By Conor Martin
Crosserlough are Cavan senior football champions for the first time since 1972 after overcoming Kingscourt Stars 0-13 to 0-8 at Kingspan Breffni.
After last week’s edge of the seat encounter that forced a replay. Crosserlough ensured that the title would be theirs as they eased painful memories of their final loss two years ago.
Jimmy Higgins’s men opened up a two-point lead after seven minutes through Man of the Match James Smith and they never took the foot off the gas in search of their first senior title in 48 years.
Points from Stephen Smith, Mark Stuart and Patrick Lynch made it 0-6 to 0-2 by the time the first water break had arrived, leaving the Stars chasing their opponents for the remainder of the final.
A Barry Reilly free helped Kingscourt add to their total but James Smith and lynch helped ensure that Crosserlough would have a five-point lead when Lynch pointed from a free before the teams went into the break.
Cian Shekleton and Padraig Faulkner posted the responses for Kingscourt and they had goalkeeper James Farrelly to thank after he pulled off an unreal save when Stephen Smith was bearing down on goal on the cusp of half-time, leaving it at 0-8 to 0-6 for the interval.
Lynch, James Smith and Shane McVeety restored the five-point lead for the black and ambers within 10 minutes of the restart before they introduced captain Pierce Smith to the fray.
Faulkner and Reilly got scores back for their side but they’d need a goal to take control in this contest and the rub of the green never swung their way as Crosselrough who could see the finishing line to end the wait for a senior title only allowed Kingscourt to point twice in the second-half as the Crosserlough defence put on a exemplary display.
Instead Stephen Smith and Lynch sailed over the scores with moments left to put the icing on a very sweet cake.
Crosserlough: Brian Malocca; John Cooke, Patrick O’Reilly, David Shalvey (0-1); Shane McVeety (0-1), Conor Rehill, Cian Boylan; Mark Stuart (0-1), James Smith (0-3); Shane McManus, Brandon Boylan, Darren Gaffney; Adrian Smith, Patrick Lynch (0-5, 2f, 1m, 1 ‘45), Stephen Smith (0-2). Subs: Pierce Smith for McManus (41mins), Ryan Galligan for Gaffney (50), Peter Smith for Rehill (55, temp), Enda Gaffney for A Smith (56), Peter Smith for McVeety (60), Barry McKiernan for B Boylan (60).
Kingscourt Stars: James Farrelly; Cathal McKeown, Alan Clarke, Killian Farrelly; Shane Duffy, Paddy Meade, John Oates; Shane Gray, Peter Corrigan; Barry Tully (0-1), Philip Tinnelly, Kevin Curtis; Cian Shekleton (0-2), Padraig Faulkner (0-3), Barry Reilly (0-2, 2f). Subs: Darragh Gunne for Curtis (37mins), Sean Burke for Shekleton (45), Oisin Cunningham for Oates (45).