Colman’s conquer Connacht

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Colman's Shane Nally lifts the cup

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Colman's Shane Nally lifts the cup

 

There is a light that never goes out was present in Flanagan Park, Ballinrobe on Sunday afternoon for the all-Mayo Connacht Senior Colleges Final and St Colman’s of Claremorris ended a 28 year drought.

(A full report can be found here on The Mayo News website http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6019&Itemid=39 )

St Gerald’s of Castlebar will harbour major regrets this week after losing a game that was definitely there’s for the taking but they might learn the value of teamwork and having a structure over the will and talent of the individual for that was the difference.

St Colman’s were a cohesive unit, the man in possession always had a player in support and the right option was nearly constantly picked. Gerald’s, on the other hand, often floundered in possession and their tally of thirteen wides, while not as bad as the semi-final total of 23, was still indicative of much of their problems.

The game wasn’t the belter that I thought it would be but there was still plenty of talented players on show.

For Colman’s captain Shane Nally and Ian Costello were immense at midfield, corner-back John Broderick did a good job on Cillian O’Connor  and while the Colman’s attack didn’t thrive, Alan Healy at full-forward did look a serious threat any time he got the ball.

Goalkeeper David Grant made a crucial save early in the second half while Richard Bell gave a good account of himself at wing-back.

For Gerald’s the best performers were defenders. Corner-back Fergal Durkan worked his heart out while wing-back David Gavin was superb. Aidan O’Shea saw a lot of ball at midfield but too often picked the wrong option. Still he ended up with three points.

Aidan Walsh tried hard on the forty while you got the feeling that if Peter Dravins saw more ball at full-forward, Gerald’s would have won.

Ultimately though it was the well oiled Colman’s team unit, and not individual performances, that was the difference and coaches Vinny Walsh (who plays corner-back for the Claremorris senior team) and Danny McHugh (also school principal) deserve credit here.

Any observer would see that Gerald’s had the better players available to them and Walsh and McHugh have worked wonders to break the famine for Colman’s.

They will hardly trouble the Hogan Cup this year but winning the Connacht title is a huge achievement in itself.

And two Mayo teams in the final of this competition is great for the development of 30 young and talented footballers.

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