Sports

Colm the man for magnificent Moy

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Colm the man for magnificent Moy thumbnailColm Cavanagh leaves his opponent lying on the floor during Saturday’s All Ireland final.

ALL-IRELAND champions Moy are still celebrating a momentous triumph at Croke Park, where they brought a magical season to a historic climax by lifting the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship title.

Moy...1-10
Michael Glaveys...0-7

On an unforgettable afternoon at GAA Headquarters, The Moy wrote a defining chapter in the club's proud history with a defiant display as they saw off the challenge of Michael Glaveys of Roscommon.

Tom Loughran gave them the perfect start with a goal inside the opening minute, and the Tyrone and Ulster champions defended tehir precious lead with discipline and steel.

They did endure some anxious moments as the Connacht title-holders fought back with fervour after being reduced to 14 men, but five Sean Cavanagh frees and a man of the match display from brother Colm helped to carry them through.

Once again, Moy's defensive discipline was impeccable, with Niall Conlon turning in another stoic display at cenre back, while Mark Gribbin and Patrick Mackle were also irrepressible.

"They're a driven bunch of boys," said joint manager Gavin McGilly. "Maybe we saw the finishing line and pulled up a wee bit early, but they set out to win an All-Ireland and that's what they did. To actually say those words, that the Moy are All-Ireland champions, it's a massive, massive achievement."

McGilly and co-manager Audi Kelly couldn't have wished for a better start to the game, with midfielder Tom Loughran grabbing a goal just seconds after the throw-in.

"We like to start every game real quick. We settled well, and they looked a wee bit jittery in the first ten minutes, whereas we looked a wee bit more settled.

"We thought we should have been further ahead at half-time. Some of our use of the ball in the first half wasn't exactly great, to put it mildly. But maybe that just comes with playing in a final, and boys over-eager.

"But we got there in the end. I would say it wasn't a vintage performance, but it was enough to win today."

He admitted he was concerned when Michael Glaveys clawed tehir way back into contention despite losing a man in the second half.

"I think every team, in an All-Ireland final, is going to get a patch, and no matter what way the game was going, they were always going to get a wee period in the game where they were going to control it. And in fairness they did.

"They missed a free that would probably have brought it back to five, and that would have put us under a bit of pressure.

"But there's a serious leadership  in that team, and they have been about the block long enough to know that you have to keep in the game and play smart football when you're not in control, and hope that it goes all-right after that."

Moy have had to battle in many of their games on their way to the title, but their character always shone through when the odds seemed stacked against them.

"To win anything, you need a wee bit of luck, and we got a bit of luck along the way.

"But they have had 35 years without winning a championship, so they have had no luck for 35 years. We were due a wee bit, and we were just lucky it fell for us this year. This is what you dream of."

But when the celebrations die down, the preparations for a step up to senior football will kick in, and the Tir na nOgs face many stiff tests in the year ahead.

"In a few weeks time, we start off in Division One of the league, and it's back down to porridge again. but it's something to look forward to."

The Tyrone side's route  one approach unsettled a Glaveys defence that took some time to find any sort of composure, and they found themselves trailing by six by eth tenth minute, after Harry Loughran and Ryan Coleman had found the target.

Glaveys opened their account in the 11th minute with a wel constructed and superbly executed score by Andrew Glennon.

Despite John Finan's high fielding around the middle, the Connacht champions were unable to make little headway against a packed Moy defence, with Colm Cavanagh dropping back as sweeper.

Liam Cregg denied Sean Cavanagh with a heroic block, but the pressure was soon back on the Glaveys defence, with skipper Euanan Deeney thumping a '45 between the posts at the beginning of the second quarter.

The Roscommon title-holders enjoyed a high percentage of attacking possession late in the opening half, but time and again, they ran in to lines of sky blue shirts.

And The Moy raided on the break for Sean Cavanagh to steer a couple of frees through the uprights.

And they almost had a second goal when Harry Loughran got on the end of a flowing move, but sent his low shot just wide of the far post.

The Moy led by 1-5 to 0-1 at the break, and while Glennon hit another outrageously brilliant score for the Connacht men, with Stephen Comer also nailing a quality point, the Tir na nOgs restored their seven points cushion through Coleman and Sean Cavanagh.

Michael Glaveys suffered a further setback in 43 minutes when midfielder Caoileann Fitzmaurice was sent off on a straight red card.

But they displayed courage and positivity, pressing forward to win four frees that Glennon converted to trim the deficit to five.

The fourteen Glaveys men were now dominant, and it took Moy some time to break their spirited resistance.

However, they did so, and an important score from substitute Conal Duffy broke the Glavey's momentum, and Cavanagh finished it off with another converted free.

Moy - Nathan Brady; Patrick Mackle, Tomas McNicholl, Thomas Conlon; Mark Gribbin, Niall Conlon, Eunan Deeney (0-1); Colm Cavanagh, Tom Loughran (1-0); Declan Conroy, Harry Loughran (0-1) , Emmet Rafferty; Ryan Coleman (0-2), Sean Cavanagh (0-5), Adam Currie.

Subs - Conall Duffy (0-1) for Conroy, Aaron Donaghy for Rafferty, Karol McQuade for Currie, Kris Kavanagh for Deeney, Ryan O'Neill for T Conlon.

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