After both sides contested their respective Semi-Final’s Tuesday just gone, both agreed that in the interest of fairness to the players that the competition get finished before the weekend was out, so Páirc Colmcille was the venue for the Premier Championship Division 7 final between the third string sides of Gaeil Colmcille and Trim.
Both sides met in the opening round with The Gaeils running out comfortable winners on the day. Right from the outset it was evident to see that this was a completely different side Trim had this time round as they ran into a 1-04 to 0-01 lead with just 12 minutes on the clock. A goal and a point inside the first two minutes was followed by a Gary McGovern free to settle the Kells nerves but three further points by Trim gave them a commanding lead early on.
Some positional changes were needed by Gaeil Colmcille and with Finn Mullan moved into the backs Kells tightened up their defence and focused on their attacking threat that got them to this years final. Two points from McGovern one from a free and a lovely score from play after Mullan made an excellent run reduced the gap to four points with 23 minutes played.
Two more frees by McGovern either side of a Trim point left a goal between the sides at the break with Trim leading 1-05 to 0-05.
After digesting a Mint Aero and a can of Club Orange during the first half, Gary Arkins was called from the bench and with Robbie Fox replacing Phelim Dunne, Kells were hoping to get the second half off to a better start than the first. Neither side could convert any of their shots until Fox got on the end of a sideline from McGovern to fist to the back of the net with his first touch to draw Kells level.
From the resulting kickout, Trim went the length of the pitch and look like cancelling the Kells goal out but for a heroic save by Chris Doyle in the Kells goal. That momentum allowed Kells go the opposite side of the field and when the ball landed in the hands of Zak Griffin his right footed rocked nestled in the top corner of the Trim goals.
A Trim point was answered by an Arkins free to keep Gaeil Colmcille three points clear. Credit to Trim they restored their lead when they hit 1-01 in the space of two minutes to see them take a 2-07 to 2-06 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. Another Arkins point levelled things up for Kells to set up a nervy finish. Arkins then put Gaeil Colmcille ahead once more, this time from play with his “sometimes” reliable left boot. With 59 minutes on Referee Gus Martyn’s watch, Gaeil Colmcille overturned a Trim attack and Kevin Carpenter broke out of the Kells defence and his pass to Shane Bennett sent Kells up the field. As Trim tried to clear the ball, the ball rebounded off Bennetts face and fell kindly to Arkins, Arkins played it back to Bennett who flicked the ball to Captain Gary McGovern, McGovern steadied himself and shot low to give Kells the lead.
As Trim went in search to bring the game to extra time, all they could manage was a draw and Kells held on for the win, the Championship and the perfect campaign winning all ten of the games. Captain Gary McGovern collected the trophy with Sean King from Damien Griffin and in his acceptance speech asked the huge crowd in Páirc Colmcille to keep Sean’s father Jimmy in their thought as he was in hospital fighting an illness.
Gaeil Colmcille: Chris Doyle, C Murray, Brian Byrne, Mark Gormley, Cormac O’Reilly, Niall Williams, Phelim Dunne, Kevin Carpenter, Shane Bennett, Sean Cleary, Zak Griffin (1-00), Eoin Doogan, Finn Mullan, Gary McGovern (1-05), Stephen Mooney
Subs: Gary Arkins (0-03) for Mooney, Robbie Fox (1-00) for Dunne, Ben Shine for Murray, Andrew O’Rorke for Griffin.
Premier Championship Campaign: