Sean Treacys left it to almost the last minute of the final of the West Tipperary junior football championship A at Cappawhite to snatch victory from Arravale Rovers by 1-5 to 1-4.
Played in dreadful conditions of wind and rain and on a heavy and sticky ground it was a tribute to both sets of players that they played so well in the circumstances.
It wasn’t an occasion for fancy football of any kind as it was extremely difficult to keep one’s footing. The general pattern of play was to get possession and deliver it on as quickly as possible. The result was that much possession was given away on both sides.
Arravale opened the scoring in the second minute when Conor Kissane kicked a 45 between the Sean Treacys post. They enjoyed most of the possession during the first quarter but hit some bad wides, five in all.
Sean Treacys got the ball into an attacking position in the middle of the half and scored two points in a two-minute period.
Arravale levelled in the 22nd minute and although both sides had their chances there was only one more score in the half, a vital goal for Arravale in the 29th minute when David Cleary finished off a good movement to the Sean Treacy net to give his side a vital lead of 1-2 to 0-2 at the interval.
John Lowry increased the Arravale lead six minutes into the second half and Ciaran Lowry added another after twelve minutes.
A minute earlier Kieran Devitt pointed a free for Sean Treacys and then two minutes later Treacys were awarded a penalty. It was taken by Derek O’Toole and saved by the goalkeeper. Three minutes later Kieran Devitt pointed another free for Sean Treacys to leave the score at 1-4 to 0-4 at the beginning of the final quarter.
It was a tough encounter during this period, with little quarter given or taken. Scores were non-existent until the 29th minute when Padraig O’Leary pointed for Treacys and this put the score at 1-4 to 0-5 in favour of Arravale Rovers.
It appeared as if they would hold out but Treacys kept pressing and a minute later Seanie Ryan finished a an attacking movement to the net. It appeared as if Arravale had the ball cleared but Ryan somehow got his hand to it and it ended up in the net for a dramatic victory for Sean Treacys on a scoreline of 1-5 to 1-4.
Sean Treacys were well served by Denis Stapleton, Simon Kennedy, Padraig O’Leary and Kieran Devitt, while Richie Lohan, Fintan Ryan, Conor Kissane and Johnny Lowry stood out for Arravale Rovers.
After the game the cup was presented to the Sean Treacy’s captain, Derek O’Toole, by Tom English, the vice-chairman of the board.
Sean Treacys: Joey Nolan, Declan O’Toole, Tom Kickey, Eamon Wade, Liam O’toole, Denis Stapleton, Greg Kennedy, Simon Kennedy, Derek O’Toole (capt.), (0-1) Seanie Ryan (1-0), Padraig O’Leary (0-1), Davy O’Toole, P. J. McLoughlin, Shane Reynolds, Kieran Devitt (0-3). Subs: Jody Ryan for P. J. McLoughlin, Eamon Devitt for Eamon Wade.
Arravale Rovers: Paul O’Copnnor, Richie Lohan, Sean Spillane, Gar o’Callaghan, Tony Byrnes, Fintan Ryan, Tommy O’Dwyer, Pearse Richardsson, Ciaran Lowry (0-1), Darragh Coughlan, Ger O’Dwyer, Conor Kissane (0-1), James Kinane, David Cleary (1-0), Johnny Lowry (0-2). Subs; Diarmuid O’Donnell for James Kinane, Emmet Fitzpatrick for Darragh Coughlan.
Referee: David Grogan (Aherlow).