Mungret St Paul’s snatch Premier U21 football crown with extra time win over Fr Casey’s:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

MUNGRET ST PAUL’S completed the Premier U21 double with a 1-6 to 0-8 win over Fr Casey’s after extra time in a dramatic football decider in Tournafulla this Wednesday afternoon.

The vital score came in the 79th minute of a pulsating game with Billy Molyneaux’s left footed free from the most acute of angles seeing Mungret to a stunning win.

The city side did well to even force an extra 20 minutes as they were three down deep into added time in the first place with Darragh O’Hagan’s hand diverting Tom Lloyd’s free to the net.

The two period’s of extra time were tense and without much incident until Molyneaux struck the decisive blow. Fr Casey’s had two chances to bring the game to penalties but two difficult long range frees into the breeze were sent wide by Eliah Riordan.

Casey’s, playing with the conditions in the opening 30, hit the front with an Eoghan O’Connell free that was soon cancelled out by a fine Diarmuid Hynes effort from play.

Adam Fitzgerald’s tidy score gave the Abbeyfeale side the advantage once more on 11 minutes but a superb team move directly from Jake Foley’s kick-out saw Lloyd square the game for a second time.

Mungret then took the lead for the first time through O’Hagan’s drilled effort into the breeze but Casey’s took control from there with the next four points.

A Riordan free saw the game level once again and the same man was nearly in for a goal after excellent Fitzgerald work but was denied by a smart Foley save.

Fitzgerald was a constant threat in the first half and his second, that was soon added to by another cracker from Dylan O’Connor, saw Casey’s lead 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.

Luke Walsh cut that lead to two points seconds after the restart but Casey’s were back into a three-point leading margin after an excellent Marc Nolan strike.

Lloyd kept Mungret in touch with a ’45 but they were struggling to hit the target for large parts of the second half with the conditions a constant source of problems for both sides.

Riordan’s third of the game three minutes into added time looked to be enough to land Casey’s the title but Mungret, somehow, found another gear with the outstanding O’Hagan reaching highest to flick the ball to the net to force extra time.

Both sides had plenty of chances to score in the two 10 minute extra periods but the tired legs, and woeful conditions, played their part in a dramatic finale.

It was left to Molyneaux, out injured for large parts of the season after dislocating a shoulder in a senior hurling clash, to land the decisive blow with a swift swing of his left leg to give Mungret a perfect end to a sublime 2023.

SCORERS – MUNGRET ST PAUL’S: Darragh O’Hagan 1-1, Tom Lloyd 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Diarmuid Hynes, Luke Walsh and Billy Molyneaux (0-1 free) 0-1 each.

SCORERS – FR CASEY’S: Eliah Riordan 0-3 (0-2 frees), Adam Fitzgerald 0-2, Eoghan O’Connell (0-1 free), Marc Nolan and Dylan O’Connor 0-1 each.

MUNGRET ST PAUL’S: Jake Foley; Conor White, Jason Hassett, Ciaran Uwatse; Oisin Moss, Jack McCarthy, Frank Corcoran; Darragh O’Sullivan, Darragh O’Hagan; Tom Lloyd, James Killian, Diarmuid Hynes; Luke Walsh, Conor Galvin, Darragh Bridgeman;

SUBS: JJ Harrington for Walsh (41 mins), Colm Rochford for Galvin (47 mins), Billy Molyneaux for Killian (53 mins, inj), Conor Galvin for Hynes (h-t, e-t), David Guilfoyle for Moss (72 mins, inj).

FR CASEY’S: Shane O’Connell; Calum Boyle, Culann Quigley, Cathal Woulfe; Michael Kilbridge, Sean Kilbridge, Cathal Harnett; Diarmuid Buckley, Marc Nolan; Dylan O’Connor, Eliah Riordan, Adam Fitzgerald; Eoghan O’Connell, Ronan Quirke, Oisin Woulfe;

SUBS: Jamie Dore for Buckley (45 mins, inj), Jack Quinlivan for O’Connor (53 mins), Ronan O’Connell for Woulfe (h-t, e-t), Matthew O’Connor for Quigley (72 mins), Calum O’Connor for Boyle (74 mins).

REFEREE: Donnacha O’Callaghan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon).