1992 Championship Win - Reports
 The Final

THE SLIGO CHAMPION    Friday, Sept. 18th 1992



Superior Gaels celebrate in style 

Blistering start paves the way for Riverstown side 

SHAMROCK GAELS……………..2-11      ST. PAT’S………………………….. 0-8


CONFIRMING their overwhelming favoritism, Shamrock Gaels won the Co. Sligo senior championship title with a comprehensive nine point win over St. Pat’s at Markievicz Park on Sunday last. 

The outcome of a largely one-sided contest was rarely in doubt after a blistering start by the Gaels, who celebrated twenty-one years in football by taking the Owen B. Hunt Trophy for the second time since 1990. Struggling desperately to retrieve the situation St. Pat’s did improve somewhat after the interval, but they were always chasing the game against a much more cohesive and fluent Gaels’ team. And when Mick Kenny struck for the Gaels’ second goal twenty-one minutes into the second half it served simply to confirm the inevitable. Yet in the second quarter the Riverstown men picked off only two further points before the break and had kicked a total of twelve wides at the interval. St. Pat’s obviously needed a quick response and reshuffled their resources at the half-way mark. They did pull a quick point back, but the Gaels were not to be denied despite the determination of the men from Skreen/Dromard. 

The pattern for what was to follow was to follow was established early and the Gaels scored the first point after just thirty seconds, Mick Kenny opening their account. Experienced St. Pat’s full-back, Declan Foley, looked surprisingly uneasy in the opening period and after four minutes the Dromard goalkeeper, Stanley Clarke, attempted to find Foley with a quick kick-out. He, however, lost the ball and Enda Deignan recorded the Gaels’ second point. A good combination involving Noel McKenna and Johnny Kenny opened the way for Bernard Mulhern to make it three points to no score in the fifth minute, before Karl Kearins was off target with a free for St. Pat’s. Bernard Mulhern added the Gaels’ fourth point in the eighth minute when Foley was robbed by the alert Tommy Deignan and he set up the wing back for his second score of the game. 

Little was seen of St. Pat’s as an attacking force and they had great difficulty in getting good ball into midfield. Peter Brady did have a harmless shot wide in the tenth minute and two minutes later the Gaels struck for their first goal. It came when Cormac Kearns worked the ball into Enda Deignan and with Stanley Clarke stranded, he found the target to put the Gaels seven points in front and an ominous look on proceedings for St. Pat’s. Another unforced error saw Karl Kearins free kick blocked down and Lauri Quinn pointed in the 14th minute.

In a bid to thwart the threat of Bernard Mulhern, St. Pat’s moved Mark Boland out from the full-forward position, but the Gaels continued to press and a minute later Enda and Tommy Deignan combined with the half-forward recording another good score. 

The Gaels were to add just two more points between there and half-time and two points were also all that St. Pat’s could manage in reply.
Tom Mahon paved the way for Mark Boland to open the St. Pat’s account in the 17th minute and the Gaels kicked two wides before Tommy Deignan scored in the 24th minute. Sixty seconds later Seamus Reilly pointed for St. Pat’s and the men from the West Division missed another chance two minutes from half-time when Reilly passed to Tom Mahon, who in turn shot wide. St. Pat’s made a number of positional changes at the start of the second half, with Peter Brady going to centre-half forward from the half-back line, Tom Mahon slotting in at full-forward, James Clarke taking Brady’s position and Gerry Boland going into the corner. 

In the opening minute, and with St. Pat’s showing increased determination, Brady had a shot wide and when Seamus Reilly picked up possession in midfield, he also missed the target a minute later. Brady did get St. Pat’s third point thirty seconds later following a poor kickout from Gaels’ goalkeeper Michael Tuohy. The West Division side introduced Fergus Sweeney for T.C. Conlon after four minutes and two minutes later Tom Mahon shot wide for St. Pat’s. Good support play from Mick Kenny and Noel McKenna saw Enda Deignan hit a point for the Gaels in the 9th minute and a minute later Lauri Quinn shot over from a free-kick dead straight in front of the goal. 

Quinn was then wide with a shot a minute later, before Tom Mahon scored a much-needed point for St. Pat’s to leave the score 1-10 to 0-4 twelve minutes into the second half. Mahon added another quick point and a minute later there were seven points between the teams when Karl Kearins scored from a free after Fergus Sweeney was fouled. Just as St. Pat’s threatened to get back into the game Hugo Reilly and Karl Kearins, from a free kick, both saw efforts go wide and any remote chance of a comeback ended within a minute. Noel McKenna hit a well taken point in the 21st minute and then the Gaels struck for their second goal when Stanley Clarke left his goal to try and collect Johnny Kenny’s long kick upfield. The ball went over the head of the Pat’s goalkeeper and Mick Kenny was left with the simplest of chances to find the net. The scoring was completed with two points from Karl Kearins, the first from a free five minutes from time after Tom Mahon was fouled in possession.           

Just before the end the Gaels’ Padraig McKeon had his name taken for a personal foul and he was replaced by club captain, Noel Willis who had been ruled out from the staring line-up because of injury. Thus, the Gaels took their second senior championship title in three years. 

Throughout they were the more purposeful side and their enterprise brought a full deserved win for the Riverstown side. Though not under undue pressure for most of the contest, the Gaels’ rearguard remained assured and Padraig McKeon, Brendan Deignan and Michael Conlon were competent in the full-back line. Bernard Mulhern was one of the most influential figures in the Gaels’ side from his half-back position, while Johnny Kenny and Gerry Ballantyne won the midfield battle in the first half with St. Pats Karl Kearins and Seamus Reilly coming more into this sector after the break. Tommy Deignan and Noel McKenna were lively half-forwards, while the experienced Lauri Quinn added some significant scores. Cormac Kearns, one of the most under-estimated players in the county, Michael Kenny and Enda Deignan were equally effective along the full-forward line. For a disappointing St. Pat’s side, Declan Foley settled somewhat after a shaky start and Peter Brady’s contribution improved significantly when he switched from the half-back line at the start of the second half. Karl Kearins and Seamus Reilly worked hard throughout, but it was obvious that the Dromard side were missing the influence of player-manager, James Kearins from a lack-lustre forward line. St. Pat’s obviously went into the game as outsiders and so the plot proved as the Gaels celebrated their 21st birthday in fine style. 

Scorers, Shamrock Gaels, Enda Deignan (1-2), M. Kenny (1-1), B. Mulhern, T. Deignan (0-2), J. Kenny, L. Quinn, N. McKenna (0-1).      St. Pat’s, K. Kearins (0-3), T. Mahon (0-2), M. Boland, S. Reilly, P. Brady (0-1). 

Shamrock Gaels:  Michael Tuohy, Padraig McKeon, Brendan Deignan, Michael Conlon, James Kearns, John Lyons, Bernard Mulhern, Johnny Kenny, Gerry Ballantyne, Tommy Deignan, Lauri Quinn, Noel McKenna, Cormac Kearns, Michael Kenny, Enda Deignan. Sub., Noel Willis (Capt) for P. McKeon.

St. Pat’s: S. Clarke, T. Kilgallen, D. Foley, D. Hennigan, P. Brady, P. Kilgallen, J. Dorran, K. Keevans, S. Reilly, T. Mahon, G. Boland, J. Clarke, T.C. Conlon, M. Boland, H. Reilly. Sub., F. Sweeney for T.C. Conlon. 

Referee: T. Gallen.

 The Semi Final



SHAMROCK GAELS  2-8           CURRY  1-5


CHAMPIONSHIP favourites Shamrock Gaels had a six point winning margin over Curry in the second semi-final clash at Maugheraboy in what was a repeat of the 1990 county decider which was also won by the men from the East division.

The strong cross wind made ball control very difficult but taking this into account it was still a very poor encounter devoid of much constructive football at any stage. 

Despite having a six point advantage at the end, it was a far from convincing performance by the Gaels. Their defence looked far from secure in particular in the opening thirty minutes. Curry's chances took a severe setback as early as the third minute when corner back,  P.J. Burke was sent to the line for an off the ball incident with Enda Deignan. They overcame their numerical disadvantage with great determination for the rest of the opening half and took the game to the Gaels at every opportunity. They were very much in contention at the interval, only one point in arrears but early in the second half their chances were again dented when influential mid-fielder Michael Hayes had to leave the action with a hand injury. His departure was something they were not able to overcome. He had been playing with a lot of spirit in the middle and his ball winning ability was missed considerably when he left the action. 

It was only after Hayes had departed the scene that the Gaels enjoyed the better of the battle in the middle. Up until this, Johnny Kenny and Gerry Ballantyne were anything but convincing, winning very little clean possession. Indeed throughout the hour precious few balls were won in the air by either side.Tommy Deignan had a very useful hour at right half forward for the Gaels, causing the Curry defence all sorts of problems with his penetrating runs. His brother, Enda, was also very involved up front as were Mick Kenny, Cormac Kearns and Noel McKenna but once again they tended to use the short passing game far too much when the long delivery might have brought about much more rewards in the conditions that prevailed. 

At the back Benny Deignan always seemed secure as did Padraig McKeon but the half line were under pressure for long periods where Alan Loftus and Enda Henry were very prominent. Paul Durkin battled bravely all through for the losers as did Tommy Howley, Michael Haran, Aidan Colleary and Michael Hayes until his injury but the extra man was also a vital factor, in the second half in particular. Within sixty seconds of the start the winners had the ball in the net from Mick Kenny but it was disallowed for a square infringement. Johnny Kenny missed from a free before Burke received his marching orders. Another six minutes elapsed before the first score was registered, a well taken point for the men from the South division by Alan Loftus when he was allowed acres of space to run through and fire past Michael Tuohy. It was a score for which the Gaels defence were badly at fault. The winners responded from the kick out when a high lob from Tommy Deignan was flicked to the net by Mick Kenny. Enda Deignan missed from play before Curry went back in front with a well taken point from play by Pascal Gallagher, fourteen minutes into the half. Aidan Colleary missed from play as the game entered the second quarter and the winners were soon back on level terms when 'Gerry Ballantyne pointed from play. 

Alan Loftus opted for a shot at goal on two occasions when a point was for the taking and Enda Henry missed from a free, after Michael Haran was fouled by Tommy Deignan. Five minutes from the break Henry again missed from a free after he was fouled himself. Two minutes from the interval another Loftus attempt was saved by Michael Tuohy. Tommy Deignan missed an easy chance for the Gaels but deep into injury time they went in front when Johnny Kenny converted a 45. 

Within sixty seconds of the restart, the winners had extended their lead with a point from play by Tommy Deignan and this was followed by a point from a free by Johnny Kenny after Lauri Quinn was fouled. Enda Henry missed from a free and Tommy Howley had similar luck from play before the Gaels took a firm stranglehold on the game nine minutes into the half when a shot from Cormac Kearns was blocked by Tommy Gannon who was unable to hold possession and Enda Deignan following up, planted the ball to the net. A minute later, Noel McKenna was fouled but the free from Lauri Quinn was short of the target and was cleared to safety. Enda Henry reduced the deficit with a point from a free but the Gaels responded with a similar score from Enda Deignan after he was put in possession from a pass by his brother, Tommy. As the game entered the final quarter, Enda Henry had a well taken point from play and a minute later Pascal Gallagher missed a good chance from play on the right. It was Cormac Kearns who found the range for the winners eleven minutes from the finish after an enterprising run by Enda Deignan but Curry kept battling bravely against the odds and they hit back with a point from a free by Enda Henry after Michael Haran was fouled. 

Five minutes from the finish Lauri Quinn converted a free for a foul on Cormac Kearns. A minute later Tommy Deignan pointed from play after he got possession from a quick free after Noel McKenna was fouled. Two minutes from the finish Paul Durkin had the final score of the game, a point from play but their best effort for a goal was well contained by the Gaels defence. 

Scorers: Shamrock Gaels: E. Deignan (1-1), M. Kenny (1-0), J. Kenny and T. Deignan (0-2 each), C. Kearns, L. Quinn and G. Ballantine (0-1 each).  Curry: A. Loftus (1-0), E. Henry (0-3), P. Gallagher and P. Durkin (0-1 each). 

Shamrock Gaels: Michael Tuohy, Padraig McKeon, Brendan Deignan, Michael Conlon, James Kearns, Bernard Mulhern, Sean Potter, Gerry Ballantyne, Johnny Kenny, Tommy Deignan, Lauri Quinn, Noel McKenna, Cormac Kearns, Michael Kenny, Enda Deignan. Sub.: Ronan Ballantyne. 

Curry: T. Gannon, M. Marren, P. Hayes, P.J. Burke, D. Henry, P. Durkin, T. Howley, M. Haran, M. Hayes, D. Henry, E. Henry, A. Loftus, P. Gallagher, A. Colleary, J. Henry. Subs.: J. Stenson and F Henry 

Referee: Eddie Watters.

 The Quarter Final


Gaels stay on course but need to improve 

Shamrock Gaels ………….2 – 9       Eastern Harps…………….1 - 8 

By Michael Moran

In a game which never reached pre-match expectations, favourites Shamrock Gaels remained on course for the county senior championship after a four point win over Eastern Harps at Maugheraboy on Sunday last. After a rather shaky start the Gaels recovered sufficiently to take their place in the semi-fma1, but there remains plenty of scope for further improvement. Eastern Harps, meanwhile, will be disappointed with their display in their championship debut. Playing with the strong wind in the first half they began well enough, but a total of six wides undermined their efforts. Harps were four points to one ahead with seven minutes remaining to the break, but two Shamrock Gae1s goals from Johnny Kenny and Noel McKenna changed the entire trend of the game and the Riverstown side were never to be hauled back. 

Following their opening championship encounter against St Nathy's, the Gaels made a number of changes on their return to the venue where they last claimed the Owen B. Hunt trophy. Club captain, Noel Willis, recovered from injury to slot in at his regular corner-back berth, with Benny Deignan moving to full-back and John Lyons moving out to centre-half back. Paul Corcoran was omitted from the forward line, with Larry Quinn returning at centre-half forward. Quinn was later switched to midfield in the second-half, with Gerry Ballantine dropping back. The Harps line-up was along predicted lines, but they lost captain, Seamus Fox in the first ­half and Sean Flannery was also substituted by Brian Kielty, but later returned to the action.

When Fox was penalised for handling the ball on the ground in the fourth minute Johnny Kenny stepped up to put Shamrock Gaels ahead with a well placed free. Marty O'Grady had Harps level later and a point from play from Paul Taylor put them into a 6th minute lead. John Higgins and P.J. Langton set up Peter Walsh for Harps' third point and the centre-half forward added another from a free in the 10th minute. The Gaels at this stage were not playing with any great degree of fluency and they were relieved that Harps squandered a number of scoreable chances. Walsh hit the post from a free­-kick after Shamrock Gaels' goalkeeper Michael Tuohy was penalised for lifting the ball off the ground. Seven minutes before the interval the Gaels broke for the first of their two goals. It came when Enda Deignan's pass released Johnny Kenny and Harps goalkeeper Morgan McCormack will be disappointed that he didn't prevent Kenny's shot entering the net. 

The sides were now level and the Gae1s immediately settled and took the lead when Cormac Kearns picked off a good point from the right. Two minutes before half-time the Riverstown side struck for their second goal. This time Mick Kenny put Johnny Kenny through and when his effort was blocked Noel McKenna followed up to stab the ball home. On the stroke of the interval, Sean Higgins reduced the deficit with a long range point after his shot crashed off the crossbar and went over. 

Shamrock Gaels were now benefittting from the wind and within thirty seconds of the restart Johnny Kenny’s pass was punched over the bar by Mick Kenny. Niall Molloy responded with a good solo effort for Harps before Johnny Kenny kicked a free after he was tripped by John Higgins. The Shamrock Gaels defence had a few anxious moments in the 8th minute with Harps trying desperately to find a route to goal, which proved unproductive. Denis Chambers had a point for Harps in the 13th minute but Larry Quinn, now operating in midfield, replied with a good free from distance two minutes later. Tommy Deignan and P.J. Langton traded points before Quinn's left-footed "45" increased the Gaels' lead two minutes from time. Sean Flannery came back into the game for Peter Walsh as Harps struggled to retrieve the situation, but it was Kenny who added another Gaels' point from a free-kick. Sean Higgins hit the bar before Johnny Kenny took Noel McKenna's pass to make it 2-9 to 0-8 a minute into stoppage time. With almost the last kick of the game P.J. Langton went for a goal from a free and while his effort ended up in the net off the Shamrock Gaels defenders it was too late to deny the championship pretenders. 

Scorers for Shamrock Gaels were, Johnny Kenny (1-4); Noel McKenna (1-0); Lauri Quinn (0-2); Cormac Kearns, Mick Kenny, Tommy Deignan (0-1) each. Eastern Harps: P.J. Langton (1-1); P. Walsh (0-2); M. O'Grady, P. Taylor, S. Higgins, J. Chambers, N. Molloy (0-1) each. 

Shamrock Gaels: Michael Tuohy, Noe; Willis, Brendan Deignan, Michael Conlon, James Kearns, John Lyons, Bernard Mulhern, Gerry Ballantyne, Johnny Kenny, Tommy Deignan, Lauri Quinn, Noel McKenna, Cormac Kearns, Mick Kenny, Enda  Deignan.

Eastern Harps: M. McCormack, J. Higgins, P. Connor, P. Mitchell, B. Mullaney, N. Molloy, S. Fox, S. Higgins, J. Chambers, S. Flannery, P. Walsh, P. Taylor, E. Molloy, M. O'Grady, P.J. Langton. Subs B. Kielty for S Flannery, O. Shannon for S. Fox