Jake Glennon of St Joseph’s gets to the ball ahead of Conor Gavigan (Tyrrellspass), in the ACFL Div 7 final at TEG Cusack Park.

Tyrrellspass find an extra gear to deny St Joseph's

On Tuesday evening of last week in TEG Cusack Park, a titanic struggle that took almost 90 minutes to decide eventually saw Tyrrellspass come out on top against a gallant and dogged St Joseph's.

This ACFL Division 7 final had a bit of everything - thrills, spills, superb scoring and unbelievable drama - and in truth it was hard to see anyone lose. It took extra-time to separate the sides and in the end Tyrrellspass outlasted their opponents and came away with the title.

Tyrrellspass started like a train and had the opening three scores through Eoin Corcoran, Eoin Martin and Alan Farrell, and it looked as if it would be one-way traffic. But two excellent points from Alan Farrell of St Joseph's and a free from Gerry Gleeson has the sides level. Jake Gannon then put the Horseleap/Streamstown side ahead at the end of the first quarter.

Ger O’Toole with a free and Martin with a fine team score saw the men in sky blue lead once more. But it was all St Joseph's until the end of the half with two superb Niall Moran strikes, a Gleeson free and the pick of the bunch from Noah McDonnell leaving them leading by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.

The second half started at a much more sedate pace with Tyrrellspass going close but with no addition to their half-time tally until Sean Gavigan pointed a beauty. Moments later, a quite superb team move saw Brian Slevin net a wonderful goal.

Pearse Weir Norris levelled again with possibly the score of the match. Slevin put Tyrrellspass ahead again with six minutes to go from an acute angle, before Niall Moran levelled again from a free. Two minutes into added time, Slevin looked to have won the game for Tyrrellspass with a pointed free, but a needless foul on Moran saw the same player convert to level and we headed to extra-time.

The first half of extra-time was all Tyrrellspass with scores coming from Sean Bagnall, Kai Harte (off the outside of the boot), Mikie Mullen and a Slevin free, while Joe Cusack got Joseph's only reply.

On the restart Slevin solidified his man of the match display with a second Tyrrellspass major and with points added by Martin (two fine individual scores) and Slevin from close range, it looked done and dusted as a contest.

But Moran pointed a free for Joseph's and when Alan Farrell netted a goal, it looked as if we would have a grandstand finish. Wayne McCormack had a chance for a second St Joseph's goal but when his effort went over rather than under the bar, it was a case of last chance saloon as Tyrrellspass held on for the win and the title.

Afterwards, Sean Gavigan of Tyrrellspass accepted the shield from Westmeath GAA chairman Frank Mescall.

Scorers - Tyrrellspass: B Slevin 2-4 (0-2 frees), E Martin 0-4, K Harte, E Corcoran, S Gavigan, A Farrell, G O’Toole (free), S Bagnall and M Mullen 0-1 each. St Joseph's: A Farrell 1-2, N Moran 0-5 (3 frees), G Gleeson 0-2 (2 frees), N McDonnell, J Gannon, J Cusack, W McCormack and P Weir Norris 0-1 each.

Tyrrellspass: Eoin O’Reilly, James McGivern, Ciaran Corcoran, Conor Gavigan, Mark Devine, Kai Harte, Eoin Corcoran, Joe Adegbore, Conall Dunne, Cathal Monaghan, Brian Slevin, Sean Gavigan, Alan Farrell, Ger O’Toole, Eoin Martin. Subs: Jamie Corcoran for Monaghan, Phelim Brady for Gavigan and Sean Bagnall for O’Toole, 36 mins; Mikie Mullen for Martin, 43; Willie Feery for E Corcoran, 58; Cormac Eighan for Devine 66; Martin for Farrell 70; Gavigan for J Corcoran, 78.

St Joseph's: James Kenny, Eamonn Pidgeon, Billy Fitzgerald, Denis Leen, Brian Killian, Thomas Conlon, Pearse Weir Norris, Alan Farrell, Noah McDonnell, Damien Byrne, Gerry Gleeson, Niall Moran, Jamie McDonnell, Jake Gannon, Joe Cusack. Subs: Stephen Fennessy for Kenny and Josh Gannon for Byrne, H-T; Padraig Moran for Gleeson, 48 mins; Ciaran Keegan for Farrell, 56; Wayne McCormack for Weir Norris and Eoin Kelly for Fitzgerald, 69; Farrell for Leen, 76.

Referee: Ray Farrelly (Ballycomoyle).