Div 3 League – Tansey Cup Final 2007

DEC  2007:Elphin 0-7 Fuerty 0-6A Fintan Cregg inspired Elphin side produced a terrific battling performance and staged a fine comeback to claim the Tansey Cup Final in miserable conditions at Kiltoom on Saturday.   And chief among Elphin’s fightback in the second half was a Leaving Cert student called Fintan Cregg. The AllIreland minor winner from 2006 covered acres of ground, picked up loads of possession on the ’40 and showed a level of maturity and composure way beyond his years. Earlier in the week, Fintan was voted MVP in the All-Ireland Schools’ Senior Volleyball Final. It has been an amazing couple of days for the multitalented sportsman.  Fuerty will have gone away from this game wondering how they managed to lose. With 20 minutes remaining, they led by 0-6 to 0-2. It was a sizeable lead by any standards and a particularly comfortable one given the conditions.It was very difficult for freetakers with strong gusts of wind testing players’ judgement. Early on, Fuerty were that bit more economical. Tom Reddington and Eamon Bannon were prominent in midfield. Bannon’s surging runs caused Elphin problems, while Tom Hickey was on song at cornerforward, kicking a tremendous point in the 38th minute.  Fielding a host of players with senior championship experience, Elphin simply weren’t producing the standard of play their individual talents suggested they could.After 15 minutes, Elphin trailed by three points. Frees from Mervyn Connaughton and Tom Hickey along with a Hickey effort from play gave Fuerty a good cushion. A fine run by Fintan Cregg saw the centre-forward find the target to open his side’s account in the 18th minute.Matt Hynes cut the deficit to the minimum before Eamon Bannon tagged on Fuerty’s fourth to leave the score at 0-4 to 0-2 at the break. Indeed, just before the break, Tom Hickey saw an effort waved wide that appeared to creep inside the post.  Within nine minutes of the second half Hickey had extended Fuerty’s lead to four with two points (one free). It was at this point that the character of this Elphin side came to the fore. Their workrate increased. They played with a greater belief. And with every score their confidence grew. A foul on Fintan Cregg saw Matt Hynes point the resultant free in the 43rd minute. Three minutes later, the same combination was repeated. Cregg then landed a free to cut the lead to a point before he turned provider for Matt Hynes to level up the game in the 49th minute, the latter firing over a beautiful point having judged the elements brilliantly.  The likes of Dermot Neary and Niall Travers (who was lucky to stay on the field after an earlier incident) were epitomising the Elphin spirit at this stage. And with the momentum with Elphin, one sensed they were always the more likely to kick the winner in the final ten minutes. However, Fuerty found a second wind after Elphin drew level but they just couldn’t manage to work a score.With three minutes remaining, Fintan Cregg gathered possession around midfield. He set off on a run, weighed up his options before deciding to have a pop at goal himself. His shot sailed over. The young student was destined to kick the winner.  It was a disappointing defeat for Fuerty who will wonder how they didn’t manage to put this game beyond Elphin’s reach early in the second half.
Source: Match Reports