2009 Championship Winners
25th October, 2009
Dublin GAA Hurling Intermediate Championship Final
Naomh Fionnbarra 2-10 Round Towers 2-08
Years of hard work and dedication on the part of players, mentors and backroom team paid off in dramatic fashion when, with the clock ticking towards a disappointing conclusion and the tension almost unbearable, big Gossie came on as a substitute and scored the goal that finally broke the hearts of a committed Round Tower’s team.
Twenty six years after the club’s last victory in this tournament, Naomh Fionnbarra are once again crowned Dublin Intermediate Hurling Champions! For those interested in the stats, Naomh Fionnbarra GAA ran out winners by 2 points (2-10 to 2-08) in a match played in Parnell Park on Sunday, 25th. October, 2009.
The drums were beating, the flags were flying, the cars and buses were filling up fast as we made our way to Parnell Park for this Intermediate Championship Hurling Final. Could we regain past glories? The last time we won this was 1983, when we did the treble, League, Championship and Doyle Cup.
A lot of the ’83 panel were here to shout on these young guns. The Kehoes are out in force; well Nicky is the manager! Willie McAuley and Joe Moran are on the sideline helping out. More are in the crowd. Sons and relations are on this team. Come on the Barrs.
The match starts and we get off to a flier. Afterr 10 minutes we’re up by 1-5 to no score, with some great scores from play, frees and a brilliantly taken goal from Carl Turner, son of Paul, one of the stars of ’83. Towers are finding it hard to cope with our tactic of playing an extra man in the centre.
Towers get a free and score. It seems to lift their spirits; they chip away at our lead. They change to a short puck out, bypassing centerfield, and it’s our turn to find it hard to adjust. Then in the space of a couple of minutes, Goal, then another Goal.
Suddenly 25 minutes gone and we’re 1 behind, we haven’t scored since the 10th minute. “Come on lads! Get your act together!” someone shouts from the crowd. Towers get another score from a free; now they’re 2 up. The lads are trying hard and it pays off; we get a point. Half time comes we go in just 1 down. Everyone says thank God for such a good start.
The second half begins. Has Nicky given one of his inspirational team talks? The lads look more focussed, passing well and getting stuck in. We draw level, then go 1 up. Things are looking good. John (Botcho) Baily is having a man of the match performance; Gary McAuley is playing his heart out.
A couple of subs are brought on. We now have 3 minors, Dingle, Dillon and Trollier running at the Towers defence. Both teams playing brilliantly, giving everything. Stephen Costello and Niall Paget scoring from free’s and 65’s. The game ebbs and flows, the lead changing with every score.
We’re into the last 5 minutes. Another Sub for us, Big Gossie is coming on to join his son on the pitch. At 45, the elder lemon of the panel, Gossie gets a huge cheer from the crowd.
Towers are on the attack but our defence is working hard, with young Gossie (Growler) seemingly playing better now Da is on the pitch. Towers on attack again, Gary McAuley goes down! It looks likes a nasty head injury. He has to come off for treatment. The Towers man sent off for second yellow card, but “will this lift them and make them play harder?” groans our crowd.
Now into the last few minutes and we’re down by 1 point. The Towers defence is holding out, clearing up, hooking and blocking our forwards. Is there time for us to get an equaliser? One of our defenders launches a huge ball into the full forward line, the ball coming in around the small square.
Big Gossie goes up and catches brilliantly, the crowd stands up cheering, “Come on Gossie”, hoping for an equaliser. Gossie turns, 3 defenders converge around him. He strikes the ball – GOAAAAL!!! The crowd goes mental! We’re 2 ahead, with time just up. “How much injury time is to be played?” Towers launch another attack. The defence clears again and again, then Towers are given a free about 30 meters out, 3 minutes into injury time and they have to go for goal.
The free is taken. The ball dropped in… The defence holds out and the Ref blows full time. YES!!! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!
Big Gossie is swamped by crowd! What a fairytale ending for him, a fitting way for one of our best ever clubmen to be adored by his family and friends. The pitch is taken over by our supporters. Players are hugged, slapped, kissed; tears are everywhere.
Time for the presentation. Captain Ian McDonald proudly accepts the cup on behalf of the club. More tears from some of our older members especially the ’83 panel. Ian makes his speech thanking all especially Nicky and Dave Fogarty, our coach, who set them targets for the year and kept them on track.
What a Day! What a Game! What a night back in clubhouse!