Castlerahan’s perseverance finally paid off at Kingspan Breffni today.
After finishing on the wrong end of the scoreline in the last three Cavan SFC finals, the Ballyjamesduff outfit got its hands on the coveted Oliver Plunkett Cup for the first time ever courtesy of a one-point defeat of Crosserlough in front of a 8,469 crowd at the Cavan town venue.
Donal Keogan’s charges timed their run to perfection when overturning a six-point deficit in the final quarter to prevail by the narrowest of margins.
A second-half James Smith goal put Crosserlough in the driving seat but the winners responded with two goals of their own from Oisin O’Connell and Sean Brady.
O’Connell – who finished as the game’s top scorer with 1-3 – was quickest to react to the rebound after Enda Flanagan’s penalty attempt was saved by Anthony Smith.
Brady’s 51st minute goal got the winners back on level terms before county star Cian Mackey sent over a free which proved to be the difference between the teams at referee Conor Dourneen’s final whistle.
Castlerahan - J Leahy; S Cooney, F Reilly, E O'Connell; P Smith, C Daly, E Flanagan (0-3); D Wright, P Smith; S McSweeney, B Ennis, C Mackey (0-4f); O O'Connell (1-3), R Flanagan, S Brady (1-1). Sub: K Cosgrove for B Ennis.
Crosserlough - A Smith; D Shalvey, P O'Reilly, J Cooke; M Stuart (0-2), D McVeety, S McVeety; J Smith (1-0), P McEvoy (0-1); S Smith (0-2), P Smith (0-5, 2f), D Gaffney (0-1); C Rehill, E Gaffney, P Lynch (0-2, 1'45). Subs: B McKiernan for E Gaffney, B Boylan for D Gaffney, E Smith for S McVeety.
Referee - C Dourneen.