Junior ‘B’ Football Champs!

Pearses 2-8 Oughterard 2-5: Pearses captured a fifth Football title in twelve months, as they defeated Oughterard in the Junior ‘B’ Championship final played yesterday in Pearse Stadium. After a slow start, Pearses ‘stormed’ into the game but still trailed by three at half-time. A big second-half seen them overturn the deficit to emerge as Champions at the final whistle.

Oughterard flew out of the starting blocks and led 1-2 to 0-1 after seven minutes. There were two goal chances for Pearses as they settled into the game. The keeper saved well on both occasions from Damien Wynne and Enda Cunniffe. Six minutes then elapsed before the next score, a point from Cunniffe. Pearses had stemmed the early onslaught and were beginning shape the game to their terms. Gary Lally, Tom Flannery and Sean Hardiman working hard in the middle third. The hard work payed off as Kerrill Hardiman goaled on the 16th minute to level the game, 1-2 apiece. On the 28th minute Oughterard goaled again and two minutes later followed it up with a pointed free. The final score of the half was a pointed free from Cunniffe. The score 2-3 to 1-3 at half-time.

Pearses, with the wind, controlled the second half and outscored their opponents 1-5 to 0-2. Nineteen minutes passed before Oughterard’s first point, with Pearses having added four by that stage. Cunniffe with three and Damien Wynne, who was a constant threat to the Oughterard defence with the other. Captain and eventual Man of the match Gary Lally was a driving force from half-back, bursting forward to assist the attack with telling effect.

The game was poised for a big finish at 2-4 to 1-7. Then the decisive score of the game, as ‘Wynner’ slipped the cover at the back and buried a beauty of a goal, in off the right post. There was still plenty of time left for Oughterard to recover, but in the final 10 minutes the teams shared just a point apiece as Pearses ‘battoned down the hatches’ and retained possession impressively.
Gary Lally collected the Canon Oliver Hughes cup to round off another fine year for the Club’s footballers. They will now progress as Champions to Junior ‘A’ level next year and will hope to build on their rapid progress.

Eleven of the panel were also part of the Junior Hurling panel which defeated Ballinderreen in the Championship Semi-Final today (Sunday), less than 24 hours after their Football success! Congrats to the panel and their dedicated management team of James Clancy, Noel Burke, Adrian Queeney and John Lally.

Pearses: J Flannery; T Broderick, K Donnellan, P Lally; T McDonagh, L Murphy, G Lally; T Flannery, L Morrissey; S Hardiman, E Cunniffe (0-6), R Lally; D Wynne (1-1), D Skehill, K Hardiman (1-0). Subs used: A Finn, R Bellew (0-1), R Carr, E Ward.