Gerald's claim Connacht crown with late goal blitz

GAA: Connacht PPS SFC A Final

St Gerald's 3-11

St Attracta's 3-7

It was one of those games that had a bit of everything from cousins facing off against each other Colum Dravins for St Gerald's and Darragh Kilcoyne for St Attracta's, right through to the scoreboard failing to have a vital goal totted up on it as the game swung dramatically in favour of St Gerald's at the very end.

With 12 minutes gone in the contest there only looked like there was going to be one winner with St Attracta's coming flying out of the blocks and going into a 3-1 to 0-1 lead thanks to two goals from the penalty spot from the boot of Jason Perry and Darragh Kilcoyne sticking the other one past Cian Mitchell in the Gerald's goal in the middle of Perry's brace.

Gerald's did pull back an all important goal just after the quarter of an hour mark when Castlebar Mitchels Philip Ruddy scored the first of his three goals on the day. Scoring a hat-trick in a Connacht final would normally get you the man-of-the-match award, but that gong went to Gerald's full back Paddy Burke who put in a huge shift at the back driving his side on when they needed to and battening down the hatches after their shaky start. Both sides kept the scoreboard moving over the final ten minutes of the first half and the Sligo men went in leading by 3-4 to 1-6 at the break. With Mayo u21 man Michael Plunkett kick four points for Gerald's in the first half and Perry and Brian Morahan kicking the points for Attracta's.

The first 20 minutes of the second half saw both sides tacking on a few scores each with Attracta's leading by 3-7 to 1-11 going down the home straight. But with five minutes to go Gerald's got the break they were looking for when Ruddy was played in by Gareth Dunne for his second goal to put the Mayo men one point in front. Attracta's threw everything at Gerald's but failed to do so and with time running out, Ruddy got in behind the Tubbercurry side's defence once more and put the result to bed, even if the scoreboard in the ground didn't reflect it. Gerald's now go on to face Pobalscoil Corca Dhuibhne in the Hogan Cup semi-final on March 29.

St Gerald's – C Mitchell; C Dravins (0-1 ), P Bourke, S Kelly; D Morrin, M Hall, S Conlon; R Comer, D Gibbons; R Collins (0-1 ), M Plunkett (0-6,4f ), S McDermott (0-1 ); P Ruddy(3-0 ) , G Dunne (0-1 ), J O'Malley (0-1 ). Subs:J Byrne for O'Malley (h-t ), J Maughan for Conlon (BC 51 ).

St Attracta's – E McDonagh; P Gorman, E McGuinness, A Kearns JP Lang, C Gilmartin, P Bourke; S Connolly, O Kennedy; B Morahan (0-2 ), N O'Dowd, N Mullen (0-1 ); J Perry(2-2, 2p ) L Reilly, D Kilcoyne (1-2 ). Subs: G Perry for Perry (h-t ), K Gavigan for Lang (35 ), Doyle for Connolly (BC 57 ).

Ref – M Flaherty (Galway ).

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