Eire Og Annacarty made history by winning the Ballinilard Transport West Senior Football Championship for the first time, ousting reigning champions Arravale Rovers in a dramatic Final held in Lattin last Sunday, 1-9 to 1-7.
Ã‰ire Ã“g got a dream start with a goal after just two minutes. A hopeful ball in from Philip McGrath was fumbled by the Rovers goalie Brian Glasheen into the path of Damien Oâ€™Brien, who duly rounded the despairing defenders to shoot into the net from close range.
Donal Oâ€™Dwyer followed up by fisting over a point two minutes later after a fine solo run.
Arravale Roversâ€™ cause was not helped when Paddy Dalton had to limp off just ten minutes into the game. He was replaced by Brian Jones.
James Hogan finally got Rovers off the mark with a point at the end of the first quarter, this was followed shortly afterwards by a similar score from corner-back Peter Mulhair.
Defences dominated as both sets of forwards found scores hard to come by, mainly due to the constant overplaying of the ball and handling errors. Brian Fox and Timmy Dalton from a free swopped points before Damien Oâ€™Brien closed out the scoring with a point to leave Eire Og ahead 1-3 to 0-3 at half-time.
Arravale Rovers introduced Stephen Quinn to wing-forward at the interval instead of Andrew Lacey and it had the desired effect as the Tipperary Town side were well on top in the early stages, playing fast fluid direct football.
James Hogan pointed when a goal was there for the taking, and shortly afterwards the two substitutes combined to engineer a goal only three minutes into the half. Stephen Quinnâ€™s lay-off was finished to the net by Brian Jones. The two Lowry brothers Bryan and Darren added further points to complete a six point turnaround in the first ten minutes of the half.
Eire Og with Brian Fox at full forward were struggling to get their hands on the ball as Rovers began to dominate the middle third. Brian Glasheen came to Roversâ€™ rescue by denying Brian Fox and Philip McGrath in quick succession.
Damien Oâ€™Brien pulled a point back with a free in the 43rd minute and Brian Jones pointed to leave Rovers ahead, 1-7 to 1-4 at the three quarter stage. But this proved to be Arravaleâ€™s last score as Eire Og finally began to get stuck in, helped by the introduction of All-Ireland Minor winner Tom Fox and Paul Downey as subs and the switching of Brian Fox to midfield.
Tom Fox had a point followed by another from cousin Brian to leave the minimum in it with three minutes remaining. That lead was wiped out when Paul Downey equalised from a tight angle.
A replay looked on but Damien Oâ€™Brien had other ideas when he landed a point from play to put Eire Og ahead once more. Donal Oâ€™Dwyer closed out the scoring in added time, enough to hold out for a first-ever West Senior Football title.