A massive crowd turned up to watch the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn A Boys' Football final played in Taghmon on Thursday last. The atmosphere was electric as Piercestown and Rathangan took to the field. The men from St Annes were fast out of the blocks and led by four points after ten minutes. Rathangan's movement created havoc in the Piercestown defence and only for some super saves from goalie Ryan Sinnott the boys in blue and navy could have been out of sight.
Kevin Byrne and Paidi Doyle dominated the opening exchanges and created plenty of chances for the Rathangan forward line. Conor Sidney kicked a lovely point and the lively Justin McMahon raised the green flag with a cool finish. Piercestown eventually settled and Alfie Jeffers and James Hegarty won plenty of possession which enabled the boys in maroon to build attacks. Luke Whitty kicked a sublime point and Con Mernagh followed it with another to leave the half time score at 1:5 to 0:4 in favour of Rathangan.
Piercestown started the second half at a ferocious pace and wiped out the 4 point deficit within 2 minutes. The goal was scored by Alex Lafferty after a long ball in from midfield bounced his way. Rathangan responded immediately with a goal and a point of their own. McMahon scored his second goal of the match after some great inter play from the Rathangan forwards.
Piercestown refused to lie down and scored the next four points to level matters with 10 minutes remaining. Never before has so much tension, drama and excitement been squeezed into 10 minutes. The players from both teams put their bodies on the line in search of victory with some heroic defending on view. The crowd was at fever-pitch by the time Alex Lafferty kicked a point to give Piercestown a one point lead.
There was still time for Rathangan to work the ball up to full forward Jack Kelly who produced a marvellous catch and shot on the turn. The crowd watched with bated breath as the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the left hand post. The final whistle saw Piercestown crowned champions and both teams were deservedly clapped off the field. The passion, bravery and determination on show demonstrated just how much these boys value a Rackard league medal.
Piercestown: Ryan Sinnott, Adam Newport, Josh Cooney, Leo Barry, Kevin O Mahoney, Eoin Sinnott, Ben Larkin, Oscar Barry, Alex Lafferty, Conn Mernagh, James Hegarty, Alfie Jeffares, Cormac Simpson, Conor Mullan, Bobby Crosbie, Luke Whitty, Charlie Quirke, Sam McLoughlin, Conor Maher, Rory Roche, Ciaran Kelly, Eoin Quirke, Eoin Dodd, Eric O Gorman, Brooklyn Meyler,Smith, John Dwyer, Niall Hamilton, Luke Molloy, Adam Connick, Eoin Dunne.
Rathangan: David McDonagh, Joe Cunningham, Shane Ryan, Páidí Power, Eoin Browne, Paídí Doyle, Conor Stone-Walsh, Aidan Brennan, Bobby Reville, Kevin Byrne, Robert Moore, Conor Sidney, Ciarán Doyle, Jack Kelly, Justin McMahon, Darragh Jones, Jason McKevitt, Corey Ryan, Darragh O'Brien.