Match Report - Lancashire Senior Final

John Mitchel's 0-16 Oisin's 1-8

If it was meant to be the changing of the guard in Lancashire Barry Morris or his charges were to no mood to comply with the ceremony as they steadfastly held on to their Senior Championship crown. Three in a row now and seven in nine years tells its own story of this remarkable outfit. On a glorious sun drenched day the Liverpool side drew on their rich bank of championship experience and simply refused to give up their title as they out thought and out fought an Oisin's side that were aiming to sweep the board in the county. Their victory was built on a powerful first half performance which was backed up at the end when a stirring fightback by Oisin's threatened to overpower them.

Both sides started nervously with numerous misplaced passes and shots before the game finally settled down. When it did it was the men in blue and gold who took a solid grip on first half proceedings. Francis Cassidy opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a free which was immediately cancelled out by a fine score from Ciaran Harper. From there on Mitchel's threw off the shackles, Denis O Neill was superb at midfield with the evergreen John McDermott equally masterful despite shipping a very heavy knock early on. Behind them Sean Rice, Padraig McGurk and Marty Carey formed a solid shield and when they were bypassed the full back line of John O Hagan Dave McTaggert and Niall (Sheepy) McShane were totally secure in their duties. From the tenth to the fifteenth minute they hit four points started off by a Cassidy free after Craig Owen was fouled. A superb 40m strike from Edward Jackson after McGurk had moved forward to create the chance was followed by Cassidy showing he could also do it from open play. Owen was causing havoc on the right and he popped over the next from the tightest of angles. The pattern continued for the rest of the half with Oisin's attacks floundering on the excellent defensive line in front of them.

McGurk also found time for one of his trademark runs up the field to add another point. Aiden Kearney, Cassidy again and McDermott stretched their lead to eight before Cathal Murphy pulled one back with a close in free just before the break. We all knew that Oisin's were a much better team than they had so far showed and early into the second half they found the gears to claw their way back. Paul Noone collected the throw in and powered forward to release PJ McGee for a point.The superb Cassidy fired over two in reply as first Paddy Mulligan and then John McDermott created the openings.

The tide was turning however as Noone and Niall Donnelly got a foothold in midfield and their half forwards seemed to be first on to every break. Being forced onto the back foot Mitchel's began to concede territory and now it was Oisin's turn to trouble the scoreboard operator.Two Murphy frees sandwiched another fine Ciaran Harper effort and Tiarnan O Hagan got in on the act to bring the gap down to four just twelve minutes in. As we entered the final quarter Harper latched on to a breaking ball. picked out the run of Michael Comney who drew the cover and released Cathal Murphy who blasted the ball past Mattie Deeney to close the gap to one.

If we have learned anything about this Liverpool outfit it is their downright cussedness in the face of adversity. The countless number of nerve jangling finishes they have survived in recent years are too many to be fluke and they rose to the challenge again. Paddy Mulligan who had a quiet match up to this stage by his own standards came into the game. Rory Sharvin came off the bench with Craig Owen moving to the half back line and the ship was steadied. Mulligan cut in from the left corner to fist over and when Michael Comney was redcarded for an off the ball incident nine minutes out it was uphill for the Didsbury lads. Cassidy pointed another but Tiarnan O Hagan kept his side in touch with a point five minutes out. With just three remaining Mulligan hit a huge effort from 50m out and when it bounced off the bar and over it sapped the spirit of the gallant losers. The brilliant Cassidy hit his eighth of the match and Aiden McCarten had the last word after Edward Jackson found him in space.

Despite their most succesful season in years Oisin's will feel the hurt of missing out on the big prize knowing that they didn't bring their A game to this final. In truth the occasion seemed to engulf them in that first half although that might be doing an injustice to the winners. They did make a terrific effort to pull the game out of the fire but they had left themselves to much to do and ultimately had
to yield to the better team on the day. There is little that hasn't been written about Mitchel's,an
indifferent summer in which they looked lethargic and leg weary after last springs epic journey was put firmly behind them here. They looked refreshed and hungry again and have tremendous championship pedrigee. To a man they were outstanding all over the field but perhaps a special mention should go to Denis O Neill, John McDermott,Craig Owen and Francis Cassidy.
Its on to the All Britain championship again and although they will face more challenges like these they will again be the team to beat.

John Mitchel's: Mattie Deeney,John O Hagan,Dave McTeggart,Niall McShane,Sean Rice,Padraig McGurk(0-1),John McDermott(0-1),Denis O Neill,Collie Murphy,Francis Cassidy(0-8),Craig Owen(0 1),Paddy Mulligan(0-2),Edward Jackson(0-1),

Subs: Rory Sharvin for Niall McShane,Aiden McCartan for Colm Murphy,JJ Clarke for Aiden Kearney, Paddy Murphy for Francis Cassidy.

Oisin's: Michael Donnelly,Damian Fitzpatrick,Michael Comney,Sean Og Monteith,Fergus Riley,Rory McLaughlin,Ryan Devlin,Paul Noone,Niall Donnelly,Gerard McCaughey,Ciaran Harper(0-2),PJ McGee(0-1),Chrissy O Connor(1-0),Tiarnan O Hagan(0-2),Cathal Murphy(1-3)

Subs: Peter O Connell for Gerard McCaughey,Fintan McCloskey for Fergus Riley

Sports Admin Software & Websites
CLUBS: Membership Online - New Service