History was created in Stewartstown,Tyrone, on Saturday when Galway’s Medtronic were crowned All Ireland Junior football champions for the first time.
Trailing by two points at the interval, Medtronic, with goals from Cathal Kenny and Michael Farragher in a 10-minute spell early in the second half, came out on top to land an historic success.
Medtronic had heroes all over the park. Time and time again Karl Dooher and Damien McHugh in the full back line put their bodies on the line, while Tomas Crowe marshalled a resilient half back line.
With Mike McNamara winning possesion at centre field and David Hogan pulling the strings on the 40, the Medtronic forwards Cathal Kenny, Michael Farragher and Mike Lundy provided most of the scoring threat inside.
Medtronic opened the scoring when Michael Farragher pointed in the sixth minute, but the Ulster champions were on top for the greater part of the first half. With Ronan McRory, Edward Laferty and Aidan Mallon kicking points both from play and placed balls, they opened up a five-point lead after 24 minutes.
Mike Lundy and Cathal Kenny kept the Galway men in touch, and were it not for the alertness of Conan Clarke in the Medtronic goa, it could have been worst for the westerners. However Medtronic finished the half the stronger with points from Barry O Donovan, Robert Holian and Lundy to close the gap to two at the break, 0-8 to 0-6.
Medtronic took up where they left off with a cracking goal after great work from Corofin duo David Morris and Mike Lundy put Cathal Kenny in the clear. Although the home outfit threw everything at their opponents, Medtronic’s full back line kept them at bay.
Crucially a long delivery from substitute Joe Canny found Michael Farragher inside, and his looping shot deceived John Kenny in the home goal to put Medtronic two up after 42 minutes.
With their tails up, Medtronic added points from McNamara, Farragher and Kenny, and although the Ulster side scored three late points, Medtronic, managed by Jimmy Heverin and Cormac O Connaire, held firm to record a historic victory after an epic battle.
Medtronic: C Clarke, R McDermott, K Dooher, D McHugh, T Monahan, T Crowe, R Rogers, R Holian (0-1 ), M McNamara (0-2 ), M Farragher (1-1 ), D Hogan, B O’Donovan (0-1 ), C Kenny (1-2 ), D Morris, M Lundy (0-2 ). Subs, J Canny, J Keane, M Kelly, G Cafferky.