Connacht glory for deadly Davitts

Connacht Club IFC Final

Davitts 1-13

Padraig Pearses 0-8

They came to Kiltoom in their droves from Ballindine and Irishtown and they weren't disappointed on Saturday afternoon. Winning the Connacht intermediate title was the objective, but the manner that Davitts went about taking apart a very good Padraig Pearses side will live long in the memory. While Davitts have been in the wilderness of intermediate football for a good few years now, their opponents on Saturday, were as recently as three years ago taking part in a Roscommon senior championships final which went to a replay. Next up for Davitts is an All Ireland semi-final in the new year and despite what captain Michael Conroy said about taking some time off now to recharge themselves ahead of that challenge, if the south Mayo men where out in action in that semi-final as soon as next weekend it would be hard to bet against them.

Almost everything that they did on Saturday in Kitoom was the right thing. This was a victory born on the training fields in the dark of the new year, through hard work, endeavor and a unrelenting belief in their own abilities.

The aforementioned Conroy was in flying form again, kicking seven points and relentlessly looking for the ball and giving his marker something to think about for the entire 60 minutes. He was more than ably supported by Aiden McTigue and Fergal McGrath in the full forward, with both men chipping in with two points each. It wasn't just a case that Pearses could try and keep tabs on Conroy and hope that choked the scoring potential in the full forward line as either of the two other men were capable of causing them damage. Pat Coyne stationed at wing forward made a number of timely interventions in the game, with Paul Carey breaking more than even in the middle of the park. In defence Colm Boyle once again showed his class and inter county potential with a driving display in the number six shirt, while Kevin Gallagher at corner back was heroic when needed.

Early doors it looked like Davitts would run away with this game going into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead after seven minutes with McGrath, McTigue and Jonathan Clarke getting the early scores. Pearses’ pulled one back from a Mike Duignan free as they tried to feel their way back into the game. With the clock ticking up near 15 minutes, veteran goalkeeper Mark Diskin pulled off a great save from Pearses’ Emmet Kelly who was put clear after a slick passing moved down the heart of the Davitts defence. Michael Conroy kicked his first score of the game a minute later with Niall Daly responding for the Roscommon championship. Davitts went on to push out into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead shortly after but the Pearses men weren't going to bend their knee in defeat just yet and they valiantly fought back to pull the game level on the half hour mark. Full forward Paul Moran came into the game and kicked two quick points and was causing Frankie Barrett a lot of problems at full back. The other scores came from the boot of Niall Finneran and Aaron Feehily. But right at the death Michael Conroy won the ball on the right hand touch line, 21 yards out from goal and was hauled to the ground. From an almost impossible angle Conroy cut the ball over the bar with the outside of his right boot to put his side into a one point lead a the break.

That lead was doubled just 30 seconds after the restart when Fergal McGrath scored on the turn. Two minutes later Duignan scored his third point of the game and his sides last of the half as Davitts turned the screw. They tackled in packs, with controlled aggression rarely stepping over the line and fouling their men. The experienced Alan Roche came off the bench and calmed down the full back line which had looked like it could find itself in bother, Boyle drove on from defence while Conroy was electric in the corner. The captain kicked the next point winning the ball out in front of his man, before spinning and burning him for pace down the left hand side and cutting down the line before drifting the ball over the bar, McTigue fisted one over the bar. Pearses tried to get back into the game, but Davitts weren't going to let them as the constantly disrupted and turned over Pearses attacks. With nine minutes left on the clock, Conroy kicked another free. But the next score was the one that finally sealed the destination of the result. Ronan McNamara had been having an off day with his place kicking. He shaped up for a cut at a point from out on the right off the deck, his shot dropped short and through the hands of a defender on the line and into the net and with that Davitts place in the roll of honour in the Connacht intermediate championship was secure and their participation in the All Ireland series in the new year, was something they could start looking forward to.

Davitts: M Diskin; C Roche, F Barrett, K Gallagher; J Clarke (0-1 ), C Boyle, J Cummins; R McNamara (1-0 ), P Carey (0-1 ); K Prendergast, D McDonagh, P Coyne; A McTigue (0-2 ), F McGrath(0-2 ), M Conroy (0-7,2f ). Subs: A Roache, K Glynn, M Cosgrove, L Kearns, C O'Gara

Padraig Pearses: B Coffy; P Duke, P Kelly, C Dolphin; J Connell, N Daly (0-1 ), D Duffy; N Finneran (0-1 ), N Carty; A Feehily (0-1 ), J Clogher, D Grehan; E Kelly, J Egan (0-2 ), M Duignan (0-3, 2f ). Subs: C Daly (Blood Sub ), E Donoghue, C Kelly, C Kelly, D Whyte, D Grehan (Blood Sub ), C Daly

Ref: Michael Duffy (Sligo )


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