Divison 4 League Final 2011: Coolmeen 2-08 Meelick 0-08

posted 17 Nov 2011, 18:45 by Joe Corry   [ updated 17 Nov 2011, 18:50 by Seán Corry ]
This game was sure to be a high tempo, all action affair between two teams that had built up a strong rivalry over the last 15 months. In August 2010, a Coolmeen team, under early development from Tommy Tubridy and Kevin Shaloo, took to the pitch at Clare Abbey against an unfamiliar Meelick outfit. Unfortunately Coolmeen never seemed to get their engine's running on this occasion and exited the title race at the hands of the east clare side. 
    The score was somewhat settled at the beginning of this years league campaign, with Coolmeen winning comfortably by 10 points in a timid encounter. The two sides eased passed their competition and met again in the League final a month later. Having received a lesson from Naomh Eoin in the first round of the championship, Coolmeen were hurt and wanted to redeem themselves. However, they would have to do so with 14 men as Kevin McMahon was shown a controversial red card early in the 1st half. Meelick pressed for victory but Coolmeen's steely determination won them a well deserved draw and a chance to battle again.
    As the Championship started to unwind and teams began to fall, it was evident that if Coolmeen wanted to progress to a stage unseen for 12 years, they would have to go through Meelick once more. The 2011 Junior championship semi final took place in Shannon in front of a large following of Coolmeen support hungry to see the promised land once more. From 1 to 15, Coolmeen dominated the 1st half but were unable to reap their full rewards and suffered heartbreak when an injury time goal found it's way onto Meelick's score sheet. Coolmeen, bitterly disappointed, headed home empty handed, as Meelick headed to Corofin to collect their Junior A Championship. 
    Redemption finally fell into the starved hands of Coolmeen's 28 strong panel on Sunday 13th November 2011. They met the 2011 Junior Champions for the first time and the pride of the parish was at stake.
    Coolmeen started well and were aided with a strong breeze. Kevin McMahon, Cathal O' Connor and Alan Marrinan got the side off to a 4 point lead before Meelick registered their first point. Coolmeen worked the ball well and and looked the hungrier of the two sides early on. Noel Meaney was a fine example of this hunger, surging from centre back and collecting a breaking ball 20yards out from Meelick's goal and striking it with all his power past the Meelick keeper. Coolmeen rallied on through Kevin Mcmahon's left footed free kicks and an effort from Joe Corry to make the score at half time 1-07 to Meelick's 0-03.
    Meelick were not just going to lie down though and showed great skill throughout the 1st half and again at the start of the the 2nd. A number of altercations between the teams led to a break in play lasting for 20minutes as a grounded Meelick man was attended to. This break seemed to fire up the Meelick offensive as they tacked over point after point to narrow the gap to 5. Coolmeen looked for a response and that came minutes later as Joe Corry and Cathal O' Connor worked the ball to within 20 yards of goal and Joe pointed from the right. Meelick, determined, drove on their attack and scored 3 more points to leave the gap to just one goal with only 3 minutes remaining. Coolmeen refused to back down and fought valiantly in the back to avoid the same fate as the last meeting, Micháel Brooks, Noel McMahon and Martin McMahon putting in block after block.
    It was Kevin Corry that put an end to the day's labour with moments of play remaining. He collected the ball and rounded his marker to slot it past the keeper and into the right bottom corner of Meelick's net. Ger Keane blew the final whistle and Coolmeen had ended up with the hard earned spoils on a scoreline of 2-08 to 0-08.
    Captain Noel Meaney received the cup on behalf of his fellow players and thanked all responsible. He thanked mentors Tommy Tubridy and Kevin Shaloo, John O' Connor, John McMahon and Tommy Haugh for all their efforts as well as the Coolmeen following for their loyal support throughout the year. He also congratulated Meelick on the successful year and wished them the best in the intermediate championship.

It was an eventful year for the Black and Amber. Big strides were taken along the way. Some ambitions fell just short of the mark, but it was a fitting end and a reward for the people of Coolmeen to see this piece of silverware on the mantelpiece. And with the prospect of the mantelpiece getting heavy with rewards this time next year, one can only assume that the Coolmeen faithful is foaming at the mouth for their next challenge.

Team: Pa McMahon, Noel McMahon, Kevin McMahon, Martin McMahon, Michael Kirrane, Noel Meaney(capt), Brian Markham, Micháel Brooks, Seán McMahon, Joe Corry, David Neenan, Donal Houlihan, Alan Marrinan, Cathal O' Connor, Shane McMahon.

Subs: Diarmuid McMahon for Michael Kirrane, Kevin Corry for Joe Corry, Kieran Neenan for David Neenan, Eoin O' Connor for Brian Markham, Barry Vaughan, Martin Lucas, Kevin McMahon, Aidan Corry, Jason O Leary, Jamie Brooks, Aidan Hanrahan, Enda Haugh, David Hehir.    

Scorers: Kevin McMahon (0-04,f), Noel Meaney (1-0), Kevin Corry (1-0), Joe Corry (0-02), Cathal O' Connor (0-01), Alan Marrinan (0-01)