Multyfarnham captain Ronan Wallace lifts the Hugh Daniels Cup.

Multy bounce back to IFC at first time of asking

Clarke’s Bar Junior 1 football championship final: Multyfarnham 1-10, Bunbrosna 1-5

In a battle of neighbouring parishes, Multyfarnham emerged as Westmeath JFC 1 champions in TEG Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon, with the Maroons doing the needful to secure the win in a lacklustre second half.

Multy led 1-7 to 1-3 after an action-packed first moiety which stood in stark contrast to the second, where the sides mustered only five points between them. In a cautious display, the winners shut up shop and protected their lead, even as Bunbrosna began to tire.

As expected, a large crowd turned out to watch the two clubs from the environs of the westbound N4 battle it out not just for the Hugh Daniels Cup, but also local bragging rights. Both sets of players know each other well, and not alone for the fact that many of them hurl together for Crookedwood.

Multy got out of the traps early on and established a four-point lead (including two from Stephen Sweeney), and after 20 minutes maintained that gap even as an experienced Bunbrosna – a quarter of whose panel featured in the club’s JFC success all the way back in 2001 – worked their way back into the game.

When Bun’ subsequently netted through Barry O’Mara, it was game on, but a fortuitous goal from Multy’s Ian McGovern cancelled out that effort and gave Multy a psychological edge at the break.

In the second half, Multyfarnham manager Steven Cleary redeployed forward Ciaran Madden as a sweeper as the Maroons tightened up, and in the slog that followed, youth was ever so slightly on their side.

Also key to Multy’s success was the presence of Westmeath star Ronan Wallace, whose speed and playmaking abilities, as well as two excellent points from play, got them over the line in the second half.

After the full-time whistle blew, a deserving Multyfarnham captain Wallace received the Hugh Daniels Cup from Westmeath GAA chairman Frank Mescall and competition sponsor, Ciaran Clarke of Clarke’s Bar, Mullingar.

Scorers – Multyfarnham: R Wallace 0-4 (2f), I McGovern 1-0, S Sweeney 0-2, A Loughrey, S Williams, J Coffey (free) and A McGivney 0-1 each. Bunbrosna: B O’Mara 1-2 (0-1m), C Lyons and R Scally 0-1 each.

Multyfarnham: Craig Sweeney; Tommy McGivney, Paul Heavin, Aran Whelan; Adam Bate, Cian Lee, Feichin Brennan; Anthony McGivney, Ronan Wallace (capt.); Adam Loughrey, Stephen Sweeney, Shane Williams; Ian McGovern, Ciaran Madden, Jamie Coffey. Subs used: Luke Nangle for McGovern (36), David Wallace for S Sweeney (47), Emmet Feerick for Coffey (55), Brian McLoughlin for Williams (60).

Bunbrosna: Alan Maguire; Gavin Lyons, John Kiernan, Luke Kiernan; Noel Yourell, Aidan Finnan, Shane McGovern; Conor Lyons, Andrew Whitney; Peter Tormey, Barry O’Mara, Mark Donnelly; Matthew Hope, Kenneth Conroy, Kevin Mitchell (capt.). Subs used: Daragh Lyons for Conroy (25), Ronan Scally for Hope (47), Daire McLaughlin for Donnelly (50), Caolan Fulham for Mitchell (52), Brian Maguire for Whitney (55).

Ref: Barry Pierce (St Mary’s, Rochfortbridge).

Footnote: Prior to Saturday’s junior final, a minute’s silence was impeccably in memory of the late Mikey and Thelma Dennany, the two young children who died in a recent tragedy in Multyfarnham, and also for those killed or injured in last Friday’s devastating explosion at the Applegreen complex in Creeslough, Co. Donegal.