Oughterard prevails by penalties in thrilling intermediate replay

Matthew Tierney propels his side to first intermediate title in 18 years

Claregalway Hotel Galway intermediate football champions 2019 Oughterard

Claregalway Hotel Galway intermediate football champions 2019 Oughterard

Micheal Breathnach 1-16

Ougherard 0-19 after extra time

Oughterard win 5-4 on penalties

Matthew Tierney was once again the hero for Oughterard when propelling his side to victory in the Galway Intermediate Football Championship final replay in Pearse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Tierney was the hero throughout. It was his last-gasp free kick that had brought this game to a replay, another point on Saturday kept his side in contention, sending the game into extra time, and then he delivered a superb free to force the game to a penalty shoot-out. More was to come when he stepped up to score his side's first penalty, and to top it all, he scored the winning penalty in sudden death after Michael Breathnach’s had missed one.

For this young man, just turned 19, to step up and show this level of composure under such pressure is a trait to applaud. It has ensured Oughterard have lifted the title and are now through to the Connacht semi-finals, awaiting the winners of the quarter-final between the Leitrim and Roscommon champions.

Leitrim Gaels won the Leitrim IFC title on October 13, defeating Drumkeerin, 1-08 to 0-07, while the Roscommon IFC final ended in a draw yesterday, Tulsk 2-10 Oran 2-10, and the replay has been fixed for Dr Hyde Park on Saturday October 26 at 4pm. Leitrim Gaels are due to face the Roscommon champions in the Connacht Club IFC quarter-final on November 2 with the Connacht Club IFC semi-final scheduled to take place on November 9.

The second game of the day in Pearse Stadium, after Corofin had dispatched Killanin in the Junior A final, was much more competitive, with neither side really grasping control.

After failing to lead at any stage of the drawn game, a good start was a necessity for the eventual champions. And they delivered early on, taking a 0-4 to 0-1, thanks to early scores from Tierney, Gibbons and Monaghan.

Breathnach’s, however, were never going to give, battling back to trail by the minimum at the break, and they were the better side for most of the second half. They certainly looked like they were going to win, but similar to the drawn encounter and last year’s county final, they simply could not finish off the opposition.

Instead, in the sixth minute of added time, Matthew Tierney stood over a near 55 metre free and powered it through the posts to send the game to extra time. Michael Breathnach’s goalkeeper Ronan O’Boileann had done very well to come forward and strike two free kicks, but it was not enough to drag his side over the line as both sides finished level, 0-13 apiece.

Fascinating battle

Extra time brought about many tired legs but a late goal from Liam Macdonnacha looked to have put Micheal Breathnach in control with a late goal before two points from Tierney brought it back level. When Cian O’Griofa put his side ahead in the final minute of extra time, it looked all over. But once again Matthew Tierney stepped up with a huge injury-time free to ensure this fascinating battle would be decided by penalties.

After both sides scored the first four penalties, each missed the fifth. When Ronan Macdonnacha's effort was brilliantly saved, it came down to Tierney, and he delivered, dispatching his second penalty to the net to secure the crown for the Corrib club for the first time since 2001.

Michael Breathnach, having lost the last two county finals, will take some consolation with their promotion to senior football for the 2020 season. But the hero of the hour was Tierney, who having scored 0-8 scored, and having kept Oughterard in the game, was deservedly awarded the man of the match award.

Oughterard: J Waller; L Moran, E O’Sullivan (0-1 ), C Hanley (0-1 ); C Monaghan (0-2 ), R Monaghan, R. Molloy; E Tierney (0-1 ), PJ McGauley; B Lambert, P Walsh, M Tierney (0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ‘45 ); N Lee (0-1 ), P Walsh (0-2 ), E Lee (0-2 ). Subs: C Harte (0-1 ) for Lambert (37 ); P Gibbons for Hanley (46 ); C Clancy for McGauley (52 ); PJ McGauley for Walsh (71 ); B Lambert for Molloy (81 ).

Mícheál Breathnach: R Ó Beóláin (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 ’45 ); K Ó Donnchadha (0-1 ), C. MacDubhghaill, C Ó Maoileoin; M Ó Conghaile, F Ó Béarra, D Ó hÉallaithe (0-1 ); F Ó Curraoin, T Ó Conghaile (0-1 ); D MacDubhghaill, S. Denvir (0-2 ), D Ó Maoileoin; LMacDonnacha (1-3 ), R MacDonnacha (0-4, 0-1 free ), R Ó Curraoin. Subs: S Ó Conaire (0-1 ) for D MacDubhghaill (H-T ); D MacGearailt for Ó Curraoin (37 ); D Ó Finneadha for T Ó Conghaile (inj, 46 ); GW Ó Fátharta for K Ó Donnchadha (59 ); D MacDubhghaill for M Ó Conghaile (63, BC ); C Ó Gríofa (0-1 ) for Denvir (inj, 76 ).

Referee: Thomas Murphy.

 

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