St Gabriels are back where they belong as they make it 18 London SHC titles.
St Gabriels triumphed in a keenly contested McAleer & Rushe London Senior Hurling Championship final at McGovern Park on Sunday after a six-point win over their great rivals Robert Emmett’s.
Those who made the trip to McGovern Park were rewarded with a high-scoring contest, with the majority of the scores coming from play. It was a fitting end to an entertaining championship season as all but 1- 07 came from placed balls.
St Gabriels got straight into the grove and had 1- 04 on the board before Robert Emmett’s managed to raise a flag in the 7th minute, the early goal coming from Conor O’Carroll. Yet by the 17th minute Emmetts were back on level terms at 1-07 apiece. After the torrential early morning rain, which at one stage threatened whether or not the game would go ahead, both teams made light of the underfoot conditions as they focused on the prize and some superb scores from both sides left the large crowd full of anticipation as the teams left the field for a well-earned halftime break. St Gabriels had closed out the half with a cracking goal from Conor O’Carroll which was followed up with an Eoin Kelly free on the stroke of halftime. The score St Gabriels 2-09 – Robert Emmett’s 1-09
The determination of St Gabriels to make up for the hurt of losing the previous three county finals was evident as they upped the pace on the resumption and had crafted a 3-11 to 1-9 lead by the 39th minute after Sean Glynn powered through to smash the ball to the back of the net for Gabriel’s third goal. The defending champions were struggling to contain the movement and hunger of Gabriels and yet they clawed their way back into the contest. Kevin O Loughlin blasted a penalty to the net and suddenly Emmetts were back in it. With eight minutes remaining, the scoreboard had St Gabriels 3 – 13 to Robert Emmetts 2-12 and it was all to play for. Emmett’s were piling on the pressure, St Gabriels refused to buckle and a relieving clearance from the heart of the Gabriels defence was flicked into the path of Shane Lawless who burst clean through and took route one towards goal with just Tommy Wallace between him and glory. Lawless made no mistake and the Gabriels supporters in the stand could finally believe the Tommy Harrell cup was within their grasp. Jack Goulding followed up with a sweet strike to make it 4-14 to 2-12 with 3 minutes remaining on the clock. Though Emmetts managed a consolation goal in injury time, time was against them and Conor O’Carroll closed out the scoring with a sublime effort to bring his personal tally for the day to 2 – 04. The joy of winning the club’s 18th title unleashed unbridled joy as Dan Sutton blew the final whistle.
The final score:- St.Gabriels 4 -15 Robert Emmett’s 3 -12
St Gabriels: Podge Collins, Lee Murphy, Tadgh Linnane, Geoff Kingston, William Brazil, Sean Glynn 1-0, Niall Geoghegan 0-1, Matthew Freaney, Rory Lodge 0-1, Paddy Naughton 0-1, Conor O’Carroll 2-04, Padraic Mullen 0-2, Oisin Royston 0-1, Jack Goulding 0-3(1f), Eoin Kelly 0-2(2f). Subs: Shane Lawless 1-0 for Kelly (42min) Niall Broderick for Naughton (52min) Ger Hennelly for Glynn (60 + 3min), Niall Eames for Freaney (60+3min).
Robert Emmetts: Tommy Wallace, Eoin Phelan, Cahir Healy, Walter Holohan, Killian Burke, Paddy McNaughton, Jonathan McCarthy, Emmet Laverty 0-3(1f), Ronan McGrady, Fionn O Riain Broin 0-1, Benny McGarry 2-0, Donal Hannon 0-3 (1f,1’65), Kevin O Loughlin 1-2 (1-0 Pen,0-1 f), Eoin O Neill 0-1 Cian Lordan 0-2. Subs: Kevin Fennelly for McNaughton (37min), Ronan Crowley for McGrady (47 min), Kieran Morrisey for O’Loughlin (50min), Alan O’Leary for O’Riain Broin (53 min), Sean Lordan for Cian Lordan (58min).
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