MICHEAL MAC CRAITH (TRAMORE) 3-10 -
BRICKEY RANGERS 3-5
Tramore’s Joe Barry celebrates scoring a goal with Kealan Graham during the J.J. Kavanagh & Sons Co.Minor Football Final in Fraher Field. Photos: Sean Byrne.
Time was when Tramore were considered the team to beat in minor football championships but for some time now their reputation in that regard has faded. However, on Wednesday last in Fraher Field, there were clear signs of a return to former glories in the club as their current crop of minors produced a sparkling first half performance to put the issue just beyond reach of a gallant Brickey Rangers side that staged a remarkable second half recovery.
Tramore hit the ground running from the start and never allowed their opponents to settle into the game. Early points from Kealan Graham and Cian Rellis were followed by goals from Joe Barry and Adam Butler and with just twelve minutes played the Brickeys found themselves eight points down without a score on the board.
Kyle O’Donnell opened the scoring for the Bushy Park men with a point in the 14th minute but Tramore replied almost immediately with Joe Barry finding the net for his second goal of the game to give his side a 3-2 to 0-1 lead going into the second quarter. There were to be no more goals before the break as the Brickeys’ defence steadied somewhat but the damage had been done and in the remaining minutes Tramore still outscored the opposition by five points to two with Kealan Graham and Cian Rellis on target and Tom O’Connell and D. J. Melia getting on target for Brickeys to leave the halftime score Tramore 3-7, Brickey Rangers 0-3.
BRICKEYS STORM BACK
Based on their first half performance it was difficult to see a way back for the Brickeys from a thirteen point deficit but with nothing to lose they came out for the second half with all guns firing and when Tom O’Connell sent over a point and followed up with his side’s first goal inside four minutes we saw a big change in the trend of the game. Brickeys were now on the front foot as O’Connell added another point and when Peter Cummins was brought down in front of the Tramore goal in the 48th minute D. J. Melia blasted the ball to the net to leave five points between the teams.
The momentum was with the Rangers now and Tramore’s first score of the half did not come until Adam Butlers much needed 50th minute point. A second goal from Tom O’Connell in the 52nd minute cut the deficit to three points but the closing minutes saw Tramore regaining their composure to prevent a further Brickeys score while Kyle Graham allayed Tramore supporters nerves with points in the 54th and 60th minutes to put the issue beyond doubt.
If the first half exchanges belonged to Tramore the Brickeys certainly showed their best in the second period but over the hour Tramore looked the better side. For the winners Kealan Graham, Joe Barry, Adam Butler, Jack Ryan and Cian Rellis stood out while the big players for Brickey Raangers were Tom O’Connell, Kyle O’Donnell, Sam Lombard and Peter Cummins.
Scorers:- Tramore – Joe Barry 2-0, Kealan Graham 0-5, Adam Butler 1-1, Cian Rellis 0-4(1F,1’45’),
Brickey Rangers – Tom O’Connell, 2-3 (0-2Fs), D. J. Melia 1-1(1-0 pen.), Kyle O’Donnell 0-1.
TRAMORE – Stephen Pollard, Luke McGrath, Jack Brennan, Thomas Murray, Luke Hanway, Thomas Phelan, Oisin Crowley, Frankie Gillane, Dylan Dunphy, Darren O’Connor, Cian Rellis, Adam Butler, Kealan Graham, Joe Barry, Eli Murphy. Subs – Dara O’Brien for Connor, Michael Morrissey for Dunphy, Oisin Jennings for Murphy, Feidhlim Jennings for Murray.
BRICKEY RANGERS– Justin Whelan, Tommy O’Mahony, Eoin McGrath, Alan Curran, Kyle O’Donnell, Sam Lombard, Hugo Harty, Brayden Dee Carter, Niall Browne, Jack Ronayne, Tom O’Connell, Peter Cummins, Mikey Sheehan, D. J. Melia, Mark Blackwell.
Referee – Anthony Fitzgerald (Gaultier).
Chairman of the Waterford County GAA Board Paddy Joe Ryan presents the Cup to Tramore joint captains Dillon Dunphy and Kealan Graham.