” O’ROURKE IS HERO “

A point from a free near the sideline in the last minute by midfielder Miley O’Rourke enabled St. Colmcilles the holders, retain the McArdle Cup when defeating near neighbours Starlights in the final played at Balgriffin by 0-6 to 0-5.

On a dry cold day with the stiffish breeze coming towards the pavilion end, the large attendance were treated to an absorbing context between two evenly matched teams. The exchanges were at all times fiercely contested with no asked or given.it was certainly not a game for the faint hearted as the players fought for each ball as if their lives depended ion it .

As a result of such passion and fervour the proceedings were at simmering point throughout but thankfully it never boiled over, although it appeared as if it would on occasions. The terrific vocal support gave a great atmosphere and their only regret is that one side had to lose after such a splendid hours football.

St Colmcilles had the elements in their favour in the opening half and the game was three minutes old when Alan Young sent the ball between the uprights. Marty Hughes stretched the advantage when adding another two minutes later. Starlights had their first really strong attack in the 10th minute when full forward Alan Cooley had a point blank shot brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Barney Cantwell. Just at the end of the first quarter Martin O’Reilly converted a free to leave his side three points in front.

Further shots by Dennis Farrell and Miley O’Rourke raised white flags to leave the Nevinstown based side leading by 0-5 to nil at the interval. Starlights were not long in opening their account after the changeover when Eamonn Crosby pointed in the opening minute. They added further points in the third and fifth minutes when Stephen Duffy converted frees after midfielder George McAlister was fouled when heading goal ward. With only six minutes gone things did not look too bright for the Nevinstown based team as they saw their lead cut just to two points 0-5 to 0-3.

But they did not wilt and stuck to the task on hand with great spirit and determination.in the last minute of the third quarter only a superb save by their goalkeeper Barney Cantwell denied Dermot Murphy a goal.

Starlights were finding scores very difficult to obtain against the no nonsense St.Colmcillles rearguard and it was not until the 23rd minute that they obtained their next score when Stephen Duffy once again pointed from a placed ball. With a few minutes remaining the same player repeated the fear to leave the teams all square.

Excitement was at fever pitch as each side eagerly went in search of the lead. It was to come the way of St. Colmcilles who obtained the previously mentioned score to register their narrow win . so ended the game which could have gone either way. The winners owe a great debt to their net minder Barney Cantwell.his two brilliant saves, one in each half when all seemed lost had a vital outcome.one felt that if either of these shots had ended up in the back of the net the winning trophy would have been Santry bound.

Jimmy Gaynor and Pat Thomas who have given such a sterling service to the club over the years were excellent cornerbacks.in front of them Noel O’Rourke and Michael Madden were solid in the held back line of defence.Miley O’Rourke and Martin O’Rielly had the edge at midfield in the opening half but struggled in the second. Denis Farrell, Marty Hughes and Alan Young tried hard amongst to forwards.

George McAllister gave an outstanding performance for the losers at midfield, particularly in the second half but he lacked support from his partners. His brother Andrew was a sound custodian and inspired confidence throughout. Stephen Cooley, David Cooley and Anthony Murphy worked tirelessly in defence.

The Starlights attack must have questions asked about them. Apart from Stephen Duffy who had four points from placed balls, only Eamonn Crosby got his name on the scoresheet.

Only one point from play is a poor reward for all their possession. Patsy Mohan, Eamon Crosby ,however ,tried hard.
At the end of the game Donal Beggs ,chairman of the Fingal League presented Pat Thomas, captain of the victorious St Colmcilles with the McArdle Cup amidst great excitement and joy.