AIB club SFC final: Gall's too good for Kilmurry

March 17, 2010

St. Gall's Rory Gallagher holds off Aidan Cummins of Kilmurry-Ibrickane during the AIB All-Ireland club SFC final at Croke Park - INPHO
St. Gall's (Antrim) 0-13
Kilmurry-Ibrickane (Clare) 1-5

St. Gall's are AIB All-Ireland club SFC winners after a comfortable five point win over Kilmurry-Ibrickane at Croke Park this afternoon.

Brushing aside their All-Ireland SFC Club final defeat of 2006 to Salthill-Knockcarra and the more recent All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling final loss, wasn't done pretty but St Galls were still worthy victory following a dogged encounter.

Moloney's first minute goal saw the game sparkle to life early on, but following this early moment of brilliance it was a more grounded and workmanlike St Galls who took control.

Outscoring their opponents by seven points to one over the remainder of the opening half, St Galls quickly established themselves as likely winners.

A sixth minute Conor McGourty point cut the deficit to the minimum, but it wasn't until the start of the second quarter before St Gall's really got motoring with a flurry of scores.

Aodhan Gallagher, Conor McGourty, defender Anthony Healy and Kevin McGourty all added points in a seven-minute spell as Galls claimed a 0-6 to 1-0 lead by the 24th minute.

Indeed the Falls Road outfit were also handed a goal-scoring opportunity during this spell, but a side-body block by defender Martin McMahon denied Conor McGourty in the 23rd minute.

Kilmurry edged back following a John Daly pointed free - his sides first scored in 24 minutes, as Galls continued to dominate possession.

Lenny Harbinson's charges were keen for scores, and Terry O'Neill and Kevin McGourty obliged before the break to ensured an 0-8 to 1-1 interval lead.

Eager for a first All-Ireland club title in their centenary year, St Galls failed to ease up on the restart.

Kevin Niblock, Conor McGourty and Sean Burke kicked fine points from play to edged their side to a 0-11 to 1-1 lead in the 39th minute.

Kilmurry manager Michael McDermott called for reinforcements with Clare Senior player Odhran O'Dwyer and Mark McCarthy introduced.

While this helped to stem the tide somewhat, as Kilmurry-Ibrickane hit their best spell of the game, St Galls had done enough ground-work in the opening half to hold out for victory.

Goal-scorer Maloney broke through for Kilmurry's first point of the second half in the 44th minute, but St Galls provided an immediate response as Fermanagh senior player Rory Gallagher sent over his only point of the hour.

A brace of Maloney points cut the gap to five points with as many minutes left on the clock, but the St Galls defence were resiliant.

Centre-half-forward Ian McInerney went in search of a goal in the 58th minute, but was met by a firm block as Galls continued to perform well at the back.

Michael O'Dwyer snuck through for a late point with time nearly up, but it was mere consolation for the West Clare outfit, as a second point from the boot of Kevin Niblock ensured a five-point St Galls victory

After the game St Galls captain Colin Brady accepted Andy Merrigan Cup from GAA President Christy Cooney.

St Gall's - Ronan Gallagher; P Veronica, A McClean, C Brady; M Kelly, A Healy (0-01), S Kelly; S Burke (0-01), A Gallagher (0-01); T O'Neill (0-01), Rory Gallagher (0-1), Kevin McGourty (0-02); C McGourty (0-03, 1f), K Niblock (0-02), Kieran McGourty (0-01). Subs: K Stewart for O'Neill (46); S Burns for Burke (54); S Kennedy for Veronica (59).

Kilmurry-Ibrickane - D O'Brien; D Hickey, M Kileen, M McMahon; S Hickey, E Coughlan, D Callinan; P O'Connor, P O'Dwyer; M Hogan, I McInerney, S Moloney (1-03, 1f); M O'Dwyer (0-01), J Daly (0-01, f), N Downes. Subs: E Talty for Hogan (12); O O'Dwyer for Talty (33); M McCarthy for P O'Connor (42); P O'Dwyer for Downes (53).

Ref - Derek Fahy (Longford)

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