Cullen Cup Final

Naomh Eanna triumph in tough Cullen Cup encounter.

The Winter Leagues of the Jim Byrne Cup in Minor Football ended in style last Sunday with Naomh Eanna and Taghmon Camross taking to Ballymurn turf first in a battle for the Martin Cullen Memorial Cup.

Naomh Eanna opened strongly with two points from Sean Doyle and despite a point from Pierce Doyle in the seventh minute Gorey still managed to capitalise on the Taghmon defence with a Brendan Kenny goal in the ninth minute. Frees mounted in Taghmon’s favour but still possession was with Gorey and points from Kevin Molloy and Mark Nolan proofed this. A nice pass from Brandon Cullen set up Pierce Doyle for a perfect Taghmon goal after eighteen minutes. The northern side were strong in the air winning most of Taghmon’s kick outs. Eventually, Taghmon matched their physicality to their footballing talents with points from Stephen O’ Gorman and Darragh Murphy. The half time score was slightly in Naomh Eanna’s favour, 2-05 to 1-04.

The second half established itself as a physical, dogged and tough footballing encounter. Mark Nolan opened with a point after nineteen seconds but Darragh Murphy quickly put Taghmon on the board with a fine point. With Taghmon winning all over the field it wasn’t until a second goal was to come. Pierce Doyle slotted one in the ninth but Gorey’s Fionn Doyle hit a low ball in to the corner of the goal a minute later. Despite points from James Carroll, Pierce Doyle, Stephen Nash and Conor O’Keefe for Taghmon, Mark Woods, Shane Troope and Sean Doyle maintained Gorey’s dangerous two point lead. The game was on a knife edge for the last ten minutes as Taghmon always built up to defeating Naomh Eanna. But despite a late surge on the Gorey goal, great defence play from Fionn Doyle and Eoin Conroy saw Naomh Eanna to win. Gorey’s lack of discipline caused nearly thirty frees going in Taghmon’s favour in comparison to Gorey winning thirteen. Thankfully wides were in minor numbers with Taghmon getting the most with six. It was a very enjoyable game that saw great practice for both sides as championship approaches in the next two or three weeks.

Eoin Conroy accepted the Cullen Cup on behalf of Gorey from Seamus Keevans and Mark Nolan won the man of the match award which was presented by Monica Ferguson.