated home that clinching goal from just outside the '20, his third major strike of the game, to end the previously undying resistance of their gallant opponents.
Having come into the contest as underdogs, after comfortably losing the meeting between the sides earlier in the championship, Crossabeg-Ballymurn showed no signs of being overawed as they raced into an interval lead (0-6 to 04).
Paddy Devereux and Noel Scanlon both grabbed opening period braces but the Wexford District side were given a real fillip at the beginning of the second period when Paul Larrissey's floated ball bounced between forwards and defenders and looped into the roof of the net.
Down by six (1-7 to 0-4) with 20 minutes left, and looking in big trouble, four crazy minutes turned the game on its head.
Keelan Jackson stroked a penalty into the top-left corner of the net before O'Gorman grabbed his opening goal when making the most of Stuart Murphy's accurate long pass.
That spell ended with points from Ian Carty and O'Gorman as Taghmon-Camross took the lead for the third time. Crossabeg-Ballymurn are made of solid stuff and hit back to level and then regained the lead when goalkeeper Ben Turner converted a free with 90 seconds remaining.
Back came Luke Sinnott to level for Taghmon-Camross as normal time expired, but substitute Nicholas Murphy replied with what looked to be the winner two minutes into added time (1-11 to 2-7).
That wasn't counting on Sinnott pointing for the third time under pressure from the left side of the posts to send this pulsating match to extra-time.
Not showing any disappointment from the normal-time near miss, CrossabegBallymurn goaled again in the 65th minute when Noel Scanlon's scuffed shot trickled into the corner of Jack Dunne's net, but a lead that stood at three at the interval (2-13 to 2-10) didn't last long after it.
O'Gorman was on hand to lash home 20 seconds after the re-start to level the contest, and Taghmon-Camross would never be headed again as the champions' centre-forward rounded off his hattrick late on to allow captain Brendan Cullen to collect the cup on behalf of his victorious side.
The Crossabeg-Ballymurn club is having a memorable year and, although finishing on the wrong side of the scoreline in this one for a change, they still contributed a great deal to a memorable final.
Taghmon- Camross: Jack Dunne; Anthony Coady, Noel Dunne, Anthony Doyle; Shane Doyle, Adam Winters, Eoin Banville; Ian Carty (0-5, 4 frees, 1 '45), Stephen Stafford; Barry Og McGrath, Stephen O'Gorman (3-1), Brendan Cullen (capt., 0-1); Stuart Murphy, Luke Sinnott (0-5), Keelan Jackson (1-0 pen.). Subs. - Daryl Murphy for McGrath, Johnny Murphy for Winters, inj., also Declan Carroll, Stephen O'Gorman, Darren Hayden, Stephen O'Keeffe, David O'Keeffe, Conor Hogan.
Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner (0-3, 2 '45s, 1 free); Ronan Devereux, Dean Nurney, Patrick Cullen; Theo Doyle, Eoin O'Connor, Oisín Foley; Sam Kelly (0-1 free), Paddy Devereux (0-2); Conor Maddock (0-1), Robert Byrne, Luke Lacey; Noel Scanlon (1-4, 0-1 free), Paul Larrissey (1-2), Darragh Cummins. Subs. - Nicholas Murphy (0-1) for Cummins, Dylan Ring for Lacey, David Kehoe for Byrne, inj., also Aaron Ryan, Conor Barlow, Luke Redmond, Conor Murphy, James White, Aaron Lambert.
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).