Moore grabs a late winner
Realt na Mara 3-9 St. Patrick's 3-8
A 61st-minute point from Réalt na Mara's Cormac Moore snatched victory with almost the last kick of the game in the Greenstar Gorey District Under-21 football Roinn 1 championship final in Craanford on Saturday.
It was certainly a well-timed minor for the winners' centre-forward, whose side had only spent about six minutes of the entire game in the lead when this score went between the posts.
Indeed, St. Patrick's looked the more ready for the occasion in the early stages, as John Doyle opened the scoring before pulling a good save from Réalt na Mara 'keeper Kiran Gigi.
However, they did find the net in the tenth and 15th minutes. Ashley Tully finished low after good work from Conor O'Leary and Conor Morris before Ciarán Murphy's shot took advantage of a Gigi slip in the goalmouth.
Between these Ballyoughter goals, their rivals had raised the green flag themselves to keep within touching distance. Billy Conroy tapped into an empty net after Moore's shot on goal was parried.
Eoin Corcoran and Michael Burke then added points to cut the deficit to two after 20 minutes (2-3 to 1-4).
Murphy and Doyle were on target again before the end of the half, but Réalt na Mara closed out the period strongest. Dylan Sweeney punched home after an impressive run and assist by James Fleming, before kicking a free between the posts to level the scores at the interval.
The second-half lacked some of the excitement that had been packed into the first 30 minutes. Morris and Burke were on target for their sides as St. Patrick's were matched with two minors apiece leading into the final quarter.
It was here that Réalt na Mara took a momentary lead, as Sweeney kicked over from close range in the 48th minute (2-8 to 2-7).
That advantage was shortlived. Tully finished low again from a move started by midfielder Michael Carroll, and perhaps St. Patrick's were starting to think that may be enough.
Réalt na Mara had been spending less and less time in the opposition's half as the game went on, but used one of their rare counters forward to raise the green flag for the third time themselves. Fleming coolly placed a left-footed shot into the side of the net to regain the lead.
Murphy levelled again in the 56th minute but, just as it looked like extra-time was imminent, Sweeney found Moore 40 metres from goal.
The Réalt na Mara man steadied himself before confidently kicking between the sticks to snatch victory as time expired, leaving his side with a county semi-final against Sarsfields in St. Patrick's Park next Saturday.
Réalt na Mara: Kiran Gigi; Killian Doyle, David Doran (capt.), Conor Doyle; Brian O'Connor, Tom Sinnott, Patrick Fleming; Cathal Dunbar (0-1), Eoin Corcoran (0-1); Michael Burke (0-2), Cormac Moore (0-1), Brendan Corcoran; James Fleming (1-0), Dylan Sweeney (1-4, 0-4 frees), Billy Conroy (1-0). Sub. - Darren Morris for Sinnott (54).
St. Patrick's: Jack Quinn; Glen Carton, Joe Cousins, Brendan Byrne; Ian Maguire, Kyle Byrne, Seán Redmond; Michael Carroll, Michael O'Brien; Ciarán Murphy (1-2), John Doyle (0-4, 2 frees), Conor O'Leary; Conor Morris (0-2), Cian Hogan, Ashley Tully (capt., 2-0).
Referee: James Owens (Kilrush).